Michael S. Tan: Pandemic pushes Vancouver’s Chinatown to the brink

BY MICHAEL S. TAN, JUL 13, 2020, The Province

In the next few weeks, there will be an announcement establishing the B.C. Chinese Canadian Museum and its new board of directors. This is the next step following the commitment of $1 million in November from the B.C. government towards the creation of a museum.

The museum aims to commemorate the living cultural heritage of Vancouver’s Chinatown and the significant role Chinese Canadians had in building Canada and would be a vital cornerstone in an application towards a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, the community we know and love as Chinatown has been harder hit than many areas. So much so that if a lifeline is not forthcoming to support the historic area’s businesses, workers, and arts organizations, they will not be building a museum; in fact, they will be building a mausoleum — a tomb to showcase what once was. …read more

The B.C. Chinese Canadian Museum aims to commemorate the living cultural heritage of Vancouver’s Chinatown and the significant…
Jason Payne / PNG

Blame, bullying and disrespect: Chinese Canadians reveal their experiences with racism during COVID-19

Angus Reid Institute, June 22, 2020

It has been referred to as the “shadow pandemic” in Canada. As COVID-19 indiscriminately touches people in large communities and small households, it has brought another kind of virus – one that does discriminate – to the doorsteps of only some Canadians.

That virus is racism. Across the country, assaults, verbal threats, graffiti and worse – all directed at people of Chinese (and other East Asian) descent – have been reported since the pandemic was declared.

Now, in the first study of its kind since the pandemic was declared, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute in partnership with the University of Alberta reveals the experiences and emotions of those directly affected.

Results from this survey of more than 500 Canadians of Chinese ethnicity underscore the extent and depth to which they have been exposed to discriminatory behaviours, and the effect on their own sense of self and belonging in this country. Read more…

The Top Doctor Who Aced the Coronavirus Test

Catherine Porter, The New York Times, Updated June 12, 2020

That Tuesday in March was the day Bonnie Henry had been preparing for her whole life.

Overnight, 83 people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and three more had died. The pandemic had officially broken out in British Columbia.

Standing inside the provincial legislature’s press gallery, the preternaturally calm top doctor of Canada’s westernmost province declared a public health emergency. Under her orders and recommendations, schools closed, bars shuttered and social distancing measures were put in place. Read more…

A Costco in Burnaby used wood pallets to help shoppers observe social distancing in April. By Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

COVID-19 in B.C.: Dr. Bonnie Henry on B.C. travel and Chinese Canadian community’s role in breaking the curve

Craig Takeuchi, The Georgia Straight, June 5th, 2020

Many experts predicted that British Columbia would be one of the hardest-hit regions in Canada, if not North America, during the pandemic.

In an in-depth profile of B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in the New York Times today (June 5), Toronto infection control epidemiologist Colin Furness was quoted as saying that “by all rights, British Columbia should have been clobbered.”

However, he credited the fast action taken by health officials and Dr Henry’s communication skills.

But as the pandemic developed across the world, some of the locations closest to China have maintained some of the lowest case counts, while the most troubling hotspots have been farther away. Read more…

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C.’s COVID-19 pandemic spread largely because of virus strains from Europe, Eastern Canada, and Washington state

Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight, June 4th, 2020

B.C.’s provincial health officer has shown that visitors from China are not the main cause of a public health problem that has caused widespread economic hardship.

In presentation touching on epidemiology and genomics, Dr Bonnie Henry demonstrated that the primary source of COVID-19 infections in B.C. came from travellers from Europe, Eastern Canada, and Washington state.

She showed this with a series of charts featuring different colours. They represented strains of the virus from different regions. Read more…

Dr. Bonnie Henry demonstrated why travellers from China are not linked to the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in B.C.