The graduating class of 2020 won’t be celebrating like classes prior. (Pixabay photo)

VIDEO: Dr. Bonnie Henry offers words of encouragement to B.C.’s 2020 graduating class

B.C.’s provincial health officer voiced support for parents and students during this unprecedented time

B.C. youth in the graduating class of 2020 are bidding farewell to their high school years in an unprecedented way – one their parents and grandparents will surely be unable to relate to.

As provinces across the country look to easing social contact restrictions, large-scale events such as graduations will remain off the table, health officials have confirmed. In B.C., Premier John Horgan has hinted that students likely won’t be returning back into the classroom until September at the earliest.

But Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, wants each graduating student to look at this experience as a unique and historic one.

“The traditional ceremonies and celebrations that we would expect to have as we make this major transition from high school to the rest of our lives are on hold right now and we won’t be doing them in the same way this summer, but take heart we are thinking about that and teachers, administrators and parents are still working to make this an incredibly memorable experience for all of you,” Henry said during her Saturday (May 2) news conference.

“You need to think about this in that you are, and will always be, unique in the graduating class. It has been over a hundred years since we have had an event like this pandemic. Few of us will ever know or experience graduating during the circumstances at a global pandemic.”

ALSO READ: Gay-straight alliances go virtual during COVID-19 pandemic

For many young people, the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to daily life and future plans has provoked anxiety, Henry continued, which is to be expected.

The B.C. government has launched a suite of resources for youth and their parents to support them through mental health struggles that may be triggered by or exacerbated by the pandemic.

READ MORE: B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

“I know many of us are feeling the fatigue and frustration of maintaining safe physical distance, of not seeing our friends, of having to connect with people in a virtual way, and it’s especially challenging for young people where the main connections are often related to friends in school,” Henry said.

“That can make people feel very overwhelmed and anxious and we know families are doing their best and it can be very challenging to have your family around you all of the time.

“I want you to know that you are not alone. We understand that this can be very anxiety provoking, we understand that there’s a lot of things we don’t know and we’re working through it together.”

Henry urged anyone who needs help to contact the Kids Help Line at 1-800-680-4264.

HERE2TALK: B.C. launches free counselling service for post-secondary students

As for parents who have found themselves homeschool their children while also working, the provincial health officer offered said she understands how tough and frustrating balancing both may feel for British Columbians but also for the millions of parents and guardians around the world.

“Do what you can. I understand this isn’t easy… there is no such thing as perfect, it is an unattainable concept and none of us should be striving for it,” she said, adding that the government will be there to ensure children don’t fall through the cracks once it is safe to return to the classroom.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusEducation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Sunflower Highway, art initiative to connect Fraser Valley, Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan

Sunflowers made out of reclaimed materials will be installed on public art trails

Residents warned to stay away from flooded Cache Creek park

Water might look shallow, but is several feet deep in places

Ashcroft receives grants to get new hot tub and lift station

‘The hot tub is a major benefit for many residents’

Cache Creek gets funding for improvements on Old Cariboo Road

Work will help to mitigate damage from water and debris flows during flooding

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read