In these catastrophic times

November 17, 2021

I struggle to find the right words for yet another disaster that has befallen our province. Events that are supposed to happen only once-in-a-hundred years have hit us in rapid succession. People and communities have been upended, some that were still reeling from the last disaster. So while I can’t find all of the words, I do want to express three important things.

First is a note to all of my colleagues, all doctors throughout the province – Doctors of BC is here for you. We recognize and understand the difficulties and challenges these disasters have on your ability to provide timely care to your patients, and in some cases to provide any care at all – even for yourselves. Doctors, patients, allied health colleagues, and supporting teams are all under enormous stress. Doctors of BC is here for you, here to continue advocating for you and your patients and to support you however we can.


Second is there can be no doubt that climate change is real and it is upon us. A brutal fire season, a deadly heat dome, and now catastrophic flooding. This represents one of the most important threats to human health we have seen. Heat alone killed more people in mere days than COVID-19 did in months. I am making a personal commitment to learn as much as I can about my family’s impact on our climate, and how my personal and professional choices can make a difference. No contribution is too small and there is no time to waste.

And lastly, I still see a lot of good in this world. We saw the Canadian Forces sweeping in to rescue trapped family, friends, and neighbours. We heard about the family-owned restaurant handing out free pizza and the Sikh community preparing and delivering thousands of meals. And we’ve seen people – physician colleagues included – offering their homes and their hearts to strangers who have been displaced and are in need of shelter. Throughout all of the catastrophic events that have befallen our province we have seen and heard stories that have reinforced our faith in humanity.

I know that as a profession – as a province – we are tired and we are hurting. But we are still here and we are still making a difference.

Thank you for all you are doing to help loved ones and strangers alike. We will get through this and we will do so together.

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