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

Summerland man rescued following ATV accident

Helicopters used to transport injured man to Kelowna for treatment

South Okanagan playgrounds now open

Once caution tape is removed, playgrounds are officially open for public use

Moog and Friends Hospice hopes to raise $30,000 this month

Donations give hospice a chance to win an additional cash prize of $20,000

Canada Day to go virtual in Penticton

City seeking videos of residents singing the national anthem to include in online celebration

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

Rain forecast could flood entrance tunnel, city staff to evaluate

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Mother bear and two cubs spotted in West Kelowna

Residents of Shannon Lake are urged to be on the look out for three bears in the area

Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Heather Friesen has again taken to council chambers to make her opinion heard

Youth filmmakers tackle technology addiction, relationships, cyber-bullying

The Kelowna couple won a grant from Telus STORYHIVE

Significant flooding not expected in Summerland

Okanagan Lake now slightly higher than full pool level

Vernon videographer captures thunderstorm

See the ‘best bits’ of Saturday’s storm

Most Read