NANAIMO — The province’s incoming restrictions are “going way too far,” says Nanaimo construction worker Nathan Poe, who has no training in immunology. “I have looked this up on Google.”

“I checked other provinces,” said Poe, who has not completed a meta-analysis of medical studies, “And I feel like we should be doing what they’re doing. Or them doing what we’re doing. Or something.”

The restrictions were announced earlier this afternoon by Dr. Bonnie Henry, past chair of Immunize Canada, member of the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the National Infection Control Guidelines Steering Committee, and past chair of the Canadian Public Health Measures Task Group.

The province today broke its single-day record for the number of COVID-19 cases.

“B.C. has shown that we are strong, resilient, and supportive of each other,” said Dr. Henry, who is board-certified in preventive medicine, and holds a Masters in Public Health (residency training in preventive medicine).

“But our storm of COVID-19 is not yet over. We are in a different boat, but the consequences of not preparing for what is happening now all around us in our global community is just too great,” added the past executive of the Ontario SARS Scientific Advisory Committee, who was the was the operational lead in the response to the SARS outbreak in Toronto.

Even so, dozens of residents today expressed their disbelief at the new restrictions. Of those who had suggestions for Dr. Bonnie Henry, exactly none have any training in epidemiology.

“Do they need to close the bars and gyms too?” asked Karen Smythe, who studied theatre arts in university and did not complete a medical degree. “I think they’ve gone too far.”

“And honestly, what does she know that any of us don’t?” asked Smythe of the former medical director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control and Public Health Emergency Management, and medical director for the provincial emerging and vector-borne diseases program.

The province-wide public health orders go into effect on Thursday and last until January 18.

  • No organized indoor gatherings of any size, including weddings, receptions, or any celebratory events.
  • Bars and nightclubs to be closed, while pubs can remain open.
  • Gyms, fitness centres, and dance studios to be shut down.
  • Seated events reduced to 50 per cent capacity, regardless of the size of the venue with vaccine checking and masking rules in effect. This includes concerts, sports games, and theatres.
  • Maximum of 6 people per table at a restaurant, pub, cafe. Physical distancing and barriers will be in place, and no mingling is allowed in these food primary establishments.

“I really don’t think they should have put this many restrictions in place,” explained David Tribble, an accountant who has never submitted any peer reviewed articles to a medical journal. His wife, Judy, who does not hold a doctorate degree in any health sciences related field, agreed.