EDITORIAL – How is it that the heroes of the pandemic are suddenly bums?

(Image: Govt of B.C.)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

HOW QUICKLY we forget.

It wasn’t long ago when we considered Dr. Bonnie Henry — the architect of lockdowns — a saint. Each afternoon, we waited for her and Health Minister Adrian Dix to give us the latest update on COVID, along with news of which businesses and public facilities would have to shut down next.

In the morning, we watched Prime Minister Justin Trudeau step out his front door into the cold and tell us how his government “had our backs” and would see us through the various stages of lockdown.

Similar scenarios played out around the world. In the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci became a household name, a respected scientist who stickhandled his way through the politics of the pandemic and provided the unbiased — though often tough to take — information that was needed so that the right decisions could be made.

The lockdowns, the mandates, the travel restrictions, the COVID passports — they weren’t popular but we accepted them as necessary. And they got us through it.

Yet, now that COVID is no longer the threat it was (though it’s still definitely with us as we’ve seen recently in a couple of outbreaks in Kamloops) the same people we once hailed as heroes are suddenly bums.


Mel Rothenburger is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as mayor of Kamloops, school board chair and TNRD director, and is a retired daily newspaper editor. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – How is it that the heroes of the pandemic are suddenly bums?

  1. John Noakes // May 12, 2023 at 6:22 AM // Reply

    During the pandemic, I knew a few people who were anti-vaxxers and those who outright claimed the pandemic was a hoax. When they saw the countless deaths of people and mass graves, there was little reaction except that it must have been staged.
    It’s surprising they received other vaccinations while growing up and thought little of THOSE ones. Smallpox is almost defeated because of vaccinations.

    I hesitate to comment on line. Losing my twin brother to cancer during the height of the pandemic is a period and event in my life I will never forget. I was unable to be with him because of travel restrictions. Do I think less of Bonnie Henry? Not a bit. She was doing the right things for the best of all people. My oldest brother died 6 weeks and a day after my twin brother. It was a double whammy.

    Now that anti-vaxxers are coming out of the woodwork to say, “I told you so”, I quietly shake my head.

  2. Bill Hadgkiss // May 10, 2023 at 11:33 PM // Reply

    Are the dots blurry Mel?
    Why is it easier to deceive someone than to show them how the dots are connected?

  3. Jim Irwin // May 10, 2023 at 8:16 AM // Reply

    Mel, would you please provide any evidence you have to support your statement that “millions more would have died, and we would still be in the height of the pandemic”?

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Sheila Park // May 10, 2023 at 7:26 AM // Reply

    Dear Mel
    You have been listening to the small percentage of folks who refused to vaccinate, lock down, and believe.
    Some of these folks held the good people of Ottawa hostage for a number of days.
    The folks I talk to do not feel that Dr. Bonnie, Mr. Trudeau and Dr. Fauci are bums. They are the folks who worked from home, worked at jobs they had to during the pandemic and thanked people for masking, using hand sanitizer and lysol wipes – like grocery stores and health care. The folks who got CERB because they could not work that are now back at work. And the older members of our society who are ever so thankful to the young folks who are still trying to volunteer and support our society.
    Please listen to the vast majority. The real Canadians. Thank you.
    Stay well Covid, flu and colds are still out there. I still have my masks, hand sanitizer and lysol wipes.

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