Small rally held in Vernon, B.C., against COVID-19 restrictions

Click to play video: 'Dr. Bonnie Henry responds to reporter’s question about viral video on COVID-19 rules'
Dr. Bonnie Henry responds to reporter’s question about viral video on COVID-19 rules
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry responds to Global News reporter Richard Zussman's question about a video on social media that appears to support the flouting of social-distancing and other pandemic rules – Apr 13, 2020

As the province continues to stress the importance of respecting public health orders to limit the spread of COVID-19, a small group of people who feel restrictions have gone too far held a rally near Vernon’s City Hall on Sunday.

“We have had enough! We have had enough fear! We have had enough restriction on our jobs and our lives,” wrote organizer Sylvia Herchen in a social media post promoting the event.

“We feel that the measures taken to battle the virus are detrimental to society. All elements of society are injured by this methodology of lock down over the whole world.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 11 new deaths in B.C. as total number of cases nears 1,500

Herchen questioned the validity of coronavirus statistics, and told Global News she feels the cure may be worse than the disease.

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“We are rallying together because we feel that our rights have been trampled … by all the things that they are not allowing us to do to protect us from one little virus,” she said.

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Public health officials have urged people to avoid non-essential travel, stay home, and keep two metres apart from others when out in public.

Herchen noted that participants stood apart from each other at the gathering to maintain the recommended physical distance.

Click to play video: 'Conspiracy theorist slammed for COVID-19 video'
Conspiracy theorist slammed for COVID-19 video

On Monday, provincial heath officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said most people are following the rules and it’s making a difference in protecting people at high risk of severe symptoms or death due to COVID-19, such as seniors and people with compromised immune systems.

Global Okanagan was not granted the opportunity to ask about the Vernon rally at the province’s daily media briefing, but Henry was asked about a video posted on social media filmed at a similar event in Vancouver.

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READ MORE: B.C. MP deletes tweet about economy reopening if most COVID-19 deaths linked to care homes


Health Minister Adrian Dix said a small number of people have been behaving “very badly” and trying to promote themselves, and urged the public to not be distracted.

“Don’t promote them. Don’t look at them, but focus on what we need to do together,” he said.

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