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A time of hope

I hope that none of us will ever have to experience another year like 2020.

For an agonising few months I was literally prevented from performing my role as a vet. I was forbidden to see any but the most desperately ill pets, and it felt awful.

Then for several more months, we were permitted to see most sick pets, but our usual work, including minor issues and vaccinations had to be postponed.

This hurt terribly. At the Mewes, we have never turned any sick pet or worried owner away. And having to perform many unfamiliar tasks, as most of our reception and nursing teams were staying safe at home, was challenging too.

Then came the catch-up phase. We needed to get back to ensuring all our pets’ vaccines were up to date, in order to reduce the risk of a disease outbreak among pets. With the help of my fantastic team, we achieved six months’ worth of vaccinations in about two months, and have been up to date with these for some time now.

Our pets are safe, and now, at last, vaccinations against the coronavirus are available for people!

This is the best news we can enjoy this New Year. Once enough people in the world are vaccinated, we will have this awful pandemic beaten. 

I don’t suppose Edward Jenner, back in 1796 would ever guess how grateful we are now for his smallpox observation. He was the man who noticed that milkmaids who had been infected by cowpox never caught the worst disease known to man in those days, smallpox. 

He trialled deliberately infecting people with cowpox, and showed that they subsequently became immune to smallpox. Thus the concept of beating viruses by immunisation was born. Since then the World Health Organisation has successfully eradicated this fatal virus.

Hopefully soon, the same will be possible with coronavirus.

Of course, our vaccine production methods are a great deal more scientific and much safer nowadays.

I love the idea that the vaccine only needs one protein from the virus to be incorporated. This means that there is no whole virus in the dose, and so no possibility that it can cause the disease. Such scientific elegance!

Roll on 2021 – a year of hope!

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