Dr. Bill Wagner
2020 was the year of the veterinary healthcare hero
If there ever was any doubt about whether the work of veterinary healthcare workers is essential, 2020 laid those questions fully to rest. As the pandemic has ground so much of the world to a halt, veterinary workers find themselves inside of the bubble of work deemed too essential to stop even in dangerous and challenging times. It was the duty that we've always known: Animals will continue to get sick and need medical care whether we're there to deliver it or not, so we simply have to be there.
Understanding the reason for the burden hasn't made it any easier to bear. Whether it was learning "breeds" of cars, juggling packed schedules, trying to emotionally connect with clients in the midst of pet health crises through a phone line, navigating the challenges of how to deliver care while keeping workers and clients safe, and facing new challenges at home in a world where so many found themselves working from home or unable to work at all, there was new weight to carry. It was, avoiding more colorful words to describe it, a TOUGH year.
Despite all of those challenges, we did it. Millions of animals received healthcare despite all of the obstacles. Veterinary healthcare workers stepped up and delivered brilliantly, especially emergency care facilities that became flooded with excess caseload as primary care delivery was disrupted. It wasn't always perfect, it wasn't always graceful, but the job got done because it simply had to be. The work of veterinary healthcare workers is important. It is meaningful. It is essential.
And so as we bid goodbye to a year that most of us would probably prefer to forget, I propose a toast: To veterinary healthcare heroes everywhere we at AVP wish you a healthy, happy, and hopefully less chaotic New Year.