While it’s disconcerting that the county had to join the regional stay-at-home order, I am proud of the School of Veterinary Medicine and university community for our excellent overall track record in preventing COVID-19 spread.
I know that this has been a stressful year in so many ways, yet we are seeing bright spots. We are past a contentious election that has been hard on many people. I thank everyone who participated in our democratic process and voted, and wish my congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The LNU Lightning Complex fires are more than 50 percent contained as I write this, and the latest evacuation orders have been downgraded to warnings. Upon learning of the regional fires, our school and veterinary hospital crisis management teams went into action. Although it isn’t over yet, I want to take this opportunity to provide my deep gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the fire response, including the hospital and VERT teams, communications and development teams, and anyone else involved.
I hope that you had time to attend our first virtual White Coat induction ceremony on Friday. I was so thrilled to see the joy of this diverse, talented and dedicated class as they donned their white coats and began the journey to become doctors of veterinary medicine. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the ceremony live, you’ll enjoy reading the wrap up. You can also watch the video of it here.
This past week has brought more concerning news to all of us about the recent resurgence of COVID cases in California, and nationally. The continuing challenges our nation faces, as we all attempt to control the pandemic, are complicated by multiple factors, including misinformation about control measures and resource limitations to adequately address the spread of the infection. We find ourselves facing an unprecedented challenge to continue to fulfill our obligations as an essential workforce and our important role to educate the next generation of veterinarians and scientists.
Our current COVID-19 pandemic has caused all of us to change our plans and adjust to a new reality. As we renew our operations and plan for the new school year, I want to thank you for your patience and the adjustments you’ve made as we navigate these extraordinary times.