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Rising to the challenge of COVID 19

Picture: Two weeks ago: Early social distancing – no gloves – no mask – the good old days. 

In the last few weeks we have been watching what has been happening around the world and trying to find the best way to keep our Veterinary Hospital running to look after the pets on the Northern Beaches.

A few weeks ago we were washing hands more often, trying to keep our distance from clients, using lots of hand-sanitizer and doing lots of spraying and cleaning.

Two weeks ago the partners – Heidi, Eamon and Jill moved their early Monday morning meeting to the Puppy Room and sat in corners 4 metres away from each other. We were worried about COVID 19 but still contacting lots of people.

This week, come Monday morning, half the staff were contacted to not come in. “You are on the other team….and you need a team name!”  Now we are divided into “The Llamas” and “The Alpacas”.

Dr Heidi, Dr Eamon, Dr Juliet, Lisa, Ella, Jennelle, Steph, Katharine, Ellen and Abi are Llamas

Dr Jill, Dr Jen, Dr Trudie, Dr Bryn, Sarah, Gen, Zia, Renee, and Cara are Alpacas

We haven’t seen each other all week but the whatsapp messages have been going mad!

Every surface is cleaned and sprayed multiple times a day. The week started with having only one client entering the hospital with their pet and we had a fantastic duct tape line in the middle of the consulting room to remind us of social distancing.  We arrive at work, wash our hands and put gloves on. We have gloves on all day….you really remember to not touch your face. The staff all stay 2 metres away from each other, making for some interesting difficulties in all of our many corridors.

By the end of the week we have gone almost client free. People come to our car park and we discuss on the phone what is needed. The vet goes out and talks about any concerns, standing at least 2 metres away from the client. We will then take the pet inside if needed. If a nurse holds an animal for a vet we are both in masks and gloves. All payments are made remotely and pet is delivered back to the car park. 

What’s going to happen next week?

What we are really hopeful about is that none of the Llamas or Alpacas get sick. Luckily Bryn and Juliet are fabulous with exotic animals, so they will know how to look after them.

By the way it is even more complicated seeing the vet up at the Emergency Service. We have decided to help our clients stay closer to home, and we will be open every public holiday during this emergency from 10am-1pm. Even on Good Friday!