Wednesday 1st June 2022

It has been a while….

Pantomimes are usually something associated with the winter season and whether you regard the events, the handling of them or reporting of them as a pantomime, or perhaps Brian Rix farce (look it up), there can be no doubt that the time, effort and column inches dedicated to happenings during the pandemic have painted a very peculiar picture of the UK to an international audience.  Almost regardless of the events themselves and the transparency, or otherwise, with which they have been dealt, from a disaster management or business continuity point of view the apparent lack of physical separation of key leadership figures at the time remains troubling not least as this was all pre-vaccines and when we knew we had a pandemic, but did not fully understand its epidemiology or the health consequences. Yet here we are. Evidence based-decision or decision-based evidence making; you choose.

And evidence is what is being amassed as we see the emergence, or more accurately, re-emergence of Monkeypox. As it stands it seems the informed opinion is that this is unlikely to be of pandemic proportions but as with any pathogen finding its way into naïve populations we must be vigilant. The One Health aspect of the epidemic is without doubt and the two-way transmission (animals to humans and vice versa) may yet see the narrative change. What is for sure is that infectious disease spreads when people congregate in large numbers in close/intimate proximity – but then hopefully that is a lesson we have all learned over the last two difficult years. Or is it?

Turning to happier matters which are disputed less though still divide opinion, as many in the country prepare to celebrate Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, there can be no doubt that a 70-year tenure in any position is a remarkable achievement. Whether or not one thinks a constitutional monarchy is appropriate in the 21st century, the very fact that as most others in other countries have dwindled in the face of popular opinion, ours has not. Thick and thin, war and peace, boom and bust, her dedication to service in a position she did not choose is surely something to be admired and celebrated. To a supporter of the RVC and our work over many years, our public message is here.

Whether you are celebrating or not and recognising many will be studying hard and others will be busy at work, enjoy the long weekend if you can.

As ever,


If you would like to read earlier messages see Previous messages from the Principal.

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