photo taken by juris bunkis

COVID-19 Update

‘Tis the season of renewal. Easter and Passover have passed, Ramadan is around the corner. But this will be a Holiday Season like no other. Services were broadcast from St. Peter’s and elsewhere but we could not attend services ourselves. Traditional foods reminded us of our childhoods and tasted great but we could only share it with our most immediate family members and could not visit with our children, parents, siblings or hug our grandchildren. Yet we did so willingly because we realize how important it is not to expose ourselves or our families and dearest friends to the possibility of contracting this feared Corona Virus. As I sit here contemplating, I realize that it has only been 2 months since Valentine’s Day – life seemed pretty normal then but my, how life has changed!

Last week I spoke about the “curve flattening” and it has. The number of new cases being reported in the United States has begun to decrease daily. China, where this disease started, has only had 82,000 cases of Corona Virus confirmed and has been reporting next to no new cases for the last two weeks. As of ten minutes ago, the United States has confirmed 527,000 cases of Corona Virus patients. New York states tops the US at 195,031 infected patients. By contrast, Los Angeles County has experienced 9,420 cases and Orange County only 1,283 cases. This pandemic has affected every part of the globe, does not respect borders or religions – all of us, as citizens of this beautiful earth, must do our shares and come together to defeat it!

Examining the curves this morning shows that not only have the curves showing the number of new cases flattened but they are actually starting to show a decrease in the diagnoses of new cases of Corona Virus infections per day – and that is very good news. None of these improvements would have happened without guidance from our governments and, more importantly, the seriousness which our citizens displayed with regards to this potentially deadly disease. The cooperation with the general public, no matter how personally painful, through shutting down non-essential businesses, social distancing, wearing masks and gloves, sanitizing hands, grocery carts, airline seats, etc has been unprecedented and has played a HUGE part in controlling this pandemic!

To control this virus completely, we will have to have a vaccine but, even though there are 70 labs currently working on this project, and clinical trials will be starting very soon to test potential vaccines, experts are predicting that it will be 12-18 months before a vaccine is widely available. In the meantime, as the number of infections go down, the Governors and President will reopen the country to commerce, but until the vaccine is available, life will not be returning “to pre COVID-19 normal”. Dr Anthony Fauci is predicting that common things like shaking hands will be a practice that may be no longer with us (a big deal for a hugger like me!). We are now seeing patients with urgent issues and were hoping to return to work by the beginning of May, but it now looks like May 15th is the date that most experts are targeting as a safe return to work date. A week ago, we were told for the first time that it was a good idea for all of us to wear a mask in public. Now you cannot get into a grocery food store without wearing a mask. And, I am certain, that by the time we reopen our office, masks will be recommended for all medical employees and patients for some time to come. Social distancing will be practiced in our offices and in other businesses like move theaters and restaurants. We will space our appointments out to avoid having people waiting to be seen. We have always washed our hands frequently and cleaned our rooms but hand washing will become even more frequent and our patient rooms, door handles, airline seats, restaurant and theater seats, etc will be sanitized after each person leaves. Telemedicine (online, virtual consultations and follow ups) will become routine – not only decreasing the spread of any kind of disease but also improving our traffic, consuming less fuel, making finding parking spots easier, etc. People who can will continue to work from home. Businesses that cannot adjust will simply cease to exist and others will prosper. As happened after Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers, Americans will adjust, persevere and prosper.

Please call 949-888-9700 if you have any questions or visit our website at:

Our office remains temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have instituted a telemedicine consultation service online through - just please call us in advance to set up a time when we can chat. (Just click on this link to use after you call to alert me, and your name will pop up on my screen that you are waiting to talk to me). Save this link in your favorites or contacts. This service can be used for follow-up patients as well as new consultations.

Do stay in touch with us – we miss you!

The Season of Rebirth, Happy Spring!

Stay safe!