For those of you who know me, I can form opinions, I do have a strong mind, and
I am decisive – but I am a conciliator by nature, a diplomat with the foreign
ministry of the Republic of Latvia experience for almost a decade. Like my
motorcycle buddies of the Hamsters USA group like to say, “We are lovers, not
fighters!” It is just amazing to me to see so many vehement responses from
readers of this blog, about equally claiming that I am attacking one side of the
political spectrum or the other, giving me their arguments about why masks are
not necessary and why they have “a right” not to wear one! The virus spread is
pretty dramatic right now with the number of cases rising in 40 of the 50
States, ICU’s and morgues are filling up. When it comes to the COVID issue, I
have tried to evaluate the current situation and threat to all of us based on
medicine and science. This is not a political issue! I have called on
politicians of ALL stripes to do the right thing HEALTH WISE! I know wearing a
mask is uncomfortable and it is difficult to hear what some people are saying.
But just as we instruct single people going out with someone new to wear a
condom, I do know that all of us wearing a mask will slow down, not eradicate,
the spread of this pandemic. I will leave you with one very simple analogy that
I think you should be able to relate to. If a large group of naked people are
squeezed into a small room and one of them has to urinate, there is a good
chance others will get sprayed with the water droplets. If you are wearing pants
in the same situation and someone has to go next to you, you might get a little
wet but not as much. But if all are wearing pants and someone urinates, the
water droplets will just run down that person’s leg and you will stay dry! But I
promised my staff I would not harp on this for a while and will switch to what,
I hope, all of us will be able to agree, is a more positive topic and shows hope
My desk looks like it did when I was writing scientific articles years ago, littered with every current COVID vaccine article I could find and I will try to digest and summarize for you where we stand with vaccines. What can eradicate COVID-19 from this earth is a successful vaccine and this past week has brought some very positive news on that front! Currently, there are 23 known vaccine clinical trials in progress. Billions of dollars have been committed to this effort. A month ago we heard of a company in Israel that developed a successful vaccine but it had only been successfully tested in hamsters (not my buddies in the Hamster’s USA motorcycle club but in little rodents) – I would assume that they have gone on to human testing but I could not find anything more current. A week ago the New England Journal of Medicine published an article about a vaccine developed by a company in Massachusetts called Moderna and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of Health. This pilot study immunized 45 volunteers and found an appropriate immune boost in all of them. About half of the participants experienced mild flu like symptoms that lasted a day, but all developed immunity to the virus. On July 27th, this group of scientists will begin injecting a 30,000-person cohort to prove if the shots are really strong enough to protect us from the coronavirus and to rule out significant side effects. Yesterday, two studies came out in the British journal, Lancet. One described the results of a randomized, placebo-controlled study of 630 subjects from China. 97% of subjects developed immunity to the COVID-19 virus, mild flu like symptoms were seen in a significant percentage of the participants but there were no serious reactions. You may have heard on the news yesterday about encouraging results from a study at Oxford University. This study, performed in conjunction with AstraZeneca and the recipient of more than a billion dollars from the US government, has begun a trial of 10,000 patients in the UK and an additional 5,000 subjects in Brazil. The results revealed yesterday pertained to the first 1,000 patients who were vaccinated and showed that all participants developed immunity against the virus, with about 60% of participants developing brief lived flu like symptoms but no serious side effects were noted. These studies are all available through a Google search if you would like more details – or you can contact me with any questions.
It is unclear at this point if one approach is superior to any other and we will have to await the results of the larger studies to determine efficacy and side effects of these vaccines. But we are on the right track, at warp speed for vaccine development, and there is hope that by the end of the year a commercially available virus will become available!
With so many people furloughed or working from home, many have chosen to have some work done in our office. Facial surgery is especially popular at this time because people are not as concerned about others seeing their initial swelling and bruising. And of course, this is Orange County and increased numbers of people are seeing us about breast enhancement. Below is a special we are running this month – you may wish to pass this on to any friend you know who might be interested is such a procedure and would like to save some money.
Drive safely, always wear a mask in public, social distance, continue to wash your hands frequently, and be safe!
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