Happy July 4th Weekend!
The numbers in California are still going up. ICU’s are filling up. Today over 50,000 new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in the United States, a record number for 5 of the last 8 days! And here we are commemorating Independence Day!
As I sit here in Massachusetts, I can hear sporadic fireworks in the distance. On this favorite of all holidays, mingling with friends, enjoying barbecues, fireworks, concerts, and a few beers with friends and neighbors have been the norm. Yet, all that has changed this year! The Governor has wisely urged beach and museum closures, closing bars and indoor dining and the likes! I hope you all respect your fellow citizen’s health and follow all recommended CDC guidelines. If we do, ICU’s will empty, beaches, bars and museums will reopen and we can resume our recovery! If we do not, many other businesses will close, people will lose jobs, and more people will die! Plain and simple.
But let me say a few words about the 4th of July! Yes, my favorite holiday! I am an immigrant in this great country - thank you for accepting me and giving me this opportunity to flourish here! I am so grateful for this opportunity each and every day. My children were born here and are solid American citizens as well. I find that most immigrants who have become citizens cherish their freedom and their opportunities immensely. A lot of Americans take their freedom for granted. My story begins with my parents escaping from Communism as World War II ended and they found themselves in a refugee camp in Lubeck, Germany in 1945. They met, married and had me in that camp. As the 40’s were ending, it became obvious that the Russians were not leaving Latvia and the other lands they had conquered any time soon (they finally did in 1991 as the Soviet Union collapsed). The refugees in the camps started looking for opportunities abroad, most to the US, Canada and Australia. My parents and I emigrated to Canada at the beginning of the 50’s. I grew up in small mining towns in northern Ontario, listening to The Beach Boys and dreaming about living in the Sunshine State someday. I attended the University of Toronto, where I completed my undergraduate and medical school education. I was fortunate to get accepted into a general surgery program at Columbia University in New York, became a Board Certified General Surgeon before moving on to Harvard University for a plastic surgery residency and Board Certification in Plastic Surgery. I considered a number of opportunities at that time but chose to join the Faculty at the University of San Francisco School of Medicine, where I was a full time Assistant Professor and, by the time I left, the Chief of Plastic Surgery at the San Francisco General Hospital. By the time my first child was born, I was in private practice and realized how much I loved California and that I would never move back to Canada. I loved Canada and was grateful for a great childhood there but knew the USA would be my home to the end. I became a citizen in 1986 and have been an ardent American ever since! God Bless America! May you flourish in perpetuity.
Go celebrate Independence Day but do so safely!
This year, I came to Massachusetts to experience Independence Day in the cradle
of our liberty! The battles for Independence started right here! They take their
Independence and politics very seriously here!
To your health and well-being. Stay happy and persevere!
Drive safely, wear a mask in public, continue to wash your hands frequently, and be safe!
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