dr juris bunkis of orange county plastic surgery and dr deborah ekstrom of salisbury plastic surgery sitting in procedure room

COVID-19 Update


Hello from all of us at Orange County Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA and Salisbury Plastic Surgery in Worcester, MA! The practice here is booming but yes, I am seeing patients in Massachusetts. Yes, I recently had my lapsed Massachusetts license reinstated and last Friday, began seeing patients in Worcester with Dr. Deborah Ekstrom at Salisbury Plastic Surgery. Between my trips to Massachusetts, Dr. Ekstrom (of Money Loves Women fame) flies out to California and hopes to get her California license and establish a medical practice here as well. A bicoastal practice – thus begins another adventure in my life!

Well, I wrote this column weekly for five months after the COVID shutdown started and stopped in mid-August because I thought interest in the topic had waned. I continue to see patients and every day, have had some tell me how much they enjoyed my columns and how much they missed them. I promised everyone that I would start again and just felt that this was the time to do so.

Much has changed in these last few months – we have a new President. The situation with COVID is worsening nationwide. To this date, 10.5 million people in the United States have contracted the disease and a staggering 242,000 people have died, an additional 1,431 just today alone! Orange County has had 65,234 COVID cases and 1,514 fatalities. Worcester County (smaller population than OC) has had 19,095 cases but strangely, almost as many deaths as OC – 1,514 deaths. These numbers are mind boggling to me. To put this in perspective, 150,000 people died after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and 75,000 after the attack on Nagasaki. And here we have lost more people than that from a virus!

At Orange County Plastic Surgery and Salisbury Plastic Surgery, we continue to follow all CDC guidelines and use common sense as we continue to provide our services to our communities. During these many months since April when we reopened, we have taken a health history, checked temperatures and had each patient having a surgical procedure undergo a COVID test. The staff has been tested multiple times – any time any of us finds out we may have been in contact with someone who is a risk, we have had the person tested before they are allowed back into the office. I get a COVID test prior to each of my flights to Massachusetts. So far, thank God, all tests have been negative. Hopefully we can keep this virus in check until a vaccine becomes widespread.

What is the status of the vaccine? Scientists are racing to have a vaccine approved by the end of the year. Currently there are 52 clinical trials on humans taking place, and I am convinced that one of them will work. The first vaccine trials in humans started in March, and now 10 have reached the final stages of testing. Some of these trials will fail, and others may end without a positive result. But a few vaccines will succeed in stimulating the immune system to produce effective antibodies against the virus. Pfizer has announced that its vaccine induced immunity in over 90% of the people who received the vaccine. At my last Los Angeles Consular Corps Zoom meeting, a health official from LA County told us that the government is stockpiling millions of doses of a vaccine it expects to be approved for use later this year. So we are close - please do not let your guard down, and stay safe! This will be particularly challenging during the Thanksgiving season as students return from schools and friends wish to congregate.

dr deborah ekstrom with granddaughter

Dr. Ekstrom with her granddaughter, Isla!

Getting ready to leave for Malibu on Saturday

To your health and well-being. Stay happy and persevere!

Drive safely, always wear a mask in public, social distance, continue to wash your hands frequently, and be safe!


If you need us please call 949-888-9700 or visit our websites at:

www.orangecountyplasticsurgery.com and www.salisburyps.com

Thanks for staying in touch and for welcoming me back!