Doing what we do best, at The Surgery Center in Shrewsbury, MA

COVID-19 Update

How Bad Is It For The Unvaccinated?

Doing what we do best, at The Surgery Center in Shrewsbury, MA

Drs. Ekstrom and Bunkis are operating and seeing patients in the Worcester office this week. We are getting to experience both coasts - the traveling can get tiring but has become second nature to us. Even though we are all fully vaccinated, we are sticking to a mask policy at Orange County Plastic Surgery and at Salisbury Plastic Surgery. 61% of Californians have been fully vaccinated and another 9% are partially vaccinated. Massachusetts also sits at 61% fully vaccinated with another 9 percent lacking the second dose of the vaccine. That means about 40% of the population is not fully vaccinated – for their safety and ours, we will continue wearing masks in our offices until those numbers improve.

At the airports, on the planes, everyone wears a mask but few masks are seen once the airport has been left. You would have to assume that 40% of those walking around without masks have not been vaccinated. What does this mean regarding the spread of COVID infections, particularly in light of the more contagious Delta variant circulating in the United States? Unfortunately, after months of declining numbers of COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths, the numbers are on the rise again. The number of COVID cases in the US have doubled in the last three weeks! Every state by Maine and South Dakota reported case numbers rising during the past few weeks. In Los Angeles County, COVID test positivity rate has jumped 700% from 0.5% a month ago to 3.4% today. The 5-day average of cases has jumped 500% in one month. Because of rising COVID infection rates, LA County issued a Health Order last week, reinstating a mandatory mask policy for all public indoor gatherings, for the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, as of this past Saturday. The numbers are similar in Massachusetts – and across the country! Katie Finaldi from our OCPS office visited Maryland last week and reported that 100% of the COVID deaths in Maryland during the month of June were among the unvaccinated. If that is not enough motivation to get vaccinated, we do not know what else would work! One thing that will “encourage” the unvaccinated to take the jab would be more employers and schools mandating vaccination – a number of employers, the University of California and a number of other schools have announced that COVID-19 vaccinations will be required before the fall term begins for all employees, students, faculty and staff. We would like to think that given that choice and the science supporting vaccination, most would choose vaccination over losing their jobs or dropping out of school! So far, the CDC estimates that vaccination has saved 280,000 lives in the United States. To date, 33.9 million Americans have had a COVID-19 infection and a very significant 607,000 Americans have died of the disease!

Most people who get a COVID infection survive. But a so far undetermined number of survivors do so with impaired health with long-term COVID symptoms. The CDC has defined long-term COVID symptoms as those lasting more than three weeks. A year later, many are reporting extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, a rapid heart rate, brain fog, forgetfulness, and other difficult to diagnose neurological and cardiac symptoms. Again, another reason to get vaccinated!

Our personal assistant, Stevie Alexander, PA Student Shelby Phillips and Ivanna Fux, our new OCPS PA who starts full time today!

Our personal assistant, Stevie Alexander, PA Student Shelby Phillips and Ivanna Fux, our new OCPS PA who starts full time today!

Stay healthy! Stay happy and persevere! Feed the Courage Wolf and starve the Fear Wolf!

The end of the pandemic is almost here! Go conquer another mountain!

Get vaccinated! Enjoy the world - travel!

Be grateful for what you have now and for what is on the horizon - vaccines for everyone.

If you need Dr. Ekstrom or Dr. Bunkis, please call 949-888-9700 or visit our websites at:

Or for MA location, call 508-755-4825 or visit

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