Dr. Ekstrom’s with son Michael and daughter-in-law Chrissy.
Drs. Ekstrom and Bunkis got back to their respective home bases on Tuesday,
after a very successful trip to Sturgis, South Dakota. By far, the best part of
the trip has always been reconnecting with dear friends along the way and in
South Dakota itself. Just one short tale about the trip. Dr. Bunkis belongs to a
custom motorcycle owners group called Hamsters USA. Members reside around the
globe, most are in the USA. The Hamsters hold a number of events each year but
the largest is always the Sturgis rally. Groups start on both coasts and
converge in South Dakota. Each Sturgis week, the Hamsters hold their annual
dinner at the Holiday Inn in Spearfish. And each year, an auction is held during
the dinner to raise money for worthy causes, the bulk going to the Children’s
Hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota – millions have been raised at these
dinners! This past Monday, we donated $550,000 (that’s right, over half a
million dollars) to the Children’s Hospital, an additional $40,000 to the
Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame in Sturgis, and $10,000 for the Meals on
Wheels® program in Spearfish, South Dakota. Not a bad haul for charity during
By Thursday evening, Dr. Bunkis was back on an airplane to Boston, where he was reunited with Dr. Ekstrom and they drove up to Maine (highly vaccinated State but surprisingly many places required masks prior to entry) to attend Dr. Ekstrom’s son Michael’s wedding. This was another spectacular event with memories for a lifetime – congratulations Chrissy and Mike! You pulled it off! Enjoy your honeymoon in Hawaii! And this morning, Dr. Bunkis is back in Newport Beach and Dr. Ekstrom in Worcester!
The fall of Kabul has dominated the news cycle today. A horrible tragedy – our hearts goes out to the poor people of Afghanistan, especially the women, and the thousands of Americans whose family members were lost in vain!
But there was no shortage of COVID related news this week either. The disparity between the highly vaccinated and poorly vaccinated States continues. The spike in coronavirus cases is occurring nationwide – but highly vaccinated States like California and Massachusetts are reporting a rate per 100,000 inhabitants, half that of Texas and one quarter that of Florida, both poorly vaccinated States. During the first half of this year, the unvaccinated accounted for 99.6% of coronavirus cases in LA County and 99.8% of the deaths. Now, unfortunately, 20% of all reported coronavirus cases in LA County are occurring in people who have been fully vaccinated – but the good news is, that the vaccinated are developing a mild illness and not dying. The danger, however, is that while COVID positive, vaccinated with breakthrough infections are spreading the virus to others, an especially dangerous situation for the unvaccinated, including children! So what this tells us is that even if you have been vaccinated, if you have any symptoms of illness, please get a COVID rapid test to rule out a coronavirus infection before mingling with others!
Fortunately, governments, school districts, the health care industry and private companies like United Airlines are beginning to mandate vaccinations for their employees, students, faculty and so forth. Acting Boston Mayor Janey has ordered all city employees from teachers to police to parking office clerks to undergo vaccination or undergo regular testing. New York has done the same. Los Angeles officials have gone a step further and required vaccination before venturing into indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, shops, movie theaters and other venues. All healthcare workers in California will have to be fully vaccinated by next month. The Federal Government has joined the bandwagon and announced that COVID vaccines will be required for all in the military. Whether voluntarily or by mandate, the more of us get vaccinated the better our chances will be to conquer this pandemic and get back to some semblance of normalcy.
Drs. Bunkis and Ekstrom at the Hamster dinner in South Dakota
Stay healthy! Stay happy and persevere! Feed the Courage Wolf and starve the
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.
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