From an earlier trip to Stonehenge

COVID-19 Update


Hello from all of us at Orange County Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA and Salisbury Plastic Surgery in Worcester, MA. Busy week for me – seeing patients and doing surgery in Orange County this week, flying to NorCal to see patients in the East Bay all day Saturday, and leaving on Tuesday for MA, where I will be doing a facelift on the 9th and seeing patients there the rest of the week!

This should have been a great week COVID-19 pandemic wise! Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca have all released extremely promising Phase III trial results that likely mean the first vaccinations will start within a few weeks here in the US and Canada. These are remarkable scientific achievements! Never in history has a vaccine been developed this rapidly – I can assure you that this does not mean that corners were cut or that the vaccines have not been tested. It means that an ENORMOUS amount of government resources and worldwide manpower have been directed at this disease to find a cure. (This makes me wonder how quickly we could find a cure for breast cancer if the same effort was directed towards that disease!) It boggles my mind to see folks from the far right to Kamala Harris expressing doubts about the vaccine’s safety! I have been following the testing results in the New England Journal of Medicine, UCSF virtual grand rounds and many other sources – the worst complications I have seen described is a sense of malaise for a day or two after the vaccine is administered, no different than common reactions to a flu vaccine. No, the vaccines so far are “only 95% effective” – the flu vaccine is also not 100% effective. But no one in the clinical trials who did contact the disease got drastically ill or died – and that is HUGE! No one in their right mind should refuse a safe vaccination against a potentially deadly disease.

But I am frustrated at the seemingly slow pace of vaccine approval after the applications have been submitted to the FDA! In preparation for last week’s blog, I listened to a speaker from UCSF discussing the current status of the clinical trials. He stated (this was before Thanksgiving!) that he was on the panel deciding the fate of the vaccine for the FDA, that he and many others were examining the data, and that they will discuss the findings at a meeting on Dec 8th and 9th – soI expect approval of the Pfizer vaccine in the US by or on the 10th of Dec! As you can see from the headline above, the British approved the vaccine yesterday, have started shipping the vaccine and will begin inoculating their population on Monday! The Brits announced that they had a vast number of scientists pouring over the data, day and night, and released it because safety was assured. Do we truly have to wait two to three weeks from applications being submitted to FDA to hear a response? Hello, FDA – people are dying out there!

With all of the good news out there these last three weeks, it is difficult to focus on the bad news, but we must remain vigilant and do our share to control spread of the virus. According to the New York Times this morning, the number of COVID hospitalizations and deaths in the US have jumped more than 30% in the last 2 weeks (2,800 deaths just yesterday)! Massachusetts reported 4,613 new cases yesterday — the highest single-day total so far. California reports that the number of coronavirus infections surged to a record high for a fourth straight day - soaring above 8,000 amid continued concerns that a sustained spike in cases may eventually swamp the state's healthcare system. These numbers are unprecedented, and the scary part is that officials are expecting an even larger bump in this latest coronavirus surge following the Thanksgiving holiday! A scary statistic I read last week, and it has gotten worse since then, is that 1 in 145 Angelinos currently is infected with the Corona Virus! Wow, the vaccine is really needed, now! And this, Emergency Alert was issued by Los Angeles this morning:

“This is an important message from the City of Los Angeles NotifyLA System

Cases of COVID-19 in the City of Los Angeles are continuing to rise rapidly and new restrictions are in place to stop the spread of the virus.

  • Angelenos may not meet in person with others who do not live in their household.
  • Angelenos may only travel to and from essential and officially permitted activities. A list of such activities that are allowed is in the order, linked below.
  • The number of people allowed in certain businesses has been lowered, including at outdoor gyms, grocery stores, indoor malls, and personal care facilities.
  • Other new restrictions and the complete order can be found here:
To stay safe, and help reduce the spread of COVID-19: So, with all of the great vaccine news, it is difficult to end on such a negative note but that is our reality and we have to remain vigilant! Imagine how sad it would be to get severely ill or die with help on the way – don’t suffer General Custer’s fate, the cavalry is coming, be vigilant and hang in there a few more weeks!

On an earlier trip to UK, visiting Buckingham
                                            Palace, does it look like these guys could get something done faster than our
                                            Navy Seals?

On an earlier trip to UK, visiting Buckingham Palace, does it look like these guys could get something done faster than our Navy Seals?

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

Keep wearing your masks in public, social distancing, continue to wash your hands frequently, get vaccinated when you get the opportunity, be safe, be happy, be healthy and prosper!

Enjoy your families!

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


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

Or call 508-755-4911

Thanks for staying in touch and for your feedback!