Deborah Ekstrom on motorcycle

COVID-19 Update

Get Your Motor Running!

That's how we roll...

Well, this week Drs. Ekstrom and Bunkis will neither be in Worcester or Newport Beach. Thanks to our PA’s, Makayla Porter and Ivanna Fux, our patients remain well cared for. We have had a hectic few days – we were in Brookline, MA for Dr. Ekstrom’s son’s engagement party, and early this morning flew out to Walla Walla, WA, to join the Hamsters USA Motorcycle group on their annual ride from the West Coast to Sturgis, South Dakota. This is a trek Dr. Bunkis has taken almost every year since 1994 – but a first for Dr. Ekstrom! Tonight will see us reaching Whitefish, Montana, Big Sky Montana the next evening, then Cody Wyoming and ending up in Belle Fourche, South Dakota on Friday evening. The highlight of the trip will be a visit to Scott and Susan Peterson’s buffalo ranch the following day.

News on the COVID front has not been very encouraging – we are definitely slipping in the wrong direction as the country is experiencing a U-turn in virus statistics. Positivity rates are rising in every state! The CDC has reinstituted a mask mandate for all indoor gatherings, even for fully vaccinated people. Governor Charlie Baker said that he sees no need for Massachusetts to reinstate restrictions in response to rising COVID-19 cases, striking a contrast with President Biden and Governor Newsom, who are urging us to mask up again. After months of decline and relaxation of restrictions, the number of new cases in the US has shot up by 171% in the last two weeks! The highly contagious Delta variant is spreading around the globe. LA has hit over 3,000 new COVID cases daily – and sadly, about 20% of those infected, albeit in a less severe form, are the vaccinated. Studies from Israel now show that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine wanes with time and talk is now starting about booster shots, but no one yet knows when to do so. The government is testing the vaccine on 5-12 year olds and has ordered millions of doses for this age group, with the expectation that approval to begin these vaccinations is imminent. It is time to start blaming the unvaccinated for the current surge. Governor Newsom has rightfully compared choosing to remain unvaccinated to drunk driving – a menace to yourself and the public at large! California and New York were the first states to mandate that all state employees must provide verification of vaccination or subject themselves to weekly COVID testing. Many companies are doing the same. A number of schools around the country have mandated vaccination for all students, faculty and staff. A number of hospitals and health care systems have mandated vaccination for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. We still seem to be losing ground – have these responses been too little too late?

And lastly, a sentimental moment for Dr. Bunkis - Dr. Bunkis saw patients at the old Blackhawk office this past week, for one last time. Dr. Bunkis built this office and the Blackhawk Surgery Center in 1989 and handed the practice and office to the capable hands of Dr. Brett Stompro when he moved to Orange County in 2001. Since that time, he has traveled to the Bay Area to continue caring for patients requesting to see him, but from now on, any such follow up will have to be in Orange County, virtual, or in person with Dr. Stompro (925-736-0401). With Dr. Bunkis’ monthly practice commitments in Worcester, MA, it is no longer feasible for Dr. Bunkis to continue traveling to the Bay Area to see patients. Dr. Bunkis feels very fortunate and privileged to have served you and the East Bay community since his early days with Dr. Leonard Epstein in 1981. Many of you have become close personal friends! Being your doctor in Nor Cal has been a wonderful experience and Dr. Bunkis shall cherish the memories forever!

Last scheduled patient day in Blackhawk, CA with Dr. Brett Stompro

Last scheduled patient day in Blackhawk, CA with Dr. Brett Stompro

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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