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Welcome to 2021! Big Covid Update & Vaccinations 1 and 2 .... Check!

Welcome back. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season. I can't believe it's 2021. I'm not sure if any of you feel as I do, but it seems as though life is a scene out of Groundhog Day. We kept hoping for positive changes in 2021, but....

Since I last wrote, the Covid numbers have escalated in terms of daily cases. In addition, the vaccines are being administered, and it looks like more widespread vaccination will begin after the 15th; health care workers who have not yet been vaccinated will go to the back of the line.

Currently, vaccinations are being given to health care workers and nursing home patients. I am happy to report that I received my booster on Saturday. The first shot went went uneventfully. I did experience arm pain and flu like symptoms after the second shot, which made for a less than fun Saturday night, but by Sunday morning, all was well.

Despite the very high daily case numbers being reported, the hospitals are hanging in there. OR schedules are running "business as usual." Yes, ICU admissions are up. and my internal medicine and pulmonary colleagues are very busy right now, but I do not get the sense that we are in crisis mode in the hospitals.

DHEC is now reporting almost 350k cases. The theory is still being postulated that for every reported case, there are approximately 9 more unreported cases. This would mean, then, that SC has seen over 3 million cases, along with the 100k vaccinated individuals.

I am so hoping that herd immunity is in our near future (since our population is 5 million), and Governor McMaster continues to maintain that South Carolina will remain open for business. I still wonder whether the new Biden administration will enact national lockdowns given the high numbers across the country.

On a different note, as I reflect back on 2020, it appears that my numbers of facelifts and facial procedures were robust in the second half of the year. I believe it's due to the "Zoom Phenomenon;" people were acutely aware of their facial appearance on those not so photogenic Zoom sessions!

Additionally, in my practice, breast reductions and lifts were on high demand, but not breast augmentations. At least in my practice, women were desiring a more natural and smaller breast appearance. Fat grafting as opposed to manufactured implants also gained in popularity.

We also had good luck with insurance coverage of breast reductions, but I wonder if that will change in 2021. As insurance companies analyze the amounts spent on Covid; more and more breast reductions may be deemed cosmetic or not medically necessary. Time will tell.

These trends appear to be holding true so far in 2021. It will be interesting to see how they change, if at all, as we hopefully near the end to the pandemic this year. It would be nice to throw those masks in the trash, wouldn't it?

In the meantime, keep wearing those masks, and I do recommend the vaccine as it becomes more widely available. I also feel that the keys to avoiding Covid are good dietary and sleep habits as well as exercise. One of my new year resolutions is to be committed to an exercise regimen.

As part of my exercise campaign, I will be sending out/posting some exercise tips. I hope you enjoy them and I hope everyone has a great week.

Stay warm!

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