Los Angeles is still holding up pretty well with about a 3% positivity rate for testing. As you may know the Midwest and Mountain states are doing poorly at this time. A spike in cases may come our way again.
We are all getting tired of this long process–seven months now– however we must continue to try to stay healthy and minimize the outbreaks with common sense, responsibility, and care for self and others. We are getting very close to new therapeutics including monoclonal antibodies

Covid antibody therapy

Healing with External Antibodies

that could be used early in an infection, especially for higher risk individuals and prevent the progression of disease as well as providing protection and ongoing basis. Monoclonal antibodies are a protective injection focused on the coronavirus.

Vaccines are coming and I believe that in the first quarter of 2021 will see vaccinations for high-risk individuals and health care and some other essential workers. I believe in the second and third quarter of 2021 will see more widespread vaccination for people who are younger and healthier.
Herd immunity or population immunity can be reached with vaccination if approximately 60 to 70% of the population take the shots. Some individuals already have immunity from prior infection. Current data suggest that you may maintain your immunity at least 4 to 6 months after a Covid infection but it is unclear how much longer than that and our current ability to test for immunity is unable to tell us if you’re immune beyond that interval.
Regarding insurance coverages, I wanted to clarify a few things. As I’ve written I will be out of network for Anthem/BC in 2021. This applies to Blue Cross but not Blue Shield. I will newly be a participating provider in Oscar health insurance in 2021, in addition to all the other plans that I am currently a PPO provider for including Cigna Aetna and United healthcare.
Some medicare patients have contacted me because some individuals have Blue Cross as their secondary insurance. It turns out that if you are straight medicare (which all my patients currently are), then the secondary does not require a separate network and just covers the unpaid medicare allowable 20% component.  So no issues there.
Many of you have met my new assistant Varun, another UCLA graduate, and have gotten to know Jasmine as well. Vanessa. remains the core of the office– managing the front desk, appointments, telephone calls, and insurance issues.
I continue to see people in the office on a more limited basis and with the help of video visits via telemedicine where suitable.
If I’m treating you for TMS keep an eye out for an announcement about some groups that I’ll be co-leading via zoom. This will include me and a psychologist.   (These groups will start Nov. 10, and be 6-10 patients and me and a psychologist, on zoom. if interested, call the office)
People are finding it convenient to read these announcements on my medical Facebook www.facebook.com/DSMDCulverCity
We are all in this together!
David Schechter MD