The last time we spoke with Dr. Scott Sears, it was just before the Montana Hospital Association lifted their recommendation that hospitals forgo elective surgeries and other procedures and in-person appointments due to COVID-19 concerns. Nonetheless, Dr. Sears told us 2 weeks ago that the hospitals were ready to get back to work.

So how has it been going after their first week and a half into resuming mostly normal operations? Dr. Sears tells us it is going very well, and that the patients have been very reassured by getting the opportunity to be face to face with their doctors, nurses, and physician assistants.

He also says there really is such a thing as "the COVID 15" or, the weight that many Americans are piling on after following stay-at-home orders and social distancing. This will pile on to other unmet healthcare needs that now need to be addressed following limited operations.

We also took listener questions and phone calls about the coronavirus, antibody studies, and more. Dr. Sears also addressed a couple "what if's." What if we knew nothing about COVID-19 or the coronavirus, and we just went on with life as usual? How would we have looked back on the last few months? Would it have been just a bad flu season, or worse? That line of questions came from Steve in Kalispell.

And, Dr. Sears tells us that many of his patients he has now gotten to see for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdowns began told him how thankful they were to get to hear us on the radio throughout the crisis. "You took it seriously, but you didn't panic either." That was a refrain he says he is hearing repeatedly.

Check out the full conversation from Tuesday's Montana Talks with Aaron Flint and Dr. Scott Sears below:

Credit Ashley Warren (FYI photo taken prior to COVID 19)