I had COVID. Here’s what I learned.
With cases rising (again), here are some plan-ahead tips.
Hey there —
First, the good news: I’m fine now. Whew!
And I’ve got a few quick new thoughts for you.
Have a plan for getting anti-viral meds, in case you get sick.
You need a plan because not all docs want to prescribe them, and antivirals can significantly decrease the severity of your illness. And they’re free (for now).
But some of the meds might be bad for you, individually. The most-common one— paxlovid, which I took — has a long list of drug interactions, and other no-go signs for some folks.
So it’s worth figuring out in advance if an anti-viral is an option for you, and who you could get a prescription from.
For instance: My primary-care doc retired two days before I tested positive, so I spent the better part of Day 1 chasing down a doc who could evaluate whether to prescribe it.
That effort definitely paid off. I went to bed the night I took the meds feeling rotten — and a little worried: I'm not that young, and I'd like to be in better shape. How was this all gonna go…?
I woke up the next day just feeling tired. Voice a little messed up, but otherwise, not miserable. A week later, I’m basically fine.
But I would’ve loved to have spent more of that first day in bed instead of rushing around trying to secure a prescription.
And remember: Paxlovid is free, for now. The feds have contracted to buy 20 million courses of treatment.1
And even though we’re in the third year of the pandemic, with vaccines in tow: There’s a new variant, BA.2, which means a new wave of cases, at least in some places. We don't know yet how big it's gonna be.
The New York Times recently had some tips for being prepared — including the advice above, about having an anti-viral plan. Here are some other biggies:
Monitor COVID stats in your community
Keep good masks on hand — that’s N95, KN95, KF94 — so if cases in your area go up, you can go out safely. We included some mask-buying tips here.
Keep at-home tests around. You can get them for free from the federal government. Even if you got them before, you can get more.
Having at-home tests is extra important because federal funds that supported free PCR tests are gone. Now, what you’ll pay out of pocket is up to your insurance. And if you haven’t got insurance…well, have you got $125 for a COVID test?
One more be-prepared tip from me: Next time you’re at the store, grab some cough drops, or mints, or gum.
Because Paxlovid often creates a super-nasty taste in the back of your mouth. For hours.
Totally worth it, but I wished I’d had something to cut it with.
Finally, for fun
While I watched my at-home test develop a bright red line, I got an email responding to a recent First Aid Kit, about buying expensive drugs.
Not a good-news story, but…
This isn’t as bad as cancer or diabetes treatment but: My spouse and I are trying to responsibly open our marriage, and apparently HPV vax and STI testing require pre-authorization and are subject to our deductible.
Making it very hard to have a responsible slutty phase.
Be aware! They are getting in our business.
OK, I’m gonna go take a nap. (Still a little tired.) I’ll catch you soon.
Till then, take care of yourself.
They’re paying $530 per prescription, which suggests that if/when we run out of paid-for-by-Uncle-Sam doses, this could become one more thing that some of us can’t afford. Which sucks.