Well, it finally happened!

At our Retina clinic, we have stayed open for the last 3 years, never closing, being careful with hand washing and wearing masks. We have not needed to close once in over 3 years as we avoided getting Covid 19. We cannot close for long as many of the patients need to get eye injections and treatments on a schedule. If the schedule varies too much then they lose vision permanently and cannot get it back. The new version of Covid 19 is apparently much more infectious and easily transmitted. It may be mutating into a more benign form but still is very deadly for older people. Recent analysis reported in the Washington Post and other sources talk about a study that looked at the death rate versus age. All patients had at least 3 vaccinations and got the infection again. If the patient was younger than 50 years of age, there was a 2% death rate due to covid. If the patient was between 50 and 75 years of age, there was a 20% chance of death in that group. If the patient was older than 75 years, there was a 90% chance of death. This shows that the older you get, the more dangerous covid becomes. The young people are at the lowest risk but then go out without protection and accidently bring the virus home to infect the parents and grand parents, killing the older generation.

It finally happened that someone brought the virus to me and I had to close the clinic for a week, be in quarantine and take anti viral medications to stop it. I was prescribed PAXLOVID (a combination of two anti viral medications) to be taken 3 pills twice a day for 5 days. The medication was free. You have to start it within 5 days of the onset of symptoms to have the best effect. The only side effect was a metallic taste in my mouth. I would sip water frequently to get rid of the taste. It was a tolerable side effect. No other problems were encountered. Within 2 hours of the first dose, I could tell that the symptoms were declining. I was very tired, had a runny nose and a cough but not much of a fever. I slept 8 hours at night and another 4 hour nap in the day pushing lots of fluids (water, hot tea, chicken consomme). After the third day my energy returned and the other symptoms were almost gone. By the sixth day I was covid negative on the home test and went back to work.

I am not sure why a two year old drug is only reaching 13% of the infected patients in the US but it is a game changer as it eliminated the symptoms rapidly, cut short the time I was infectious to others and may prevent long covid problems. I am in the middle age group with a 20% death rate and it may have prevented complications from the disease. There have been reports of an occasional relapse where the patient get ill again days after stopping the drug but these reports are small and may be from patients that took the drug late. I had to stop certain routine pills that I was on as my usual medication and Paxlovid use the same enzyme in my system to be eliminated. If I took both types of pills then the drug would build up too much. This means that you need to talk to your physician, tell him all the medications you are taking and see if he agrees with prescribing Paxlovid in your case as there may be reasons not to do so. It is being prescribed for older patient with multiple medical problems that are at higher risk of a complicated course of the disease. There are other options for covid treatment but this is one that I feel is being overlooked.

Now I have effectively been “vaccinated” very strongly by getting the infection and hopefully that will protect me for possibly 6 months. The vaccinations that we have had in the past sometimes gave the patient immunity forever as the virus that it was designed for does not mutate very much (like Polio, Mumps, Rubella). Covid on the other had mutates all the time making the vaccines ineffective and needing newly designed boosters frequently.

Be safe and wear a mask as I still do now because someone may pass me an older or newer virus that my immunity does not work. I liken this to trying to dodge bullets! Good luck and be safe.

Dr “V”

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close