Covid for Christmas

It could have been worse.

Briefly—because my dwell-time at the keyboard is not full-strength: If you are over 65 and have just tested positive for Covid-19, you need to realize (as I did not) that you have only 5 days to start treatment with Paxlovid—if that is the way you choose go to. I did.

Last Friday morning, something wasn’t right. I paced the floor, wondering what it was that that told me things were not normal. I felt fine; just odd. I had no symptoms until that evening.

The next two days were pretty miserable. So I called our local medical provider on Monday, and fortunately, got the last appointment of the day.

Thinking that my symptoms were nothing more than my once-a-decade common cold, imagine my surprise when the doc said the test was positive for COVID. Well Ho Ho Crap!

But here’s the point:

Paxlovid, available with full FDA approval only since May of 2022, is given at no charge for at-risk patients suffering mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19. Its use results in an 89% reduction in the risk of hospitalizations and death in * unvaccinated people. And it works against the latest OMICRON variants.

BUT: For the drug to be effective, it MUST be started within the first FIVE days of symptoms. Once the virus has had more than five days to colonize your body, the medication can’t help.

For me, TODAY is day five. Because of the fortuitous way that things worked out yesterday, I have Paxlovid on hand, and began taking the three-pill twice-a-day dose this morning.

The list of side-effects is short. But that list explains why my mouth tastes like I’ve been sucking on a handful of old pennies. Bleckkk!

* So why take Paxlovid if I have been vaccinated: Among vaccinated people who test Covid-positive, Paxlovid decreases the chance of developing LONG COVID. I sure don’t need BRAIN FOG!

13 Things To Know About Paxlovid, the Latest COVID-19 Pill

Vaccination, Paxlovid decrease risk of long Covid, studies show

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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