Those who’re close to me or have been following my blogs since the worldwide pandemic began, know about my solid stance on what I consider to be the most effective way for encountering the morbid COVID. I have mentioned in a few of my blogs that despite being vaxxed and boosted, I envy those who have acquired COVID and LIGHTLY brushed it off! Well, today, I have a big announcement to make: “my jealousy is finally cured… I confronted the COVID head-on and knocked the rascal down once and for all!”
The first time that I mentioned my position on this matter was in my “Pick-du-Valentine Day of 2021”! At the time a few COVID vaccines had just made their way into the world market as the most valuable commodities. In that blog I explained why I believed that confronting COVID head-to-head and recovering from it is by far the most definitive way for training our immune systems for knocking down this rascal for good.
The Day that Devil Sneaked In!
During the weekend of Mother’s Day, I contracted COVID! Here are the highlights of my encounter with it: on May 10, I came down with common cold-like symptoms that pointed to COVID. On May 11 I tested positive for it, twice! How did I test for it? I used the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test. However, during the subsequent days and as I got into the main swing of classic COVID symptoms, it occurred to me that an addon antiviral medication for a septuagenarian may only hasten my recovery! As a result, on May 15, I contacted my internist, and during the early afternoon hours of the day I received a prescription for it!
Tamiflu For the Past and Paxlovid for Now!
Last year in early November I wrote this on Facebook: “…during the fall and early winter of 2019 Tamiflu used to be the most commonly used kitchen table lingo. This year Paxlovid will follow the suit”! Now, can you guess the name of my anti-COVID-19 prescription? Is it fair if I say the reason that I couldn’t hear you loud and clear is that you had a hard time pronouncing its name? Think of “ax the COVID”, or “packs the COVID” and they will remind you of Pax-lovid! Now, if you’re one of those opinionated people who has the habit of googling and memorizing a few current-affair buzzwords for mesmerizing friends before partying, you have learned how to pronounce another jazzy brag-word!
Well, this Pfizer product includes two antivirals: NirmaTRELvir and RitoNAvir! Why did I write a few of their letters in caps? To help us pronounce them better! What is their mechanism of action? They are SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitors and disrupt viral replications! Are they better during the early or later phases of the COVID? Likewise, Tamiflu, the earlier the better! This combo-medication must be taken two times per day for 5 days. Each daily dose includes two nirmatrelvir tablets, each 150 mg, and one ritonavir, 100 mg. How much was the cost of it? Zero dollars! Yes, you heard it correctly, “Zero dollars!” Why zero? Because our government has subsidized it for us! Before you throw at me any more questions, how about instead of asking this or that from me, we all say, “God bless America!”
Are there any over-the-counter cocktails of meds that most people suggest we should take upon confrontation with COVID? There are a few that most docs suggest. The most common names on the list are vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, aspirin, CoQ10, and melatonin! What’s the supportive role of these compounds? Vitamin C and CoQ10 are antioxidants, and they are good for all occasions! Vitamin D, zinc, and melatonin are claimed to boost the immune system! How? We don’t know much about their exact mechanisms, but the common consensus is that they are helpful against infections in general and COVID-19 in particular! What does low dose aspirin do? It safeguards against a rare association of COVID-19, namely, blood clotting! Did I get any of these? I took them all for 10 days! Why did I do it? I just thought that their gains are by far much more than their pains. So, I said to myself “what the heck, let’s go for them!”
Paxlovid and Our Immune System
A reasonable question that comes to an inquisitive mind is this: to what extent does taking Paxlovid interfere with natural immunity of our bodies, and does this have any impact on training our immune systems for defense against COVID? The answer is that during the early asymptomatic post-exposure days, the first responders of our immune system, the so-called sentinel cells such as dendritic cells, must have already identified and captured so many COVID virions. More importantly, they must have already relayed complete information about them to our lymph nodes that are strategic command centers of our immune system. With respect to the COVID virus that is for most part transmitted via aerosols, these lymph nodes are localized around our oral cavity, nostrils, throat, and lungs! In these lymph nodes, our sentinel cells provide information with regard to the entire makeup of the offending COVID viruses to our T cells. These cells, in turn, will mediate production of a broad spectrum of antibodies against all bits and pieces of the virus including its spike protein. To sum up, I do strongly believe that taking the Paxlovid a few days after the onset of the symptoms, will not interfere much, if any, with the training of our immune systems. Another reasonable question is this: what if a person takes Paxlovid prophylactically within a short time after contacting COVID-positive persons! This is a little more controversial matter. For all I can say for now, these persons may most likely experience milder symptoms! However, I do not feel comfortable to speculate about the impact of this on their anti-COVID immunologic competency. A final relevant question is this: is Paxlovid recommended for healthy young fellows with a competent immune system? The answer is… “no”!
Until we catch-up again please stay happy and healthy!