Free Markets, Big Government, and My COVID Experience
When I swallow, knives cut my throat.
I cough and sometimes I can’t stop.
I caught COVID.
He dodged it for three years.
But this week, I suddenly felt lousy, and a home test said, “Positive.” The thermometer read: 101.8.
No big deal, I thought. Almost everyone gets COVID. Many people say it’s no worse than a cold.
I am multi-vaccinated and boosted. My fever is not very high. I am thin. This will give me a chance to lie down.
But then came the knives in my throat and the coughing that made me unable to breathe.
Damn. It’s far worse than any flu I’ve had. I feel miserable. It hurts so much to talk that I just text.
I think “COVID is still killing several hundred Americans every day.” Will I be one? I feel like I could die.
But COVID mostly kills the elderly. Wait, it’s me!
In fact, I am very old. 76. I didn’t think I was that old last week when I rode my bike and played volleyball. I felt like a child. Now everything is different.
Half of American men don’t even make it to 73. I forget that when I feel good.
I check which hospital to go to if I have trouble breathing. My doctor calls for a prescription for Paxlovid.
Paxlovid leaves a bad metallic taste. Someone is extracting money from my mouth.
The ibuprofen brought down my fever, but it’s still above normal. The knives and strangling cough are still there.
Will I die? Otherwise, will I have to go to the emergency room? Will they put me on a ventilator? I’m afraid of that. I shouldn’t have googled.
Google makes everything scarier. Am I going to have a long COVID? Do you have brain fog? Catching COVID pneumonia? I have to stop googling.
But at least I’m not getting worse.
I’m better! The crisis is over!
Every swallow still hurts me, but my cough doesn’t scare me anymore. I am no longer afraid of dying.
Thank you Paxlovid!
Did Paxlovid make the difference? No way to know.
But three cheers for the much reviled American free market. Pfizer invented and produced this drug in just one year.
Pfizer conducted tests in which Paxlovid reduced the number of deaths so much that the company was advised to stop clinical trials and just give the drug to subjects.
Still, the Food and Drug Administration wouldn’t let the rest of us take it for another three months.
The government is killing people by delaying the approval of life-saving drugs.
Yes, we want to make sure any new medicine is safe, and delaying the months is a big improvement over the 10 years they usually take. But it’s still too long!
My brother’s potentially life-saving drug, gelsolin, has been through the review process for nearly 10 years.
FDA delays are one reason the drugs are so expensive.
At least during the pandemic, the FDA has relaxed regulations to get certain drugs to people faster. Great.
But of course, once the government is involved in anything, a lot of things become more difficult.
Health and Social Services have decided that they would distribute the pills.
One result: I can’t get Paxlovid delivered from my local pharmacy.
CVS says they deliver, but their phone system hangs up when I ask. I send my son to fetch him.
The cost? Zero dollar, proudly printed on the tag.
When the government pays for things, common sense often goes away.
Paxlovid comes with 19 pages of . . . instructions?
There’s nonsense like “an important notice related to privacy”, telling me to sign and return a document to CVS acknowledging “I have received CVS/Pharmacy Notice of Privacy”.
This is another government complication, a HIPAA privacy rule.
The government’s obsession with paperwork and rules discourages medical research and forces us all to lie (come on, you did it), claiming we read fine print that hardly anyone reads.
I’m glad I’m not dead. I am grateful to Pfizer for creating Paxlovid. I am grateful to live in America.
But more and more, I hate the intrusions of our ever-growing government.
New York Post