Dr. Patricia Farrell on Medika Life

One Pill and Done for Covid is a Serious Concern

Covid-19 and its variants will be endemic according to experts and the one-pill idea of treatment isn't the answer. It may present more problems.

The Covid-19 pandemic has already killed over 800K Americans and countless, perhaps, millions worldwide. It has disrupted people’s lives in every conceivable way from the economy, personal finances, job stability, family planning, social interaction, and personal freedoms to move about in our cities and internationally. The cost and the renting of individual lives are incalculable. We desperately seek a means to hamstring its incredible spread and ability to mutate.

Research may be indicating that the vaccinated may still transmit the virus, but it is too early to reach that conclusion.

Over the horizon, like a knight in shining armor, comes the seeming answer to our pleas, and it comes in the form of a pill, taken over days. The pill is not equivalent to a vaccine that may stop the virus dead in its tracks.

The pill regimen begins only after symptoms appear (and within three days of symptoms). Therein lies a significant problem. I am not a virologist nor an MD, but the evidence being laid out causes me and those in healthcare great concern. Why?

Pills may not convince the resistant anti-vaxxers to take any medication into their bodies to strike the virus in its tracks. We’ll see if that’s true shortly. Their mental mindset appears to be firmly set against any intervention. Donald Trump, of course, did have monoclonal antibody treatment for his Covid-19 infection. He was given eight drugs to treat his illness.

The advent of a pill treatment may not be met with agreement. But we have to question whether they agree to monoclonal antibody treatment once they are infected, and I don’t know the stats on that.

Did they get vaccinated for polio, smallpox, and various childhood illnesses? But times have changed, and clear thinking has been replaced by virulent lies that have met a highly receptive audience—one that is willing to risk killing those of us who are vaccinated. We are not the enemy; the virus is the enemy.

But politics and a sense of being left out in a prospering world appear to be involved. If I were to make another comparison, I’d have to say it’s akin to the 30s in Germany. Covid-19 is a means to political change.

Consider the Pill Concern

The pills for Covid-19 are treatments begun once three days of symptoms appear. In all these cases, infection will have been verified by testing, and the person will have to get a prescription from a physician for the pills.

How many medical offices are willing to have Covid-19 infected patients march in without a mask? Will the pills (similar to the abortion pill) be prescribed via telehealth? Who will verify their testing? Once symptoms appear, will these individuals toss it off as a cold, flu or believe they will “beat it?”

I doubt many beat this deadly virus. Even experts are conflicted regarding the latest variant, omicron, where they can’t decide if it’s genuinely more toxic (in addition to its high transmissibility) or initiates milder symptoms. Therein lies another problem.

If omicron has milder symptoms, doesn’t it play into the idea that people can beat it? However, it does kill, and the numbers will eventually come out on that.

The new COVID pills are a big deal, but vaccinations will always be the cornerstone of our response to COVID,” said Ratzan, a former scientific adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s always better to prevent a disease from happening at all. … Only a vaccine can control the rate at which a virus spreads and mutates.”

So, the pill is NOT the answer to the pandemic, and it will not prevent continued infections, just as vaccinations and masks will not halt infections. Anyone waiting the three days before taking the latest treatment will have had three days to infect how many people in their circle? The dreaded long-haul symptoms may also affect them for the rest of their lives, and the jury is still out on that one.

Then the three-day leapfrogging begins as the virus spreads with dispatch to ever-more vulnerable people. It’s like a small campfire sparking a wilderness inferno.

The bottom line is that pills serve a purpose, but they are not the ironclad answer to eliminating this virus. Pills are one treatment, but not the recommended one. The recommendation has to be vaccination and now boosters because the immune system loses its strength to resist the virus over time.

We know the immune system’s efficacy time range is a function of initial health (an existing autoimmune disorder) and age. The older, the more susceptible to the virus’ ravages and boosters (possibly more than one) are the only hope of maintaining health and life.

Pills serve a purpose, but I don’t think they are the ultimate hope.

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Pat Farrell PhD
Pat Farrell PhDhttps://medium.com/@drpatfarrell
I'm a licensed psychologist in NJ/FL and have been in the field for over 30 years serving in most areas of mental health, psychiatry research, consulting, teaching (post-grad), private practice, consultant to WebMD and writing self-help books. Currently, I am concentrating on writing articles and books.


Medika Editor: Mental Health

I'm a licensed psychologist in NJ/FL and have been in the field for over 30 years serving in most areas of mental health, psychiatry research, consulting, teaching (post-grad), private practice, consultant to WebMD and writing self-help books. Currently, I am concentrating on writing articles and books.

Patricia also acts in an editorial capacity for Medika's mental health articles, providing invaluable input on a wide range of mental health issues.

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