Abcarian: I dodged COVID-19 for a lot more than two many years. The hottest surge last but not least got me

Abcarian: I dodged COVID-19 for a lot more than two many years. The hottest surge last but not least got me
Abcarian: I dodged COVID-19 for a lot more than two many years. The hottest surge last but not least got me


It was sure to materialize.

The working day following her Los Angeles center college permit out for the summertime, my irrepressible 12-12 months-previous niece, who life with me, was feverish and lethargic. This was so unfair.

For extra than two yrs, she’d been an absolute beast about sporting her mask, declining to pull it down for pics, forgetting to just take it off at house, perplexed by the mask refuseniks.

Just three times previously, she’d analyzed damaging for COVID-19 at university. Then, quickly, good.

Stipple-style portrait illustration of Robin Abcarian

Impression Columnist

Robin Abcarian

Her signs and symptoms have been mild, and frankly, she was not also upset at first simply because she equates getting sick with looking at television, ingesting ginger ale and consuming ice product.

However, when she understood she would not be equipped to be a part of household for a extended-prepared journey to Disneyland, she fundamentally dropped it. I kept my distance from her and did not improve my weekend ideas, which was likely a blunder.

That evening, I co-hosted a college or university graduation get together for my move-granddaughter. The subsequent, I had supper with my daughter and previous stepmother. (We steered obvious of my niece the social gathering took location in a friend’s yard, and the dinner was served in the little mom-in-regulation condominium higher than my garage.)

On Tuesday early morning, I woke up with a sore throat, slight fever and the sinking feeling that my luck experienced run out. Two red traces on the swift antigen exam confirmed it.

With two vaccines and a person booster shot less than my belt, how ill would I get?

And what need to I do?


Likelihood are you know anyone who has COVID-19 right now.

California’s current surge, reviews my colleague Luke Cash, is the 3rd-highest peak of the entire pandemic. Blessedly, less individuals are becoming severely unwell, receiving hospitalized or dying.

Which is due to the fact we now have vaccines, commonly out there property tests and, of course, antiviral remedies for all those at possibility of turning into critically sick.

In the spring, the condition of California, Los Angeles County and the town of L.A. all stopped necessitating proof of vaccination to enter public spaces like dining establishments and fitness centers (the exception is significant indoor occasions with additional than 1,000 people). Mask mandates have been dropped, whilst general public wellness officers under no circumstances stopped recommending them for indoor public destinations.

After quite a few months of pandemic panic and safeguards, I enable my guard down. I forgot to clean my fingers. I stopped putting on a mask and, frankly, stopped worrying about contracting an infection. I’d study that immunologists theorize that some portion of the populace may possibly not be susceptible to COVID-19, and I lulled myself into considering I might be a single of these with “super-immunity.”

And sure, I laughed when I wrote that just now.


By the 2nd day, my indicators had been worsening, and I was kicking myself for not receiving that second booster. I resolved to see if I could get a prescription for Paxlovid, the new antiviral that close friends advised me I necessary.

I do not have a standard internist appropriate now, so I decided to come across a close by “Test to Treat” center. The federally funded internet sites are scattered close to — in pharmacies and clinics — but I was not up to driving any where. Also, the first pharmacy I called put me on hold for 15 minutes ahead of disconnecting.

I made the decision to call the county wellness section at (833) 540-0473. My phone was answered on the 2nd ring. I was assigned a situation selection and transferred to a nurse, who took my medical record.

About 20 minutes later on, a doctor, Dr. Hold Tran, known as me back and talked about my signs and symptoms, present drugs and available to simply call in a prescription for Molnupiravir, 1 of two antivirals powerful in combating COVID-19. Paxlovid, she explained, was contraindicated for me mainly because of the statin drug I acquire.

Both medications have been issued unexpected emergency-use authorizations by the Foodstuff and Drug Administration to treat folks with gentle to average COVID signs and symptoms who are at high danger of developing extra severe signs, which contains everyone 65 and older and people with a broad wide variety of underlying problems. The medicine ought to be commenced within just 5 times of the onset of signs and symptoms, ideally as shortly as indicators seem.

A minimal more than an hour soon after Dr. Tran and I hung up, my close friend Dayle tossed a bag onto my kitchen counter. “Here you go!” she sang as she scurried away.

The adhering to working day, a community overall health nurse termed to check out up on me. I was astonished. I have had outpatient surgical procedures wherever no 1 bothered checking in like that.

“I’m glad you had these kinds of a constructive expertise, which is accurately what we are making an attempt to produce,” mentioned Dr. Seira Kurian, a regional overall health officer for the county Section of Community Overall health. The county’s COVID telehealth system, she told me, is only a couple months aged. “Because therapeutics need a prescription, we realized early that this would be an problem for individuals like you, or who have no obtain to healthcare, or are underinsured or uninsured.”

If a unwell human being has no just one to decide up the meds, Kurian mentioned, there is a solution — the county has partnered with FedEx to deliver supplies right away.

Callers had been scarce in the beginning, she reported, but an infection charges have surged and phrase is finding close to. As of last 7 days, she reported, the method has served about 1,000 patients. I depend myself fortunate to be amid them.

The pair with whom I co-hosted the graduation occasion tested optimistic, are moderately ill and are isolating with antivirals.

The 12-yr-old isolated for 5 times, analyzed detrimental and is fortunately ensconced in working day camp.

I, on the other hand, am continue to a little bit beneath the temperature. My sore throat is absent, but 7 days in, I’m even now screening constructive, which indicates I have to isolate for another a few times. Following that, even if I’m beneficial, the medical practitioners notify me, I can leave the property.

And when I do, you can bet I will be putting on a mask.


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