But first, I’d like to point you to a clever Times resource on antivirals, written by Knvul Sheikh, a Well-desk reporter.
“Basically anyone who is eligible would really benefit from antivirals,” Knvul told me. “They may have fewer symptoms. They could recover faster. They don’t have to go to the hospital as quickly. And some researchers suspect that antivirals may even reduce the risk of lung cancer over time, although there are no studies yet to support that hypothesis.”
The suitability is greater than you might think, Knvul said.
“We’re usually just talking about people age 65 or older and people with heart disease, cancer, diabetes or obesity,” she said. But people with asthma, ADHD, depression, an HIV infection or kidney disease are also eligible, as are (ex-)smokers.
“If you start to feel sick, don’t hesitate to take a Covid test and sooner or later get the antiviral prescription you need,” she said. “There is only a short window of time when you can get the pills. If you wait more than five days after symptoms appear, you may be ineligible.”
Now, on to your stories.
Getting Antiviral Drugs
For many readers, it was easy-peasy.
“Cost: $0,” wrote Beverly Pelzner Kalban, 69, who lives in Brooklyn. “I didn’t experience any major discomfort other than trying to get the rather large pills out of the foil wrapper.”
But some readers, especially those living in rural areas, had trouble finding the drugs. They weren’t alone, Times columnist Zeynep Tufekci writes in our Opinion section: “The drugs remain hard for many to get, despite supplies.”
Catherine Butler, 66, lives in Washington, DC, but tested positive while in Florida. “It took me all day,” Catherine writes. Her GP and one pharmacy could not prescribe it during a virtual visit; another pharmacy needed a PCR test, the results of which would take two days. Another doctor who didn’t take her insurance offered ivermectin instead.