I finally succumbed. It wasn’t a choice, mind you. I had religiously worn my N95 masks everywhere – the supermarket, the classroom, the tram to the city. I thought maybe I was going to be one of those people who never get it or are asymptomatic. But taking that trip overseas was earmarked for risk. Sit in a plane for hours? Stand in immigration queues? Sit in a taxi with the driver coughing? Oh dear, asking for trouble …
I have no idea where I contracted COVID and it doesn’t really matter anymore. What does matter is what happened after and how I reacted.
The thing is, I realised afterwards that I was not thinking straight and was in a fog of illness-induced poor judgement. I was holed up in bed, swallowing tonnes of paracetamol, rolling occasionally to the loo, in between sips of water. I was miserable and aching worse than the flu. I hunkered down and, of course, was alone in my house and isolating.
In between my pathetic attempt at self-pity, a friend rang and insisted that I get antivirals. What? I had vaguely heard about them but wasn’t sure if they applied to me. I muttered something about being okay but my friend insisted. She nagged and claimed that this was the best time to admit to our age and finally qualify for something other than being overlooked by the majority of the population – invisible or irrelevant.
Besides, she told me, I needed them as soon as possible because there was only a small window of opportunity for them to be effective.
I reluctantly rang my GP, a script was sent to my friend, she rang around to find a pharmacy that had them, and later she left them on the doorstep. Such a guardian angel. Four capsules twice a day and make sure you take them all, came the instructions. I followed this rigidly and within eight hours I was feeling so much better. In fact, I would describe them as miracle drugs.
Days later I stared at the label on the drugs and was both shocked and grateful in equal measure. The antivirals cost $1100. Of course, I paid only $41.50, thanks to them being on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
I blessed the country I live in and thanked my lucky stars that they are so well subsidised. Of course, if these drugs keep us out of hospital and stop us from developing complex health problems, then they are worth every dollar spent.
I thanked my friend again many times for being on top of the treatment regime out there.
So, the message in all this is keep informed about what is available with regard to your health, watch over your friends and kindly nag anyone who gets sick. You may just save their life.
Have you been able to get hold of antivirals? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?
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