Since we both got COVID and then rebound COVID, I have been doing some research on the subject. Here’s what I learned (references omitted because I’m not feeling well enough to provide them)
I’m fully vaccinated and boosted, or I had COVID before. Why am I sick now? The omicron variants have been shown to work around COVID immunities. That means there is no way to be immunized against it. That’s why Mrs. Lion and I were infected.
If this is true, why bother to be vaccinated? Good question. Even though the current vaccine and boosters don’t provide full immunity, they offer significant protection from severe disease and hospitalization. We didn’t get very sick at all.
You took Paxlovid to knock out the disease. We did. Paxlovid combines two antiviral drugs that prevent COVID from infecting new cells. We both felt fine and tested negative four days after starting it.
Didn’t you get rebound COVID? We did. About a week after testing negative, we both felt under the weather. A home test revealed that we were infected. The symptoms are mild (like a mild cold).
What does that say about Paxlovid? A recent study showed that the drug is effective, but there are a couple of issues that probably cause rebound infections. The first is that the drug isn’t given long enough. The study suggests that if Paxlovid is taken longer, it would probably stop rebound infections. Another possible reason is that some people may metabolize the drug too quickly.
Why not take paxlovid longer? This is the hardest thing for me to accept. According to Pfizer, the purpose of Paxlovid is to prevent severe disease and hospitalization. So far, no patient with rebound COVID has required hospitalization. The CDC advises not to give any further medication for rebound COVID. Our doctors told us that, and we confirmed by reading the CDC notices.
What the hell? I always thought that the idea of immunization and medication was to either prevent or cure a disease. Medical science doesn’t agree. Immunization is considered effective if it prevents severe illness and death. The COVID vaccines and boosters reduce hospitalization by over 90%. They also reduce the death rate to near zero. No, it doesn’t stop all infections. It stops a lot and reduces the severity of the rest.
Paxlovid is similar. It made us feel better and test negative in just a few days. We were shocked when we got sick and tested positive a week later. Mrs. Lion does feel tired and stuffy, but she feels well enough to go to work (she works from home). I have the same symptoms and am well enough to work on my book. We don’t have fevers and agree that we aren’t very sick.
The biggest risk we pose is infecting others. We’re self-isolating. That’s not a big deal for us. We don’t particularly like to go out. Not too bad when you consider that COVID has killed over a million Americans.
SECURITY note to fellow bloggers
We have been attacked using a vulnerability exposed by WordPress supporting a function that has been long deprecated. Our site didn’t go down because we are on a powerful cloud server. However, when I looked at our activity for the last 24 hours I found over 400,000 calls to xmlrpc.php. This is a program that WordPress used to facilitate communication with the outside world. They replaced this functionality years ago, but left xmlrpc in place for backward compatibility.
It’s easy to protect yourself. If you have a WordPress blog, you can add the “Disable XML-RPC” plugin. When you activate it, xmlrpc.php is disabled and the hackers can’t get to it. We did it with no issues on our site.