Pandemic Diary #81 – oral therapies for covid, also my brain is a pile of goo, but it’s spring so that’s nice

covid pills

went to walgreens, they had a little take-away flyer with pfizer advert for oral therapy for covid. to be taken within 5 days symptom onset and before hospital.

both pfizer and merck have pills

my notes on it

It is legit (not just a drug company commercial), Biden doing a test-to-treat program nationwide, and so partnering with chains like walgreens. [5]

See the fact sheet at [1] (there is a chinese version too [9] fwiw)

There seems to be two antivirals combos, one from merck one from pfizer.

the merck placebo trial had ~30% risk reduction (of progressing from mild/moderate to hospitalization or death) [2] , pfizer had 88% reduction [4] [8]. But note! no one was vaxxed. (merck trial started oct 2020, pfizer trial started jul 2021 [6], but they specifically excluded vaxxed people) [3]

But it’s only given before entering hospital. Not observed to be helpful after in hospital due to covid19 already. both emergency use authorized, but not FDA approved.

I do see something about kidney disease, if you have renal impairment it affects whether / how much recommended to take.

There’s a list of other EUA drugs here [10]

{3] merck
{4] pfizer
[6] pfizer epichr
[7] merck moveout

drugs and variants

it’s interesting to go through the FDA list of emergency use authorized (but not! approved) drugs and see some (Eg Sotrovimab) get their EUA revoked as the variants mean they are no longer effective. both cool we were able to get drugs so fast and a bit alarming they’ve gone out of date

the vax effort. here we are on what… 4th shot? for people 50+. meanwhile many countries have barely gotten a first round in. there will continue to be variants in that case. but we all want to believe it’s over.

shanghai covid outbreak was intense (at least as measured by locking down the entire city), i thought it would go the way of australia (they gave up on zero covid, maybe new zealand did too?) but it sounds like it’s coming back under control.

changing norms, spring and BA.2

BA.2 is causing spiking in cases. GA has dropped to only updating case counts weekly. my roomies and i need to talk about our procedures going forward… I think we will all start taking more risks now that it’s spring (aggressively so) but there’s probably some common sense measures to mitigate the risk

outdoors bbq now possible with propane

masks are optional on planes now — there was supposed to be an evaluation period but some judge ruling came through recently

not enough people ordered the 4 free tests so we get a second set now (also insurance is supposed to cover 8 per month per person, but it’s unclear if you can get beforehand, or has to be reimbursed)

and harvard dropped to optional testing also, but still an option at least which is nice of them i guess. easy pcr testing

(just got an email about an uptick among grad students)


w0rd there’s a war going on in europe involving billions of dollars of weapons. and i hardly hear of it / think of it in day-to-day, unless I go out of my way to look at eg bbc news.

looks like peace isn’t soon. 😡 weird to think about. went for hoping for quick peace to now ukraine digging in according to the links below, they think can win back ukrainian territory under russian control). vs russia probably still wants all of ukraine but having failed that I guess wants to turn ukraine into essentially a landlocked state


i have so much work to do, and i’m starting to get the anxieties i did as a startup founder. the feeling like i could be doing more if only i was someone else, lived another life.

should i be trying to run workshops, write grant proposals, hold hackathons, etc. Getting work done is great, but now that I’ve started, it’s hard to hold back the feeling of futility, the worry that I’m running on a wheel and getting nowhere. I KNOW in general research is like that — life is like that — you can spend a lot of time and get no recognition and it could all go to waste anyway

(recently learned about the fight against TB in ukraine, 15 yrs of work wiped out)

but it drags on me. need to just enjoy the day-to-day of learning things instead of wondering if i’m wasting my skills applying them to useless things

it’s nice to talk to profs who have dreams though and believe things can be accomplished because they’ve accomplished them

( i guess i accomplished op-eds too )

i didn’t want to get pigeonholed into my current work but i guess that only happens in academia not industry

it’s a little exhausting sometimes being around people who are really steeped into the academic mindset

but yea it’s nice to be making code progress again and complaining about that. i found this in my code the other day

… wow.


lasers are nice, time to sell mine at home in GA (leave the past behind!!!)

3d printers are @#$% keep breaking, swapped nozzle and somehow caused firmware to glitch and break the z axis (would only go down from starting position), and in process of fixing that now y motor doesn’t turn at all

living in boston, spring is so much to be appreciated w.r.t. catching up with people while not catching covid

i got my google home mini to talk to me in chinese! turns out on assistant you can select three varieties of chinese (mainland, hong kong, taiwan). but for the speaker to talk back to you in chinese, you can only select taiwan

codewars goes well (‘sfun) and set up accountability meeting for stats also

ok tbd stuff below

  • nozzles
  • (also started on a bird classifier) – mostly fighting sd card so far
  • my 3d print designs