Pandemic Diary #86 – agkcwjglkd

when did i last even post about my life?

anyway, i’ll braindump the covid stuff (my time with covid), post covid stuff (party), roe v wade, idk what else

COVID — when I caught covid. that’s when the roe v wade decision came out. i couldn’t protest. was pretty stressful time.

tests. can get not just the free tests through usps, but also 8 free ones per month through insurance. if get them through pharmacy, they may be able to bill insurance directly so you don’t have to deal with reimbursement. also, a friend can pick it up for you potentially if they have all the information (insurance card and birthday etc.) and you are on the phone.

paxlovid is free through test-to-treat if you have some pre-existing conditions, nationwide. “Paxlovid is currently being used to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19; the treatment costs $530 per person. However, it is being distributed for free by the U.S. federal government”

and MA has free telehealth, doesn’t interact with insurance. (but if you have insurance, it probably also provides free online apptmts)

and, they’re totally happy to have someone else pick the paxlovid script up for you (they can also mail it overnight)

was kinda curious a lot of mental health conditions are listed as risk factor

learned through researching that there is more linking physical and mental health than i thought (despite once writing an email citing articles about how laughter was good for your immune system! for SIGTBD)

mental health conditions don’t really exist as a separate thing from physical health conditions in many cases. like depression is associated with a low-level inflammatory response and increased metabolic stress which further develop the condition, especially in specific parts of the brain

do you know why covid can temporarily/permanently screw with your sense of taste and smell? that’s actually covid infecting the olfactory nerve and having integrated itself into the nervous system and causing inflammation. so if you already have a condition like depression the additional stressor of covid can cause even more inflammation or a chain reaction

and more scientifically

i thought it might be mostly social stuff, like bipolar = more like to be poor, less social support, etc. but from this JAMA paper we have both

“Mental health disorders are also associated with socioeconomic deprivation4 and reduced access to care,2 important factors of poor COVID-19 outcomes”

and also this

“Variation in the human leukocyte antigen complex is one of the most consistently replicated findings in genome-wide association studies in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Human leukocyte antigen predominantly regulates viral infection, especially COVID-19. Genetic variability across major human leukocyte antigen class I genes may contribute to differences in the immune response to COVID-19, and an inappropriate T-cell response has been implicated in severe COVID-19 outcomes. Abnormal cytokine levels have also been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, who are also at higher risk of hypovitaminosis D, contributing to poor COVID-19 prognosis

was interesting inversion, cdc said okay to go out after 10 days but still have mental holdover of 14 days, go into stores wearing an n95 to protect other people. unexpectedly standing in checkout line with a crowd of people is less stressful.

tested daily, negative on friday morning, then positive on sat morning on cue. symptoms not obvious right when i woke up

during noon-ish telehealth could talk for a while but eventually cough a bit. perhaps the only real sign prior to positive test is the tickle in the back of my throat didn’t go away after two days.

telehealth answered questions / med interactions and script went to walgreens. called to check they had it, and they actually didn’t and had to go elsewhere.

really tired and slept most of two or three days, had a bit of wet cough (mucousy), throat got sore enough for a day to want cough drops but it was wincing not agony. but no symptoms bad enough to interfere with sleep. not sure if i ever had a fever, no thermometer

no symptoms, negative on sat evening and again on mon morning -> went to fourth of july o__o

on the whole, possibly thanks to paxlovid my symptoms were much better than for my normal cold — can’t stop coughing and sore throat hurts that swallowing is agony like swallowing needles, if you get up snot goes everywhere, and can’t sleep well

i had clear eligibility so I didn’t ask a lot of questions, my healthier friends asked more questions during telehealth

the most relevant thing would be if I were suffering right now, it’d ease my symptoms
the long covid stuff is mostly a lingering cough for a couple months, but that does go away
if I’m not having problems with the cough now (while immediately sick), anecdotally I should be in the clear for that

so, idk, who knows…

Pfizer PFE announced additional data from the phase II/III EPIC-SR study, which evaluated the use of its COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid in patients who are at standard risk for developing severe COVID-19 infection.
As was reported last year, the EPIC-SR study had failed to achieve its primary endpoint of self-reported, sustained alleviation of all symptoms for four consecutive days …
And updated study concurred for hospitalization and death ttps://

set up a whole kitchen in my room, then managed to drown my work laptop. hepa filtered and n95, somehow roommate sitting next to me in living room while I was eating didn’t catch it. stressful to communicate over text. still felt like a lot of bother even though on other side I knew I wouldn’t mind in the least grabbing chopsticks etc from the kitchen.

used one of the binax tests, was confusing at first. stuck my test to the table instead of sticking it closed on itself. lol.

post covid: time to kiss all the strangers! jkjk. but i did go clubbing! at club cafe. went to indoor brunch with a live band. wow, there are so many possibilities! room escape games, whale watch tours, live comedy shows..

i didn’t get around to a lot of it, but was still fun to come up with list of ideas

other stuff?

oh, went to acadia! (and tj maxx and walmart). good hikes. saw supermoonrise, milky way. played undertale, enjoyed. fixed fuse, brakers, shifter on my ebike, spray painted it, next step attach trailer hitch and go to costco (?!). was super stressed then less stressed about phd. still pondering startup life. roommate watercolor night. want to get isntant electric feedback, looking at cameras. bookbinding! and leatherworking. woodworking tbd.

reading effortless. still listening to npr indicator and shortwave. (oh, got a bunch of npr swag and a planet money comic!), the song freaking out.

monkeypox spreading through shirtless clubbing, fire island. the webb telescope. not making progress on side projects, maybe that’s okay. dreading the future but remembering that any particular state of life can change drastically in 3 or 4 years.