The past eight days were certainly different than expected. By all reports, COVID for those vaccinated would have been mild to moderate. We received our first two shots early on and a booster about 8 months later. During a recent visit to our PCP, we were advised to hold off on another booster.
I lost my nephew to this disease early on and we didn’t take COVID lightly, wore masks, used hand sanitizer, social distanced up until the past few months and avoided large gatherings. Most of our shopping was relegated to the early hours, shortly after the stores opened and we continue this practice.
My wife and I are high risk due to our age and medical conditions that warrant caution. I have asthma and paroxysmal A Fib. Our daughter and granddaughter visited Saturday and both tested positive for COVID late Sunday. By Monday Mary and I had sore throats and a cough. Soon after cold chills, headache and pretty much the laundry list of symptoms arrived shortly thereafter.
By Tuesday we both tested positive and had full blown COVID: high fevers, chills, deep coughs, you name it we had it. We didn’t sleep at all Monday or Tuesday nights.
Fortunately, my wife read about two new antivirals recently, Paxlovid and Lagerrio. Both were approved for emergency use for high risk COVID patients. Our PCP prescribed them and we started treatments Wednesday night.
The side effects of the antivirals were significant. I was taking asthma meds including my emergency inhaler up to three times a day and coincident with the Paxlovid at times. A mistake, I won’t repeat if I ever have to take this treatment again. Taking these together pushed me into frequent A Fib attacks. The drug also produces a strong metallic taste that lasts throughout the day. The only way to moderate it was by chewing Extra Long lasting Polar Ice gum.
I called our PCP two days into the antiviral treatment about the adverse side effects and he advised us to stay the course, if at all possible, but stop if the side effects became unbearable. Fortunately, we listened to him and stayed the course.
If you end up using Paxlovid or one of the other antivirals down the road, carefully check for drug interactions. I had two prescriptions drugs I couldn’t take with the antiviral.
Without the antivirals, things could have gotten much worse. We took the medication twice a day for 5 days, 3 pills in the morning and three again in the evening. By the end of the treatment most symptoms subsided. Several days later we felt much improved. Anytime I have a respiratory infection my asthma symptoms are elevated for several weeks. I’ve had flu several times over the years and COVID was far more severe and draining.
Now that we actually had COVID, natural immunity should kick in and protect us for the next six months to a year or more. A recent study  published last January in the New England Journal of Medicine shared findings that supported natural immunity providing greater protection from COVID infection than multiple vaccinations. This wouldn’t preclude us from getting another shot for new variants.
PROJECTED ANNUITY CALCULATOR ALERNATIVE USES
I recently featured our updated Projected Annuity Calculator  and received a number of suggestions on how it could be used to determine projected growth in other areas. One reader is using it to estimate her Social Security earnings over the next few decades.
It’s easy to do, pull up the spreadsheet  and enter the year, your current Social Security annual benefit, what you consider to be an average COLA growth over time, and your age. The readout under the column “Projected Annuity with Survivor’s Benefit” will show the potential growth over the next 40 years. Those in the private sector can also use the estimator if they have a COLA adjusted annuity from their employer, although that is fairly rare these days.
Helpful Retirement Planning Tools
- Retirement Planning For Federal Employees & Annuitant 
- The Ultimate Retirement Planning Guide – Start Now 
- Medicare Guide 
- Social Security Guide 
- Medicare and FEHB Options – What Will You Do When You Turn 65?  (Part 1)
- What to Consider Before Enrolling in Medicare B  (Part 2)
- Should You Change to a Lower Cost FEHB Plan When You Sign Up for Medicare (Part 3)
- Medicare Part B and FEHB Update  (Part 4)
- How to Delay Part B Premiums 
- Budget Work Sheet 
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