Dr. Robin’s Covid-19 Updates

How To Protect Yourself From December’s Perfect Viral Storm

And Protecting Yourself From Paxlovid Myths As Well

Robin Schoenthaler, MD
5 min readDec 5, 2022

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, empty shelves and all. Photo by RS.

I’m a Boston-based cancer doctor and I’ve been writing weekly fact-based-no-blame-no-rumors-all-science-all-the-time essays about Covid-19 since March 2020. If you liked this and some of my other essays below, you can support both Medium and me here

What’s happening now with Covid:

We are again seeing a “Thanksgiving-as-super-spreader” small surge (I’ve heard of entire families testing positive by Sunday afternoon!), but nothing like last year.

There are a few changes: one is the Covid daily death rate, now “down” to ~250 compared to ~2500 at our worst.

Another important change in the death statistics: the vast majority of deaths now are in the “elderly elderly,” sometimes defined as over 85 (my personal definition is “much older than me”).

A huge change this month is that the newer Omicron variants changed just enough that they “out-grew” some of our best drugs so now most old monoclonal antibodies no longer work against Covid.

Included in this sad list is the excellent antibody bebtelovimab and the preventative drug Evusheld which has ceased to give the immunocompromised against the new variants — a gigantic loss.

The only thing left for Covid treatment is Paxlovid, remdesivir (three IVs), or the less effective Molnupiravir.

Paxlovid:

The evidence of how much Paxlovid helps prevent severe disease keeps getting better so it surprises me how few people take it. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions and myths about Paxlovid.

1) Number one myth: “I don’t need Paxlovid because I’m not that sick.”

Myth-buster: The reason to get Paxlovid is NOT how sick you are with Covid but rather whether you are at high risk to DEVELOP severe Covid.

I hear this all the time: “I was only a little under the weather so I didn’t call the doctor.” “My cough wasn’t that bad so the NP said let’s watch and wait.” This is really not a correct approach.

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Robin Schoenthaler, MD

Covid-Translator. Cancer doc: ~Three decades at MGH. Writer and storyteller: Moth Grand Slam Champion. Mom. www.DrRobin.org, @robinshome, robinshome2@gmail.com