David writes:

My middle-aged friend, who lives in S. Carolina, got COVID and then his 88-year-old father and 80+-year-old mother got COVID.  Within one or two days of symptom onset, both went to their respective doctors (who told them that because “they are doing well” they would not prescribe antivirals.  The mother’s doctor went on to say that prescribing anti-virals was “too complicated and required too many blood tests” and flat out refused to prescribe them.

From what I’ve heard on TWiV these docs don’t know what they’re talking about. Am I wrong?

David from Teaneck where it is now in the upper 70s F.

Jeff writes:

Dr. Griffin,

      I’d like to clear up some things regarding doctors prescribing antibiotics to patients with known covid infections.  I’m getting hung up on why antibiotics are bad to prescribe in this situation.  I’d assume and hope that doctor’s are educated enough to know that antibiotics are not going to help a viral infection, rather they are prescribing antibiotics to curtail secondary bacterial infections especially in patients that have progressed to viral pneumonia.  I saw one study that said 18% of covid patients with pneumonia had a secondary bacterial pneumonia infection of which 15% of those 18% led to mortality.  It seems logical to me that antibiotics would be a good prophylactic prescription especially for those who unfortunately progress to pneumonia UNLESS the antibiotics make the covid infection more severe, but I’m not an MD and I didn’t stay in a holiday inn express last night.  I’m wondering if you say that giving antibiotics is not the solution because antibiotics kill bacteria and thus just don’t help covid or is it because they have negative effects on the outcome of initial viral infections?  

Andrea writes:

My elderly parents (ages 85 and 86) are fairly healthy for their ages and just received their 4th booster.

Our family is fully vaccinated and boosted (3rd shots) and want to visit them this summer. We are respecting their wishes and will only visit outside in their backyard or inside with N95 masks.

My question is:  Are they being overly cautious given the vaccines and therapeutics now available, or is this age group still extremely vulnerable and not able to “return to normal?” Is this age group vulnerability accounting for the continued COVID fatalities?

Thanks for all you do. The updates with Daniel Griffin and TWIV episodes have been the only consistently reliable sources of information available and your time is deeply appreciated.