Let's call a timeout, or at least a do-over, and figure out what's the real protocol for COVID-19.
There was a time when I had high hopes for solving this disease, believing the previous president that we had enough doses to stop COVID much earlier, hoping that we had drugs to help you, cocktails so to speak, that you can give people, really sick people, to get them out of the hospital or keep them out of the hospital. Maybe a system for detecting COVID quickly and quarantining those who have it from those who don't' early enough that we can cut down on cases being spread by the asymptomatic.
It turns out we have all of these things. Except they are being done only in the pro sports world. Everywhere else it seems like amateur hour.
Take Regeneron (REGN) . Last night, literally in the middle of the night, we learned that Regeneron has a cocktail that if you are sick with COVID can get you out of the hospital or keep you out of the hospital much sooner than currently possible. Those who got the cocktail had a 71% lower risk of hospitalization or death than those who got the placebo. The company might be able to produce a million doses by the end of the second quarter.
I put this Regeneron drug in the miracle category because it works against every single variant, every single one.
But now the question is what will happen to it? Will it get lost in the maw of the National Institutes of Health, our medical research agency that seems almost biased against Regeneron after the former president took some Regeneron, as he called it, and got better, or at least he said he got better from it? Do we expect the Regeneron drug to see the light of day? Will it be stockpiled in some vast basement in some federal agency?
Or how about the vaccine itself? What's it really worth to Americans? The other day I had my temperature taken before I went in to see a doctor. It was fine even though we all know by now that temperature isn't even a serious indicator of COVID, but the charade persists. Then I was asked if I had been out of state. I said I had been but I had gotten two Moderna (MRNA) shots more than a month ago.
I pulled out my card. It meant nothing.
I wasn't allowed in.
Then there's my restaurant. I want to open. I have studied the issue and I realize that it's not surfaces that give people COVID. Oh sure they have, and washing your hands matters but are people supposed to be three feet from each other? Six feet from each other? From what I can tell, what matters is viral load. You keep the windows open and you are able to cut down the amount of COVID aerosol that builds in the restaurant?
Of course, again, we could take temperatures, the charade again. But how about a sign that says no shoes, no shirt, no vaccine, no service? Discriminatory? Show us your passport you can come in. Otherwise stay away.
It sounds good, but then again, it's not working for the cruise ships. They have offered to be fully vaccinated on both sides, the crew and the passengers and the CDC has said no. Meanwhile, casinos are open even though people are in close proximity.
How about masks? Do I have to wear one if I am fully vaccinated? Why? Can I have it and give it to you, or not? Well if I can, then how about giving me an at-home test that I can take every day for pennies that is available. But the government won't approve it. Or how about PCR tests that are pretty much instant? Hologic (HOLX) has them. But maybe there aren't enough of them? Who the heck knows? I am a believer in masks but they are a state-by state-issue even as it is a federal problem. Oh well.
If you think any of this makes sense let me know. I can't get the rhyme or reason to it. Sure, we are better than Europe. But that's a pretty low bar. All I can say is that we currently now have rapid cheap tests that can keep you at home before you are symptomatic that aren't used. We now have a drug that will get you out of the hospital or keep you from it if you get sick 70% of the time. We have vaccines that can keep you from getting the disease but they don't help you get into places like doctors' offices. And we have nothing that indicates that we have taken the vaccines so nobody seems to care if we are vaccinated.
It's time for the feds to set some rules. Give us the cheap at-home tests that work. Give us a passport. Get us out of the hospital quickly. Otherwise? It just seems like Europe just waiting to happen here and that's just not good enough.