Two treatments are on the way — one from Pfizer and one from Merck — and they will have both medical and psychological benefits. Not only can they reduce serious Covid illness, but they can also reduce Covid fears and help society move back to normalcy, lessening the pandemic’s huge social and economic side effects.
(If you haven’t read my colleague Campbell Robertson’s story about the continuing crisis in schools — including mental health problems among children and exhaustion among teachers, nurses and janitors — it’s sobering.)
Both Pfizer’s and Merck’s treatments are pill regimens that people take for five days after a positive Covid test. The pills prevent the virus from replicating inside the body and are broadly similar to treatments that revolutionized H.I.V. care in the 1990s.
Pfizer’s version, which is likely to become widely available early next year, appears to be the more effective: It reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 85 percent in a research trial. Merck’s version, which should be available sooner, reduced risk by 30 percent.
Czyli Pfizer strzela sobie w stopę. Zamiast zarabiać krocie na szczepionkach dla całej populacji, będzie sprzedawał tylko 5 tabletek jedynie tym już chorym.