Miss D.'s and my medical misadventures continue as we try to get tested for COVID-19, and figure out how to treat ourselves at home. Basically, we've been shunted from pillar to post and back again by local medical facilities, to my profound and (by now) vituperative irritation. She's booked a test at a local pharmacy for later this morning, while I'm going to try to get one at a local doc-in-a-box (if it's open . . . its Web site keeps changing on that subject, probably due to weather conditions, which are still far from ideal).
However, I've also been looking at the wildly varying prices being quoted or offered for tests and related issues. They're all over the place, from "free" (provided you have insurance) to a minimum co-pay of $500 apiece. Nobody will be specific about what's covered and what's not. Furthermore, there's no guarantee that you'll be given a prescription for anything useful. Remdesivir, the only approved COVID treatment, is available to hospital in-patients only, while hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, both widely used and proven "unofficially", are not guaranteed to be available even if your doctor will prescribe them. It seems that pharmacists can exercise a right of veto over such prescriptions; and if they don't want to issue them, you'll do without. That makes me incandescent with anger, but the system is set up that way. (I probably know more than most US doctors about those remedies, anyway. Lawdog and I are both familiar with them from our years in Africa, where we both took them freely to deal with malaria, fungal conditions, etc. Although they're scheduled drugs, they're so common over there that one can frequently buy them at roadside stalls.)
To make matters more interesting, the prices being charged for care appear to be outrageous - and not a little fraudulent. Apparently a hospital can charge at least 20% more reimbursement from the federal government for a case of COVID-19 than it can for any other ailment; so a whole lot of people are classified as COVID-positive, when in any other year they'd be called flu patients. (Just look at the official CDC figures for flu cases over the past year, and compare them to previous years. There's no doubt whatsoever what's going on. Hospitals are making financial hay while the sun shines, by mis-classifying every flu symptom as COVID-19.)
This is on top of the vastly increased cost of health insurance, which buys us less and less care each year; and also on the predatory pricing practices found in many emergency rooms, which bill anything and everything they can to those they think they can force to pay, while treating indigents and transients free of charge (largely thanks to EMTALA). Go read those two links for yourselves. They're enough to make your blood boil. The "compassionate" and "caring" health care industry is revealed to be nothing of the kind - it's just another business to those running it.
Suffice it to say that I'm not a happy camper at present. Miss D. and I are self-medicating as best we can on cold and flu treatments, taking vitamin and mineral supplements, and hoping for the best. Please keep us in your prayers as the struggle continues.