by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5TJT.com
I received a letter from a highly intelligent MIT friend of mine who probably had the virus. His suggestion was approved by a well-respected doctor. Some may agree or disagree with what is suggested here – but it may be a good idea. I apologize to anyone who thinks it is improper for me to post this letter. YH
Dear Rabbi Hoffman,
Please see below. This medicine seemed to help me, and if it works for everybody the same way, the crisis is over. I wrote some of the doctors in town, and Dr. ____ said it seemed interesting, and would offer to patients.
I don’t know how to disseminate, as so many are desperate for a cure. But I can’t be 100% sure I actually have Covid-19, since I can’t get a test. And even if I get one today, my viral levels may have dropped too far, already. I had a flu shot in fall, so probably can rule that out.
I wrote the CEO of Pfizer, assuming I have correct email. Will forward separately. I may be totally crazy and imagining things, but if there is a 1% chance, it is worth it to make a fool out of myself.
Please do what you like with this info, but please keep my name out.
Dear Rabbi ______ and _____________
I believe I have Coronavirus, because have had all the symptoms, and had a flu shot in the fall. My condition was getting very difficult at home shortly before Shabbos. I was fortunate to have in the house two medicines which helped dramatically, and have kept me breathing well so far. I have tried 4 times to request a test. Once by phone, 2 times online registration, and then once by going in person today to Jones Beach test site, but was turned away because had no appointment.
But I don’t need medical help now, as I am recovering well. I just wanted to know if I test positive, as it would be good to know if these medicines work for this virus. I am sharing the below letter I wrote to the NYS Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, yesterday. I am anxious to see if these can help others. The first, Azithromycin is being widely recommended here as an antibiotic to treat the secondary bacterial pneumonia that can accompany viral infection. But the second, Benzonatate, is a prescription cough medicine, but seems to very effectively restore breathing. I am getting enough air and it is 6 days since I first started having difficulty.
While we should be skeptical, but because this is an extreme emergency, and because it is so easy to try, works in a few minutes, and doesn’t require invasive tests to measure viral load, perhaps the doctors in shul should be made aware and evaluate this.
I know there are around 70 medicines that are being looked at, some in development and some older. Nevertheless, perhaps this should be tried, as well.
One doctor ______ said he thinks it is interesting and will offer to his patients. Perhaps some in ____ may want to try, as well.
Thank you very much for your help and may we merit vateiatzar es hamageifah very soon.