So. $SPOUSE tested positive for COVID yesterday. Been mildly sick for a couple of days, but tests were all negative up until yesterday. So fine, she’s quarantined in the bedroom, weather’s been nice, windows have been opened so the house isn’t a miasma of cooties - we’ll deal with this. Family member reminds us - “Hey, maybe you should see about getting a prescription for Paxlovid!” “Great idea!,” we say. Heh heh heh. Little did we know…

A few minutes of Googling later, we find that is the only place that has a clear page saying “Hey! We have Paxlovid. Our pharmacists can prescribe it! Fill out this form, we’ll call you, you can do it all over the phone and internet!” So we fill out the form. Set up an appointment at 3:30pm to get a callback. Wait patiently until 5:00pm - still no callback. Try calling the pharmacy directly, end up on hold for well over 45 minutes, finally give up. Decide to try calling HyVee pharmacy, who also claims to have it. “Yep, we have it. But we have to have a positive test result from a test taken in store … and we’re all outta tests. You can try going to urgent care.” Sigh. Ok, let’s try filling out the form on the CVS site again. (I haven’t mentioned that we’ve tried filling out this form multiple times already in the interim, only for it to fail near the end of the process with an error.)

Finally get through the process again, and schedule a callback for 6:30pm … which comes and goes with no callback. After waiting another couple hours, we decide to check Teladoc, who our insurance is partnered with. “Our clinicians cannot prescribe anti-viral medications.” Ok, that’s a dead end. By now, she’s tired and brain-fogged, and decides to just sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night she can’t sleep anymore, so fills out the CVS form again, for a different CVS location, for a 9:30am callback. She actually gets a text message confirmation this time! Progress!

9am rolls around, her phone rings. It’s a pharmacy employee from the location she was expecting a 9:30 call from, but their basic message is “Yeah, I’m supposed to call you for something, but I don’t even know what this is, and we definitely don’t do that here. Maybe try a location with a Minute Clinic? I’ll refund the charge. (!)” What about the other times we never even got a callback? “You’ll have to call the 1-800 number.” Sigh. I’m not even going to go into that experience, but suffice it to say it was terrible and unproductive and that there will likely be chargebacks occurring.

So, once more into the breach - let’s try scheduling a callback from a location with a Minute Clinic. A 10am callback is scheduled - and hooray, we actually get a callback! From someone knowledgeable, even! Who is knowledgeable enough to tell us that “CVS pharmacies in the KC area doesn’t offer the callback service” (!!). “You’ll have to set up a Minute Clinic appointment and actually come in to the Minute Clinic.” (!!!)

So what you’re saying is that the only way for a huge number of people to maybe get a scrip for Paxlovid is to take their COVID-spewing bodies IN TO urgent care or Minute Clinic, probably getting other people sick in the process, and also that it’s fine to charge people and never provide them the services. The only thing I can take away from this process is that the US medical system has not only decided that COVID doesn’t exist, but that if it does exist, it’s profitable, and they should double down on getting as many people sick as possible with it, as many times as possible. Yay capitalism!