The Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment is amazing.

I have always considered myself to be the healthiest man in any room I walk into. By all measures, I should never have been infected. But that horse has left the barn.

How did I get infected? I have no earthly idea. I had gone back over the three to five days before symptoms appeared (coughing, mainly), trying to figure where that viral transmission to my body could have happened. Regardless, my first symptom, a cough, appeared on the morning of the last day of August following the next day by a bit of fatigue.

I do not remember much of the first few days. I self-medicated on cough syrup to counter the nasal drip and cough. I double and triple-checked the symptoms of colds, influenza, and coronavirus – concentrating on the Delta variant. After losing two days to drug-induced sleep and/or fatigue, my wife got a cough.

She spent almost an hour on the phone calling various places near us to get a COVID-19 test. The earliest test was available in a week. Another had one that day (maybe) for $139. They might work us in within the next 24-48 hours – no guarantees.

We drove by our local pharmacies, and they could not test us because they were out of testing materials. We checked on home test kits, and they were gone with no idea when they would be available. The next day we drove to Walmart and Target and found zilch, zero, nada. Everyone was happy to give us a vaccine, but no one could offer us a coronavirus test.

Saturday, the following day, was the turning point for us. I awoke with significant pain in my hip joints. This was no longer a common cold; it was most likely COVID-19. We drove to our local Urgent Care facility, and they did a viral test for 26 different viruses as part of the Emergency Room treatment/assessment.

The doctor told us that we were being consulted for Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment and could possibly be scheduled the next day. If our tests came back negative, we could cancel the infusion. Our test did come back positive for COVID-19. We would get the infusion within 24 hours. The next morning we were scheduled for monoclonal antibody treatment at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the Texas Medical Center.

We got down there thirty minutes early and spent the next thirty-five minutes wandering around various buildings in the Medical Complex until we finally found the right place. Upon leaving, we discovered that we were probably fifty feet from our car. My hip joints were screaming off the hinges by the time we got to the infusion center. Thirty minutes later, the infusion was done. We remained an hour under observation in case we had any reaction to the drugs.

Upon leaving, we were told of the ‘shortcut’ to the parking lot. Fifty to sixty feet later, we were in our vehicle. I wish I had known where to go when we arrived. It would have saved me a lot of pain and frustration. Regardless, the walking was over, and we were headed home. Within twelve hours of walking into the Urgent Care facility, we received the monoclonal antibody treatment and drove back home.

Twenty-four hours later, I could tell something had happened. It was not a light switch event, but it was enough to know that something was working. Thirty-six hours after the infusion, my body was responding nicely – the antibodies were kicking viral butt. Forty-eight hours after the Regeneron treatment, I felt like I had a new lease on life.

Each day since has seen incremental improvement. Daily naps have become the norm until recently. Coughing is still a periodic reminder of the virus. Fatigue is waning daily. Focus is returning.


My wife and I had a mild case – a cough and fatigue. This viral experience is now in the top five health issues that I have had over the decades. The worst was a week with strep throat in the early ‘70s. I do not think anything can compare with that bacterial infection’s pain, intensity, and discomfort.

My gall bladder pain was more intense but lasted one day. Mononucleosis (the mid-60s) left my body weakened for almost two weeks and the fatigue compared to coronavirus.

I expect to return to regular activity quickly with newly acquired natural immunity to the pandemic virus (and most variants). It has been nineteen days since the first symptom appeared. Most reports of people who had the mild edition of COVID-19 told me that two weeks after their mandatory isolation, they considered themselves at 90% or better.

I research and take action to keep my immune system as strong as it can be. After completing seventy-five trips around the sun, I must possess a robust and healthy body to fight future infections. I have never had a seasonal influenza shot (and do not intend to start). I have never had the flu. I am not vaccine adverse – check my shot record with the Navy! The anthrax series, Japanese encephalitis, and another series of something were administered during my last two years in the Navy.

I keep my immune system primed to fight anything coming my way. I do a three-day fast monthly to reset my immune system. I stay hydrated, eat properly, exercise, get quality sleep nightly, reduce stress daily, and more.

We protect ourselves against the coronavirus by the standard self-protection options as well as increased zinc, vitamin D3, and a daily dose of a nasal spray with grapefruit seed extract and xylitol. Those last three daily choices prevent/reduce the ability of the coronavirus spike to find a comfortable home in the ACE2 receptor cells.

I have concerns about the rapidity of the COVID-19 vaccine development and wanted to wait a reasonable period before making an educated assessment as to efficacy and safety to get the vaccine, or not. Most likely, I would have gotten the single-dose viral vector option rather than the mRNA versions. September was my decision month to get a vaccine. I have opined about that many times over the past months. However, with naturally acquired immunity, that option is no longer under consideration.

As we get older, our immune systems are not as efficient. Yet, it is our primary defense against any disease. Even with a vaccine, you must keep your immune system functioning at optimal levels. The vaccine does not prevent you from getting the virus. However, it reduces the severity of symptoms, keeping you out of the hospital and reducing your personal mortality risk.

We did not dodge a bullet, but we did dodge severe symptoms and an extended stay in a hospital that many others of our age have experienced.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –



5 Responses

  1. Red, I am so glad you and Marilyn got through this and are recovering nicely!! I’ve been sicker with pneumonia as a kid, but my infection was not a piece of cake!
    A couple of thoughts, take ’em or leave ’em. I do not have the kind of in-depth knowledge that you have determinedly sought and obtained regarding health, wellness, and immunity. I’ve lived around family and friend physicians all my life and even worked on staff in Continue Medical Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia Medical Center about 10.000 years ago right out of college. I learned a lot listening to those docs even though it was 1971 and ’72.

    I know you really don’t watch tv much if at all so I thought I would mention something from (please pardon my memory lapse) what I believe was an NBC News Prime Time Townhall on COVID. It was on the east coast, perhaps Philadelphia. Lester Holt, NBC’s Nightly News Anchor, hosted it. Holt is known for being a very straight journalist. He does not do opinion, and strives VERY hard not to let his personal beliefs weigh in on factual news reporting. NBC News and MSNBC, while both owned by the same company,Comcast, and MSNBC using SOME NBC News correspondents, are 2 quite different animals. The cable channel is full of mostly liberal opinion. NBC News, however, is not. In fact 4 or 5 years ago NBC Correspodents went to the President of NBC News and complained that doing appearances on MSNBC opinion programs and being put on the spot for their personal opinions was NOT professional and was harming their credibility. NBC News Management agreed with them and stopped that. If they appear on MSNBC, it is to report facts and not to opine.

    That said, the Townhall was most interesting. There was an African American man in his mid twenties who was unvaccinated for COVID. He said he had heard bad things about it and just wasn’t sure.

    One of the panelists NBC had is a female African American scientist whose name I cannot remember. I believe she is with Pfizer but I am not sure. She may well have moved to academics at a medical school. She definitely was not shilling for Pfizer.

    What I DO remember is that she did NOT confront the young man, but simply asked him questions and put some food for thought out there.

    What I remember very well from the program is this researcher told the young man that the research on the MRNA concept of immunization and fighting viral infections is NOT new. Research and testing on the concept began 20 years ago and that work has been extensive. She is one of the key people on the team of experts that have done the work over the years. Specifically for COVID 19? Of course not. This virus didn’t exist until less than 24 months ago. Had any drug company put it through the rigorous testing for any other disease that the FDA and CDC require? No. But that does not mean that there has not been any rigorous testing to immunize against other known diseases. She did not elaborate on which ones or the diseases.

    She met with the African American fellow on stage after the program. She stayed in touch with him and his mother. A couple of weeks later she called the program producer and told him that the mother and adult son decided to get the MRNA vaccine that week at a Walgreens in the Philadelphia area. NBC News arranged to have a camera crew there with the permission of the mother and son. The researcher, mother, son and the camera crew were all in the store near the pharmacy counter in the vaccination area. The deed was done, no bad reaction, the segment was aired on Nightly News,the Today Show, and on MSNBC. The wire services picked up the story. 90 days later mother and son are well and have had no adverse reaction to the Pfizer RMNA shot.

    And btw, the researcher made it VERY CLEAR on television that the RMNA approach makes NO changes to a person’s RNA or DNA. She went into detail as to how it works to teach the body’s cells how to fight the virus. It was fascinating but this old goat’s memory for details of recent events is getting sketchy.

    Also, during my discharge conversation with my hospitalist/internist at Houston Methodist, he, as well as my doctor friends all strongly advised that even though I had had COVID, TO GET THE SECOND SHOT. The 1st was on Jan 6, the second on Feb 20.

    I was initially offered Regeneron antibody treatment but it had to be approved back then by a team of docs. I was tested for anti-body presence while in the hospital. They decided at that time NOT to do the treatment. The policy was to utilize that treatment within the first week of a COVID infection, before the body had any opportunity to generate its own antibodies in quantity. The were also doing blood transfusions with blood from COVID recovered patients. That was reserved for the critically ill patients. I was not hospitalized until Jan 21, but symptoms of the infection presented on Jan 7. The docs back then deemed the Regeneron treatment inappropriate, as my natural antibody levels had built up sufficiently. They treated me with inexpensive common IV steroids, IV blood thinner, and over the counter type cough med and decongestant. Upon discharge they ordered three oral steroid tablets, one a day. I was on supplemental oxygen from the time I walked in to the time I was discharged. I do not have any high morbidity conditions that could have come into play in all of this. No cardiac issues, no high blood pressure.

    My Bottom line: I suspect the concern over long term or even shorter term dangers or problems with the MRNA vaccines are far, far overblown, if not totally a non-issue, at least so far. And it certainly beats DYING from COVID, which the MRNA vaccines have been proven to prevent if taken far enough in advance of an infection. Also, THE MRNA technology IS NOT BRAND NEW. THE RESEARCH AND GENERIC TESTING HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR 2 DECADES. No negative results in animal tests.

    1. Thanks, Roy! Appreciate the time and effort you took to write a response. Yes, mRNA development has been around for decades (since mRNA was discovered in the ’60s). The development of DNA and mRNA technologies to develop vaccines has an interesting history. Most of the studies have been done on laboratory animals. I understand the mechanism of how a genetic sequence from a virus is manufactured into a synthetic mRNA molecule, combined with other nanoparticles, and made to give our immune systems a head’s up on molecules entering the body that look like coronavirus. The mRNA vaccine does not prevent infection. It prevents the increased severity of symptoms which reduces the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19. We were fortunate to be ‘consulted’ and approved for the monoclonal antibodies during our trip to the local Urgent Care facility. The stipulation was that if our test came back negative, we would cancel the infusion. The test came back positive and we had the infusion within 24 hours of entering Urgent Care. I think the process has changed over the past several months and you would probably have been given the same treatment that we received without waiting. My sister-in-law was given immediate access to an antiviral drug when she was exposed last month. It is the same drug that wiped out the delta variant infestation in most Indian states within a few weeks. I think there are many options and we are learning more and more each day of what works and what does not. Thanks again for your response – it is greatly appreciated! RED

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