Coronavirus concerns: Some Americans rationing meds until checks come

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TAMPA (WFLA/CNN) – The economic downturn caused by the coronavirus is creating a life-or-death situation for some Americans as they can not afford to buy their medication and for some, the government stimulus check is the only hope some of them have.

Diabetic Brandi Titus counts her days by the insulin she’s got left rationing her insulin since losing her housecleaning job in the coronavirus shutdown Titus is at a crossroads.

“Maybe three days left. (starts to cry)” Titus said. “I’m very worried that I will end up in a hospital bed, sitting next to someone that has coronavirus. I contract said virus, and then it ends up killing me.

Others like Michael Shawki, a two-time cancer survivor and chron’s disease patient’s survival depends on life-saving prescriptions, and the federal stimulus money he’s waiting on to pay for them.

He was able to afford these life-sustaining drugs by managing a chain of New York bakeries, but when the coronavirus hit Manhattan last month, he was laid off.

Now he’s rationing what he has left without knowing when his expected stimulus money will come in.

“Each day, this gets scarier,” Shawki says. “Life and death. For some people, you know like, for me, my fear is, if I’m going to cause long term damage to myself. People are living check to check already when they’re working. What do you think when that income goes away? You think they’re going to be able to survive on a few weeks? No!”

Shawki took to twitter, begging for help, along with so many others.

For each, winnowing their supply of necessary treatments is a deadly game of chance. Brandi Titus’ blood sugar levels are four times higher than average.

“I wake up about 3 a.m., with a blood sugar that’s about 400, 420,” Titus said.

She says its not if she goes to the emergency room, but when.

“I won’t have a choice, my body will go into diabetic ketoacidosis” Titus said.

But unlike those expecting government relief in the coming days, she won’t be getting a stimulus check she’s behind on her child support, so like thousands of others, she doesn’t qualify.

She’s on her own.

“It’s hard. A hundred dollars might not be that much to you, but it could be my saving grace for tomorrow,” Titus said.

Many people are already receiving their stimulus money but for those who have not provided the IRS with bank account information, it could be several more weeks.


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