Interesting piece on "long-haulers"
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By Nick Lucchesi
We learn more about Covid-19 every day. The way it passes between people, the symptoms, who's at risk, and the speed of the spread. One thing we don't know is how long it takes to fully recover.
Seemingly everyday, there is a new story of a high-profile public figure opening up about how long it took their body to fully return to health. Actors like Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad and pro athletes like Paul Pogba of Manchester United have recently shared their stories. Some people fear they will never recover fully. We just. Don't. Know. This disease barely existed a year ago.
That brings us to today's story and what waits for us after the Covid-19 vaccine.
Covid-19 "long-haulers," as they have become known, were in a lot of cases completely healthy before they got sick. After the virus left, its effects didn't. They are dealing with "long-haul" symptoms like breathing problems, muscle aches, dizziness, brain fog, and more.
Family and friends don't have the emotional bandwidth to listen to them after months and months. Doctors seemingly blow them off, prescribing anti-depressants or aspirin.
In response, this growing population of people — one study found it could be as high as 1 in 10 people who have had Covid-19 — is seeking support among each other. With nearly 15 million Covid-19 cases in the US, the number of "long haulers" could be as high as 1.5 million people.
Inverse staff writer Ali Pattillo spent the last few months interviewing long-haulers and going to a support group — one of the first of its kind in the US — and came upon a burgeoning public health crisis.
After the vaccine, a new problem awaits: more than a million people whose health is shaky, whose muscles are stiff, whose breathing is difficult, whose brains are hazy. You need to read this story to know about what challenges are next.
"I think anybody who thinks we’ve got Covid figured out should read this," Pattillo told me on Monday. "It’s clear we don’t have it figured out yet. It’s also clear that even if you don’t have an extremely severe case of Covid-19, you can have lasting symptoms and your life can really change."