I have a lot of the symptoms of long COVID. However, I don’t think I have long COVID. Why? Because I had those symptoms long before I got COVID. And I think that’s part of the problem with studying this. A lot of the symptoms are symptoms of lots and lots of chronic illnesses. And just like with a lot of those other chronic illnesses, there’s rarely a definitive test you can give someone and know for certain that they have it. So we know there’s a problem, but it’s hard to define and it looks similar to a lot of other hard to define problems. It’s going to be an interesting few years while this all gets sorted out. Maybe this will even lead to some more effective treatments for other chronic illnesses. Silver linings and fingers crossed.
The fact that these are hard to tease out, are complicated and quite subjective has been the “reason” given for ignoring them or writing them off as psychosomatic. They are really hard to study objectively. But, like you, this gives me some hope that perhaps these chronic postviral symptoms will finally get the attention they deserve.
it’s interesting how many of those high-percentage states are red states.
I’d be surprised if some of the symptoms for some of the people weren’t psychosomatic. An awful lot of Americans, AIUI, live lives full of all kinds of stress and anxiety, and covid only made things worse in that regard for so many of them.
I believe it. While i dodged the bullet as far as lingering symptoms a good friend of mine has been saddled with a persistent cough. When he first caught COVID he was hospitalized and honestly he could have died, it was pretty serious but has been a great recovery. But despite him being healthy the cough has just not gone away. It really sucks that folks have had to deal with a grab bag of symptoms after recovering.
Living with and figuring out what is causing chronic health issues can be infuriating.
Indeed. I have had all kinds of tests over the last 4 years or so, and after every one, the doctor smiles and tells me, “Good news! It’s negative. You don’t have xxxx!” And every time, I am disappointed because it means I still don’t have an answer.
A big chunk of why it’s so hard to tease out. The idea that physical and mental heath are separate and distinct entities has held back our research for way too long. When i was in residency, there was the beginning of Mind-Body medicine, but it was treated as barely above crystals and reiki. That was 30+ years ago, not a lot has changed.
My own Long Covid result is I need extra-long sleep every night. For all my adult life, 40+ years, I was fine with about seven hours of sleep and never, ever slept-in past 7am. Once I got Covid, on the job, I’ve consistently needed nine to 10 hours of sleep. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I was forced into early retirement four weeks ago so I have the time to sleep.
Yes, attributing everything to long COVID when long COVID isn’t a disease you can actually test for is problematic and underestimates the health and stress issues that people have in their daily lives. I have a whole host of symptoms that could be long COVID, but could also be medication side effects, some other sickness that’s going around, my body aging or reacting to extreme rises and falls of temperature as Colorado weather merrily jumps between summer and winter on a daily basis, depression, sleep deprivation, allergies, or just exhaustion from being an Alzheimer’s caretaker for 6 years straight with no kind of break. Sure, some people live relatively carefree, healthy lives compared to me, but I would guess the majority are as bad or worse, at least in the United States. I’m not saying long COVID doesn’t exist, but when I see figures like this, it makes me very skeptical that anyone can actually be sure of what’s being claimed.
To be clear, I wasn’t saying what I said to express any skepticism at all whatsoever about long COVID. It is very real, and very serious, and deserves at least all of the attention it is getting. My only point was that this is yet another in a fairly long list now of chronic, long term illnesses we don’t have a good understanding of. And hopefully this will be the impetus to do more research to gain a better understanding.
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