Family and Career Challenges of COVID: Financial and Emotional Debilitation, Insecurity, and Absoluteness in the U.S.
These are a few of the financial and emotional challenges patients with COVID face. Physically, they are debilitated and in pain: unable to walk up the stairs, focus on a project, or hold down a job. Facing the end of the federal public health emergency in May, many people experiencing lingering effects of the virus say they feel angry and abandoned by policymakers eager to move on.
Researchers estimate that 1.6% of U.S. adults, or about 4 million, have symptoms that have significantly reduced their ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
It’s only now, over three years into the pandemic, that a consensus on what long Covid is has started to solidify. A bunch of things, that’s what it is. It is more probable that it is a variety of diseases, rather than a single disorder. That means there likely won’t be a one-size-fits-all treatment either.
“One of my friends committed suicide in May of 2021,” Hedgecock says. She was afflicted with a mild CoVID infection and it got so bad that she decided to end her life.
According to the University of Southern California’s COVID, 50% of adults in Los Angeles County who contracted the disease were fully recovered within a month, but a majority reported one or more continuing symptoms.
The Greatest Problems in American Medical Science: Chronic Fatigue, Brain Fog, Cough, and COVID in a Newly Diagnosed Patient
The researchers found chronic fatigue topped the list of health issues, followed by brain fog and persistent cough, all of which affect people’s daily lives.
The risk of developing long COVID in people who are new to infections is cut by taking antivirals. Medical science is trying to keep up with the times.
Hedgecock says one of the scariest things was when he Couldn’t breathe at night. I went to the emergency room three different times, and each time I was told that I was up. You’re moving. You’re young, you’re healthy. It’s going to be fine.'”
Her primary care physician at the time told her she didn’t need supplemental oxygen even though her oxygen saturation dipped below normal at night, leaving her gasping for breath and crying in frustration.
As a pandemic emergency emergencies end some patients with long covids feel swept under the r: Jennifer Landis, a professional patient in Ukiah, California
I could not tell you what the page said. It was like there was a disconnect between the words and my brain,” she recalls. “It was the strangest, most discouraging thing ever.”
Months later, under the direction of a specialist, Hedgecock underwent a test measuring electrical activity in the brain. She says it revealed her brain had been starved of oxygen for months, damaging the section controlling memory and language.
She has moved back to Tennessee to be closer to her family. The medical alert button in her apartment lets her summon an ambulance instantly.
She works with a team of specialists, and feels lucky about that; she knows people in online long COVID groups who are losing health coverage as Medicaid pandemic protections expire, while others remain unable to work.
The woman who lives in Ukiah California said that she lost her life because she was able to help people.
Landis refers to herself as a professional patient, filling her days with physical therapy and medical appointments. She’s gradually improving and can socialize on occasion, though it leaves her exhausted and can take days to recover.
Her depression has continued, along with debilitating pain and anxiety. It is not possible to make up for lost income by working longer hours.
“I would have to go through days of being terrified to be alone all day if I lived somewhere where there were people 7 days a week,” he said. I’d be living with my family if this were cancer. I’m certain of it.
Three Years of COVID-19: Linda Rosenthal’s Story with KFF Health News and NPR’s Partner KPCC/LAist
Linda Rosenthal, a 65-year-old retired high school paraprofessional, has long COVID symptoms, including inflammation in her chest that makes breathing difficult. She has found it hard to get medical care.
She called and set up a treatment plan with a local cardiologist near her home in Orange County, California, but received a letter five days later telling her he would no longer be able to provide her medical services. The letter gave no reason for the cancellation.
She says she was so surprised. It’s really bad to get a letter from a doctor that says that they don’t want you for a patient because it leads to self-doubt, and that’s why I felt betrayed.
Rosenthal found another cardiologist willing to do telehealth visits and who has staff wear masks in the office even though the state rule has expired. There’s more than an hour’s drive from where she lives.
This article comes from NPR’s partnership with KPCC/LAist and KFF Health News (KFF Health News, formerly known as Kaiser Health News, is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues as part of KFF.)
Three years in, the pandemic mania has settled to a rumbling hum. We are sweating on each other in nightclubs, spluttering out birthday candles, and sharing firm handshakes. Covid-19 has been reduced to a daily threat thanks to vaccines and treatments.
All these theories have some evidence to support them, and they may not be mutually exclusive; for some people, these things could be happening at the same time. The idea of long Covid has different causes could help explain the range of symptoms, which are up to 200.