HomeHealthAs some transfer on from the pandemic, folks with lengthy COVID really...

As some transfer on from the pandemic, folks with lengthy COVID really feel pissed off and alone : NPR

There’s deep frustration rising amongst folks with lengthy COVID on the lack of progress in treating the situation.


To California, which just lately ended its COVID emergency. The world usually appears to be transferring on from the pandemic, however tens of millions of individuals nonetheless undergo from lingering problems. LAist reporter Jackie Fortier discovered deep frustration rising amongst folks with lengthy COVID throughout his State of the Union deal with.

JACKIE FORTIER, BYLINE: President Biden stated the U.S. is recovering from the pandemic.


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: At present, COVID not controls our lives.

SHELBY HEDGECOCK: Listening to that’s extraordinarily disappointing and infuriating.

FORTIER: Shelby Hedgecock is likely one of the estimated 15 million adults within the U.S. who’re at the moment affected by lengthy COVID. With the federal well being emergency ending in Could and masks typically thought-about a factor of the previous, Hedgecock says folks with lengthy COVID really feel like they’re on their very own.

HEDGECOCK: We had been injured by this virus. And so sufferers are dropping hope. We really feel swept below the rug.

FORTIER: Folks with lengthy COVID are not contagious, however well being points associated to their an infection stretch on and on. It is linked to a kaleidoscope of greater than 200 signs, says Dr. Linda Geng, co-director of the Stanford lengthy COVID clinic.

LINDA GEND: It’s a advanced, probably multi-system situation of manifestations that persist after COVID an infection, and it may be fairly debilitating.

FORTIER: It isn’t but recognized why some folks develop lengthy COVID and others do not, says Dr. Alice Perlowski. She’s a protracted COVID affected person and a heart specialist in LA.

ALICE PERLOWSKI: There may be not one particular take a look at that may significantly determine it. I would not assume you can’t get lengthy COVID since you had COVID a few occasions and had been superb.

FORTIER: The severity and length of lengthy COVID varies. And there is some analysis suggesting that antivirals could reduce the chance of creating lengthy COVID for those who’re newly contaminated. Some folks recuperate in a couple of weeks, whereas a smaller quantity have debilitating and lingering well being points. Shelby Hedgecock’s COVID an infection left her struggling to breathe at night time. For months, her mind did not get sufficient oxygen. She was unable to learn for 19 months.

HEDGECOCK: It was like there was a disconnect between the phrases and my mind.

FORTIER: Earlier than the spring of 2020, when she obtained contaminated, Hedgecock’s life revolved round health. She labored as a private coach in LA. On the weekends, she competed in endurance races. Now she would not go away her condominium and not using a medical alert button that may immediately name an ambulance.

HEDGECOCK: I’ve handed out within the bathe earlier than. I’ve handed out alone at residence earlier than.

FORTIER: Hedgecock moved from LA again residence to dwell together with her household in Tennessee as a result of she will’t be alone.

HEDGECOCK: It is exhausting. I’ve by no means handled something like this earlier than COVID, and it has been life altering.

FORTIER: For different sufferers, lengthy COVID has broken household relationships. Julia Landis says her prolonged household would not imagine her situation is a severe sickness.

JULIA LANDIS: If this had been most cancers, I would be residing with household, I am positive of it.

FORTIER: Landis is one in every of an estimated 3.8 million adults within the U.S. who at the moment have lengthy COVID so extreme it impacts their day by day lives.

LANDIS: That is been the toughest half shouldn’t be actually feeling like anyone actually cares within the household.

FORTIER: Many lengthy COVID sufferers really feel dismissed by medical doctors. Linda Rosenthal requested that employees put on masks throughout her visits to her Orange County heart specialist’s workplace. If she will get COVID once more, she might find yourself within the hospital. Days later, she acquired a letter. The heart specialist was not keen to be her physician.

LINDA ROSENTHAL: It simply throws, like, simply one other factor in your path that makes it tougher to get the care that I deserve.

FORTIER: Whereas she begins over once more in Tennessee, Shelby Hedgecock has a group of specialists serving to her slowly enhance. She feels fortunate. She’s met folks on-line in lengthy COVID teams who’re unable to work.

HEDGECOCK: A number of them have misplaced their life financial savings. You already know, some are experiencing homelessness.

FORTIER: She’s frightened that whereas researchers are searching for a therapy or remedy, politicians will neglect about folks with lengthy COVID struggling to dwell a standard life. For NPR Information, I am Jackie Fortier in Los Angeles.

SUMMERS: The story got here from NPR’s partnership with LAist and KFF Well being Information.

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NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This textual content might not be in its remaining kind and could also be up to date or revised sooner or later. Accuracy and availability could fluctuate. The authoritative file of NPR’s programming is the audio file.


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