COVID-19, despite what anti-maskers would have you believe by way of conspiracy and general ineptitude, is very much a real threat. Here in the States, specifically, the situation is made even more dire thanks to a lack of leadership on containment efforts from the POTUS and his usual swarm of despicables.
And while much of the recent news cycle regarding the pandemic has focused on continually troubling case numbers, not to mention disturbing reports of violence from those aforementioned anti-masker dipshits, another facet of the health crisis that should surely be garnering more attention is the complicated reality facing those whose COVID-19 symptoms are dragging out for months after receiving a positive diagnosis.
Dr. Maja Artandi, who's the medical director of an outpatient COVID-19 clinic at Stanford University's hospital, spoke with USA Today for Jayne O'Donnell and Khrysgiana Pineda's piece this week on coronavirus "long haulers" and is notably one of the doctors taking this under-explored part of the pandemic seriously.
"We definitely see prolonged symptoms, sometimes a lingering cough and the most serious cases have long term chest pains and still feel they can't breathe well," Artandi said. "It just causes all kinds of inflammation and takes a while to heal."
The same piece includes comments from a number of "long haulers," whose extended symptoms are bringing into the question the need for more definitive messaging on quarantining. Florida resident Karyn Bishof, for example, is reported as having recently hit day 133 of continued symptoms including cough, chronic fatigue, memory problems, heart rate changes, hair loss, tremors, sleep apnea, tinnitus, and much more.
Others have also shared their experiences, including in the viral Twitter thread from Hannah Davis excerpted above and in this heartbreaking KUOW report on the seven-week coronavirus diary from Anna King.
In short, please continue to take COVID-19 seriously as you go about your day-to-day activities. And if you haven't already been taking this seriously for your own sake and in support of the health of everyone around you, wake the fuck up.