We Still Don’t Know How Long Covid’s Devastating Symptoms Can Linger
Photo: Aman Abdulalim / Unsplash

We Still Don’t Know How Long Covid’s Devastating Symptoms Can Linger

The pandemic wanes, but its health effects could last a lifetime

The pandemic isn’t officially over, but we’re kind of being forced to just move on and get acclimated.

According to the New York Times, the United States had 38,763 new coronavirus cases on Oct. 24, along with 25,940 hospitalizations and 233 new deaths. It never had to be the new normal. If people just stayed inside, didn’t go to Boosie’s house, and got vaxxed to the max, maybe this whole thing would have been snuffed out or become very, very rare. The reality of the situation is even if you don’t have a fatal case of Covid-19, the effects might linger and drastically decrease your quality of life for who knows how long.

The Guardian asked its readers to tell stories of the lingering symptoms of Covid-19 infections or “long Covid,” and roughly 2,000 people responded to the inquiry. The publication shared seven of their stories.

Katherine Blohm, a 53-year-old from Sweden, first got sick in March 2020 and had a reinfection two years later. Blohm has had persistent issues with coughing and breathing and has suffered from neurological issues and nerve pain. However, to make matters even worse, she is subjected to brain fog, sometimes ending sentences in the middle.

“I used to make music as a hobby, but now the creative part of me is very diminished,” she said. “It’s like my imagination has been turned off and listening to music causes me mental fatigue pretty quickly. I feel not quite here, like everything’s not quite real.”

Mtinkheni Agness Munthali, a 37-year-old project coordinator from South Africa, has been visiting doctors about long Covid since July. They’ve been experiencing nerve pain, brain fog, leg swelling, vertigo, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath since contracting the virus in April. Munthali says the effects make it hard to get through an eight-hour work day, and it takes longer to complete tasks. “People at work don’t understand and still want the same outcomes,” he told the newspaper.

Many people all around the world are experiencing long-lasting symptoms from infections, and the science to fight or mitigate the hardship hasn’t been fully explored or developed. We’re being forced to move on, but the future is cloudy.