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Recovered from Long Covid. I am one of the lucky ones.

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I recently met a friend for lunch. This is one of the first New York social events since Covid-19 drove the world lonely 15 months ago. We laughed and shared a bottle of Prosecco. I don’t have a mask. Hugged. Twice. After a three-hour gab fest, they said goodbye to each other and said, “It’s great to see people happy again” as the woman walks down the street.

The signs are everywhere, and whatever goes through them in normal life, or in the post-pandemic world, is reappearing. However, euphoria is short-lived for tens of thousands of people who are infected with the coronavirus and continue to have symptoms. In April 2020, I was diagnosed with Covid-19 and had chest pain, malaise, fever, night sweats, and other illnesses that lasted for nearly 10 months after the virus left my body. ..I Wrote about experience Earlier this year, for Times magazine, I wondered if I could feel like myself again.

Fortunately, I seem to be back to normal. But when I got my second vaccination three weeks ago, I was worried about how my body would react. I sobbed when the nurse stabbed me with a syringe. The next day, I was overwhelmed by the chills and heat and curled up in a ball on the bed. Researchers suggest that vaccines may help the immune system fight long-lasting residual viruses. But the truth is that there’s still a lot we don’t know about Covid.

this month Research Tracking health insurance records for about two million people in the United States who were infected with the coronavirus last year, nearly a quarter (23%) of them treat new conditions such as nerve and muscle pain, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. I found out that I was looking for it. Pressure and fatigue. People of all ages, including children, were affected, and problems arose even among those who did not show symptoms of the virus.

Doctors are just beginning to study the long-term effects of the virus. In February, National Institute of Health Has announced a $ 1.15 billion initiative to identify the cause of long-term Covid and a protocol to prevent and treat individuals with persistent symptoms. “The impact on public health can be serious,” said Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the NIH, given the number of infected individuals.

I got a glimpse of this when I was writing about my experience. And what I saw was a suffering community. I was flooded with emails from readers who had a Covid for a long time and who knew relatives who were suffering and didn’t know how to help. “Your incredibly fact-based personal story really hit like a sledgehammer,” wrote one reader. Another reader said, “I sometimes feel very lonely in it, and when I look at your work I feel seen, understood, and no longer lonely.”

This article was read by more than 500,000 online readers in the first week alone, from Tanzania to France, Japan, Brazil, India and more. I received a phone call and an email from the doctor who circulated the patient.It was quoted as Must read At a meeting of medical professionals at Stanford University School of Medicine. This perception has long been a boon to covid patients who have been worried that people consider seemingly random symptoms to be psychological rather than physiological.

“I hope your article helps doctors know that we’re not” in our heads “only with anxiety,” wrote one reader.

People emailed me a lot of advice. I was told to stop eating sugar, eat a gluten-free diet and give up on dairy products. One reader suggested acupuncture. Others recommended vitamin cocktails containing D and zinc, while others promoted breathing and homeopathic medicine. Eliminating unnecessarily stressful situations made me feel better. But whether I had Covid or not, it probably helped. Thus, the virus is a wise teacher.

But what I find most annoying is the helplessness that many people still feel after more than a year, as the country seems to be willing to emerge from the sleep of the coronavirus. In January, a man wrote to me about his daughter, who fell ill last summer and was hardly comforted. I wrote her an email (like the more than 200 readers who contacted me) and wanted her to recover quickly. When I emailed her father last month to see what the family was doing, he said he hadn’t improved much.

“She expresses hopelessness, which is very heartbreaking for us,” he writes.

It’s a pain for me too. Thank you for hugging my friends and having a long lunch. But for too many others, the pain is tolerable.

Recovered from Long Covid. I am one of the lucky ones.

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