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COVID Critics Confused About Lingering Symptoms

The COVID critics want to forget about the coronavirus. But long COVID won't let us. An astonishing number of people may continue to suffer.
COVID Critics Confused About Lingering Symptoms
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We have been inundated by COVID critics. Their arguments are nonstop. Here is a partial list of their complaints about what we have written:

  1. COVID-19 is a hoax. Very few people have been infected. This virus is no worse than the flu.
  2. Even if COVID-19 exists, it rarely kills people. 99.5% of infected patients recover. Don’t worry, be happy.
  3. Lockdowns don’t work. Masks don’t work. Vaccines are scary. Nothing works…so just go on about your life as if the virus doesn’t exist and it will all work out in the end. 

The COVID critics seem to overlook the fact that over 4 million people have died from the coronavirus worldwide. Countries like India, Brazil, France and Turkey have been hard hit, but the US leads the pack in total cases and total deaths. As of yesterday, 605,000 people have died in the United States from COVID-19. More than 33 million have been infected.

COVID Critics Ignore the Consequences of Long COVID:

You no doubt have heard of the condition called Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS). It is also called long COVID or post acute sequelae of COVID. People who suffer have been called long haulers. That’s because they continue to suffer the consequences of COVID-19 long after the initial attack.

You can read about the symptoms of PCS at this link. Even people who have what seem like mild cases of COVID can go on to suffer for months. In fact, we don’t know how long the complications will last. 

How Many People Suffer Long COVID?

Let’s be honest. No one yet knows for sure how many people will go on to suffer from PCS.

But a new study from Germany presents some ominous data (Clinical Infectious Diseases, July 5, 2021):

“At month 12, only 22.9% of patients were completely free of symptoms and the most frequent symptoms were reduced exercise capacity (56.3%), fatigue (53.1%), dyspnoea [shortness of breath] (37.5%), concentration problems (39.6%), problems finding words (32.3%), and sleeping problems (26.0%).”

COVID critics, please take heed. Less than one quarter of infected COVID patients were “completely free of symptoms” after a year. This isn’t the only study showing that long COVID persists for an astonishingly large number of people.

The German clinicians note:

“A report from Italy found that 87% of people recovered and discharged from hospitals showed persistence of at least one symptom at 60 days post COVID-19 onset. In a prospective cohort study from China a majority of formerly hospitalized patients (76%) reported at least one symptom 6 months after symptom onset, with fatigue being the most common (63%).”

We Are NOT Prepared to Deal with Long COVID!

If more than 3/4 of COVID patients are suffering persistent symptoms months after “recovery” from the coronavirus, we are heading into uncharted territory. In the US that could mean that nearly 25 million people could be suffering. The COVID critics will deny this is happening, but doctors on the front lines will tell you that it is a scary prospect. 

Here is how the German researchers describe their findings:

“We present a longitudinal follow-up cohort study of patients from Germany systematically assessed at 5, 9, and 12 months after COVID-19 symptom onset. To our knowledge, our study represents the longest post COVID-19 follow-up study reported to date.

“In our cohort, the most likely symptoms to persist until 12 months were reduced exercise capacity, fatigue, dyspnoea, concentration problems, problems finding words, and sleeping problems. Patients reporting at least one long COVID symptom had a significantly reduced physical and mental life quality.”

The Delta variant is circulating widely. There are now hot spots in many states. We know that many of our COVID critics do not want to think about the coronavirus, masks or vaccines. They just want to get on with their lives. But if they catch COVID-19 and survive, they may be suffering for months or years to come. 

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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