Chronic COVID: ‘Long Haulers’ Still Suffering Months After Diagnoses

Nov 20, 2020, 12:20 AM | Updated: 5:14 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Before COVID-19 was even named COVID-19 – health officials, acting on limited information, told the public that the virus would affect mostly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

They said most healthy people would get sick with what would feel like a bad cold, and they would be better in a week or two.

Now, nearly a year into this pandemic, the virus’ long-term side effects are slowly becoming known.

KSL-TV talked to more than 24 Utah COVID-19 “long-haulers,” as they call themselves. They hope what they have to say will change minds and behaviors in Utah.

“COVID is very real; It doesn’t discriminate. It’s not just the old and people that have underlying health conditions that are being affected. Most of our long haul our population are our young individuals, and many of them had no underlying conditions before some of them were training for marathons, like just the week before they got sick.”

— Lisa, sick since March 2020

Experiencing: tachycardia, blood clots, fatigue, neuropathy, brain fog, insomnia, vertigo and nausea.

“In the beginning, I didn’t think it was that bad. I thought the media was trying to blow it out of proportion.”

— Marci, whose first symptoms of COVID-19 appeared in February 2020

Experiencing: extreme fatigue, erratic heartrates, loss of taste and smell, rashes and breathing difficulties (has scar tissue in both lungs).

“You hear all these people in the media and the experts giving their opinions on it but who you should really listen to are people that are going through it. And there’s a lot of people right here in the state of Utah that are going through it.”

— Jolynne, who was diagnosed in June 2020.

Experiencing: temporary blindness, enlarged internal organs, chest pain, extreme headaches, dizziness and fatigue.

“I’m basically living to work. I’m missing out on everything that I really should be enjoying in life, just to pay my bills, because I am so exhausted and sick from this virus.”

— Mibi, who was diagnosed in September 2020.

Experiencing: extreme fatigue, low oxygen and Atelectasis.

“I’m hoping that this doesn’t turn into some sort of disability for me long term. I want to start a new career. I have a lot of hopes and dreams. I don’t want to depend on people to take care of me now. it’s a very real thing. That’s not a fear-based thing. Those are a lot of things on my mind. And I just want people to understand that.”

— Jess, who was diagnosed in July 2020.

Experiencing: erratic heart rates, light sensitivity, fatigue, shortness of breath and panic attacks.

“Just because some people are having very mild symptoms, doesn’t mean that’s going to be the case for you. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be the case for your parents or your loved ones.”

— Travis, who was diagnosed in July 2020.

Experiencing: tachycardia, shortness of breath, fatigue and headaches

“I get that it might be a few more months … but one day, I just want to be me.”

— Tanner, who was diagnosed in July 2020

Experiencing: erratic heartrates, insomnia, chest pain, brain fog and tinnitus.

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Chronic COVID: ‘Long Haulers’ Still Suffering Months After Diagnoses