Is It the Same Thing?

I suspect we’re going to be hearing a lot more about this as the months wear on. Here’s a post at STAT by Elizabeth Cooney about “long COVID”:

The nightmare that is long Covid unfolds in many stages.

Long Covid collectively means symptoms that persist after Covid-19 infections have cleared, spanning both mental and physical health, the neurologic and psychiatric, cardiovascular and pulmonary, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal. Within each organ system, severity spans a spectrum. In neurology, for example, that ranges from headache to encephalopathy to muscle weakness to “brain fog” that looks like dementia: memory gaps, trouble finding words, inability to do simple math, such as calculating a tip, or worse.

People can suffer months-long impairment even if their infection was never serious enough to require hospitalization. They’re short of breath, unable to sleep, to return to work, to live what used to be their normal life. We know all this thanks in large part to patient groups raising their voices, on social media and elsewhere, to draw attention to symptoms that would not go away.

More than 50 years ago I made myself unpopular by claiming that World War I’s “shell shock”, World War II’s “combat fatigue”, and what was being diagnosed in returning Vietnam vets and just then being called “post-traumatic stress” were all different words for exactly the same phenomenon. For some reason people were denying vehemently what was obvious and I believe is considered canonical today.

In that vein is “long COVID” the same thing as “post-viral syndrome”? The descriptions sure sound the same to me.

2 comments… add one
  • Grey Shambler Link

    Much we don’t know.
    Adolf Hitler’s encounter with nerve gas left him temporarily blind.
    My female cousin put a pistol in her mouth in the garage after suffering years of fibromyalgia, and that’s just a “syndrome”. I’d never doubt though that her suffering was real to her, she pulled the trigger.
    I’ve been taught all my life to “tough it out”, and so far that’s worked.
    But I can’t judge others from the outside.

  • Jan Link

    Many of those “symptoms” described in that piece also resemble those reported from people taking the vaccines. I wonder how many of these people, after already contracting covid, took the vaccine afterwards and are now attributing their health problems to “long covid,” rather than adverse side effects from the vaccine?

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