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Long COVID has never been taken seriously. Here’s where it left us

There’s been the cognitive dissonance of watching most of the rest of the world try to return to normal, without me in it. Photo: Pexels

(Sophie Harrison/ The Tyee) — Before the pandemic, I was a law student who spent my weekdays studying for long hours and my weekends hiking or cycling. When I developed COVID-19 symptoms in late March 2020, my case was mild, initially, as was the case for most healthy young people.

But then I never got better. The sore throat never went away, and the shortness of breath and fatigue would get better only to get worse again. I spent the first year of the pandemic getting sicker and sicker, until I became mostly housebound, unable to walk around the block, and unable to sit up or think straight for long enough to hold down a job or continue my coursework. 

Desperate for help, I was passed from doctor to doctor. I saw an ear, nose and throat specialist, multiple internists, a rheumatologist, a dermatologist and a neurologist, often waiting months between appointments. Each ruled out familiar illnesses within their specialty, then quickly passed me along to someone else. For the most part, they were sympathetic — but they also saw someone very sick who they didn’t know how to help. (…)