As the COVID-19 cases decline in America, worries go up for a concerningly high number of our population—they have “Long COVID,” or PASC, a post-viral disorder caused by their coronavirus infection. More than 30% of COVID patients are affected. For many of them, their initial symptoms were mild—we’re not talking hospitalized patients here, although some were; we’re talking people with mild symptoms who took a turn for the worse—and still haven’t gotten better. The words to describe the feelings are unprintable, they are that bad. Read on to see if you have any of the symptoms, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss the full list of 98 Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
You Are Most Likely to Feel Fatigue—But a Very Specific Kind
More than 80% of those with Long COVID report fatigue as their primary symptom—but they don’t just mean they get sleepy or feel lazy. What they feel is more akin to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, another debilitating condition that can make you feel almost poisoned after exertion. This exertion can be exercise. Or it can be just getting up to do the dishes. As with ME/CFS patients, Long COVID sufferers are told to consider their “energy envelope”—you can’t expend too much. This is leaving many people bedridden, or at best, able to take a walk but not do much else, before a “post-exertional” malaise or other symptom kicks in.
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You May Feel “Brain Fog”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned of brain fog and Long COVID. You may not be able to think clearly, remember certain things or concentrate. This can come and go. One patient, for example, was able to work all day in front of his computer, writing stories like these—and yet when he’d get up to make a cup of tea, there was one already made. He’d forgotten he’d done it minutes before. In his house, cups of tea were in every room.
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You May Get Headaches or Migraines
Everyone gets headaches once in a while. But if you get sudden and severe headaches or migraines, they may be caused by blood vessel inflammation, as a result of Long COVID. These head pains are hard to treat, as conventional methods don’t always prove effective. Anti-seizure medication may be recommended.
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You May Feel Anxious or Depressed
Your body goes into fight or flight mode—a mode of high stress and high alert—when it’s under attack. Having Long COVID can feel like your body is constantly under attack, every minute. It might be—one theory about Long COVID is that strands of the virus have been left in your body. Another is that your immune system thinks the virus is still there and it isn’t. No matter the cause, one side effect may be anxiety. Naturally, if your life is upended by debilitating symptoms, depression may follow.
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You May Have a Variety of These Other Symptoms
COVID can disrupt nearly every part of your body. “Multiorgan effects can affect most, if not all, body systems including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions,” says the CDC. Patients are reporting a continued loss of smell or taste, dizziness on standing, chest pain, heart palpitations, a cough, joint or muscle pain, a fever, breathing issues, fainting, blindness and a variety of other issues. For the complete list of all 98 symptoms reported by patients—a must read—don’t miss them right here.