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The latest Long Covid study reveals bad news for almost everyone

I would bet we all know someone who ignored Covid safety measures from the start because they believed contracting the virus was not possible that bad that they would avoid hospitalization or death.

This view has always been self-centered, ignoring the potentially devastating impact that catching and spreading Covid could have on others who contract the disease. But we’re getting more and more evidence that people’s overconfidence in their ability to cope with Covid will have a lasting impact on Americans’ health.

A new study by non-profit organization FAIR Health found that over 75 percent of long-lasting Covid patients – that is, people who have long-term symptoms of the disease even after testing negative – were not hospitalized when they were first diagnosed with the disease. The percentage of women (about 82 percent) long diagnosed with Covid despite not being hospitalized was higher than the percentage of men (about 68 percent). But that still means that many people who have experienced cases that haven’t reached the level of hospitalization face symptoms such as fatigue, trouble breathing, loss of taste or smell, memory loss, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and more — and those symptoms could last weeks, months, even years.

Media and officials have routinely used hospitalizations as the main indicator of Covid severity. But there are many health experts who have been sounding the alarm about Long Covid for months, warning that the hospitalization doesn’t tell the full story of Covid’s life-changing power.

We’ve also seen some lawmakers highlighting the Long Covid crisis. As I wrote last year, Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Don Beyer of Virginia jointly sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urging the agency to investigate Long Covid and specifically its differential impact on women and nonwhite people to investigate.

The more we learn about Long Covid, the clearer it is that neglecting the potential impact of a virus that has been around for more than 1 Millions of American lives are medical, political and social misconduct. Rest assured: the politicians and other hucksters who invite you to go maskless and no vax and ignore Covid’s power will not be there to comfort you should you contract the virus and spend years of sleepless nights gasping for air.

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