Written by Tammy McMillan, Visual Impairment Specialist
I would like to talk about something that has overwhelmed our country this past year–COVID-19. I know people are tired of hearing about this, but what some don’t usually hear about is the long-term effects this can have on an individual. I had COVID-19 this past year. My case was so mild that I had no idea I had it until it was discovered when I tested due to previous contact with someone who was positive.
I was diagnosed, and then sent home to complete a 14-day isolation period. I couldn’t be around any of my family, friends, or co-workers. Someone had to do my shopping for me. I felt so isolated. Since my recovery, my immune system has been so weak. I have had flu-like symptoms, bronchial pneumonia, headaches, and fatigue. I don’t feel like I have fully recovered yet.
Long-term physical and emotional effects of this disease includes damage to the lungs, heart and brain. You can have trouble concentrating and difficulty sleeping. You are also able to get COVID again. This is a scary thought when you see the statistics on how many in this country have it, and how many deaths it has caused. Statistics showed yesterday that there is a projected 90,000 deaths that could occur in the next three weeks. I could very well be one of those since I have had COVID.
I am certainly more cautious since my ordeal. I implore everyone to wear your masks, sanitize common areas thoroughly, and practice good hygiene. If you think you might have been around someone who is positive for COVID-19, please go get tested. There have been too many deaths already, and the numbers are rising.
People experiencing long-term effects from COVID-19 are being called “Long Haulers.” It can be isolating navigating the unique challenges of extended side-effects. To help support this population, PACE is organizing a Long Haulers peer support group. More information will be forthcoming.
Stay safe out there!