Friday, February 24, 2023

Long Covid Effects

When CoVid is over, it ain't over.

Apparently, when you are "cured" of CoVid, either by your own body driving out the virus, or with the help of  medication such as Paxlovid, you are not entirely cured.  It may take up to four weeks to get over CoVid, but the "Long Covid" can go on for months.  Some fun!

It can take six months or more to fully recover, and I have some friends who got it last summer and are still seeing effects from the illness. Myself, I am feeling a little better every day - getting my energy back, but not quite like before. Not only that, I feel "different" now that I had the China virus. All hail Xi Jinping and the glorious Chinese Communist Party!

Just kidding.

If anything, my political perspective is more entrenched to the left than before.  The government's response to this virus under Trump was pathetic.  Trump allowed conspiracy theories to fester and even promoted quack cures himself.  He got an entire group of people to distrust science and the vaccine, even as he got it himself.  He encouraged anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers and it wasn't just him - his whole administration and the GOP in general, either actively worked against scientific understanding o of the virus, or failing that, dog-whistled conspiracy theories to their "base."  It really made the whole thing a lot worse than it had to be.

It also killed off a lot of their voters, too.   Every cloud, it seems....

But getting back to long CoVid, what sort of after-effects will you see - and you will see them, as it is likely that eventually everybody will get CoVid.   Maybe you'll be lucky.  Let's hope so.

The following are some of the "long CoVid" effects I have experienced or my friends have experienced.  Some effects may not always be attributed to CoVid, as we shall see.  I suspect they will find more.  If you know of some, let me know and I will expand the list:

Fatigue:  This is the biggie - sleeping for 12 hours a day or more and just being tired all the time.  Like I said, for me, every day it seems this seeps away a bit and I have more energy.   But it can really wear you down for weeks after you are "cured."  One friend of mine complained of this, but wondered whether it was from CoVid or just getting old.  That is one problem with diagnosing "Long CoVid" - people may attribute things to the disease that are actually "shit happens."

Bitchiness:  Part of fatigue is bitchiness - you are tired and not feeling well, so your tolerance for B.S. diminishes.  We both find ourselves getting mad an inanimate objects or even each other.  Damn socks won't go on my feet!  Lousy socks!

Weakness:  Many report feeling weak and having diminished muscle strength.  This hasn't hit me as much, but I do feel it a bit, particularly a couple of weeks ago.

Coughing:  I had this badly, and it only went away after I bought my second 60-pound sack of Ricola cough drops (what am I going to do with them all?).  During CoVid it was a hideous cough that started down in your lungs and was "non-productive" as it seemed nothing came up.  But a thin clear gruel of lung schmung and chunks 'o lung (apparently) did come up as the lungs try to heal themselves.  After a month, this has largely diminished for me.  According to online sources, it can go on for as long as six months for some people!  After a while, you can recognize "CoVid Cough" when you hear it from others, too!

Dizziness:  Mark has this and it isn't quite vertigo, but sudden movements of the head can make him dizzy and nauseous.  We are visiting the doctor next week to address this.  A reader tells me their friend had it so bad they could not longer drive.  Vertigo is nothing to laugh at - it can be completely debilitating for some folks.

Brain Fog:  The classic CoVid "brain fog" is walking into a room and forgetting why you went there.  I am reading a lot of comics online in the last few months where this was a theme - apparently it happens to a lot of people.  And yes, it happens to healthy people as well.  But you notice an uptick in short-term memory loss after CoVid.   What was I saying, again?  Oh, right, brain fog.  Again, is this just getting old or CoVid or both?

Dry Ears: This is  weird one and I thought it was not CoVid related.  I always have had ear wax issues (some people do, some don't) to the point where as a teenager I had to have my ears sluiced out by the school nurse with hot water.  My ears were clogged to the point I could not hear.    Since then, I have been very proactive in cleaning my ears and always it seems there is this disgusting brown wax in there.  The human body is gross!   Since CoVid, though, no wax at all.  Maybe this is a good thing?  Instead, my ears are dry - almost painfully so - and instead of wax, I get this flaky white scale instead.  I thought it was just me and I mentioned it to another CoVid survivor and they said they had the exact same thing!  So I wonder what other "long CoVid" effects there are out there that no one is connecting with CoVid - or maybe the opposite is happening and we are attributing every damn thing to CoVid?

Light Sensitivity:  Two friends report this but neither Mark or I have it (that we know of).  They have become sensitive to bright light and have to wear sunglasses more often, even.  Some complain about lights being too bright indoors. I am not sure what causes this, other then CoVid does cause micro-blood-clots and I guess if you got those in the capillaries in your eyes, it might kill off some rods or cones or something.

What is weird about these symptoms is that they are all over the map and not everyone gets any or all of them.  What is sad is that it doesn't seem we have a handle on what is causing this or how to cure it, just yet.  And some of the long CoVid symptoms - renal failure or heart attacks - can be fatal.

I kind of got angry - and then depressed - thinking of how this has affected my life.  I am sure it has knocked a year off my life expectancy and has damaged organs throughout my body.  Whether I can heal from this damage or just adapt to it, remains to be seen.

Fun stuff, but eventually I realized that it is what it is - and I have to adapt mentally to this new reality, rather than rail against it or be depressed about it.  How you react to a situation is up to you.  Life is going to have you a few shit sandwiches.  In most cases, they aren't horrific - such as for some folks who are scarred or mutilated or see friends or loved ones die horribly.  That is the reality for most of the rest of the world.  We complain when they forget to put ketchup on our cheeseburger.  Yea, I know - the outrage of it all!

So I try to put things in perspective.  I am still one of the lucky ones.  I live in a wealthy country, had an interesting job and an interesting life, a spouse who loves me, and enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life.  Most folks aren't that lucky.  CoVid happened.  Sure, I could get angry that maybe it could have been nipped in the bud earlier.  I could rail against the injustice of it all.

Or, I could just vote.  Vote for people who don't equate science with superstition.