By E. Wesley Ely
Matt Fitzgerald used to bike up and down 3,500 feet through the Santa Ana Mountains on three-hour rides just for fun. Now, nine months after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, he can’t muster walking on flat surfaces for 20 minutes without days of exhaustion.
“My long Covid life remains terrifying,” he told me. “Last weekend I washed my car, dried it, put it back in the garage. Then I got violently sick, could hardly get up to get food. I was unable to read or even call my mom. I’m a shell of myself. But my physical issues aren’t half as bad as my brain problems. It’s hard to describe. You can say brain fog, but that doesn’t come close to doing it justice.”
Another patient of mine, Barbara Nivens, was forced into early retirement as a result of long Covid. Four months after recovering from a mild case of Covid-19, “My memory began to fade,” she told me. “I struggled cognitively as a manager and then HR came after me.”