(Bloomberg Opinion) — Before he had COVID-19, Brendan Delaney, the 57-year-old chair of medical informatics and decision-making at Imperial College, could cycle 150 miles in a day. COVID changed that, but not because he had a severe case of the disease.
Delaney never got seriously ill from the virus. Like many healthy people, he figured his symptoms, a mild fever and a cough, would pass soon enough. Instead, he experienced debilitating aftereffects, such as fatigue and breathlessness, which many are now calling Long COVID. Seven months later, he is still not back to normal. He can’t imagine getting back on a bike and says that if he pushes himself too hard, he ends up in bed with a fever for a couple of days. He considers himself lucky that he’s able to work. Many other Long COVID sufferers cannot.
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As a second wave of infections grows, so it follows that the number of Long COVID cases is bound to increase. Although this clearly has implications for public health and the economy, it has been almost nowhere in the broader policy debate.