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'There’s a lot of nasty stuff': the people living with long Covid

Sufferers say they have had little specialist help despite NHS England setting up dedicated clinics.

“It’s not that I feel I have been abandoned, I think that is perfectly obvious,” says Rachel Pope. “If you speak to any long Covid patient, they have been abandoned.”

Until exactly a year ago – 5 March 2020 – Pope was “an incredibly fit woman”. A senior lecturer in European prehistory at the University of Liverpool, her work and lifestyle were very active. But after falling ill to Covid, she spent four months unable to walk, then three more when she could manage little more than “a sort of shuffle”.

She still has a host of symptoms, “but the most debilitating is the fact that I still can’t do more than 2,000 steps in a day. Until a few weeks ago, I was still choking every day. There’s a lot of nasty stuff that [long Covid sufferers] are living with, without treatment.

“It’s not a great situation to be in. I mean, we didn’t die. But this isn’t exactly living either.”

A year into the pandemic, accounts such as Pope’s have become dispiritingly familiar, as the experiences of the many thousands who have struggled for months with long Covid, often alone and unsupported, are emerging.

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Source: The Guardian, 5 March 2021


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