Patty Rumpza is one of five people sharing stories of their coronavirus recovery issues with The Reporters Inc.

Some COVID-19 survivors fear life, and their health, will never be the same after contracting the virus.

Cured? Hardly.

Sufferers Say COVID Is Unpredictable, Freakish, Lingering and Recurrent

Some COVID-19 survivors fear life, and their health, will never be the same after contracting the virus.

October 2020

BY KIM WHITING

Just days after his symptoms began, Donald Trump is reporting that he “feels great” and is “cured.” I said the same thing after my COVID symptoms subsided, as did others interviewed for this article.

But it turns out we spoke too soon.

The following five people (including me) and their families (ages 16 to 97) had COVID symptoms ranging from asymptomatic to critical. Some later died. Their experiences highlight the incredibly unpredictable, freakish, recurrent and lingering nature of this virus. For many, it’s hard to know what to expect from one day to the next after COVID, or if they’ll ever fully recover.’

PATTY RUMPZA

I’m 58-years-old, single, and have been a minister for more than 20 years. I’m overweight, but had a physical this past February and it was all good. I’m healthy. As a routine, I walk about four miles, several times a week. I rarely get sick.

I traveled to India for a conference on February 14 (returning March 6) and may have contracted the virus while traveling.

Symptoms: On March 12, I felt extreme fatigue. I was trying to walk my dog and it was kicking my butt. Later that day I got big body aches. The next day I had a fever that sat at around 103.7 for three days. For just one day I had a slight cough, then my fever broke and by that, I mean that it went from 103 to 99, which my doctor told me wasn’t a fever and everything else went away. Apart from fatigue, I was okay at that point. Some days I felt good or even great. When I first went to the doctor, COVID tests weren’t readily given or available. I wasn’t able to get tested until March 19, and even though my symptoms were mostly gone by then, I did still test positive.

Lingering and Recurring Effects: After three weeks of quarantining in a bedroom, I noticed that my eyesight was bad. It was blurry and I couldn’t see through my contacts. My eyes were constantly bloodshot. I went to my eye doctor who said that my eyesight had indeed significantly declined since my previous appointment, just two months prior.

Two months after my symptoms had started, I hadn’t fully gotten my energy back and my mood began to be affected. I became very short-fused and angry and I’m normally mellow and light-hearted. It was actually an old friend who noticed the change in my mood. I still had a temperature around 99, but I called the doctor and she kept telling me that a temperature of 99 didn’t qualify as a fever and not to worry.

I started having all kinds of additional, weird symptoms and began to feel kind of crazy. Each day, my temperature rose around 10 am and stayed high until about 6 pm. After I told my doctor this, she finally got concerned. I would get super bloated from anything, even drinking water. I started feeling depressed. I lost my balance and dropped things constantly. I didn0’t associate any of this with COVID; I just thought, “Wow, I never used to be this clumsy, or this easily bloated.”

The third month, June, was really bad. My anger got worse. The smallest thing would make me want to bite someone’s head off. My friends really noticed the difference. They chalked it off to stress, but I’ve been a minister and spiritual counselor for two decades. I know how to deal with stress. My life was actually less stressful than normal. I had left ministering a church and was in the middle of a several-month break, in which I was traveling and visiting friends and family, before taking a low-key job with my brother-in-law. Logistically, it was a relaxed and happy time, at least until I developed symptoms that concerned me.

My eyesight continued to get worse and I was getting really worried. My friend in the medical profession heard about my bloodshot eyes and said it made sense that the capillaries in my eyes had been attacked by the virus. I got tested for COVID again, and yet again, thinking maybe the virus was still active or I had gotten reinfected, but was negative.

By month four, I started feeling quite a bit better, but two months later, at the beginning of month six, my fever started going up to over 100 again, my brain stopped functioning. I couldn’t find words and I’m known as someone who does Sunday talks without notes. I became even more depressed, to the point that my goal is just to make it through that day and then the next. The doctor said that viruses can affect the psycho-immune system and that other people who’ve had COVID were complaining of the same issues. He said it can take up to a year for the body and nervous system to heal. This helped me not feel crazy. He said he could put me on steroids, but because my symptoms were comparatively mild, he didn’t want me to feel worse because of side effects.

This past week, I’ve felt worse than I have since the first three days of COVID. This has me a little freaked out. I don’t have anybody except me taking care of me and I’m living off my savings. And now I’m worried that I’m going to lose my healthcare if the Affordable Healthcare Act is repealed, and that I’ll have a pre-existing condition for life. I’ve spent a lot of money on getting better, so it’s disheartening to feel worse all of a sudden.

I found this COVID-19 support group on Facebook that had 3,000 people when I joined. I cried when I read their posts because I realized what I was going through was real and that it was because of COVID. I felt validated. I also discovered that I wasn’t anywhere near as sick as most of the other people in that group.

I have used natural remedies like supplements (though they don’t seem to be helping me as much now) and energy medicine. I went to a psychotherapist. I had my DNA tested and had natural remedies custom made for me, and I’ve meditated and prayed. I think all of these things have helped.

And YET, I’ve never been this sick, so it’s been really hard. I’m still clumsy, can’t see well, my brain is foggy and I’m often so tired. I’m not used to not having energy and there’s no pushing through it. I used to work 12-14 hour days and now I can maybe work four. I can’t do the things I want to do. Some days I can barely walk across the house. Thank God my brother-in-law lets me do office work part-time from home or I wouldn’t have an income right now. And again, I’m my sole provider.

People need to understood that death isn’t the only negative side effect of COVID. Studies are coming out that show that many people’s lungs, hearts, energy and brain function are affected months after symptoms go away, even in mild or asymptomatic cases. And there is a potential long-term economic impact as well, if the aftermath of COVID prevents people (like me) from working.

 

TONY GREEN

I’m 43-years-old and I had been diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic about a week before contracting the virus. I have very seldom ever gotten sick. l only remember getting the flu once as a teen.

In June, my partner and I had been hunkered down during the lockdown in Texas for a couple months. When the governor started opening things up, I began viewing COVID as a “nothing sandwich.” No one I knew across the whole country had gotten it and it just didn’t seem to be living up to the magnitude of what they said was going to happen. I thought we were out of the woods. My mom and dad came to visit on June 15, as did my mother-in-law and father-in-law. I am extremely close with them and normally see them weekly, but hadn’t seen them for two months. None of us had symptoms at that point.

The day after our get-together I felt icky, but I just thought it was because I hadn’t slept well the night before. Doctors say the incubation period for COVID is normally two to six days and, within 48 hours (we would later learn after testing positive), all six of us had it.

My father-in-law and mother-in-law, meantime, had travelled to Austin to be with one of their daughters who was giving birth to their first child. My father-in-law wasn’t feeling well when they got there, and this was noticeable because he never gets sick. He went to a pharmacy for a quick check-up and they told him he was having an allergic reaction to something. He wondered if it was COVID and asked for a test, but the staff dismissed him.

We believe my father-in-law then contaminated his daughter’s household right after the birth of the baby. The newborn’s parents both contracted the virus and quarantined themselves, but they still had to care for the infant, without outside assistance. Thankfully (miraculously!) the baby did not become infected as well.

The family is Hispanic and very close. My father-in-law’s mother (age 69) was also there and she got sick, too, passing the virus on to others in the family. Soon, 14 of us had it (everyone ultimately tested positive), ages 26 to 76.

Symptoms: My mother-in-law was asymptomatic. My partner had dry mouth and lost his sense of taste, but that’s it.

My fever only went as high as 100.5, but I had severe sweats where I’d be drenched, and I’ve never been much of a sweater. I didn’t lose my sense of taste or smell or have much of a cough. My body sort of vibrated internally all the time for several days. I was very dizzy and felt like I was looking at the world through a fishbowl.

After several days, my symptoms dissipated and I felt good. I did things around the house and got back into my routine. On June 24, the third day into feeling better, I suddenly lost control of my body going up the stairs and did a face plant. It was bizarre and scary. I tried to blow it off, but my partner insisted I go to the hospital, and then I blacked out.

I woke up in the ER with an audience of medical professionals watching me like a lab experiment. The virus had attacked my nervous system and they believe they saved me from having a stroke. I was in the hospital for four days, but felt fine after that. Strangely, no one seemed to have any helpful recovery or care information for me and it didn’t seem like they were doing much to rectify that issue. I did get a shot to help prevent blood clots.

My father-in-law was hospitalized the same day, after he too blacked out and lost control of his body. He was extremely sick. He’d been halfway through a prescription for Hydroxychloroquine when his eyes rolled back in his head and he went unconscious.

I assume that he learned about Hydroxychloroquine from watching Donald Trump talk about it, and requested it because he was desperate and didn’t see any other options. The doctor told him Hydroxychloroquine wouldn’t be beneficial, because (at least this is my understanding after talking with the doctor afterward) Hydroxychloroquine is a combination of drugs, and with his type 2 diabetes, he couldn’t take all the ingredients. At the time the doctor kept trying to get him to go to the hospital instead, but my father-in-law didn’t have health insurance, so he didn’t want to go.

After he passed out though, family members took him to the ER and medical staff were able to revive him. He called me the next day from the ICU and said, “Holy smokes I think I almost died.” He asked where I was and it turned out that we were at the same hospital.

My partner’s grandmother had already been in and out of the hospital as well, and then she was admitted again, so all three of us were there. I was released June 27, after I asked if it was okay if I went home. I felt fine so they gave me a second COVID test and this one came out negative, and they told me I was free to go.

It didn’t make sense to me that my father-in-law was still hospitalized. He said he felt good, was sitting in a chair, emailing, calling, etc. His voice was a little weak, but that was it. On July 2, we got word that his mom (my partner’s grandma) had died.

Just shy of her 70th birthday, she had retired only two months before. She ended up on a ventilator and didn’t make it. After she died and her body was taken away, my father-in-law learned that she had been in the room right next to him that whole time, but they never told him. He missed out on the chance to tell her goodbye.

Apart from grieving for his mom, by this point he was feeling great; he was joking and laughing and his voice was strong. On July 9, he called to tell me that the hospital was planning to release him in a couple days. Two days later, however, he relapsed and was put on a ventilator, too. One of his lungs completely collapsed and doctors couldn’t stop the fluid that was building up inside the other.

He didn’t make it.

Lingering and Recurring Effects: I had extreme fatigue for about a month, but now, four months later, my energy is pretty good. Still, I continue to sweat a lot, dripping sweat, and as I said, I’ve never been a sweater. I have high blood pressure for the first time ever. I’ve lost weight in recent months, so I should have lower blood pressure than I did before COVID, not higher. I get vertigo or dizziness when I move too quickly. I have some brain fog and if I try to do too many things, I forget everything on the list.

I feel guilty that of the three of us that were hospitalized, I was the only one who survived. I’ve had panic attacks. I’ve felt out of control, and have had to come to terms with losing people I was extremely close to. I feel the fragility of life.

My father-in-law’s bills crested to more than $2 million and, again, he didn’t have health insurance. Or life insurance. Ventilators cost about $75,000 a day. We don’t know how those bills are going to be paid. COVID has decimated our family. We all continue to feel its devastation and, for me, its lingering health effects.

I don’t want anyone to have to go through this, ever. I hate that we need to wear masks and social distance, but now I recognize the importance of it. Being dismissive about this can lead to the disasters and loss that my family has experienced. Yet I tell my friends this and some of them still aren’t listening. I truly believe it’s just a matter of time before they’ll contract it as well – a matter of when they’ll get it, not if they’ll get it. And this is a big worry for me.

I’m anxious about the president because he’s right back to work and claims to be feeling fine. That’s how my father-in-law was and we buried him three days later. That’s how I was, and my central nervous system got attacked three days later.

It seems like the government, from top to bottom, really dropped the ball on this, and maybe never had the ball in the first place. I voted for Trump and I blame him in part, enough that it affects my opinion of him.

 

JEREMY LAPE

I’m 62-years-old, fat, and intermittently asthmatic, with high blood pressure. I quit work four years ago to take care of my 97-year-old mother after she spent 85 days in the hospital due to a fall and lost her mobility.

Symptoms: I’m almost positive I contracted COVID at a poker tournament in my town of Sequim, Washington on February 29. I later found out that a man who had traveled from Seattle to participate in the tournament had it, but he didn’t know it yet, obviously. We weren’t worried about COVID then, as it hadn’t yet become a problem even in Seattle.

Although I hadn’t been tested yet, I’m certain I then infected my mom. That was horrible, but she only had 12 days of symptoms and her symptoms were relatively mild. She was born and raised in the mountains of Montana, so she was raised heartily and never took a sick day her entire life. Even though she’s almost 100, it didn’t surprise me that she didn’t get that sick.

I’m also fairly sure I infected another family member (she’s in the under-40 age range) when I first developed a dry cough, and she then gave it to her husband. They weren’t hospitalized, but they had cases that were even worse than mine.

The requirements determining who could get the COVID test were initially too strict for me to qualify. Three weeks later the rules changed and, by that time, my symptoms were so bad that I could barely drive myself to the clinic for the test. When I tested positive, the only advice I was given by the healthcare provider was to keep treating the fever and stay hydrated.

I developed a high fever and a cough that morphed from dry to something akin to breathing fire. I felt like I was suffocating. I ordered a pulse oximeter (a gadget you can get at any drug store, that you put on your finger to measure your blood oxygen) and my blood oxygen measured most days in the low 90s or high 80s. Yet at one point I was at 72 percent blood oxygen and used my mom’s oxygen concentrator (a device that pulls oxygen from the air so that you inhale more O2 when you breathe), which I think kept me from needing to go to the hospital. I also used a steroid inhaler, which I had on hand because of my asthma. The aches and pains were so bad that I felt like I had been run over by a freight train.

I felt like I was suffocating for six long weeks and, during that time, I was also profoundly weak. Yet I still needed to care for my mom. Before COVID, we’d had someone come to the house to help, which allowed me a break for grocery shopping or a walk. But once we became infected, we obviously Couldn’t have the helper in our home anymore. My friends assisted by bringing over food and groceries, but it was rough. Each day I had to lift my mom from her kitchen chair to her recliner, or from her bed to the toilet. I was barely able to do it. It took everything I had.

I knew I had lost my sense of smell when I cleaned my mom’s messy pants and realized I Couldn’t smell it.

About two weeks after my symptoms started, I began having severe diarrhea and vomiting, sometimes simultaneously, along with intense cramping.

Tests from my doctor showed that my white blood count was super high and my hemoglobin was really low. COVID really is a blood/vascular disease. I had blood pressure that was so high that at times I doubled up on my blood pressure medicine. My headaches were bad, but not as terrible as the rest of my symptoms. All in all, I was a zombie for 40 days.

Toward the last week of regular symptoms, I’d have a good day and mow the lawn but then be leveled again for a couple of days. I was really klutzy. My spacial awareness and hand-eye dexterity were compromised. A man in a support group on Facebook called Survivor Corps coined the term “COVID Klutziness,” and there are many in the group who say they’ve experienced it.

Lingering and Recurring Effects: Intestinal issues are what I’ve suffered the most and (208 days after my symptoms began) they are still with me, to the point that I’ve lost 30 pounds because of them.

My recovery has been up and down for seven months. In general, it’s harder than usual for me to remember a task or event, and I’m fatigued. And like I said, I still have the intestinal issues that came back with a vengeance a month ago. I also now have pre-diabetic symptoms, which might mean that my pancreas was damaged. The “COVID Klutziness” continues to plague me, affecting my ability to hold things and perform some tasks. My blood oxygen still drops into the high 80s on really rough days. I’m still listless, fatigued, and brain-fogged.

My mom, on the other hand, is doing great. She’s disgustingly healthy. COVID is so unpredictable.

Survivor Corps has more than 100,000 members on Facebook. The group helped me feel like I Wasn’t a wuss or crazy. All these things I’ve experienced, hundreds if not thousands of other people in that group have experienced too. I’ve been really hard on myself for not being productive this year; I’m a whirling dervish getting things done when I feel well, but I pay for it afterwards now, sometimes not being able to do anything for days afterward. The group has helped me feel better about myself and my lack of productivity. Discovering that others are experiencing the same things has been very helpful. Peace of mind counts for so much when it comes to health.

Bottom line: I feel like I’ve had a close encounter with death and am so fortunate that I didn’t land in a hospital on a ventilator. I’m grateful that COVID didn’t kill me, or my mom.

 

FELICIA JONES

I’m 62 years old and have an autoimmune disease that causes me to be fatigued, but am otherwise healthy.

Symptoms: We assume my husband Greg contracted COVID late December of 2019, from the University of Washington Medical Center, where he works. Everyone thought a “cold” was going around his department at the time. Greg passed it to my son Quinton and me, and we all developed symptoms within a few days of each other.

Greg got so sick and coughed so hard that he ended up breaking two ribs. He went to his primary doctor and was examined for various forms of the flu, and tested negative. This was all before we knew that COVID was in the U.S. At that point, Greg was given a stronger asthma medicine and told his ribs would heal in time. Besides the severe cough, Greg had a fever, and congestion in his sinuses and lungs.

I had symptoms of a regular cold, starting with a sore throat that lasted maybe eight hours. I also had lots of mucous in my nose, a cough, I was a bit headachy, had body aches, I was more fatigued than usual, and maybe had a bit of a fever. I had a little congestion in my chest as well.

My son Quinton had very mild symptoms; he was a bit fatigued and stuffy.

Lingering and Recurring Effects: Greg’s primary symptoms lasted about two weeks. By the time he went to the doctor on January 12, he was on the mend. (He had a test that showed he had produced COVID antibodies.) For Quinton and me, the symptoms lasted several days.

Greg was told that his lungs were probably scarred, since he had pre-existing asthma. He has needed to use his inhaler more frequently, but has been able to decrease its usage over what’s been, so far, a nine-month recovery period. It’s hard to tell with my son and me. My son has battled migraines and a general malaise since COVID, which could be a result of having the virus. The National Headache Foundation reports a connection between COVID and Migraines. I already had an autoimmune disease with a fatigue component, but I do feel even less able to function, physically and mentally, since having it, even nine months later.

I’m amazed at who seems to get really sick and who doesn’t. My mother, who is almost 86, has many pre-existing conditions (including heart problems, high blood pressure, Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s) recently tested positive for COVID in the facility she’s in, but has ridden it out with minimal problems. She had a fever for a few days, and some aches and pains, but after just a week and a half she seems to be perking up now.

It seems like it’s almost chance, in terms of who develops a mild case, who suffers from it, and who dies from COVID. It also seems random as to how long people’s symptoms last, whether they reoccur, or whether new symptoms emerge.

There’s so much unknown about this virus, and it’s very clear to me that the government’s failure to prepare, act swiftly, and get the whole country behind wearing masks and socially distancing has caused people, not only to die, but to suffer these potentially long-term effects of this virus.

 

KIM WHITING

I saved myself for last. I just turned 56 and, for 20 years, I’ve endured adrenal fatigue (that got worse after giving birth to twins 16 years ago). Adrenal fatigue makes me chronically more tired than one should be, and more easily worn out. I’m also overweight. Nonetheless, my annual physicals show me to be in otherwise good health. I exercise daily, so my respiratory and cardiovascular health are good; I have a normal resting heart rate of 54, which means that my heart and circulation are strong, and blood oxygen of 99 percent, which means that my cardio-pulmonary health is good. Because of this, I figured if I did get COVID it’d be a very mild case, and this proved to be true.

Sort of.

Symptoms: I contracted COVID in early September from my daughter Eliza (age 16), who got it from her very close friend, who in turn became infected from another good friend. We are sure this was the course of infection, as we had been keeping social contact to a minimum, and hadn’t been around any other people for two weeks. Eliza and her friend spent one hour together in her friend’s house without masks, and even though they kept their distance, it apparently Wasn’t enough. Eliza transmitted it to me before we found out that she’d been exposed to COVID, and before she had any symptoms.

Our family of four got tested after we learned that Eliza’s friend had COVID. Only Eliza tested positive that day, but the day after I tested negative, I developed what I soon confirmed (with a subsequent positive test) were COVID symptoms. They started with scratchy, irritated eyes, then a scratchy, slightly sore throat. They morphed into the typical symptoms of a mild cold/flu: a little nasal congestion, a fever that went only as high as 100.7, and some chills.

The second day I had occasional body pain that was different from the achiness of a flu. It was more muscular pain and it hurt enough that it was hard to sleep or even rest unless I took a Tylenol. My hands and feet were also really cold, which told me that my circulation Wasn’t good. I also lost my sense of smell/taste on the second day. I had a chemical scent in my nostrils that was like ammonia, and it slightly burned. My daughter and her friend said they experienced the same bizarre thing.

In fact, my daughter and I had the same exact symptoms, for the same three-day duration. My husband and son never contracted the virus, which we attribute to the fact Eliza and I stuck mostly to bedrooms and all of us always wore masks.

I only had a slight cough at this point and didn’t notice any tightness in my lungs. By the second day of symptoms I felt a little euphoric ‘pumped’ was how I described it at the time. My daughter experienced the same thing and we thought it was because (being somewhat reclusive people) we were loving the fact that we had to stay by ourselves all day and read or watch movies. By the third day of symptoms, I texted friends saying, ‘Having COVID is pretty awesome!’ Eliza and I continued to feel this way for a few days after our symptoms went away, and I later learned from a friend who is a physician assistant that this energy and euphoria often occurs because the body responds to the virus with endorphins that make us feel good.

After three days, my temperature went back to normal and except for feeling extra fatigued and a little ‘off,’ I thought, ‘Hurray I got through COVID!’ Eliza experienced the same.

Lingering and Recurring effects: Eliza felt completely fine a week after her symptoms went away, and has continued to feel good ever since.

For a week after my symptoms waned, and after several days of feeling ‘pumped’ by endorphins, I continued to feel better each day as well. But I was still fatigued and easily worn out (more so than I had previously been with my pre-existing adrenal fatigue) and this was a little discouraging.

Eleven days after the onset of my symptoms, the day that the Department of Health gave me approval to end my quarantine, I felt good enough to go for a bike ride. Or so I thought. The day before, I’d started to feel a little tightness in my chest and had an intermittent dry cough. Because I’d already gone through COVID, I assumed it was just allergies. But by the last mile of the bike ride, my lungs were tight and burning and my cough was pretty persistent. I was so exhausted afterward that I could barely get out of bed the rest of the day, and days afterward.

I did some research about exercising after COVID, because I worried that I might’ve damaged my lungs by exercising too hard and too soon. The studies I read didn’t directly reveal that exercise causes more damage, but they did indicate that COVID can cause serious issues. In a recent German study of 100 people who tested positive for COVID, 78 people had heart abnormalities two to three months after their symptoms went away.

Two dozen Ohio State University students underwent medical assessment after having COVID and 15 percent were found to have swelling of the heart (which can cause instant death). Thirty percent developed other heart abnormalities. John Swartzberg, a clinical professor of infectious diseases at UC Berkeley, has found that a significant number of people who’ve endured COVID are dealing with issues like scarred lungs, a swollen brain, damaged kidneys, an impaired nervous system, and blood clotting, even if they’ve had few or no COVID symptoms.

Yikes. Not good news.

But one of those studies also reported that about half of the people examined showed significant improvement in their lungs, hearts and/or brains within three months. I plan to be one of them.

I didn’t initially go to a doctor for the tightness in my chest or my cough because I assumed I simply had to let my lungs heal. About two and a half weeks after the bike ride, on October 3, I was still exhausted, coughing, and tight-chested, and I finally felt desperate enough to seek medical help. I was told that I had developed bronchitis, which the doctor said is a common byproduct of COVID and other respiratory illnesses.

I was prescribed Prednisone, a steroid that lowers the body’s immune response to illness, which then lessens inflammation (in this case, in my lungs). Like Trump (who was reportedly prescribed a different steroid, Dexamethasone), I felt great for the six days I was on the steroid, even better than I felt before COVID. I finished the prescription on October 10, and I assume the extra energy, stamina and even clarity of mind I’ve had while on Prednisone is masking my true energy level and mental acuity. (My doctor says Prednisone is known to increase energy, to the point of insomnia, and it regulates dopamine and serotonin, our ‘feel good’ hormones. Because of this, people on Prednisone often feel great when taking it short-term, but can develop serious problems using it over longer periods of time.)

I can only assume that this might be the case for the president, as well. For the three weeks before I began taking steroids, I had some good days, some okay days, and some days where I Couldn’t do much of anything. My brain was a little sluggish and dull, and for two days (pre-steroids) I felt so confused and disoriented that I even drove the wrong way to destinations that are part of my normal routine. I avoided making plans because I didn’t know if I’d feel up for them when the time came, and didn’t want to have to cancel.

Steroids aside, the worst part of this whole ordeal has been not knowing if I’m ever going to feel completely better, or if, like some others who have had COVID, I’ll get worse again. I have a couple temporary jobs lined up that require some physical stamina and mental acuity, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to do them. Luckily, my husband is our family’s primary breadwinner and provides our health insurance, so we’re not at risk of financial difficulties because of my lowered productivity. I also worry about this being designated a pre-existing condition, and affecting my ability to get insurance down the line.

With almost eight million confirmed cases of COVID in the U.S. as of early October, I worry how lingering and reoccurring effects of COVID will impact our nation (and our world), socially, economically and even in terms of morale. With each new study, it’s becoming apparent that for some (if not many), COVID isn’t a “have it and be done with it” kind of illness.

I’m also very concerned about how COVID will affect (or is already affecting) Trump’s physical, cognitive and emotional health. And how, in turn, these effects are influencing his decision-making and governance.

I’m concerned, period, and I hope more people will heed the medical experts’ advice to wear masks and socially distance. This isn’t only about who lives or dies, this is about a condition that can plague a person for months or, we may ultimately discover, even for life.
For our country to be healthy and strong, our people need to be healthy and strong.

 

Kim Whiting is a Reporters Inc. Board Member. You can read more about her on our Team page. She can be reached, at

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