top of page

Chronic Illness Patients Are Canaries in the Coal Mine

“If you’re a canary then I’m a canary!” That’s what Gosling said to McAdams in The Notebook right?🤪

But all joking aside, with Long COVID prevalence as high as 65% and as low as 30% (of survivors), it’s not that far off base, considering that 1 in 2 or even 1 in 3 develop #LongCovid.

This analogy (that of being a canary in a coal mine) was brilliantly mentioned by a friend, and it’s one that I can’t stop thinking about.

We’ve been chirping from our cages for almost 2 years, warning everyone around us of the threat that we were/are living, and yet still so many refuse to acknowledge. And before March 2020? The #MECFS, #ChronicLyme and entire #PostViral community was chirping from their cages, pleading with others to hear their cries and take heed for their lives.

But we all chose to muffle the sound and put a blanket over the cages, as the canaries banged against the sides and tried desperately to use their lives to warn. Inform.

When will it stop? When will listening to patients and those with lived experience, sharing from a place of education, transparency and compassion, be valued instead of silenced? Supported instead of shunned?

When will we see that those who chirp the loudest are not chirping for attention for themselves, but instead attention towards a cause much bigger than themselves? When will we see the canary as the tragic blessing that it is, supporting via love and selflessness?

When will we understand that miners brought the canaries into the mine (made them ill via community spread, or made them at greater risk due to healthcare and systemic inequities and biases) and that their songs are vital?

When will we respect that their songs are to be listened to, instead of doubted or muted?

We clearly succumbed (and are still succumbing) to the dangers in the mine with COVID, despite us chirping canaries stressing the long term complications and illness.

And why are we still chirping? Because the danger is far from gone, and unlike the coal mine company, seeking profits from its staff regardless of safety, we legitimately want you to make it out of the mine alive and without chronic illness and disability.

We want you to be informed.🐥

bottom of page