If you had to take time off from work to recuperate from the vaccine: you can relate to Long COVID.
If you had muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, or any side effect that made it hard to function: you can relate to Long COVID.
If you felt concerned because you didn’t know what your body would do next as a result of the vaccine: you can relate to Long COVID.
If you’ve taken to social media to share your side effects, how scary they felt, or demanded the public be aware (I’m looking at you, temporary menstrual side effect crusaders): you can relate to Long COVID (although imagine it lasting every menstrual cycle for years: much more alarming, right?).
And while technically anyone that’s had a debilitating illness that’s lasted more than a few days can relate to Long COVID (not the magnitude of organ damage and severity, but at least to the physical and emotional pains and life disruption), pre-COVID vaccines, this was a common thought process for those who refused to recognize or share the pleas of #longhauler patients.
“I can’t relate so I won’t speak about it to others.”
But that excuse is gone.
Even if you’ve never had #covid or did but (via luck) felt nothing, you now know - at a tiny level, and thanks to the vaccine - what the spike protein feels like in your body, even if just for a day.
The vaccine offers a fleeting crash course on COVID within the body. It works by triggering receptors on our immune cells, resulting in side effects, and later, immunological protection.
So to those that have talked about their vaccine effects but aren’t reflecting what those effects would feel like daily for years (magnified by severity and multiplied across the body), the problem isn’t that you can’t relate, it’s that you won’t attempt to empathetically relate.
Which is a testament to why we’re still battling viral spread and so few hearing the warnings of Long COVID patients.
Empathy (not sympathy) is the antidote that we all hold but so few choose to use, but like vaccines, it can help us win this war.