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Lost at Sea With Long COVID

I sit here feeling a mix of emotions regarding the current state of society, the still active pandemic, and the ways in which my body and the bodies of millions of other #LongHaulers just like me - and millions of others (for decades long before) suffering from #postviral#chronicillness - have become a roadmap to the ways in which we’ve gone astray in our evolution, including our capacity for altruistic love and compassion (without a self-serving need or gain).

My body still recovering from an evening of seizures? A reflection of the unstable feeling everyone has daily, wondering what this new day in pandemic land will bring. My heart that beats abnormally slow as I sip my morning ginger tea, attempting to bring circulation back into my extremities? A reflection of the compassion-fatigued hearts of many carrying the emotional labor of maintaining what’s best for the most vulnerable in their communities since Day 1. The blurred vision that can never adjust into focus? A reflection of the lacking focus of our friends, family, neighbors, employers, and governments surrounding the simple ways in which we can end this pandemic. The medical trauma that takes residence in the crevices of my brain, resurfacing with triggers that I’m still learning to identify? A reflection of the collective hardships faced and immense loss and trauma that every single feeling, thinking human carries within, only to surface when they feel safe to do so, which is more often an ‘if’ then a ‘when’ in these modern times, since emotional safety seems to be a scarce commodity.

There are 2 paths ahead that are clear to the forward-thinking traveler, reviewing the roadmap that is our intimate expertise on this (and other) viruses: either acknowledge the seriousness of and medical innovation needed for infection-initiated chronic illnesses, ceasing the privileged-based biases and doubt, or ignore the reality and continue this recurring cycle of mass pain, trauma and loss for decades more.

This shouldn’t be a difficult choice, but most importantly, it shouldn’t be one made out of mere optics or lacking passion. As the Dalai Lama once said, “it is not enough to be compassionate – you must act."


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