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People Need to Stop Freaking Out About 'Long COVID'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

I'm not saying it's fake, folks. "Long COVID" is a thing. I had a family member who lost taste and smell for months, but we're missing the point here. People who have "long COVID" are alive. They're not dead. Isn't that the good news? Having mild symptoms post-infection for months or weeks is better than death. I don't know—that's just me. I'm not a medical expert, but being alive is better than dead, right? It glosses over the fact that COVID is a virus with a 99 percent survival rate. It glosses over the fact that we have three safe and effective vaccines for anyone who chooses to take them. We have therapeutics. We have nasal sprays in the works to help prevent infection for up to eight hours. Merck has a pill that helps manage symptoms. We have monoclonal antibodies now. We have an arsenal, and it will only get better on that front as COVID becomes endemic. Instead, as Omicron has become a milder version of COVID, the media and the panic porn makers are going to focus on "long COVID" to keep us afraid. 

It's not going to work. Well, it will work for the morons who wear space suits outside. For the rest of us who understand what's going on, COVID is now a virus we'll have to face every year until the end of human civilization. Omicron presents a danger no different from any other airborne pathogen we face daily, especially in the winter. That's The New York Times saying that. It's a milder infection, hospitalizations are not as high, and stays are not as long for patients as we saw with previous waves. Deaths are not going to be as high either. It is more contagious. The vaccinated and unvaccinated can contract it, but we have treatments available now. The truth is everyone is going to get infected. For some, it may be not now or even in the next decade, but if humanity continues to exist, so will COVID, and the risk of infection will always present itself in the same fashion as the flu or the common cold.

Bits and pieces of this sort of panic porn were present pre-vaccine regarding "long COVID." There are folks who have yet to recover weeks or even months after initial infection, people having trouble with balancing and having other severe cognitive issues were also reported. This is serious, but it's not most of those post-infection. It's not even the most common symptom of "long COVID." Again, these people survived, and they will receive treatment to manage their symptoms in due time.

What's telling is how the medical expert community always tries to downplay the mild aspects of Omicron. One doctor on CNN was quite explicit about this while tossing the fear of "long COVID" as a reason to hide in the bunker. And then there's Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who posted this on her Instagram post-infection: 

Got COVID, probably omicron. As of today I am thankfully recovered and wrapping up quarantine, but COVID was no joke. For a while I’ve noted the term “mild” is misleading when the bar is hospitalization and death. Even “mild” cases can result in long COVID, which includes a range of conditions like cognitive impairment, POTS, & chronic fatigue. This isn’t to be a downer or induce fear, just a reminder that we need to be careful (N95s in crowded indoor spaces like stores) and if you do get it, it’s key to care for yourself and REST. The idea of forcing people to work just 5 days after symptoms start is sociopathic and 100% informed by a culture that accepts sacrificing human lives for profit margins as a fair trade. The good news is that we have an antidote: community.
 If you’ve noticed, much of the emphasis of media conversations on COVID are individualistic: wear a mask, get vaccinated to protect *yourself,* go back to work even w/ symptoms bc *you’re* “fine” (even if you’re not). And while some of these recommendations are good- like getting a vaccine + wearing masks where appropriate, the motivations for them shouldn’t just be selfish. It should also be bc we actually give a damn about other people - our disabled neighbors, our coworkers who haven’t said (and shouldn’t feel obligated to say) they’re immunocompromised, etc.
 It’s truly bizarre to me that giving a shit about other people is a polarizing political stance, but my dad used to say that life makes you repeat lessons until you learn them. And if there’s one lesson I think we as a country are repeating until we learn, it’s that community and collective good is our best shot through our greatest challenges - way more than discorded acts of “rugged individualism” and the bootstrap propaganda we’ve been spoon-fed since birth.
 Individualism is inadequate for planetary forces like climate change or global pandemics, no less societal ones like healthcare, economic inequity and racism. But WE, as a collective, can confront them. In a world of MEs, let’s build team WE. ??
 Anyways that’s enough for today, stay healthy and blessed and let’s keep building.
 Love & solidarity, aoc

"This isn't to be a downer or induce fear," she says. Too late—she already cast doubt on the mildness of the infection. She's obviously fine and well after her trip to Florida, where she contracted the virus. And notice how she uses the virus to plea for her socialist agenda. Lady, the government can't even obtain tests and distribute them to families correctly. It'll take 7-12 days—so after the virus has burned through everyone. Also, she finds the new CDC guidelines as a symptom of the ills of capitalism. The virus isn't that deadly to most people.

So, when this game gets going, and it will because as soon as we pass peak Omicron, this fear strategy will probably be deployed, don't buy the doomsday antics surrounding "long COVID." These people are alive. We can manage the symptoms. It's time to get on with our lives. Again, everyone is going to get COVID during their lifetime. It may even happen multiple times. EVERYONE is going to get it. End the mask mandates. End the COVID vaccine passports. End the vaccine mandates. Reopen schools. And ignore Dr. Fauci at all costs. The left, the media, and the rest of the Democrats want one last go of it regarding COVID to blunt the impact of the 2022 midterms that increasingly look devastating for liberals. Don't let them succeed.

"Long COVID" is not a story. People getting COVID is not a story. This virus' shelf life within the breaking news orbit is over. Frankly, doesn't "long COVID" sound like that fugazi "restless leg syndrome?"

Here are the most common "long COVID" symptoms, by the way: 

  • extreme tiredness
  • shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain or tightness
  • problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
  • changes to taste and smell
  • joint pain

Yeah, this party is over. It should have been folded up months ago. 


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