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University of Nebraska Medical Center

Long COVID Persists as a Mass Disabling Event


The latest CDC data on long COVID in U.S. adults and an alarming World Health Organization (WHO) statement about its long-term impact underscore the pandemic’s lingering and debilitating effects. Like the satirical film “Don’t Look Up,” in which scientists couldn’t focus media or politicians on the climate crisis, most Americans are content to avert their eyes from the long COVID crisis. Meanwhile, the millions now missing from public life because of it have no choice but to stare down the gamut of its sweeping sequelae.

As an NIH-funded researcher, I study child feeding and sleep, and co-direct the University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. For years I have been an ally to families who have advocated for individuals with disabilities. As a mother, I’ve now become an advocate and supporter for my daughter as she fights a daily unseen battle and continues to struggle with long COVID, 3 years after contracting the SARS-COV-2 virus. In fact, the average person loses 21% of their health while living with long COVID — equivalent to traumatic brain injury.

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