They are called “Long- Haulers” People who have contacted COVID and have lingering symptoms.

We at Hospice have been providing support to them. A safe place for them to talk about what they are going through.

Of course, there is a lot of talk about the physical symptoms, but they mostly talk about how their physical symptoms have affected their mindset, and how they have affected their relationships. It is quite frankly overwhelming.

The symptoms range from forgetfulness to headaches, sore eyes, chills, fevers, pain, and lack of energy. They are not as strong as they once were. The people that we have connected with are young. I am guessing in their 30’s and 40’s, but they feel like they are 100 right now.

There is a stigma associated with being a Long-Hauler. People are afraid of them. They are not contagious, but now there is fear nonetheless. They have been distanced from their families and their friends. The very people they look to for support are not there for them. It hurts.

There is pressure to get better, to go back to work, or to get a job. They try, oh God, do they try, but their bodies are not healing. Some need two naps a day, and they still sleep through the night.

There is so much uncertainty. No one knows what the outcome will be, there is no timeline on getting better, and the symptoms come and go. One step forward, two steps back, they are frustrated and feel like their bodies have betrayed them.

If you, or someone you know is struggling with lasting symptoms of COVID, let them know that Hospice is here for them. We hope to start a support group so that they can support each other. Call us at 250-563-2551 or email us at info@hospiceprincegeorge.ca.

I realize that this might be hard to read. Sometimes reality is hard. It’s essential that we have a bit of an understanding of what they are going through to foster compassion. Long-Haulers are struggling, and very often they are struggling alone.

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs