Before the pandemic, Lyth Hishmeh — a 26-year-old living in Camberley, England — was always looking for something to do. He worked as a software engineer and on the other hand researched AI in making plans to start a new company. He juggled four to five textbooks at once. “I couldn’t sit still,” he says.
It all stopped on March 13, 2020, when he was sent from work with a suspicious case Covid-19. His symptoms were mild but familiar: cough, fever, shortness of breath. Within two weeks they had settled down, so Hishmeh went to buy groceries. In the shop his heart began to pound; he felt dizzy and short of breath. “It felt like some kind of heart attack.” He ignored that and got on the bus home. But the same feeling came back again, this time burning. He stopped the bus, got off, and marked the police car before it fell to the ground. He was taken to hospital where he underwent an ultrasound indicating Covid-19 pneumonia. The consultant said he was fine and fired.
But Hishmeh was wrong. Over the next few months, he developed all the strange and debilitating symptoms that characterized the condition known as Long Covid: fog in the brain, severe fatigue, palpitations. Just going to the toilet was a pain. Hishmeh was connected to the house for months, until October 2020. In the worst days of his long Covid, he couldn’t even watch the movie to the end. He went to the emergency room more than 10 times. “I would cry and pray, ‘Just fix me – do something,'” he says.
Today, 16 months after the infection, Hishmeh may leave the house, but has not yet fully recovered. He couldn’t get back to work, and he also has new food allergies. He also has postural tachycardia syndrome, where his heart beats faster. “I’m nowhere near a full recovery,” he says. “It was so terrible that what I am now is a great progress. But this where I am now for a normal person would probably be the end of the world. ”
Hishmeh is one of the estimated millions of people around the world who have had Covid for a long time. They are stuck in a life-limiting limbo as scientists struggle to grasp the mysterious state. But as long as patients with Covid like Hishmeh continue to struggle with their illness, health authorities are grappling with some of the most basic issues about debt Covid.
To understand how much of a problem Covid has, we need to know how many people are stuck in a situation like Hishmeh’s. That number is surprisingly difficult to determine. The numbers mentioned in the media vary widely, depending on which study is cited. So what is the real number?
Some estimates have moved on the more conservative side. One study, collected as part of a study on Covid symptoms using the ZOE application by Covid researchers from King’s College London, took the study on 4 million people between March 25, 2020 and June 30, 2020. The results showed that 4.5 percent of people with Covid – 19 reported symptoms after 8 weeks, and only 2.3 percent of people after 12 weeks —a fairly low estimate. However, the study met with criticism from long-time patients with Covid and researchers. There are several reasons why this estimate could be low. First, the study most likely missed a number of long-term Covid sufferers who were too tired to regularly record all of their symptoms in the app. Also, if the patient had less than five symptoms on the last day he used the app, they were counted as recovered.