One of the most troubling aspects of the COVID 19 pandemic is the increasing number of people who continue to struggle with symptoms of Long COVID 19. According to a recent Maclean’sarticle: “conservative estimates suggest that about 10 percent of Canadians who contract COVID 19 will suffer prolonged symptoms,” while other reports suggest the number is closer to one in three. According to statistics, there are approximately 1.7 million Canadians who have recovered from COVID 19 which translates to between 170,000 and half a million people who may be dealing with Long COVID 19 symptoms. Dr. Angela Cheung, a clinician-researcher at University Health Network who is studying Long COVID 19 says it’s scary for those with debilitating symptoms, noting that “you can be a marathon runner who can’t walk a block.”
Long COVID 19 symptoms can include fatigue, heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, “brain fog”, sleep disorders, fevers, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms can persist for months and can range from mild to incapacitating. In some cases, new symptoms will show up long after a person has been infected or get worse over time.
Finding Support On Social Media
The absence of answers and support from the medical community has caused Long COVID 19 patients to feel shut out, ignored, or accused of making up their symptoms. Many of those who are suffering from Long COVID 19 have turned to online support groups for answers. Some have been able to receive medical treatment from one of a handful of clinics in Canada while others wait months to get an appointment.
The social media community on TikTok is one place where those dealing with Long COVID 19 have found comfort and assurance that they are not alone and that their illnesses are not just in their heads. TikTok users have been able to raise awareness of Long COVID 19 symptoms on a global scale.
In one video, a former fitness enthusiast named Beth Ann describes how her illness has completely changed her life, saying she is not the same person she was before. TikTok user Freya Sawbridge explains that she has still not made a full recovery after contracting COVID 19 in March 2021. She emphasizes that COVID 19 is more than just a respiratory illness; it has also impacted her neurological system.
Some of the TikTok videos offer hope to those who may feel that they have none. User Disabled_Ariana reads from an article regarding healthcare workers dealing with Long COVID 19 and not being taken seriously, describing it as “really validating.” TV news reporter Noelle Lashley lost her ability to speak due to complications from COVID 19 and posted a dramatic TikTok video depicting how much speech therapy has improved her symptoms.
Disability Benefits and Long COVID
Mandie, a 46-year-old Vancouver resident became infected with COVID 19 in March 2020 and still struggles with Long COVID 19. In an interview with the Vancouver Sun she asked that her last name not be made public for fears of not being able to get a job. “I have heard terrible stories from other long-COVID people who are having difficulty with their employers,” she explained. “People who have worked for decades and are being denied their benefits. Some have hired lawyers to fight for them.”
The process of applying for short term or long term disability insurance benefits due to Long COVID 19 can be overwhelming, especially if you are struggling with brain fog, severe fatigue, and mental health issues. Long COVID 19 symptoms can be very subjective, so not all doctors will recognize them. Even if people can prove their disability, their LTD disability claims may not be heard by the insurance company for many months. When you’re dealing with an illness and unable to work, being denied LTD benefits can make you feel like you have nowhere else to turn.
Share Lawyers Can Help
It’s important to remember that the symptoms you are suffering with validate your disability claim of being unable to work due to Long COVID 19, even if you don’t have a definitive diagnosis or objective proof. If you are unable to work, are considering submitting a long term disability insurance claim, or have been denied your long term disability insurance claim, the disability lawyers at Share Lawyers can help. The experienced long term disability lawyers at Share Lawyers have dealt with difficult cases before, specifically cases where an illness and its symptoms may not be easily defined.
We understand the struggles of those dealing with debilitating illnesses, and the importance of taking time to focus on recovery instead of having to worry about workplace stressors. Contact one of our long term disability lawyers today to set up a free consultation and learn how Share Lawyers can help patients dealing with Long COVID 19.