COVID19, CHRONIC ILLNESS AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE
Even as policy makers and political leaders seek to put the COVID pandemic in the rearview mirror with the help of highly effective vaccines, a fundamental policy and planning gap is looming. Many who survive the initial viral illness suffer debilitating long-term sequelae. Unlike the common cold or even influenza, this virus causes a bewildering array of symptoms that persist long after the acute illness is resolved and can render some affected unable to resume their usual activities.
Consider the numbers we know. At least 34 million Americans (and probably many more) and 31,100 Australians have already contracted COVID. An increasing number of studies find that greater than one fourth of patients have developed some form of long COVID. (In one study from China, three quarters of patients had at least one ongoing symptom six months after hospital discharge, and in another report more than half of infected health care workers had symptoms seven to eight months later.) Common long-term symptoms include fatigue; respiratory problems; “brain fog”; cardiac, renal and gastrointestinal issues; and loss of smell and taste.
The related health care and disability costs are also still unknowable. How many “long haulers” will never be able to return to work? How many will need short-term disability payments? How many will be permanently disabled and become dependent on disability programs? As increasing numbers of younger people become infected, will we see an entire generation of chronically ill? We must actively work to better understand the size and scope of the problem and begin planning now.
Current disability programs appear ill-equipped to deal with this new stream of patients with chronic disability. Patients and governments alike can be overwhelmed by the inherent bureaucracy of the health system in dealing with chronic diseases. It’s understandable that we don’t yet have all the issues related to COVID-associated disability figured out; we haven’t fully grasped all the implications of this pernicious (and still somewhat mysterious) malady. After all, since early 2020, we’ve been struggling to address the immediate crisis and how to deal with the new problems that arise day by day. But the time has come to proactively plan for what will certainly be the enormous new impact that long-haul COVID will have on our disability programs.
We in the field of Complementary Medicine should be prepared to be working with this issues for years to come. Panaxea Medicine is creating protocols for treatment of post-COVID 19 symptoms as, really, scientific Biomedicine has no way of treating these chronic conditions. If you are needing support for your patients, please contact us.SourceA Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of ‘Long COVID’. American Scientific 06 July 2021