Fearing an untreated epidemic, activists fight for those with ‘long COVID’ symptoms

Nation/world
Angela Meriquez Vázquez, 33, was infected with COVID-19 in March 2020. She has long COVID and still suffers from symptoms of the disease.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Angela Meriquez Vázquez, 33, was infected with COVID-19 in March 2020. She has long COVID and still suffers from symptoms of the disease.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Early in the pandemic, Fiona Lowenstein knew that the full story of COVID-19 was not being told.

She was 26 and healthy, and after testing positive for the virus last spring, she expected an easy recovery. But after a two-night stay in the hospital, she came home to experience severe fatigue and an upset stomach. She had a difficult time focusing her thoughts, and she was scared.

No one had said anything about these symptoms, and after posting on Instagram, she learned she wasn’t alone. As co-founder of a queer and feminist collective in New York exploring issues of health and social justice, she suddenly saw purpose in forming a new community.

Today, the Body Politic COVID-19 Support Group has registered 10,500 COVID-19 patients and their caregivers and families, who have started an independent research group and advised the National Institutes of Health. It is among dozens of grass-roots organizations around the world that have formed to make sure that a year into the pandemic — as fatigue mounts, vaccines become more available and infection rates drop — COVID-19 and its lingering symptoms remain in the public eye. Mindful of the battles that HIV/AIDS activists have fought over the years, its members know that their greatest enemies are fear, ignorance and apathy.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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