On January 8, 2021, our older daughter was taken to hospital with COVID-19 which she probably got from one of the non-mask-wearing fellow tenants in her apartment building. She was given excellent treatment (including remdesivir and dexamethasone), and on January 15 she was discharged. Officially, she no longer has COVID-19 but she says, “Some things surprise me so much Ñ a relatively mild case like mine has completely changed how I ‘do’ my life. Sitting on the couch, reading a book, and eating breakfast is exhausting, even after eight days out of the hospital!”
Besides exhaustion, COVID-19 has other long-term consequences that occur at random and are unpredictable. These were the main ones affecting our daughter:
Immune system: hers is very, very weak due to the life-saving medications she received. She will have to take all the usual COVID precautions for an indefinite length of time to avoid catching usually harmless infections like the common cold, which in her case may develop into serious illnesses.
Blood clots (embolisms): they were discovered in her brain, her lungs and near her heart. Embolisms are potentially life-threatening and are slow to dissolve. They commonly occur with COVID-19, and have long-term consequences.
Blood thinners: she will have to take them for many months. They have to be carefully monitored, and she must go to an anti-coagulant clinic and see her family doctor once a week for the foreseeable future.
“Brain fog”: this is a frequent consequence of brain embolisms. It brings about memory loss, and watching television or reading a book become extremely difficult.
Lung damage: Physiotherapy several times a week is necessary to strengthen her lungs and help them function properly.
No longer having COVID-19 is one thing. Getting well is another Ñ it is a full-time job and no one knows how long that job will take. But her employer is understanding and supportive, and she has a loving husband. Without someone to care for her and be her memory, she would have an even more difficult time.
You really do not want this to happen to you! Please take all the warnings seriously, including this one, and play it safe: Stay home, keep visits and get-togethers virtual, always wear a mask when you leave your home, and wash your hands when you return. Stay well!