Why is it difficult for most people to go back to their normal life even after COVID-19 recovery?

It’s been more than a year since the emergence of the coronavirus outbreak throughout the world.

Although many have recovered from Covid-19, there are still ongoing symptoms that patients face even after 2 weeks of initial illness. The presence of such symptoms for more than 12 weeks is considered ‘post-acute COVID-19 syndrome’ or simply ‘Long COVID’. To date, the statistics of COVID‐19 reported cases show that more than 80% of infected are mild cases of disease, around 14% of infected have severe complications, and about 5% are categorized as critical disease victims.

What is it and why is it happening?

Some of these syndromes range from mild to severe that include: fatigue, muscle aches and pains, poor sleep, cough, and breathlessness, to more specific organ-related symptoms, such as, leg swelling, poor temperature control, night sweats. Few of these symptoms were observed in individuals along with complications in lungs. Low antibody response to the virus might explain the diverse mechanisms and developments of Long COVID. People with Long COVID also tend to develop mental problems such as depression, post -traumatic stress and anxiety due to its prolonged stay.

Having such symptoms can mean that the transmission of virus is likely high. Therefore self-isolation, social distancing, self-hygiene and other precautionary measures such as using alcohol based hand sanitizers and/or frequently washing hands, wearing mask in public places, avoiding crowded places are crucial to stop communal spread.

What can be done?

The entire spectrum of long COVID syndrome is not well known. This is due to the novelty of the virus and understanding its physiology and its various new strains that are emerging lately. This leads to the uncertainty to predict the end of these symptoms. Therefore it is necessary to take precautionary measures to prevent such complications. Exercises such as yoga can be implemented for both mental and physical health. Healthy diets with high nutritional values can boost your immune system. Meditation, nature walks and having positive thoughts can improve your mental health. Following a good routine can help manage the symptoms and may lead to a speedy recovery.