Even the healthy face risks of long COVID

Once the 'picture of health,' Savannah Brooks' post-COVID state has her confined to a wheelchair for the mildest exertion.

By

Opinion

June 7, 2022 - 2:36 PM

Patient Gary Cardona wears a pulse oximeter to keep track of his oxygen intake as he works out on the treadmill during his physical therapy on March 3, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Cardona suffers from lingering symptoms of COVID-19 with the most bothersome being what he describes as brain fog and short term memory problems. He also has problems with balance and sustaining any hard activities. He got COVID-19 in November and says he feels like he is a long hauler as he tries to deal with recovering from the disease. What he hates most is having to be on oxygen around the clock. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

Savannah Brooks has been an athlete her whole life. She enjoys kickboxing and has trained for mixed martial arts competitions.

But in April, the 30-year-old Minneapolis woman tested positive for COVID-19. It didn’t make her sick enough to need hospitalization. Still, lingering fatigue and a racing heart rate accompanying even the mildest exertion mean she’s now relying on a wheelchair for walks around her neighborhood.

For someone who’s been the “picture of health,” post-COVID medical problems are frustrating and unnerving. Especially hard: not knowing how long it will last. “I think if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone,” Brooks told an editorial writer.

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