Before he had Covid-19, Brendan Delaney, the 57-year-old chair of medical informatics and decision making at Imperial College, could cycle 150 miles in a day.

Covid changed that, but not because he had a severe case of the disease
Like many healthy people, he figured his symptoms, a mild fever and a cough, would pass soon enough. Instead, he experienced debilitating aftereffects, such as:


Seven months later, he is still not back to normal
He can’t imagine getting back on a bike and says that if he pushes himself too hard, he ends up in bed with a fever for a couple of days.

He considers himself lucky that he’s able to work. Many other long Covid sufferers cannot
As a second wave of infections grows, so it follows that the number of long Covid cases is bound to increase.

Although this clearly has implications for public health and the economy, it has been almost nowhere in the broader policy debate
So far, we've focused largely on minimizing deaths and hospitalizations.

But most long Covid patients weren’t hospitalized and didn’t have pre-existing conditions. This should throw some cold water on the idea of herd immunity
As lockdown fatigue set in, more and more people supported the idea of disposing restrictions and allowing immunity to build up among the young while shielding the vulnerable.

Going in this direction would be far more costly than many perhaps realize
“We need to control this virus not because of the risk that Granny may catch it and die, or your uncle may end up in ICU, but because fit, healthy people without any comorbid conditions who are young can end up having their lives wrecked,” Delaney says
We know from experience with other viruses that effects can be long-lasting:

🦠2003 SARS outbreak
🦠Glandular fever (caused by the Epstein-Barr virus)

It’s similar with today’s coronavirus
Conventional medicine doesn’t have a good record on responding to conditions like long Covid.

For years, sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, endometriosis and other conditions often fought lonely battles for attention and medical care
The most reported symptoms of long Covid sound like they could be any number of illnesses:

💤 Extreme fatigue
🫁 Breathlessness
♥️ Heart palpitations
🤢 Gastrointestinal pain
🦴 Joint aches
🧠 Memory and focus issues

The full list is much, much longer
Nailing down exact numbers isn’t easy, but 10% of Covid Symptom Study app users, used by more than 4.3 million U.K. participants, reported symptoms lasting for more than three weeks after infection.

Some 60,000 reported having symptoms three months in
Increasing infection rates have ushered in fierce debates over the relative costs, benefits and ethical considerations of various lockdown measures.

Long Covid may alter that calculus further, depending on the impact on household income and productivity
A 2004 study estimated the impact of chronic fatigue syndrome (similar symptoms to long Covid) said it probably led to:

– A 37% decline in annual household productivity
– A 54% reduction in labor productivity
– An annual lost value of $9.1 billion a year
How the long Covid costs stack up will depend on prevalence, duration and degree of incapacity.

It does seem that symptoms slowly get better, but it’s too early for a tally of long-term effects such as fibrosis of the lungs or compromised immune systems

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More from @bopinion

18 Oct
Of all the world’s billionaires, with the exception of those from China, it’s the French who have just enjoyed their most lucrative decade
LVMH boss Bernard Armault and his ilk saw their wealth balloon 439% to $443 billion between 2009 and mid-2020, fueled by Asian hunger for French luxury goods and a global real estate boom Image
Here’s how those billionaires stack up globally:

🇨🇳China: 1,100% increase in wealth
🇫🇷France: 439%
🇨🇦Canada: 238%
🇺🇸U.S.: 170%
🇮🇳India: 90% Image
Read 11 tweets
16 Oct
Quickly vaccinating billions of people around the globe against Covid-19 is going to be an endeavor like no other in human history.

Thousands of online gamers could help expedite the process
Some of the leading contenders — mRNA vaccines — have a very short shelf life:

🥶💉They have to be stored and shipped at temperatures as low as minus 80 degrees Celsius (minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit)
These mRNA vaccines are promising because they can be created and manufactured quickly.

There’s just one catch: Once thawed, these vaccines need to be used immediately
Read 12 tweets
15 Oct
In late June, @MaxNisen highlighted what he deemed a "horrifying" chart showing massive growth in new infections in the U.S. relative to the European Union.

Now, almost four months later, that chart remains terrifying, in a completely different way
For the first time since March, the EU is reporting more new Covid-19 cases on a per-capita basis than the U.S., reflecting a second wave of virus outbreaks.

That’s even as U.S. case rates climb from an alarmingly high post-summer plateau Image
Both regions are at a dangerous moment:

❄️The virus will be harder to control in winter as people congregate indoors
🙅🏻‍♀️Resistance to renewed restrictions may make them harder to impose and enforce Image
Read 9 tweets
13 Oct
It’s possible 2020 will be remembered as a turning point in American history, a moment after which the nation becomes irretrievably different.

That’s right, it could be the year consumption of romaine and other leaf lettuce finally surpasses iceberg
It’s been quite the comedown over the past three decades for America’s iceberg lettuce, introduced by seed purveyor W. Atlee Burpee & Co in 1894.

So how did the so-called “polyester of greens” fall out of favor?
In 1961, Julia Child + Simone Beck’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” & Craig Claiborne’s “The New York Times Cookbook” led to the great American food awakening.

More flavorful greens entered the U.S. diet:

Read 15 tweets
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.@FSBarry is driving the Lincoln Highway to discover America.

This week, he finds tragedy, trauma and healing in the Keystone State
📍Lancaster, PA

“It doesn't take one man, it takes all of us. So until we actually unite, that's when actual change can happen.”

@FSBarry speaks to protesters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania about police brutality
📍York, PA

"We believe that our diversity is a strength, not a weakness. And even though there may be individuals who may not hold to that, I think the majority of Americans do," says Guy Dunham
Read 15 tweets
11 Oct
Since 1979, the left has only managed to install 4 people in the White House or Downing Street:

🇺🇸Bill Clinton
🇺🇸Barack Obama
🇬🇧Tony Blair
🇬🇧Gordon Brown

The right has established two advantages: competence & intellectual dynamism
The first is a traditional advantage of conservatism.

Both Republicans and the Tories have based their electoral appeal on the idea that they will do a better job of looking after your money and protecting your country than the other guys Image
However, the right has also been more dynamic.

Since 1979, modern conservatism has produced many important ideas that have changed the political universe, from privatization to welfare reform to “broken windows” crime policy Image
Read 16 tweets

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