How to Manage Long Covid-19 Symptoms and Fatigue

Covid-19 is new, but the ME/CFS community has dealt with long-haul-like symptoms for years. Here’s how they cope.

Megan E. Doherty
Elemental
Published in
11 min readDec 4, 2020

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A young woman lies down and stares at the ceiling, holding her phone and feeling worried
Photo: martin-dm/E+/Getty Images

As the pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that a good chunk of Covid-19 patients suffer symptoms for weeks, even months, after first getting sick. Many of them deal with fatigue, muscle and body aches, difficulty breathing and concentrating, and other issues that make “normal life” feel out of reach.

While SARS-CoV-2 is new, the problem of long-term symptoms after an infection isn’t. Many in the chronic illness community, particularly those affected by myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), understand some of what the long-haulers are going through. ME, sometimes referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, is a complex, multisystemic neuroimmune disease affecting 15 million to 30 million people worldwide. While there’s been increasing speculation about the possibility that some with long Covid-19 will eventually be diagnosed with ME, it’s too soon to know with certainty; many will either…

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Megan E. Doherty
Elemental

Megan E. Doherty is a writer and photographer based in Chicago, IL. meganedoherty.com