What the ME community can teach Covid long-haulers

Christina Baltais/@wordsasmedicine

While SARS-CoV-2 is new, the problem of long-term symptoms after an infection isn’t. I wrote about some tips and advice that people with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) can offer to the Covid long-haul community for Elemental, here. While we’re still looking for answers ourselves, given how historically underfunded ME research has been, we do have a few tips to share in the hopes they may help keep some of the long-haulers from becoming life-longers.

And, since there’s more than could reasonably fit in one article, I’m adding a few more details below:


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

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…

Megan E. Doherty

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

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