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My fear, their freedumb

A phenomenon since the early days of 2020, long COVID continues to mystify the medical and healthcare community. There is a group now called Survivor Corps for its victims.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculates that by mid-2022, more than half the U.S. population – knowingly or not – had been infected by one or another variant or subvariant of COVID-19. (Of course, infection rates are under-reported because so much of COVID “diagnosis” for some time now has been via at-home testing kits.)

When it comes to long COVID, the CDC says as many as 1 in 5 infected has experienced one or
more symptoms – considered “long” by lasting 30 days or more. (Interestingly, and completed
unrelated, that’s the same ratio of the population said to have some type of mental health issue, from simple anxiety on up to schizophrenia.). That sobering statistic plagues me with a solid Fear of Long COVID. That fear has me keep a mask at the ready, a minority in a society so fatigued by face-guarding.

As the highly transmissible COVID strain BA.5 continues its march, clearing the woods for the
next variant to come, 48 percent of eligible U.S. population have yet to receive a single
vaccination booster. And in our society, where personal freedumb to be ignorant or foolish is
paramount, 20 percent – 71 million – have not been vaccinated.

Ten team members of the Major League baseball Kansas City Royals in mid-July were not
admitted into Canada for a series against the Toronto Blue Jays because these players had not
been vaccinated. Call it FOVX … Fear of Vaccination. The players were simply exercising their
personal choice – and their community-minded freedumb to pose risk to others.
The same players were deservedly booed upon their return to their home field. Aside from the
fans, these pretenders suddenly were exposed for their dirty little secret to the teammates they
were making vulnerable for their selfishness. They and others like them seemingly have no fear
of COVID, long or short. I’m being generous here, suggesting they have given a shred of
thought to the possibility.

Let’s see: If you can gamble on fatigue, dizziness, inability to regulate your body temperature,
difficulty concentrating, chest pains, heart palpitations, shortage of breath, organ damage – any
or all – for possibly the rest of your days, why wouldn’t you want to increase your chances of
contracting COVID?

Perhaps scariest of all may be the so-called “brain fog” we have heard of since the early days of
long COVID. Consider: Cognitive problems caused by severe COVID-19 are equal to losing 10
IQ points, or your brain aging from 50 to 70, according to a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. That inspiration appears in the July/August AARP Bulletin.
A Mayo Clinic doctor in the same article says that while research continues, “we don’t really
have (long COVID) nailed down yet.” A big reason is because “it looks like more and more
symptoms can be associated with this condition.”

More and more symptoms?
No one knows where the COVID train ultimately is headed, short track or long track. So far, I’ve
escaped a ticket to ride. And just hoping to stay lucky.
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