Friday, July 19, 2024
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Long Covid – time for an outbreak of common sense


I HAVE long had my doubts about the veracity of much of what was purportedly associated with Long Covid. I described it in these pages a year ago as ‘a skivers’ charter’, and it appears that I was not wrong. My suspicions were alerted when it transpired that many people reporting Long Covid had never been diagnosed with Covid and others who had no Covid symptoms, but claimed to have had Covid, were claiming to have Long Covid.

A new study points to the fact that fewer signs are associated with Long Covid than was previously thought. It also found no association between Covid and cardiac events. Could this lead to an outbreak of common sense about Long Covid? We can only live in hope, but the signs are there and, much to my surprise, the report to which I refer was listed in that daily dose of public health drivel Global Health Now. However, common sense about Long Covid does not extend to the issue of Covid vaccine harms, including deaths.

Described as ‘unexpected’ by one news outlet, it appears that the number of symptoms associated with Long Covid has been reduced to seven. There are 16 symptoms listed on the NHS website, some so vague and non-specific that almost the whole population could be diagnosed with Long Covid: ‘pins and needles’; ‘depression and anxiety’ (one wonders what brought that on); and ‘feeling sick’. At least that is an improvement on the 49 that have been listed at one time or another.

The surviving symptoms, according to a new study of 17,487 adults who had been diagnosed with Covid, are ‘palpitations, hair loss, fatigue, chest pain, dyspnea [shortage of breath], joint pain, and obesity in the postinfectious period’. The study found ‘no significant relationship between index SARS-CoV-2 infection and an increased risk of stroke or cerebral haemorrhage post-Covid-19 was observed. Relationships between index SARS-CoV-2 infection and heart failure and atrial fibrillation were not significant.’ That deals a body blow to the claim that our wave of excess deaths of cardiac events is attributed to Covid.

According to the Office for National Statistics around 2million people in the UK have Long Covid and 1.6million are adversely affected by it. It will be interesting to see if this recent research will have any impact. It must be the case that some of these people have none of the remaining seven symptoms but whether this will lead to a national ‘on yer bike’ strategy and get people back to work remains to be seen.

I find the national and international obsession with Long Covid perplexing. There are seven hits this year alone on the BBC News website. There is a complete absence of anything on the website if you search for ‘vaccine deaths’, ‘vaccine injuries’ or ‘vaccine side effects’.

Long Covid may well exist, and we hear that it is leading to thousands of deaths. However it is acknowledged by the CDC in the US that ‘death certificate data is fraught with uncertainty and ambiguity’ and that ‘those problems are compounded by varied definitions and terminology as well as clinicians’ familiarity with the condition’ but that this ‘reflects the need for further research into Long Covid’. Meanwhile, the increasing litany of vaccine-related deaths and injuries as well as the scandalous issue of excess deaths continues uninvestigated.

As with Long Covid, it may transpire that some of the adverse effects and deaths we have been classifying as vaccine injuries and excess deaths generally are spurious. Unless we investigate these properly, and give them the attention we give to Long Covid, we will never know.

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Roger Watson
Roger Watson
Roger Watson is a Professor of Nursing.

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