“It’s like insects are crawling all over your body.” Irish people reveal impact of Long Covid
“There’s an awful lot of working wounded, people who got Covid and here they are back at work and they can’t remember names.”
Irish people who have been severely affected by Long Covid have revealed the debilitating effects it has had on their lives.
On Prime Time on RTÉ One on Thursday evening, a number people in Ireland affected by Long Covid revealed the symptoms they continue to suffer long after contracting the virus and the negative impact it has had on their quality of life.
“I was on my kitchen floor with my daughter next to me and I honestly thought I was going to die,” said Susannah Thompson, who contracted Covid-19 in April 2020 and subsequently suffered a relapse.
“My heart was going incredibly fast in a funny rhythm, I had severe chest pain,” added Susannah, who revealed that she hasn’t been able to work since.
“It’s like insects are crawling all over your body,” said Linda Dalton of the symptoms she has suffered as a result of Long Covid.
“I can’t retain information. That would be my brain, I still have heart issues,” Linda added.
"The doctors don't know how to fix it. They can only treat the symptoms." @barrycummins12 heard from people who are still suffering with Long Covid years after being contracting the virus | #rtept | Read more: https://t.co/6pKM7rfjP3 pic.twitter.com/XfAYXZK5dc
— RTÉ Prime Time (@RTE_PrimeTime) September 22, 2022
Speaking on the programme, Dr. Jack Lambert, Professor of Infectious Diseases at UCD, explained that the effects of Long Covid can exist for a significant period of time after the original infection and that Long Covid is having an impact on the workforce in Ireland “at every level”.
“Long Covid is a condition that primarily affects the brain and the immune system,” he said.
“The lungs and heart heal, and the virus is gone we believe, but there’s some kind of post-infectious inflammation, damaged immune system.
“So, brain inflammation, damaged immune system, and that tends to be the lingering problem with these patients, sometimes a year later and sometimes two years after the original infection.”
“There’s an awful lot of working wounded, people who got Covid and here they are back at work and they can’t remember names,” Lambert added.
“They’ve got brain fog so they’ve got concentration problems, so it is having an impact on the workforce at every level.
"And I'm seeing many, many nurses who were infected two years ago who have not got any care and support in the two years and they're still terribly unwell, unable to go back to work, and being threatened with having, you know, their disability payments taken away, which is, you know, unfair."
Earlier this week, Denis Naughten, Independent TD for Roscommon/Galway, questioned the Taoiseach on care for people suffering from the effects of Long Covid, estimating that there are over 330,000 adults in Ireland likely to be suffering some effects of Long Covid and over 21,000 unable to work as a result.
— Denis Naughten (@DenisNaughten) September 20, 2022
Naughten told the Dáil that “we need to act now and act in a very comprehensive way”.
In response, the Taoiseach acknowledged that the issue was “very serious” and that a “more uniform framework” was required to deal with issues caused by Long Covid in Ireland.
You can catch last night’s episode of Prime Time on the RTÉ Player here.