Why isn’t anyone talking about ‘who’ gets long COVID? — Podcast

Join us for this episode of Don’t Call Me Resilient as we speak with Margot Gage Witvliet who has insights into long COVID both as a patient and an epidemiologist.

If you don’t pay close attention to news about COVID, you might think the pandemic is nearly over. But for the millions of people worldwide suffering from long COVID, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

And the number of those experiencing long-term symptoms keeps growing: At least one in five of us infected with the virus go on to develop long COVID.

The effects of long COVID are staggering. Researchers say it can lead to: blood clots, heart disease, damage to the blood vessels, neurological issues, cognitive impairment, nerve damage, chronic pain and extreme fatigue.

And there is no treatment for long COVID.

Recent stats show that 80 per cent of long haulers are women.
Claudia Wolff/Unsplash

So why don’t we hear more about long COVID? Why haven’t governments warned people about the risks we face with infection?

It might be that this debilitating disease is largely overlooked because of who gets it: Almost 80 per cent of longhaulers are women.

And in the United States, where our guest on this episode is from, many of those suffering from the prevailing conditions of COVID are women of colour, with Black and Latinx people most likely to get the illness.

Our insightful guest for this conversation on long COVID is Margot Gage Witvliet, assistant professor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Margot is a social epidemiologist who studies health disparities, including as they relate to long COVID and has presented her research findings to the United States Health Equity Task Force on COVID-19.

Margot is also a Black woman living with long COVID and has created a support and advocacy group for women of colour.

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Also in The Conversation

Read more:
I’m a COVID-19 long-hauler and an epidemiologist – here’s how it feels when symptoms last for months

Read more:
Even mild COVID raises the chance of heart attack and stroke. What to know about the risks ahead

Read more:
Ivermectin, blood washing, ozone: how long COVID survivors are being sold the next round of miracle cures

Read more:
Long COVID should make us rethink disability – and the way we offer support to those with ‘invisible conditions’

Read more:
Being stressed out before you get COVID increases your chances of long COVID. Here’s why

Read more:
How COVID-19 damages lungs: The virus attacks mitochondria, continuing an ancient battle that began in the primordial soup

Read more:
Influenza and COVID-19: What’s in store for the fall/winter respiratory virus season?


The Long COVID Survival Guide: How to Take Care of Yourself and What Comes Next, Stories and Advice from Twenty Long-Haulers and Experts Edited by Fiona Lowenstein

The Long Haul: Solving the Puzzle of the Pandemic’s Long Haulers and How They Are Changing Healthcare Forever By Ryan Prior


For an unedited transcript of this episode, go here.

Don’t Call Me Resilient was produced in partnership with the Journalism Innovation Lab at UBC and with a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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