Illinois Senate Public Health Committee hears about long covid

A woman suffering the effects of long covid told her story to Illinois state senators Tuesday. (WJBC file photo)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Covid commands your attention. That’s what state senators on the Public Health Committee heard Tuesday.

Everyone seems to have moved on. Wrongly, said Chicago ob-gyn Dr. Melissa Simon.

“From the public’s eye, it doesn’t seem to be important,” Simon said. “And with the dismissal of (Chicago public health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady) abruptly, and with people being not as attentive to covid, I find it … challenging … to say that people care about covid right now.”

The focus of the hearing was long covid, and you could almost hear – and feel – the pain Marta Cerde feels.

“I do suffer from brain fog – a cognitive dysfunction,” she said. “Stuttering. Random pains in my head. Anxiety attacks. Loss of my taste and smell. My heart will race. I have palpitations. My lungs are scarred. I have shortness of breath. I have COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

Among the recommendations: to return the level of public education about covid to the levels seen early in the pandemic.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]


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