Long Covid – a review

Two Stars.
Not a good show in any way: the director lacked a clear vision; cast was underrehearsed and low energy; and the tech was patchy. Even if you get free tickets, avoid this production.

I have been “out of it” for the past few months in a slightly concerning way. But I think I know why.

Long Covid.

Or at least a version of it. I had a mild case of Covid in January. Tod & I both felt symptoms of severe sore throat and brain fog that went away after a few days. Unpleasant but bearable, except that Covid is weird and sneaky. In my case, I also suffered “brain aging” which I didn’t even realise until a week or two ago when it started to go away.

For six months, I was in Grandma Mode. I easily tired. I needed a lot of naps. My memory was soft; not “where did I leave the keys” forgetful, but more generally befuddled. A groggy wonder of “have I forgotten something” was my daily norm. I had low motivation to do anything because it was all so difficult. I couldn’t plan or analyse tasks except during a 90 minute period in the early morning when I felt sharper. Executing activities later in the day seemed monumental, so I had a lot of half-done projects around me. I escaped the conflicted feelings around my productivity by watching a lot of mysteries and police procedurals on Amazon Prime. I bonded with the cats. I snacked too much and gained weight. I really felt like I was turning into my late mother, who suffered from dementia.

It was easy to attribute all of these things individually to normal causes – poor sleep, allergies, menopause, post-menopause, weather, stress.

Turns out that it has been Long Covid all along. Fatigue is the most common symptom. Brain aging aka brain fog, has been studied. Covid can add 10 years to your brain’s age by reducing its mass more than normal.

An MRI study done in the UK showed that there are changes to the brain even in patients with mild Covid cases. And some of those changes aligned with the brain mass loss of older folks. Hmmmm. “…in the study evaluation, people who had been infected with the coronavirus lost an additional 0.2% to 2% of tissue compared with those who hadn’t been infected.” reported an article on CNN.

An article in Healthline says “According to research, brain fog tends to peak in the months after having COVID-19 and usually begins to improve over time. But it’s still possible for brain fog symptoms to linger for many months. More recent studies have found that brain fog symptoms can continue for over a year after having COVID-19.”

So I hope that I am on the mend now. My motivation to do things has improved and I am able to think clearly for most of the day. I am still exhausted, but I have days without naps now. And I am feeling my creativity return, which helps me feel a lot more normal.

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