These Chicagoans Had Coronavirus And Never Got Better: ‘Long-Haulers’ Face Bizarre, Painful Symptoms After Recovery

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LOGAN SQUARE — Juan Aponte barely survived coronavirus.

He was on a ventilator for a week. At one point, he has been told, he said his goodbyes to his wife, who was also hospitalized with COVID-19. But he was deeply ill, exhausted and so weak he couldn’t even pick up a phone. He remembers nothing.

Months later, he has recovered — but he is still sick.

Aponte, who works in Chicago, is one of many coronavirus survivors who is suffering from painful, debilitating and sometimes baffling side effects of COVID-19 months after seemingly recovering. They’re known as “long-haulers,” and they’ve had wildly different experiences and symptoms.

Long-haulers spoke to Block Club about how their health has changed: Some cannot smell or taste months after shaking the virus, while others experience “phantom smells;” many are exhausted all the time; their brains feel foggy and their memories dull; and people have aches, pains, shortness of breath and coughs, among many other side effects.

Heather Tarczan has recovered from coronavirus but still has a cough and other symptoms.Provided

With much still unknown about the virus, they’re worried about how it will impact their long-term health.

“It’s given me pause …

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