Letter to the Editor: COVID-19 is real, effects can be long-lasting

To the Editor:

A Republican doorknocker recently told me that COVID-19 is not real. She may believe that because she doesn’t know anyone with the disease. My family is not so lucky.

My 27-year-old son, strong and healthy at the time, got sick in May and tested positive for COVID-19. Because he was young, the medical professionals told him to stay home and ride it out.

Over the next three weeks, my son could barely breathe. He was so sick. He lost 30 pounds and developed a mental fog. His father and I worried constantly about him but could not visit because, being older, we could be hit even harder by COVID-19.

My son’s battle is not just a rare instance. When he finally returned to work at his job in Wisconsin, he discovered that this highly contagious virus had infected more of his co-workers also.

My son is now supposedly recovered, but he still has fatigue and gets out of breath when walking only a short distance. His lips will turn blue from lack of oxygen. He has obvious lung damage. Any health insurance he might get in the future would view this damage as a pre-existing condition, and if the current administration succeeds in abolishing Affordable Care Act protections, insurers could refuse to cover his care.

None of this had to happen. This administration knew in January that COVID-19 was far worse than the flu and is transmitted through breathing. We could have been told to social distance and wear a mask right away and COVID-19 would not have spread. My son very likely would still be a strong, healthy man. We need to vote in a new administration that will be straight with us and not rob us of health care.

Linda Wilder
Waukon

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