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Unfortunately, most studies to date are lumping all “long-haulers” into one category, as if they are all the same demographic/population, thus the results are confounded.
When we talk about “long-COVID”, it is important to distinguish those who had severe initial illness (hospitalized, ICU stays, intubation, etc) vs. those who has mild initial illness (never hospitalized, only tested positive).
For those with “Long-COVID with mild initial illness” – shall we refer to them as “LONG COVID-MII”? – there is no biologic evidence for end organ damage, they have normal 02 saturations despite subjective reports of shortness of breath, studies are showing they are mostly white, middle to upper income, and younger than 40 years of age. Of course, studies showed those with COVID who got the sickest were people of color, poor and older/elderly. They have many symptoms consistent with an overly activated sympathetic nervous system and many are also diagnosed with POTS, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia – other psychophysiologic conditions. They also often have PTSD, anxiety disorders and depression.