Long COVID patients might be part of the ‘Great Resignation’ trend in the workplace

Government data shows an estimated 1 million people are out of work.
A new study out from the Brookings Institution this week estimates millions of people are out of work due to long COVID.
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s being called the “Great Resignation.”

After COVID many people decided not to return to work, but a new study from the federal government shows many Americans may not physically be able to go back.

“The suspicion is one of many contributing factors is that they have long COVID and they’re too ill to be able to return to work,” says physician/medical director of the Kona Research Center, Jacob Teitelbaum.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, long COVID has potentially affected up to 23 million Americans, pushing an estimated one million people out of work. And while symptoms vary from person to person, they may include fatigue, cognitive impairment, and muscle or joint pain, to name a few.

It’s a problem health professionals at Nebraska Medicine are working on, having recently opened a multidisciplinary clinic for patients who need to be seen for ongoing symptoms following COVID-19 illnesses.

“We do have a full, unfortunately, roster of patients,” says professor and chief of the division of infectious diseases at Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Mark Rupp.

“Unfortunately, with some of these longer-lasting symptoms and long COVID, I think that that clinic population is going to continue to increase.”

And while the goal of the clinic is to understand the impact of long-term symptoms of COVID-19 and the severity of those symptoms, Rupp says there’s no “magic bullet” cure for everyone.

But Teitelbaum says a majority of long-haulers can improve.

“Our research has shown that using our shine protocol, optimizing sleep, hormones, infections, nutrition, and exercises, enable 91% of people will improve.”

“But there’s an awful lot we have yet to learn, there are things we don’t understand about long COVID,” says Rupp.

And while the research continues in Omaha, the federal government is also taking steps to fund long COVID research. For example, the National Institutes of Health launched the $1.5 billion initiative to combine data across more than 200 research sites.

Similarly, the CDC contracted for a study where long COVID patients share their health data through a cloud-based personal health platform.