“Long covid? Are you psycho?!” Anyone who has been struggling with the consequences of a corona infection for longer than a week or two must quickly put up with this question. Because Long Covid – i.e. the constant exhaustion, forgetfulness, pain, smell or taste disorders, tachycardia or the many other symptoms after a Covid 19 disease – is dismissed by some as a psychosomatic phenomenon. A somatoform disorder in which Long Covid fear is manifested in imagined distress. In fact, there are long-Covid experts who prioritize the psychological aspect of the disease.
Of course, many patients who present with symptoms in long-Covid outpatient clinics are mentally stressed. And with the standard examination methods, one often finds no organic cause for the suffering. But: In some patients, the virus also leaves traces. Then the brain, lungs or muscles are not properly supplied with blood, the immune system is out of sync or tissue is permanently inflamed. And whether the condition is psychological, organic, or both, Long Covid is a serious condition.
If the Federal Government’s Corona Expert Council now demands that the phenomenon be urgently researched, that the care of those affected be regulated and communication improved, then one can only say: It’s about time! After all, anyone who suffers from long-term consequences after an infection should know quickly whether exercise therapy, medication or psychotherapy is better for them. He should not wait for appointments for weeks or months and run from one specialist to the next.
Screenings and concepts that steer the patients into the right course of therapy are needed quickly. For example, research must be carried out quickly to determine whether anti-rheumatic drugs also help against long-Covid symptoms, whether completely new active ingredients are required or whether a vaccination protects. Improving care quickly is urgently needed – because long Covid will remain a problem for the foreseeable future.
Only if the disease is understood and the patients are treated correctly and, above all, quickly, can these people quickly return to their jobs, be there for their families, and go on with their normal lives. This is not only in the interest of the patients, but also of society.