1. Many people suffering from long-term #COVID19 symptoms are being told - it's just anxiety, it's acid reflux, there's nothing wrong with you - even as research shows COVID-19 damages the heart, brain, & vascular system. Why is this happening?
2. This is the first time this virus has invaided the human body. We are just learning how it spreads, how it attacks the body, and the damage it does to our health. COVID-19 patients are first-hand experts in this new disease. So why do they encounter so much disbelief?
3. This disbelief has happened many times before. #LymeDisease, #chronicfatigue, Post-intensive Care Syndrome, and so many other diseases are life altering for those who have it. And met with skepticism by those who don't. COVID-19 is novel and world-wide, but here we are again.
4. We need #longhauler advocacy to become a movement for all under-recognized illnesses. We need to move from doubting people with symptoms we can't see to listening and learning from them. The need for health transcends all the other ideas that divide us.
5. We can start with believing someone when they tell us about their illness. By not looking for reasons why they feel sick and we don't. By not assuming that they're overreacting. By imagining what it's like to be very ill and have to prove it everyday to your work and family.
6. The next step is harder. We have to think of a way to fill a million cracks - in our healthcare system, our national research agenda, and our collective empathy.
7. Even with all the problems we're facing right now, the U.S. is still a place where people can take what they believe in and turn it into reality. @Survivor_Corps is doing that for COVID-19. Let's make this the moment in history when the ill and invisible are finally heard.
You can follow @NatalieJLambert.
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