January 29, 2023


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Long Covid is keeping large numbers of people out of work, study finds

Katie Bach, a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution who was not involved in the report, said the study showed that “we have a group of people who have had Covid for a long time and who have not yet at least been able to return to work, which is an extraordinary number of people.”

She said the report reflects only a segment of the workforce: employees who are exposed in the workplace to the virus and who have sufficient knowledge of workers’ compensation to file claims. Those who may be younger or sicker than the overall working population, Ms. Bach said, may include employees who are younger or sicker than the overall working population, while also missing other workers with prolonged Covid illness. Research It indicates that about 500,000 people in the US are currently not working due to prolonged Covid.

The New York report also found some optimistic signs. Since the first wave of the pandemic in early 2020, long Covid cases have decreased as a percentage of workers’ compensation claims and Covid-related claims. The decline coincided with the advent of vaccines, which the studies suggest Reduce the risk of long-term COVID-19and with new coronavirus treatments, which support the idea that if people can avoid getting severely ill from the initial infection, they are less likely to experience long-term symptoms.

However, Mr. Vasisht said the agency continued to receive claims from long-term Covid workers, especially after the sudden spike in infections. The report also indicated that more employees than indicated in the data may have met the criteria for long Covid claims. The vast majority of all Covid-related claims, more than 83 percent, have been filed by essential workers — in professions such as health care, law enforcement and security services. But only 29 percent of their claims meet the long Covid definition, while 44 percent of non-essential workers meet that definition.

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This could be because “essential workers may not have been able to stay home from work after the required quarantine period,” the report said. Healthcare workers may have “self-managed their symptoms” rather than seeking medical care, the report said, adding that “essential workers may have higher long-term COVID rates than the data indicates, creating a blind spot for policymakers.”

“A lot of people can’t afford not to work, so they work when they really shouldn’t, and they continue to work while they’re sick,” said Ms. Bach. She said the experience of people with similar conditions after the virus such as myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome suggests that some people who work despite a long Covid illness may have a harder recovery. When people with a condition whose characteristic symptoms start to be fatigue and brain fog, they won’t be as productive and may even reduce their odds of getting better.”