'We Talk': Can millions of Americans suffering from long COVID find support?
According to the data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 24 million adults in the U.S. suffer from long COVID. However, two years into the pandemic, burnout and staffing shortages make it harder for the U.S. healthcare system to meet the needs of long-term COVID patients. In a letter sent in March to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the American Hospital Association called the workforce shortage hospitals were experiencing a "national emergency." It projected that the overall shortage of nurses would reach 1.1 million by the end of 2022.
Max Gavrich is an artist and educator who lives in the city of San Francisco. A year and a half ago, he contracted COVID-19 and began to experience symptoms of persistent fatigue. These long-term symptoms make life very difficult for Max, who has pre-existing congenital neurological diseases. Under the struggling U.S. healthcare system, it takes more than two months to secure an appointment to see a doctor. These encounters lead him to conclude that "the American medical system is really unable to meet the basic needs of the people."