Coronavirus recovery is going to be a long and unclear path

Coronavirus recovery is going to be a long and unclear path

It is easy to see why the road to economic recovery has taken centre stage in this pandemic but it is now also clear that we need to pay more attention to the long physical recovery from a virus that can linger for months.

That often-overlooked reality was highlighted yesterday by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation. It told an Oireachtas committee that two-thirds of surveyed nurses who had recovered from Covid-19 still had post-viral fatigue.

Others experienced mental difficulties, headaches, breathing problems and recurring fever, often many months after first contracting the disease.

Several online support groups have already described Covid’s so-called ‘long tail’, but now we have tangible figures showing how badly our frontline staff have been affected.

If we truly value them as heroes, we must ensure hospital workers have adequate protection and support in the challenging months ahead.

Their experience also has enormous implications for employers everywhere as the coronavirus frontline moves away from hospitals to the workplace.

Shops, services and supermarkets are particularly vulnerable, Dr Ronan Glynn, acting chief medical officer, has said. He called on employers to do everything possible to put the safety of staff and customers first.

It is in everyone’s interest to take his advice because, as we’ve seen, it’s not just the economic recovery from Covid-19 that is gruelling and protracted but the physical one too.

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