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Understanding long COVID

  • Season: Season 3
  • Posted On:

Conversations with researchers and some of the people living with Long COVID .

The syndrome that's appearing after someone is infected with COVID is an emerging global health crisis. Yet, confusion about Long COVID remains. Which symptoms get ruled-in? Which get ruled-out? Can anything be a symptom of Long COVID if it occurs after a COVID infection?

On today's program, we talk with researchers studying the illnesses that people who have had COVID are living with, including persistent fatigue, loss of the sense of smell, vascular conditions, and brain fog and other neurological problems. We also talk with a psychologist who began support groups for Long COVID patients who often feel their symptoms are ignored (or not understood) by their doctors and families. And four patients describe their life with Long COVID for us.


James R. Heath, Ph.D.


Institute for Systems Biology

Seattle, Wash.

The Heath Lab


Jason D. Goldman, M.D., MPH

Infectious Disease Specialist

Swedish Center for Comprehensive Care

Seattle, Wash.


Drs. Heath and Goldman are principal authors of the PASC study — (Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19) — published in the March 3, 2022 issue of the journal Cell. It is part of a nation-wide initiative to study the aftermath of COVID-19 infection known as RECOVER: Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery.


James C. Jackson, Psy.D.

Research Associate Professor of Medicine

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Director of Long-Term Outcomes, ICU Recovery Center

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tenn.


Dr. Jackson welcomes email from clinicians interested in starting Long COVID support groups at their institutions.



This episode begins with the voices of four people who are living with Long COVID in conversations facilitated by producer Scott Acord. We're grateful for them taking the time to talk about their experiences. You can listen to extended cuts of their conversations here:

Pam & Lyla Bishop: Bedbound

Alicia Swift: Bone-tired

Suzanne Martin: The hardships of having Long COVID

TJ Roseberry: A wanderer is homebound