Dr David Tuller: Biopsychosocial Brigades Seek Traction With Long Covid


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Trial By Error: Biopsychosocial Brigades Seek Traction with Long Covid

17 March 2021 by David Tuller 8 Comments

By David Tuller, DrPH

Last week, two major articles on long Covid appeared in well-known US publications—one in the Atlantic, the other in Vox. Like the New York Times Magazine article that ran in January, these stories addressed with nuance the complex and unclear relationship between the varieties of long Covid and the group of entities collectively known these days as ME/CFS. They did not presume patients in either category were suffering from psychogenic symptoms.
Today, The New York Times ran an opinion piece from two women who helped spark the patient-directed long Covid movement. In their piece, Fiona Lowenstein and Hannah Davis made these pertinent observations about some of the inadequacies of the societal response to long Covid:

“We’ve seen this before with myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Because ME/CFS, as it is also called, is difficult to diagnose, many patients have gone uncounted, and research into treatments and cures remains underfunded compared to other illnesses. As a result, clinicians tend to be undereducated and patients are less likely to receive adequate care and government support. There’s a risk of repeating this cycle with people with long Covid.”