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Dr David Tuller: Some stuff about Long Covid, BMJ, and ME


Senior Member

Trial By Error: Some Stuff about Long-Covid, BMJ and ME

By David Tuller, DrPH

It is clear that there will be much grappling going forward over the similarities and differences between long-Covid and ME (or CFS, or ME/CFS, or whatever this illness or cluster of illnesses is being called). The two entities overlap in some ways, but no one should conflate them.

We are past the pandemic’s half-year mark. Since most (but not all) case definitions in the ME and CFS category require symptoms to be present for six months, some long-Covid patients, called long-haulers, might already meet diagnostic criteria for the disease. But many clearly suffer from symptoms and organ damage not associated with ME and its variants.

I’ve written some posts about the efforts of key members of the CBT/GET ideological brigades to impose their brand of “treatment” on people experiencing fatigue after a bout of acute Covid-19. It seems these experts cannot stop repeating the same bogus and discredited arguments about fatigue and deconditioning and problematic cognitions that they’ve been promoting forever. And now they’re assuming the same stupid perspective relative to Covid-19. As always, their logic seems very Trumpian.

Luckily, some in the UK are speaking out against this incompetent and unwarranted advice. In particular, physician Paul Garner, a professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, has written a series of compelling posts for BMJ about his struggle with profound exhaustion, multiple relapses and other ongoing medical complications after an acute episode of Covid-19. He has also reflected thoughtfully and compassionately about the parallel experiences of people with ME.

I am pleasantly surprised that BMJ is publishing Garner’s posts. In multiple interactions with Virology Blog over the past few years, BMJ has demonstrated a singular lack of editorial integrity. ............................................
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