As we try to move past the events of 2020, returning to work will be more difficult for those with long-haul COVID. Some patients who fell ill with COVID-19 will still feel it’s effects long after the acute disease has passed. While one aspect of this may be related to a stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), other issues may be related to the virus itself.
What is Long-Haul COVID?
We can define long-haul COVID specifically as Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC). This is a fancy term saying that some COVID survivors are still dealing with symptoms, even though they’ve largely recovered. The symptoms can include fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, anxiety and depression. Some may experience on-going respiratory issues.
Further, if someone had a long hospital stay that included a stint in the ICU, they likely have a longer recovery ahead. Long stays in the hospital can lead to muscle weakness, decreased respiratory capacity, and fatigue. These issues may linger for months.
An added challenge? We don’t know why some experience long-haul COVID, and others don’t.
Returning to Work Post COVID
For those experiencing long-haul COVID, a return to work will be a challenge. Whether their symptoms are mild or severe, any job that is physically demanding will be difficult to keep up. Employees who survived COVID may have anxiety about returning to work, which is a valid and legitimate concern. If their lung function is impaired, they’ll need to move slower than they once did. Their strength may have declined, or they’ll need more frequent breaks.
What can employers do to ease the transition of COVID survivors returning to work?
We know employers want to keep good employees. If you know someone is experiencing long-haul COVID, be patient! Consider modifying their duties. Send them to physical therapy to aide their recovery – we can help with this!
Keep up with COVID-19 precautions, such was mask-wearing, sanitizing, and social distancing. Encourage your employees to get vaccinated. While numbers are looking better, we’re not out of the woods yet.
More questions? Call us!
We’re here to help employers and employees in these (almost) post-COVID times. Contact us today!