A long Covid illness can be seen as a disability.
The Biden government has announced its intention to protect people suffering from the long-term health effects of Covid-19 from discrimination by potentially allowing them to qualify for disability benefits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, fever, “brain fog” and even cognitive impairment, generalized pain, and mental health problems.
“We are bringing agencies together to ensure that Americans with long-term Covid who have a disability have access to the rights and resources afforded by the Disability Act,” said President Biden. Some considerations include work, school, and health care accommodation.
The Ministries of Health, Justice, Education, and Labor have published guidelines stating that the virus can be a disability under federal civil rights laws and come with disability benefits over an extended period of time. According to the ADA, Covid can be a disability if it significantly restricts one or more essential daily activities, including “working, manual tasks, sleeping, eating, breathing, concentrating and communicating”. The Department of Labor has also launched a new website with information on applying for workplace accommodation, and the Department of Education has clarified schools’ responsibilities to students.
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“Many Americans who appear to be recovering from the virus are still facing ongoing challenges,” Biden said.
In addition, there is a risk of re-infection even among those who have been vaccinated. “Coronavirus vaccines were never developed to perfectly protect people from all infections,” explained Dr. Eric Topol, founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in California.
Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health, added that he found it “worrying – if inconclusive – that people had persistent symptoms weeks after they became ill” and “There may be a risk here, but.” we don’t know how big the risk and how big the problem is. “
About 30% of Covid-19 patients reported “persistent symptoms nine months after illness” according to a study published in JAMA Network Open in February. Researchers have found that women are more likely to get Covid than men, and the likelihood of having persistent symptoms increases with age.
“Many people experience persistent symptoms and a decline in health-related quality of life after contracting coronavirus disease in 2019,” the researchers wrote. “Existing studies focused on hospitalized patients 30 to 90 days after onset of illness and reported symptoms for up to 110 days after illness. Long-term effects in outpatients are not well characterized. “
President Biden recently said the pandemic is spreading largely “because of the unvaccinated” and they are creating tremendous confusion. He added, “The more we learn, the more we learn about this virus and the Delta variant, the more we need to worry and be concerned. We only know one thing for sure: if those other hundred million people were vaccinated, we would be in a completely different world. So get vaccinated, if you haven’t, you’re not nearly as smart as I said. “
Mask mandates are expected to return as the world continues to battle viruses and lingering complications.
Biden says people with long-distance COVID symptoms should be protected by federal disability laws
Mask requirements are returning, even for those who have been vaccinated