Wednesday 15th March 2023 is the first annual International Long Covid Awareness day. Advocates from all over the world are uniting to push for recognition of Long Covid, to educate the public about the reality of the condition and highlight the plight of millions of people.
Many would like to consign the Covid pandemic to the past. Last week we learned that the unique, world leading Covid Infection Survey run by the Office for National Statistics will no longer be funded. For the first time since the dark days of early 2020, we will have no idea how many people in this country are infected and will have to guess how many have Long Covid. Despite nearly 100,000 daily infections, Covid-19 is moving out of the public consciousness.
But those who are living with Long Covid cannot forget, and sadly thousands more are joining them every day.
Three years on, there is still very little treatment available. Millions are still hoping for a cure, and while they wait, they risk losing their jobs and for some, their homes, and their relationships.
Long Covid SOS has released a short film for Long Covid Awareness Day which pulls no punches: Things Need to Change.
You can watch the film here
“I wanted to show the frightening and brutal reality of what it is like to get a novel virus, and then to stay ill, while everyone around us tells us it’s no big deal. We have long been frustrated by the minimising media portrayal of our illness. Long Covid suffering is not purely physical - the pain, isolation and fear we go through daily feels like a prison. It has completely destroyed many people's lives and for us, there is no end in sight. We wanted to portray the stark reality for many living with Long Covid. We need our lives back; we want to start living properly again.” Helen Lunt Davies, film project lead
“People suffering from Long Covid are real-life casualties of the pandemic. Day in and day out for nearly three years, and still no treatment or cure. For many, three long years of having to live a changed life inside a body that can fight your every move. We need to press pause, reset, and educate. Learn to live with Covid-19? Some people don't have that choice.” Garry Loftus, Long Covid SOS member
“Our vision is a world without Long Covid, but today this future feels out of our grasp. Many living with this condition are forced to advocate for themselves to get healthcare, are still subject to gaslighting, and face barriers to remaining in employment. Long Covid SOS will continue to advocate for recognition, research, and rehabilitation for all those impacted by this debilitating condition” Ondine Sherwood, Long Covid SOS Co-founder