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The Right to Support:

Updated: Apr 17


Long Covid SOS Bill of Rights Principle 3

 

In the third instalment of our series of Blog Posts  unpacking each principle within the Long Covid SOS Bill of Rights, we look at the pivotal 'right to support'. This fundamental right asserts that people grappling with the complexities of Long Covid should have access to robust support systems that extend far beyond mere financial aid.


In the wake of the Long Covid pandemic, the landscape of healthcare and employment has undergone a seismic shift. As people struggle with the far reaching implications of this chronic condition, it becomes increasingly apparent that traditional support structures are woefully inadequate in addressing the multifaceted needs of those affected. The right to support, therefore, emerges as a beacon of hope amidst the commotion of silence, advocating for a paradigm shift in how we conceptualise and deliver support to people navigating the complexities of Long Covid.

 

Central to the idea of support is the recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of everyone. By affirming the right to support, we affirm the inherent value of those affected by Long Covid, acknowledging their struggle, and championing their resilience in the face of adversity. This principle serves as a powerful reminder that no one should have to navigate the challenges of Long Covid alone, and that we are stronger when we stand together in solidarity.

 

The right to support is rooted in the principle of equity, recognising that people with Long Covid face unique barriers and challenges that require specific solutions. Whether it's access to healthcare services, employment accommodations, or community support networks, the right to support demands that we dismantle barriers and create pathways for meaningful participation, inclusion and change.

 

In the field of healthcare, people with Long Covid must have access to timely and comprehensive medical care that addresses their unique needs. This includes access to specialised clinics, diagnostic testing, and multidisciplinary care teams that can provide holistic support and management strategies tailored to patients.

 

Additionally, the right to support encompasses access to mental health resources, recognising the profound psychological impact that Long Covid can have on people living with Long Covid and their loved ones. From anxiety and depression to feelings of isolation and despair, the mental health toll of Long Covid cannot be overstated. As such, there must be better access to talking therapies, support groups, and other mental health resources that can provide much needed support and validation for people living with Long Covid.

 

In the area of employment, the right to support demands that people with Long Covid have access to meaningful employment opportunities that accommodate their unique needs and abilities. This may include flexible work arrangements, job training programmes, and other initiatives aimed at promoting workforce participation and economic empowerment. It is evident from recent ONS statistics (April 2024) that Long Covid is currently having a significant impact on the UK's economic landscape. The rise in the percentage of economically inactive people from 21.8% to 22.2% underscores the profound impact of Long Covid on workforce participation. This surge in economic inactivity is symptomatic of the challenges faced by people grappling with the debilitating effects of Long Covid, who find themselves unable to work or actively seek employment due to persistent symptoms such as severe fatigue and brain fog.

 

When people living with Long  Covid are able to still work, employers must be proactive in making accommodations, whether it's through modified work schedules, ergonomic adjustments, or other workplace adaptations. By creating an environment of inclusivity and accommodation, employers can not only retain valuable talent but also cultivate a culture of compassion and support that benefits all employees.

 

Outside the realm of healthcare and employment, the right to support extends to all aspects of daily life. This includes access to transport services, housing support, and other social services that can help people with Long Covid maintain their independence and quality of life. Additionally, community organisations, religious institutions, and other community-based groups play a crucial role in providing support and connection for people with Long Covid and their families.

 

The right to support is a fundamental principle that lies at the heart of our efforts to address the challenges of Long Covid. By affirming this right, we affirm the dignity, worth, and resilience of those affected by this chronic condition, and we commit ourselves to building a more just, equitable, and compassionate society for everyone.

 

At Long Covid SOS, we are committed to advocating for the rights of people with Long Covid and ensuring that they have access to the support and resources they need to thrive. Join us in our mission to uphold the right to support and create a brighter future for all those affected by Long Covid.

 

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