On Wednesday, the White House reported that President Joe Biden had twice tested negative for Covid-19. The news headlines was welcome but expected. When Biden first tested positive a couple of days ago, his having been vaccinated and boosted, coupled with his usage of the nations best doctors and latest treatments, nearly guaranteed him an uneventful acute illness course.
Indeed, before his quick recovery, the White House had reported that the president was feeling well and that his case was mild. But despite having his latest test outcomes, Biden continues to be vulnerable to Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection, often called long Covid, that your Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found about one-fifth of Covid patients will have. One study discovered that up to third of the Covid outpatients who didnt require hospitalization were continuing to report long Covid symptoms nine months following the acute phase.
Doctors have managed to get clear that the condition, whether mild or severe, is most beneficial treated by firmly taking a rest from the strain of work.
Though there’s still much to understand about it, we realize that inadequate rest can increase the chance of developing long Covid, the outward symptoms of which could be debilitating and so are as diverse as prolonged fatigue, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and pain. While we dont completely understand the triggers of long Covid, research suggests the onset could possibly be associated with persistent inflammation in your body.
Thats why I write with this particular simple request: Mr. President, please rest.
The images that emerged of the Covid-positive president showed us just the contrary: a guy at work instead of one taking time off to take care of his condition. Without doubt these visuals were calculated to show that Biden is strong and healthy to thwart the never-ending ageist criticism he faces, to bolster the efficacy of the Covid vaccines against extreme illness also to broadcast to your enemies that the commander in chief continues to be up to the work.
However the president sent another message to Americans at home, and its own one that includes a dark underside. Rather than taking time off during his disease, he modeled the toxic work culture of pushing through illness. While that ethos could be as American as apple pie, its also dangerous … especially in the context of Covid.
Doctors have managed to get clear that the illness, whether mild or severe, is most beneficial treated by firmly taking a rest from the strain of work. Dr. Caitlin McAuley of the University of Southern California told the LA Times that at the very least, you want to unplug for 3 to 5 days if youve contracted the condition.
David Putrino, a physical therapist for the Mount Sinai Health System who was simply also quoted in the piece published a couple weeks prior to the onset of Bidens illness said the message of top officials working throughout their diagnoses is minimizing the chance of long COVID and encouraging others to believe, EASILY have the herpes virus, I could just push through it.
The administration ought to be doing everything in its capacity to keep people healthy in both long and the short-term by encouraging them to rest while sick. The White House must have used this possibility to educate the general public about how to reduce the chance of long-term illness and disability from Covid, along with telegraph to employers that they have to give their employees time off to recuperate, whatever their ailments are. Biden also shouldnt have played in to the false notion that taking time off for illness is really a sign of weakness or fragility.
I lost my dad to Covid early in the pandemic. My mother became ill with Covid simultaneously, and 2 yrs later she still struggles with balance and extreme fatigue, both outward indications of long Covid. Just the other day, she had five doctors appointments in four days. Weekly, I host a residential area demand people coping with long Covid and experiencing Covid grief, and I’ve sat with a huge selection of people as theyve shared their Covid stories: disease, disability, eviction, financial free fall, isolation, suicidal ideation, hopelessness. We have been not well.
We be determined by our leaders to lead by firmly taking bold action and by modeling appropriate behavior that protects probably the most vulnerable in our midst. We are in need of this as part of your because the government tries to shift to a framework of personal responsibility for coping with Covid: suggesting mitigation measures based on an individuals tolerance for personal risk pitched against a coordinated, data-informed intend to keep community transmission rates away and react to outbreaks by firmly taking action such as for example contact-tracing, testing and masking.
This toxic notion of powering through illness isnt just harmful to Americans health; its also harmful to the economy. A recent study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys Sloan Business School identified poor company responses to Covid as an integral factor in the fantastic Resignation alongside inadequate policies to safeguard workers general health and well-being.
And supporting employees in taking time off when theyre sick isnt just best for individuals but best for business. Strong sick leave policies yield cost benefits from greater workforce stability, increased productivity, lower healthcare costs and, needless to say, disease and illness prevention. Unfortunately, one-quarter of private-sector workers dont get access to paid sick days to recuperate from illnesses. And today our very own health institutions are reinforcing the drive to help keep working instead of take adequate time for recovery.
Beyond the exemplory case of Bidens business-as-usual episode of Covid, the CDC now encourages visitors to get back to work after five days of Covid infections even with no tested negative, that is not enough. An evergrowing body of evidence indicates that five days of isolation when continuing to check positive may not stop the spread of the condition.
Since were in the phase of the pandemic where its everyone for themselves, sort of Hunger Games design of mitigation measures, Ill interest the 79-year-old commander in chief on an individual basis. Pace yourself, Mr. President. Your grandkids, and most of Americas children, need you well.
Kristin Urquiza may be the co-founder ofMarked By COVID,a national, grassroots-powered nonprofit that promotes accountability, recognition, justice and a pandemic-free future by elevating truth and science. She started it shortly afterher first-generation Mexican-American father, Mark, passed on from the herpes virus in June 2020.