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Millions of people around the world are living with long Covid, a medically perplexing, and potentially debilitating, condition. Rachel Hall-Clifford is one of them. As a medical anthropologist, she’s well suited to understanding long Covid. But as a mother, wife, friend, researcher, and teacher, it drags her down, just as it does so many others.

As she wrote in her First Opinion essay, “Long Covid feels like a gun to my head,” her initial infection in January 2022 “wasn’t scary: I had fever, aches, and chills for about four days. My initial Covid aches and pains were nothing in comparison to when I had dengue fever, known as ‘bone break fever,’ while working in Guatemala’s remote mountains.” But the fatigue never went away. And other health issues began piling up, ranging from chest pain and a rapid heart rate “that would rival a hummingbird’s” to shortness of breath, dizziness, migraines, and more.


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