The coronavirus is a worldwide pandemic with far-reaching impact on millions of people on this planet. At this time, we are just shy of 1,000,000 cases worldwide. We will pass the one million mark sometime today (April 2, 2020).
Mandatory lockdowns, while crucial to stemming the onslaught of this unforgiving plague, will result in literally hundreds of thousands of Americans with no jobs. It is closing small and large businesses in every state of the union. Even people who work from home have found their workload evaporating as the coronavirus continues its relentless march across the globe.
So what do you do if you find yourself sheltering in place but with no cash flow.
Well, fortunately there are options in place to help in just such a crisis as this.
This page will be updated as new resources become available and I will do my best to keep it organized.
Dallas County Covid-19 Resource Guide
Looking for the Covid-19 Vaccine in Dallas?
Here’s where you go to determine your eligibility, find a provider and schedule your vaccination:
February 4, 2021 Update:
Dallas County Covid-19 Vaccine Hotline:
Long Covid Information
May 24, 2021:
Most people seem to want to only measure Covid results in a binary format. Alive or Dead. Those who survive and those who do not. This is an easy number to arrive at, but it is by no means a valuable look at the results of this hideous, evolving disease. Many people who “recover” are not what THEY would define as recovered at all. We do personally know people battling Long Covid months after “recovery”. And it’s not pretty. Their lives are not remotely the same as before contracting Covid. This is why prevention is so important. Are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle and health for this “only the flu” virus? Because it is currently looking like around 30% or more of people who recover from even a mild case, will have long-lasting debilitating illness. With no end in sight in many cases.
I am providing articles to chronicle this evolving problem below:
Euless Teen Encourages Peers to Get Vaccinated
[NBCDFW] Since the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved for teens, as of May 24, 174,697 Texans between the ages of 12 and 15 have gotten their first shot.
That’s why a North Texas teen is speaking out about how COVID-19 changed her life.
When we met 13-year-old Savannah Pressley of Euless last August, it had been three months since she had beat COVID-19.
At the time, she still struggled every day through extreme fatigue, but now, more than a year since her initial illness, she still deals with lingering effects.
She has chronic pain, fatigue, is unable to sleep, has lost 26 pounds and suffers from bouts of anxiety.
How many people get ‘long COVID’ – and who is most at risk?
A few months ago, a young athletic guy came into my clinic where I’m an infectious disease physician and COVID-19 immunology researcher. He felt tired all the time, and, importantly to him, was having difficulty mountain biking. Three months earlier, he had tested positive for COVID-19. He is the kind of person you might expect to have a few days of mild symptoms before recovering fully. But when he walked into my clinic, he was still experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and he could not mountain bike at the level he was able to before.
Tens of millions of Americans have been infected with and survived COVID-19. Thankfully, many survivors get back to normal health within two weeks of getting sick, but for some COVID-19 survivors – including my patient – symptoms can persist for months. These survivors are sometimes dubbed long-haulers, and the disease process is termed “long COVID” or post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. A long-hauler is anyone who has continued symptoms after an initial bout of COVID-19.
Numerous studies over the past few months have shown that about 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 will have symptoms that last longer than the typical two weeks. These symptoms affect not only people who were very sick and hospitalized with COVID-19, but also those with milder cases.
Long COVID is similar to COVID-19
Many long-haulers experience the same symptoms they had during their initial fight with COVID-19, such as fatigue, cognitive impairment (or brain fog), difficulty breathing, headaches, difficulty exercising, depression, sleep difficulty and loss of the sense of taste or smell. In my experience, patients’ symptoms seem to be less severe than when they were initially sick.
Study Puts Numbers to ‘Long COVID’ Duration, Prevalence
[MEDPAGETODAY] Nearly one-third of people with COVID-19 had lingering symptoms a median of 6 months after infection onset, a single-center prospective study suggested.
Among COVID-19 patients whose infections ranged from asymptomatic to severe, two problems — fatigue and loss of smell or taste — persisted most frequently, reported Helen Chu, MD, MPH, of University of Washington in Seattle, and co-authors, in a JAMA Network Open research letter.
“The effects of COVID-19 can linger far beyond acute infection, even in individuals who experienced mild illness,” said co-author Denise McCulloch, MD, MPH, also of University of Washington.
“To our knowledge, this study presents the longest follow-up symptom assessment post-illness, with individuals surveyed out to 9 months after their COVID diagnosis,” she told MedPage Today.
Earlier studies focused largely on long-term effects in hospitalized COVID patients, McCulloch noted. “Our study is unique in characterizing a group consisting of mostly outpatients: 90% of our cohort experienced only a mild COVID-19 illness, yet one-third continue to have lingering effects,” she said.
“Many of these individuals are young and have no pre-existing medical conditions, indicating that even relatively healthy individuals may face long-term impacts from their illness.”
There’s very little data about people who have long-term COVID symptoms, observed Allison Navis, MD, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who wasn’t involved with the study.
Sequelae in Adults at 6 Months After COVID-19 Infection
Many individuals experience persistent symptoms and a decline in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) illness.1 Existing studies have focused on hospitalized individuals 30 to 90 days after illness onset2–4 and have reported symptoms up to 110 days after illness.3 Longer-term sequelae in outpatients have not been well characterized.
A longitudinal prospective cohort of adults with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection was enrolled at the University of Washington with a concurrent cohort of healthy patients in a control group (eAppendix in the Supplement). Electronic informed consent was obtained, and the study was approved by the University of Washington human participants institutional review board. This study followed the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guideline. COVID-19 symptom data were obtained at the time of acute illness or retrospectively recounted at a 30-day enrollment visit. A total of 234 participants with COVID-19 were contacted between August and November 2020 to complete a single follow-up questionnaire between 3 and 9 months after illness onset. We did not perform statistical tests for this descriptive analysis because of the small numbers in each subgroup. Data analysis was conducted in R version 4.0.2 (R Project for Statistical Computing).
A total of 177 of 234 participants (75.6%; mean [range] age, 48.0 [18-94] years; 101 [57.1%] women) with COVID-19 completed the survey. Overall, 11 (6.2%) were asymptomatic, 150 (84.7%) were outpatients with mild illness, and 16 (9.0%) had moderate or severe disease requiring hospitalization (Table). Hypertension was the most common comorbidity (23 [13.0%]). The follow-up survey was completed a median (range) of 169 (31-300) days after illness onset among participants with COVID-19 (Figure, A) and 87 (71-144) days after enrollment among 21 patients in the control group. Among participants with COVID-19, persistent symptoms were reported by 17 of 64 patients (26.6%) aged 18 to 39 years, 25 of 83 patients (30.1%) aged 40 to 64 years, and 13 of 30 patients (43.3%) aged 65 years and older. Overall, 49 of 150 outpatients (32.7%), 5 of 16 hospitalized patients (31.3%), and 1 of 21 healthy participants (4.8%) in the control group reported at least 1 persistent symptom. Of 31 patients with hypertension or diabetes, 11 (35.5%) experienced ongoing symptoms.
The most common persistent symptoms were fatigue (24 of 177 patients [13.6%]) and loss of sense of smell or taste (24 patients [13.6%]) (Figure, B). Overall, 23 patients (13.0%) reported other symptoms, including brain fog (4 [2.3%]). A total of 51 outpatients and hospitalized patients (30.7%) reported worse HRQoL compared with baseline vs 4 healthy participants and asymptomatic patients (12.5%); 14 patients (7.9%) reported negative impacts on at least 1 activity of daily living (ADL), the most common being household chores.
CDC to Issue Guidelines As Long-Haul COVID Numbers Rise
[WEBMD] April 28, 2021 — The CDC is finalizing new guidelines for doctors on long-haul COVID-19.
In a daylong congressional hearing Thursday, John Brooks, MD, a medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, testified that the guidelines were going through the clearance process at the agency.
“They should be coming out very shortly,” Brooks said.
The guidelines, which were developed in collaboration with newly established long-haul COVID-19 clinics and with patient advocacy groups, will “illustrate how to diagnose and begin to pull together what we know about management,” of the complex condition, Brooks said.
For many doctors and patients who are struggling to understand symptoms that persist for months after getting infected, the guidelines can’t come soon enough.
National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, who also testified at the hearing, estimated as many as 3 million people could be left with chronic health problems after even mild COVID infections.
“I can’t overstate how serious this issue is for the health of our nation,” he said.
Collins said his estimate was based on studies showing that roughly 10% of people who get COVID could have long-haul COVID-19 and whose “long-term course is uncertain,” he said. So far, more than 32 million Americans are known to have been infected with the new coronavirus.
“We need to make sure we put our arms around them and bring answers and care to them,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California who is chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Health.
A pandemic that endures for COVID long-haulers
[HARVARD] As public health officials race to vaccinate Americans amid the rapid spread of viral variants, physicians and scientists are turning their attention to a growing population of those who seem locked into COVID-19’s misery months after the acute phase has passed. These so-called “COVID long-haulers” or sufferers of “long COVID” are those who continue to feel symptoms long after the days or weeks that represent a typical course of the disease. These patients tend to be younger and, puzzlingly, in some cases suffered just mild initial conditions.
Last month, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center launched a new program to provide clinical care for long haulers and to investigate the mysterious source of the condition. The Gazette spoke with Jason Maley, a Harvard Medical School instructor in medicine and director of BIDMC’s Critical Illness and COVID-19 Survivorship Program, to gauge what we know about the condition and what awaits discovery.
GAZETTE: What is long COVID and how is it different from the common COVID-19 condition we’ve become familiar with over the last year?
MALEY: Long COVID or what’s now — through the National Institutes of Health — being referred to as “post-acute sequelae of COVID-19,” is persistent symptoms or new symptoms that develop, generally speaking, at least four to eight weeks after the initial infection with COVID-19. It can include the continuation of symptoms that happened when a person was first sick, like shortness of breath, or fatigue, or it can be new symptoms where a patient feels like they’ve improved and they’re recovering and then a month after being infected, they have worsening chest discomfort and brain fog and difficulty thinking, and all sorts of symptoms from head to toe that can either persist or develop somewhat newly after they’re infected.
Some people, for the initial two weeks of their infection, had just cold-like symptoms that lasted for three days. They felt like they were fine and then over the ensuing four months they are just so fatigued. They can barely breathe when they walk around, and they have these other severe symptoms that are really out of proportion to the initial symptoms.
For small business owners:
The SBA has help available:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
For homeowners with no income:
you can contact your mortgage company and request a forbearance based on the coronavirus eliminating your income. You MUST use that phrase when you contact them. Make sure to use the word “coronavirus” because this is an undisputable reason for a forbearance. They will not advise you to do this, but there are mechanisms in place to give you relief. Make sure to have your loan number ready when you call them. Be prepared to wait awhile. You’re not the only one with this problem.
In the state of Texas, the Supreme Court has halted all residential evictions.
Check the situation for your state by going to their website.
Utility Bills — phone, water, power, etc…
In Texas, utility providers are required to implement payment deferral plans.
Read the Texas PUC document here
Your state may be different, so check any major metropolitan news source on this.
Covid-19 Screening Near You
Should you be tested? This page has guidelines.
You MUST MEET certain criteria to qualify for testing at this time.
How do you find a testing site?
First, you should contact your primary care physician about your symptoms. They will ascertain whether or not you meet the criteria for testing and advise you on the best location given your current condition and logistics.
Texas Drive-Thru Testing Locations
If you live outside the state of Texas (this is most unfortunate for you, but hang in there) consult your primary physician before looking for testing sites.
Your Job is Vaporized. Now What?
File for Unemployment Pronto
Other Financial Assistance
- For a list of nonprofit organizations providing relief for those of us suffering cash flow problems as a result of coronavirus, this site has an extensive listing.
- For a listing of grants that can help you out, this site has lots of them.
- Here is an article with lots of resources that can be of help.
- The Salvation Army is not high on my list because of the LGBTQ negative position, but will help you.
- Find a local food bank if you are in dire straits.
- There is another food pantry list here.
June 16, 2020 Status:
Feel free to comment with any other useful resources.
Here is an invaluable Covid-19 resource site:
App sends you an alert if you were near someone with coronavirus
(CNN) As new coronavirus cases explode nationwide, health officials are turning to cell phones to help slow the spread of infections.
While these apps can’t keep you safe — they only let you know after you’ve been exposed — they could prevent others from getting infected if you take precautions, such as self-quarantining, after receiving an alert.