The Impact of Long-COVID on Employment
Long COVID continues to impact up to 20 million individuals making up 2.4% of the American workforce. Multiple individuals have reported experiencing symptoms of brain fog, fatigue, and cardiac abnormalities that were not present before their exposure to COVID. Due to these debilitating symptoms, worker productivity has dropped a considerable amount. Additionally, these symptoms have put up to four million people in the U.S. out of work, contributing to 230 billion dollars of lost wages. With physicians unsure of how long the symptoms will persist after initial exposure to COVID, the American workforce is concerned with how they will continue to support their families.
According to the CDC, Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions include various health problems that can last from weeks to years. The majority of individuals who suffer from Long COVID experience severe COVID symptoms. Although no test can diagnose long COVID, it does present with a wide range of symptoms. The majority of symptoms include tiredness, fatigue, and fever. In addition to general symptoms, respiratory symptoms include chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms include joint pain, sleep problems, and a change in smell or taste. Individuals with these symptoms have reported to have difficulty staying productive for long periods of time at work.
Since millions of people have been impacted by Long COVID, the labor department has been working on finding ways to keep individuals employed. Long COVID is now considered a disability that allows for protection under the law. Thus, some employers are offering accommodations such as flexible hours, extended leave, and the option to work from home. With these changes, employers aim to support their workers that are experiencing these symptoms by offering them alternative methods.
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