A 46-year-old former marathon runner now struggles to even walk around the house.
Bethany Wormald, from Fingal Bay in NSW, has been bedridden since catching Covid-19 six months ago.
“I have trouble having the strength to sit up,” she told Nine News.
“It is awfully hard to deal with.”
Among Ms Wormald’s debilitating symptoms is fatigue, which forces the stepmum to spend 23 hours a day in bed or on the couch.
She‘s also had to cut her working week in communications from 40 hours to just 12.
A very real danger in removing isolation rules
While the 46-year-old has been on the waiting list for Sydney’s long Covid clinic since June, her appointment is still two months away.
She’s now “petrified” she will be reinfected with the virus after the Australian Government lifted all isolation requirements.
“On the one hand, governments are scrapping isolation and mask requirements, but on the other hand they’re not increasing resources to handle long Covid sufferers,” she said.
As of October 14, Australians who test positive to Covid no longer need to isolate, with mandatory stay-at-home orders scrapped.
Dr Sarah Hellewell, a Research Fellow at Curtin University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, says the move is “concerning,” especially for those who’ve already had Covid.
“People who've been infected in our earlier waves are more likely now to get infected again, when we've got people who are potentially positive out in the community, spreading the virus,” she told Yahoo News Australia.
“The evidence is [also] starting to emerge that the more often you are reinfected, the greater your chance of having long Covid and having those quite debilitating symptoms.”
She says that for those who already have long Covid, getting rid of isolation requirements will be “quite an impost on them".
“They are already having to be very careful in terms of going out in public and wearing a mask,” she said.
“So they'll have to be even more cautious and will need to almost stay at home.”
Covid clinics under increasing strain
At least 300,000 Australians are thought to be battling long Covid, which the World Health Organisation defines as the illness that occurs in people who’ve had the virus.
It usually begins within three months from the onset of Covid with symptoms that last for at least two months.
Along with fatigue, effects can include shortness of breath, memory problems, a persistent cough and chest pain.
Last week, Australian Doctors told the Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into Long Covid and Repeated Covid-19 Infections that rising cases are putting enormous strain on long Covid clinics across the country.
They explained that as the demand for requests for assessments rose, waitlists were blowing out.
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