Fatigue, difficulty breathing, joint pain, memory, concentration or sleep problems, pounding heartbeat. Sounds awful, right? Imagine having these symptoms while juggling your job responsibilities…for more than two years. 

The above are effects of what researchers are calling long COVID — saying that the symptoms are like COVID-19 itself, because it affects all organ systems. According to new research, more people are suffering from this, and it’s disrupting how they work. 

Withpower’s new report says that long COVID has caused American workers a 13% reduction in weekly work hours. Additionally, 73% of American workers needed to take medical leave due to long COVID symptoms and Only 55% of workers claimed their workplace accommodated employees experiencing long COVID symptoms.

It also seems that long COVID negatively is adversely affecting women’s physical and mental health more than men. Brain fog and memory loss are a common symptom of long COVID. 

Withpower surveyed 1,001 people who have contracted the illness and were willing to talk about their symptoms who, for some, have lingered for years. 

For those that suffered with symptoms longer than others, they had to rely on vacation days as a means for recovery. For those who still had to work, were forced to reduce their hours. Others seriously considered quitting altogether.

Unfortunately, quitting isn’t possible for everyone, so medical leave was a saving grace. However, outside of that, it doesn’t seem like workplaces are responding to long COVID symptoms or being taken seriously.