As ‘Back to Business’ Looms: A CEO’s Experience with the ‘Long Tail’ of COVID-19

Ericho Communications

“I was bedridden for 29 days and literally couldn’t walk from my bedroom to my bathroom without losing my breath.” So began Eric Yaverbaum’s personal experience with COVID-19 in early March. But more than two months after his symptoms first began, he’s still short of breath, exhausted, and requires a little more oxygen everyday than was expected from the tank that is now in his home. And there are many like him, counted among the “recovered” but still battling what may be the long and at times debilitating tail of the virus.

Prior to the disease, Eric was an exceptionally healthy fifty-nine year old, a fitness enthusiast who exercised daily and lacked any complicating pre-existing conditions. His symptoms progressed rapidly and have receded at times only to return in waves. Over the last two months, he’s watched countless others (like him) who have survived to the other side but with some concerning and perhaps even life-long repercussions.

The longer, ongoing nature of Eric’s illness is something we’re only now learning is not uncommon. As the pandemic continues, doctors are finding that in addition to the high number of deaths and people in critical care, there is an even larger population with recurring, debilitating symptoms that have continued for weeks and even months (what’s now being called the “long tail” form of COVID-19). From lung damage to persisting cardiac and neurological symptoms, COVID-19 may have a lasting impact on some recovering patient’s health.

It’s something that, as so many are considering venturing back outside, he wants more people to understand. There are dangers all across the spectrum of “mild” to life threatening. The road to recovery from COVID-19 is plotted as we walk it. There are no guideposts along the way, as we slowly work to understand this disease through trial and error. Navigating our new reality will take work (and sacrifice) from all of us, so we need to come together. If you’d like to discuss Eric’s personal battle with the long tail of COVID-19, what people need to know about the dangers of the disease, how he has managed to keep his business afloat from his bed, or any other related topics, I’d be happy to set something up.

Eric Yaverbaum, CEO of Ericho Communications and author of seven bestselling books including PR for Dummies and Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Successful CEOs, thirty-five year public relations veteran and communications expert.

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