S.F. Millennial was fit and healthy before COVID-19. He’s a disabled ‘long-hauler’ now.

Mito

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Twilight at Spreckels Lake in Golden Gate Park couldn’t be quieter. Senior citizens chat on benches or circle the lake, canes in hand. Toddlers feed the ducks. And Charlie McCone, on a good day, tries to walk around the tiny lake once.

“It feels like I’m an 80-year-old in not great health,” McCone said as we slowly looped around the lake.

But he’s only 31. A year ago, McCone bicycled 10 miles round trip to his South of Market marketing job at the San Francisco Parks Alliance. He played tennis, soccer and volleyball. He managed the local indie pop band, the French Cassettes. He and his girlfriend socialized a lot — dining out, hitting bars, hiking — and talked about getting married.

And then March 16 hit. And McCone got very sick. He developed chest pain and extreme fatigue. He couldn’t take a deep breath. His lips turned blue. He could barely get out of bed.

“There were definitely nights where I was scared to go to sleep,” he recalled.

He couldn’t get a coronavirus test from Kaiser which, like many health providers, wasn’t testing people at the start of the pandemic unless they were hospitalized, had traveled to countries where the virus was prevalent or had come into close contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus.

By the time he got tested a month later, the result was negative. An antibody test three months after his initial symptoms also came back negative, but he showed me his Kaiser health summary in which his doctor explained that antibody tests are often inaccurate and that he probably did have COVID-19. The symptoms and timing match up. And numerous Kaiser specialists and tests haven’t found anything else to explain his sudden debilitation.


It seems he’s part of a small, but growing, club that nobody would ever want to join. They’re called the COVID-19 “long-haulers,” which means their symptoms linger for weeks or months. Many, like McCone, still aren’t better 10 months later.

As we whipsaw between one fresh horror after another — A pandemic! A terribly slow vaccine rollout! An attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol! A deranged president! — it can be hard to stay focused on avoiding the virus ourselves. Ten months into this misery, many of us are tired of holing up at home. Many young adults in particular are socializing because, chances are, they’ll recover just fine if they get the virus.

But maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll wind up like McCone, their lives and hopes damaged.

“I don’t think the public is well informed around this possible outcome, and I think if they were, younger folks might exercise more caution and prudence,” he said. “This is just not being well-articulated enough.”

And that’s why he laid out in such detail what life as a long-hauler is really like.

He describes the feeling as carrying a 50-pound backpack at all times — while having a weight on his chest and a bad hangover. Sometimes, just walking to the kitchen elevates his heart rate to 140 beats per minute. He has a hard time talking or staying in any one position for long. He can barely work and is considering quitting the job he loves to go on disability.

He lives in the Outer Sunset just a couple of blocks from Golden Gate Park, but can only get to Spreckels Lake for his walks by driving — something he never would have done before. That’s often his only venture out of the house all day. He hasn’t ridden his beloved bicycle since he got sick. He can’t run.

He said he’s had some nervous breakdowns, pulling his hair out and crying. He and his girlfriend, Katie Purtill, have gone from talking about long-term plans to just getting through the day as patient and caretaker.

Purtill said it’s exhausting caring for McCone, doing all the housework, keeping up with her own job and waiting for a breakthrough that never seems to come.

“There’s no fun part,” she said. “Probably the only enjoyable part of our day is watching Netflix together. I feel like we’re living our senior years now.”

They live together, but haven’t exchanged vows. So what does the future hold?

“I really don’t know,” she said. “That’s the elephant in the room with all this. I love him, and he’s my best friend. I don’t go there too much because if I do, it’s definitely a lot to process.”

McCone said he feels awful that Purtill is shouldering so much on her own. But he doesn’t want anyone else entering their home for fear of reinfection, and he doesn’t have the energy to interact much with others.

“It’s a lot of, ‘How are you doing? Are you better?’ It’s hard to keep saying the same thing which is, ‘Not so good,’” he said.

He hasn’t even seen his mom, Carolyn, in nearly a year because he doesn’t want her driving from her home in the foothills to San Francisco and risk getting sick. But they talk on the phone all the time. She can’t quite believe her son — the very healthy, straight-A student who got a black belt in tae kwon do when he was 10 — can barely function.

“He was always this superachiever, and now his life has just been put on hold,” she said. “I wish they could just give him answers. That’s the worst part. He just doesn’t understand.”

McCone worries that with the current surge, even more people will be left with long-term symptoms of COVID-19 — and there will still be few answers. Several clinics have opened around the country to study and treat long-haulers, including one in October at UC Davis, but McCone hasn’t been able to get a referral from Kaiser to see a doctor outside its system.

Kaiser didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Dr. Michael Peluso, an infectious disease doctor at UCSF, is running a study tracking people after they have COVID-19 — and he said the long-hauler phenomenon is real, little understood and a major problem for patients and the health care system. There’s little good data about how common it is or when and if people can expect to recover.

“Even if only 1% of people develop persistent symptoms after their infections, it’s still a huge absolute number of people,” he said. “This is not a problem that can be ignored.”

With more than 21 million infections across the U.S., even just 1% would mean 210,000 people potentially with the syndrome. And there could be many more.

Peluso said doctors at the beginning of the pandemic were categorizing patients into two categories: those who survived and those who died. But Peluso said there are many in the “survived” category whose lives have been hugely changed for the worse.

As many as half of people who develop COVID-19 have at least one persistent symptom one to three months later, he said. And there are many previously healthy people like McCone who had mild enough symptoms to avoid hospitalization, but remain sick for much longer.

“The fact that so many people who are experiencing this issue are telling their stories has made the medical community and the scientific community start to take this really seriously, as we should,” Peluso said. “It’s a tough problem. It’s upsetting.”

McCone and I finished our walk around Spreckels Lake in 10 minutes. That was enough for him. He was tired and winded. He climbed back in his car to drive home. Maybe tomorrow would be a better day.

 

Fred

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The test for "covid" is at least 90% false-positives from a diagnostic perspective ( Example - JAMA Study: "Only 1 of 32 COVID survivors testing positive had live virus." That's a 97% false-positive rate for "covid" diagnosis.) Plus, there are no symptoms unique to covid. So, since the scientific method isn't being employed at the diagnostic stage, there are few, if any, truly-confirmed "covid cases". Plus, the treatments for "covid" are dangerous/deadly, so you'd have to control for those factors as well, which the MSM never does. This is all an OBVIOUS hoax, and the SF chronicle is just trying to convince you that "covid" is an indiscriminate killing machine, without any actual scientific evidence.
 

tankasnowgod

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By the time he got tested a month later, the result was negative. An antibody test three months after his initial symptoms also came back negative, but he showed me his Kaiser health summary in which his doctor explained that antibody tests are often inaccurate and that he probably did have COVID-19. The symptoms and timing match up. And numerous Kaiser specialists and tests haven’t found anything else to explain his sudden debilitation.

So tested negative for Covid twice? Eh, you probably have Covid.
 

tankasnowgod

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The test for "covid" is at least 90% false-positives from a diagnostic perspective ( Example - JAMA Study: "Only 1 of 32 COVID survivors testing positive had live virus." That's a 97% false-positive rate for "covid" diagnosis.) Plus, there are no symptoms unique to covid. So, since the scientific method isn't being employed at the diagnostic stage, there are few, if any, truly-confirmed "covid cases". Plus, the treatments for "covid" are dangerous/deadly, so you'd have to control for those factors as well, which the MSM never does. This is all an OBVIOUS hoax, and the SF chronicle is just trying to convince you that "covid" is an indiscriminate killing machine, without any actual scientific evidence.

Yeah, but he didn't even test positive for Covid.
 

gaze

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I wonder if anyone will post the typical "he exercised, therefore he was running on stress hormones, therefore he wasn't actually healthy, therefore covid's a hoax" as if the people on this forum are completely healthy. I feel sympathy for that guy and everyone else's whos been through pain whether it was from a unique coronavirus strain or whatever nasty flu that's going around., any of us can be harmed from these viruses and serotonin syndrome, given that most of us don't have perfect health or else we wouldn't be on this forum in the first place.
 
Last edited:

Drareg

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"He was always this superachiever"

Translate- he was manic from adrenaline, incoherent bio-energetically speaking, the "superachievers" are always following the likes of Dave asprey for dietary advice, probably listening to tony Robbins while sleeping, this enough to give anyone burnout, rats wouldn’t last 3 days following Dave aspreys supplement regime with tony Robbins blaring in the background.
Probably guzzling "high purity" fish oils with omega 6 and OMEGA 9’s,

I forgot to add he‘s so sick he found time to do a puff piece for a national newspaper, "superachievers" always have time for self promotion!
 

Fred

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I wonder if anyone will post the typical "he exercised, therefore he was running on stress hormones, therefore he wasn't actually healthy, therefore covid's a hoax" as if the people on this forum are completely healthy. I feel sympathy for that guy and everyone else's whos been through pain whether it was from a unique coronavirus strain or whatever nasty flu that's going around., any of us can be harmed from these viruses and serotonin syndrome, given that most of us don't have perfect health or else we wouldn't be on this forum in the first place.
As tankasnowgod pointed out, the guy didn't even test positive for covid.
 

gaze

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As tankasnowgod pointed out, the guy didn't even test positive for covid.
yea so? it said his test was a month later, which would obviously show up negative. either way, his experience is still a real experience. he got a upper respitory infection and intense serotonin syndrome during a pandemic with a virus that is known to increase serotonin and the cytokine storm. I could care less if he has an official diagnosis or not. all i know is I myself and many people i know that i love are not healthy enough at any given moment to be "in the clear". maybe if I supplemented thyroid and could get monthly checks on my vitamin D levels I'd feel safer, but i don't do either of those
 

Drareg

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As tankasnowgod pointed out, the guy didn't even test positive for covid.

Its incredible to witness the propaganda, most folks won’t register he didnt test positive for covid, the headline already framed the story based on the headline.
One commenter in this thread already fell for it.
 

Fred

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"...his doctor explained that antibody tests are often inaccurate and that he probably did have COVID-19. The symptoms and timing match up."

Too bad there are no symptoms unique to "covid". From WHO: " COVID-19 and influenza viruses have a similar disease presentation". From "Diagnosing COVID-19: The Disease and Tools for Detection" - "The symptoms expressed by COVID-19 patients are nonspecific and cannot be used for an accurate diagnosis."
 

Drareg

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yea so? it said his test was a month later, which would obviously show up negative. either way, his experience is still a real experience. he got a upper respitory infection and intense serotonin syndrome during a pandemic with a virus that is known to increase serotonin and the cytokine storm. I could care less if he has an official diagnosis or not. all i know is I myself and many people i know that i love are not healthy enough at any given moment to be "in the clear". maybe if I supplemented thyroid and could get monthly checks on my vitamin D levels I'd feel safer, but i don't do either of those

He was probably on an SSRI , most people don’t admit to using antipsychotics, these articles won’t exactly tell you either because big pharma will calling the editor up.
The whole of society should not be shutdown for folks who are vulnerable, that’s the general belief on this forum, we know covid is there but the reaction is clearly all about politics and power.
 

lvysaur

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So tested negative for Covid twice? Eh, you probably have Covid.
I thought the default position here was that tests don't matter in the first place?
I wonder if anyone will post the typical "he exercised, therefore he was running on stress hormones, therefore he wasn't actually healthy, therefore covid's a hoax" as if the people on this forum are completely healthy.
It's just cope, about half the forum is emotionally invested in the idea that covid is a complete fraud, to the point where it is part of their identity.
There are certainly aspects of covid that are fraudulent. But you can't fake a global pandemic. You can't fake all the people getting sick and suffering/dying.
As many as half of people who develop COVID-19 have at least one persistent symptom one to three months later, he said. And there are many previously healthy people like McCone who had mild enough symptoms to avoid hospitalization, but remain sick for much longer.
Yeah, they just keep letting up to the long-haul reality. I remember they used to say that <10% had permanent symptoms, later got revised up to 20%, and now 50%. Of course the intensity of the symptoms vary wildly, but I think it's safe to say that a majority of people will be affected by this permanently in some way.
 

gaze

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He was probably on an SSRI , most people don’t admit to using antipsychotics, these articles won’t exactly tell you either because big pharma will calling the editor up.
well how about people on this forum, like @lvysaur and @ecstatichamster who struggled with covid and weren't on SSRIs?

edit: just saw lvysaur commented before i posted this
 

Fred

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Its incredible to witness the propaganda, most folks won’t register he didnt test positive for covid, the headline already framed the story based on the headline.
One commenter in this thread already fell for it.
I am the commenter who fell for it. I assumed they would have at least administered the bogus test. Ha ha.
 

lvysaur

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like @lvysaur and @ecstatichamster who struggled with covid and weren't on SSRIs?
Correct, I never used SSRIs. However I think they could be dangerous in COVID, as it's known to interfere wildly with serotonin metabolism (platelets degranulating and droppint Stonin in blood)
 

Fred

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But you can't fake a global pandemic.

I would imagine you'd say that there's no way that a test which gives mostly false-positives could ever be accepted worldwide as the "gold-standard" for diagnosing covid-19 ... yet here we are.
 

Drareg

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well how about people on this forum, like @lvysaur and @ecstatichamster who struggled with covid and weren't on SSRIs?

edit: just saw lvysaur commented before i posted this

The serotonin syndrome could have been caused by an ssri.

They struggled with covid but are ok, society should never have been shutdown, it’s a political power grab, the numbers and the information we are receiving are clearly fraudulent, people have died but it’s nothing worth shutting down all of society for.
The PCR tests are being used in a fraudulent manner, we have covered this elsewhere in here.
 

Perry Staltic

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Before 2020 some young people actually did get sick just like that guy, and they didn't test positive either. And they still have problems just like he does.
 
J

jb116

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Before 2020 some young people actually did get sick just like that guy, and they didn't test positive either. And they still have problems just like he does.
No you are lying. Nobody got sick before 2020. That's why there is only convid now, illness never existed before that.
 
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