COVID-19 Survivors Praise VIDO-InterVac’s Long COVID Research


Two COVID-19 survivors in intensive care are encouraging more people to take part in a recent survey created by VIDO-InterVac to gather more information about long-lasting COVID symptoms.

The survey is open to everyone and is available through an app called Ethica, which can be downloaded from Google Play or the iTunes Store. It is also accessible online on a desktop computer.

After accessing the application, users must enter the study number: 1913.

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VIDO-InterVac’s Dr. Alyson Kelvin said if health care experts can understand what people are going through with long COVID, maybe they could start developing support services and treatments locally.

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“If you have long COVID, if you think you have long COVID, if you had COVID but fully recovered or never had COVID at all, it’s really important that you help us and respond to this survey,” Kelvin said.

Kelvin said those with long COVID are people who had symptoms after 12 weeks of recovering from short-term COVID-19.

Symptoms may include shortness of breath, increased fatigue, upset stomach, and brain fog.

“These are issues that I think we’re really trying to get a clearer clinical picture (of) to help people who might have issues after their COVID-19 illness, but are struggling to be diagnosed and get therapies,” Kelvin added.

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Jarrid Linder and Matthew Cardinal both experienced long COVID symptoms and participated in the investigation.

They say the more research the better.

Linder tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2021 and was taken to hospital where he spent 80 days, 40 of which were in a medically induced coma.

After emerging from a coma, Linder was transferred to Wascana Rehab Center.

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“I had to relearn how to walk, eat, everything. I lost all my muscles in (my) whole body. It’s pretty scary,” Linder said.

He said he was much stronger than he was at the start of his recovery, but still had a long way to go.

Linder spent time using a wheelchair, walker and crutches. He can now walk on his own but has nerve damage in both feet.

“My left foot – basically there’s nothing there. I can’t lift it or anything, so I have to wear a special splint to hold it down while I walk.

Before going to the hospital with COVID-19, Linder only took one medication for acid reflux, now he has up to 22 different medications.

“It’s not something I wish on anyone. This is definitely a serious, long COVID thing.

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Linder also suffers from headaches and dizziness, but said fatigue is probably one of the worst symptoms.

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“(I) can do minimal things in a day and then I might be tired for the rest of the day, it’s just a matter of getting up, making my bed, making breakfast. You get tired just doing things like that.

Linder has still not been able to return to work where he was responsible for running a machine shop.

He is currently on disability.

“You are not paid very well. I had to sell my house and I live in my parents’ basement. That’s how I got out of Wascana too because I needed so much help.

Linder has a young son who is about to turn three in May.

“He’s just go-go-go, and it’s very difficult. I have a lot of help, so that’s good, but I mean doing simple things like getting down and playing with your son is hard. I can’t do much about that.

“It really hurts me. I wish I could do everything with him, but it’s something that’s going to take time.

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Linder was unable to get vaccinated before he contracted COVID-19 and admitted he likely would have waited if he hadn’t been infected.

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“But now that I have it and can see what COVID is really doing to people, I would recommend everyone get vaccinated,” he said.

Although he got sick with every dose of his COVID-19 vaccine and booster, Linder said that was nothing compared to having COVID-19.

“I’m willing to take as many as it takes to try and kick this thing.”

Linder recently responded to the VIDO-InterVac survey and said it was very thorough.

“If my experience helps a person, it is obviously worth it. If anyone’s experience helps me, I’m really grateful – more than willing to do whatever we need to do to try and beat this stuff.

Matthew Cardinal had COVID-19 and was in intensive care around the same time as Linder.

Cardinal said he has been suffering from long COVID symptoms for 11 months now.

“It is absurd. I never thought I would be faced with this stuff almost a year later,” Cardinal told Global News.

When he was released, Cardinal was sent home with an oxygen cylinder that he relied on for about three weeks.

Cardinal still deals with shortness of breath, fatigue and brain fog.

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He followed training under medical supervision to develop his endurance and his muscles.

“Some days I have chronic fatigue and when I have to work I have to really push myself and go to work anyway, and some of those days some of my clients say I look a little sore. easy.”

Although people know he had COVID-19, Cardinal said they don’t always realize he’s still dealing with the long-term impact.

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Some days are better than others, he added.

“You never know when you’re going to feel bad… chronic fatigue can be hard to explain sometimes. Some people, they have it much longer. Some people are constantly tired for nine months. But mine comes and goes.

Cardinal responded to VIDO-InterVac’s survey and encourages others to do so as well.

“I just think the more information they have through research, the more they can understand this at the end. It could be anything, vaccines, it could be treatment, it could be mental health supports – you name it.

“I don’t know exactly what will come out of this, but it’s important that we speak up and do these polls and do this research project.”

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More information about the study can be found at Sask Long COVID website.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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