I was probably a long-hauler, under this definition. My whole family was sick in March with Covid-like symptoms, and though the one test we obtained was negative, I’m pretty sure we had the thing itself — and my own symptoms took months rather than weeks to disappear.
But unlike many of the afflicted, I didn’t find the experience particularly shocking, because I have a prior long-haul experience of my own. In the spring of 2015, I was bitten by a deer tick, and the effects of the subsequent illness — a combination of Lyme disease and a more obscure tick-borne infection, Bartonella — have been with me ever since.
Lyme disease in its chronic form — or, per official medical parlance, “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome” — is a fiendishly complicated and controversial subject, and what I learned from the experience would (and will, at some point) fill a book.
But there are a few lessons that are worth passing along to anyone whose encounter with the pandemic of 2020 has left them feeling permanently transformed for the worse.