When Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine came down with a “blizzard” of allergy-like symptoms in March 2020, he blamed the layer of pollen coating his car. “It was Washington, D.C., in late March,” he says. I thought, “‘Okay, well, this is hay fever gone wild.’”
Only when his wife, Anne Holton, developed “textbook” COVID-19 symptoms did Kaine start to wonder if he might have the new virus, the subject of the massive economic assistance bill—the CARES Act—that he and other lawmakers were then working to pass. Testing at that time was hard to come by, even for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, but antibody tests later revealed that Kaine and Holton had been infected by the virus that causes COVID-19.
While his wife’s symptoms resolved within a couple weeks, Kaine is still feeling the effects of his infection more than two years later. Kaine says he experiences near-constant nerve tingling, like “every nerve ending has had five cups of coffee,” as well as intermittent hot sensations on his skin. In a more recent development, everything he eats now tastes both a little metallic and a little sweet—the latter, he jokes, is appropriate for an optimist.
The experience has been trying, even with his sunny outlook. Like millions of other people in the U.S., Kaine has Long COVID, the name for coronavirus-related symptoms that last months or even years. More than 200 symptoms have been linked to Long COVID, but some of the most common include fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain, and neurological issues like Kaine’s. He is the first to admit he has a mild case, one that doesn’t interfere with his ability to work, exercise, or live his life. But speaking with long-haulers who have more serious cases—some bedridden by their …read more
Source:: Time – Politics