lingering

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Covid leaves some with medical bills, job insecurity, lingering isssues

Welcome to the Covid Economy, CNBC Make It’s deep dive into how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting all areas of our lives, from food to housing, health care to small business. We’re focusing on North Carolina, a swing state that has seen rapid economic growth — and growing inequality — since the last recession to learn how residents are weathering the economic consequences of this once-in-a-lifetime health crisis.

Ann only let her guard down for an afternoon. After months of being careful and following social distancing guidelines, she got together with a friend over the Fourth of July weekend. The next day, that friend let her know they were feeling sick. Four days after that, Ann began developing symptoms, too. 

An HR manager based in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, Ann, who agreed to speak to CNBC Make It on the condition that she be identified only by her middle name to protect her privacy, scheduled a Covid-19 test on July 15. She received a positive result two days later. 

It’s been more than four months, and Ann’s still struggling to fully recover from the virus. But it’s not just her health that’s been impacted. She’s had to take an unpaid leave of absence from work, and despite having health insurance, she’s worried about the mounting medical bills.

During the nearly three weeks that Ann suffered from the worst effects of Covid-19, she was mainly isolated at home. “There was an entire week that I had to lie on my stomach for hours just to breathe without a crushing pain in my chest,” Ann says. “The vomiting and diarrhea were so unyielding that one day I contemplated just sitting in the tub instead of going back and forth to the toilet.”

At one point, Ann’s symptoms were so serious, she did go to the emergency room. Fortunately, her hospital stay was short, and she never had to be put on a ventilator. But even after the worst of her symptoms passed, her life has yet to return to normal. One of the rising number of so-called “long haulers,” Ann is still feeling the ongoing effects of the virus. 

“It’s just so weird to me to be someone who is healthy and in their thirties to have something just completely ravage you so hard that it affects every organ in your body,” Ann says. 

Costs of Covid-19 vary dramatically and can go beyond just medical bills

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Covid survivors deal with another lingering side effect: Dramatic hair loss

When Stacey Maravola’s hair started falling out in clumps two months after she tested positive for Covid-19, she was not initially concerned.

“I washed my hair one day and I’m pulling handfuls upon handfuls. And I’m like, ‘Maybe because it was up in a scrunchie,’” Maravola, 44, of Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, said.

But nearly two months later, the hair loss has not stopped. Each time Maravola, a health and lifestyle coach, shampoos her hair, fistfuls come out, getting tangled around her fingers and sticking to her legs as she showers.

“I’ve had to limit hair washes because I’m terrified,” she said. “I’m not a big emotional person, but I can tell you, this has changed me. I cry every single time I take a shower.”

Image: Stacey Maravola (Courtesy Stacey Maravola)
Image: Stacey Maravola (Courtesy Stacey Maravola)

Maravola is one of many coronavirus survivors dealing with dramatic hair loss, something that experts say is not entirely unexpected following a serious illness — but can be jarring nonetheless.

“It is upsetting, especially for those who have gone through a significant clinical course of Covid, to then experience this as well,” said Dr. Sara Hogan, a dermatologist and health sciences clinical instructor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “But oftentimes, patients, once they have a diagnosis and they understand that typically this will get better, they feel better.”

Sudden hair loss can happen after any stressful event, including major surgery or even an emotional stressor such as starting a new job, Hogan said. The pandemic appears to have led to a large uptick in people who are seeing their hair thinning, she said: Hogan used to see an average of three to five hair loss patients a week and now sees up to seven a day.

Related:

Why severe assaults to the body or mind sometimes trigger hair loss is not entirely understood. In the majority of these cases, the patient is diagnosed with telogen effluvium, a temporary condition in which he or she sheds many more hairs than the typical 100 or so that people lose in a day. Telogen effluvium usually begins about three to six months after the stressor has happened, and in most patients, the problem will resolve within four to six months, according to Hogan. (In rare cases, unremitting stress can lead to chronic shedding, she added.)

Researchers do not believe Covid-19 attacks the hair follicles, meaning the hair loss is the body’s reaction to the physiological and emotional stress that the disease caused, rather than a symptom of the disease itself. And many hair loss patients that Hogan and other dermatologists are currently seeing have never had the coronavirus to begin with.

“It’s just all the other tolls of the pandemic that are leading to the hair loss,” such as financial worries or grieving the death of a family member, said Dr. Lauren Kole, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine.

Hair loss following Covid-19

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Melania Trump Cancels Campaign Rally Attendance Due To ‘Lingering Cough’ After COVID-19 Diagnosis

KEY POINTS

  • Melania Trump will not join President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Pennsylvania
  • The FLOTUS canceled her attendance due to a lingering cough
  • Donald and Melania tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month

Melania Trump was supposed to join a campaign event for President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, but the first lady decided to cancel her attendance due to a lingering cough.

The POTUS announced earlier this month that he and his wife tested positive for coronavirus. However, the president immediately recovered and has since returned to attending rallies. Melania’s attendance in Pennsylvania would have been her first public appearance after recovering from COVID-19 and her first appearance in more than a year since June 2019. However, she changed her mind and decided to just skip the event due to a lingering cough.

“Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” Melania’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, was quoted by Business Insider as saying Tuesday.

While Melania decided to just stay at home, her stepchildren have no qualms about making public appearances. Ivanka Trump will appear in Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida. Eric Trump and his wife will visit New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona. Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. will be traveling to North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Last week, Melania got candid about her coronavirus experience when she wrote an essay about it. According to her, when she found out that she was COVID-19 positive, she immediately thought of their son, Barron. The 14-year-old initially tested negative but also contracted the virus after a few days.

“To our great relief he tested negative, but again, as so many parents have thought over the past several months, I couldn’t help but think ‘what about tomorrow or the next day?’ My fear came true when he was tested again and it came up positive,” she wrote.

“Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms,” Melania continued before adding that her son has since tested negative.

The POTUS spent a couple of days at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after his COVID-19 diagnosis. Trump said he didn’t experience any symptoms.

Unlike Trump, Melania had body aches, cough and headaches. She was also extremely tired most of the time. But the FLOTUS has already recovered and is only taking caution due to her lingering cough that’s why she is skipping the campaign event in Pennsylvania.

In a rare public statement, US first lady Melania Trump said the allegations about her husband published by The Atlantic magazine -- that he called fallen US Marines "losers" and "suckers" -- were false In a rare public statement, US first lady Melania Trump said the allegations about her husband published by The Atlantic magazine — that he called fallen US Marines “losers” and “suckers” — were false Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB

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Melania Trump cancels campaign trip due to ‘lingering cough’

Oct. 20 (UPI) — First lady Melania Trump canceled plans to attend a campaign rally for President Donald Trump on Tuesday due to a “lingering cough” from her bout of COVID-19, her chief of staff said.

Stephanie Grisham said the first lady is still recovering from her illness, nearly three weeks after her diagnosis.

“Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” Grisham said.

The event in Erie, Pa., Tuesday night would have been the first lady’s first campaign event since the president’s White House speech as part of the Republican National Convention in August.

Melania Trump said last week she tested negative for the novel coronavirus after experiencing a “roller coaster” of symptoms, including body aches, cough, headache and fatigue. She said she chose a “more natural route” for her treatment, focusing on taking vitamins and eating healthy foods.

She also said the couple’s son, Barron Trump, tested positive for the virus, but has since tested negative.

The president, meanwhile, was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for three days after experiencing some breathing troubles brought on by COVID-19. Doctors treated him with an experimental antibody cocktail by Regeneron and remdesivir, an antiviral originally created to treat the Ebola virus.

Donald Trump is expected to give remarks at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Erie International Airport before returning to the White House.

Scenes from the White House as coronavirus hot spot

White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern speaks to members of the White House press corps about the status of President Donald Trump’s health as he recovers from coronavirus outside of the West Wing of the White House on Wednesday. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

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