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Episode 21: The Long Recovery

Adrian Florez


Tammy Edwards survived COVID-19. It was miserable, but she made it. She had hoped that once the virus ran its course, she could then get back to her life and her work as a nurse in Tacoma. 

Federal guidelines suggest a typical person sick with COVID should get better after a week or two. Tammy Edwards is three months past that point, and she is still recovering. 

“It’s not a two-week, blanket, flu like thing,” she says. “Every day you feel it. You feel the shortness of breath, you feel the headaches — I’ve had a headache for two days straight — I’ve had a rash, I have had ear ringing, I still can’t smell. COVID’s very sneaky.”

As a region, and a country, we have been fixated on the first wave of infections and whether it has crested, and if a second wave is now gathering strength. But there could be another wave, off in the distance, of long-term health complications and disabilities that could be with us for a generation. 

On today’s episode, the long recovery: what we know and don’t know about that distant wave, and why “getting better” from this virus is, for some, just the beginning of the story. 

We join Tammy Edwards, as she and her husband come to grips with the long tail of COVID-19.

And we hear from doctors throughout the region about what they are seeing, what they are expecting to see down the line.


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Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.