Total cases in Alabama:

Confirmed – 28,583

+390

Recovered – 15,974

Deaths – 812

Recovered. While we mourn the loss of those who have died due to COVID-19, we want to stop a minute to be grateful for those who have recovered. I’ve been seeing the recovered patients being wheeled out of the hospitals to the applause of heroes in the healthcare field. Thanks to the compassionate care of the healthcare professionals, these fortunate folk are on the road to recovery.

But, what a long road that recovery has been.... And what a long, uncertain road it will continue to be for many. Recovery doesn’t mean it’s all over... And they are back to normal. No... For many of them, life will never be the same. Normal will never be normal again. Damaged lungs, immune system wrecked, blood vessels damaged, kidney damage and many other medical issues will be their new normal for many years... Or, in some cases, from now on. Then there’s the medical bills and prescription medicines that will be a part of the survivors daily regimen. Some discharged patients are being hit with medical bills that total as high as a million dollars. Some are permanently disabled, and have no hope of being able to afford long term care and meds. Contracted COVID-19 in a workplace that offered no protection? Think you should sue? Good luck, because the Congress is doing all it can to protect corporations from lawsuits.

Recovery doesn’t necessarily mean a patient has recovered. The burden of the infection will, undoubtedly, last a lifetime. Then there’s the mental health aspect of recovery. The anguish of dealing with long term medical issues, insurance companies that refuse to underwrite survivors with long time effects, high medical and med bills.... The stresses on the family...the loss of income.... These will also be all but unsurmountable challenges the survivors will face.

Recovery. Sounds good. But recovery means to be put back to ones former state. Sadly, that won’t be the case here. For hundreds of thousands of those who have recovered... Real recovery is still a long way off. And for many, I’m afraid.... The real survival these folks will have to accept is that their new normal means being returned to their former state is an allusive dream.

Rick Crabtree, Flat Rock, Alabama

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email emily.kirby @times-journal.com.

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