Doctors With Long COVID



From BMA.

Doctors who contracted COVID, and thought the symptoms would be over in weeks, tell Jennifer Trueland about their continuing pain, exhaustion and – sometimes – struggle to be believed.

Richard Campbell had a demanding job as a consultant rheumatologist in a busy London trust at the start of the year.

In his scant spare time, he enjoyed an active social life, went to the gym several times a week, and had a particular interest in creating complex electronic music, sometimes involving up to 50 separate sounds.

When he developed symptoms of COVID-19 towards the end of March, he thought it would be a short period of feeling awful, then back to his old life. But six months later, he is still suffering – and has yet to return to work, let alone anything else.

‘I had been looking after probably COVID-19 patients, and working on the medical take where I saw lots of COVID-19 patients,’ explains Dr Campbell, 44.

‘I wasn’t severely unwell enough to need to go into hospital, but I was unwell at home for two to three weeks. I had fever and severe myalgia, and very severe headaches, loss of taste and smell, severe vertigo where it felt I was constantly falling backwards, and severe tiredness. Interestingly, I never had any respiratory symptoms – I never had a cough and was never short of breath.


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