Psychologist Leonard Jason knew the COVID long-haulers were coming long before anyone even had a name for them.

“When we began hearing about individuals getting sick with this particular virus, we just assumed that there would be a certain percentage of individuals who did not recover,” he said. “And they ended up calling them ‘long-haulers.’”

Jason directs the Center for Community Research at DePaul University in Chicago. He said it was no surprise that some subset of those infected with the new coronavirus just stayed sick because that kind of thing has always happened.

“So if you look at all the different viruses that have occurred … from the Spanish flu (of) 1918 to Ebola, …  to SIRS, a certain percentage of people don’t recover,” Jason said. “That’s what we’re interested in: why is it that some people don’t recover from a wide different host of viruses that have occurred over the last hundred years?”