Like other similar, neglected chronic illnesses, it defies a simplistic model of infectious disease in which a pathogen causes a predictable set of easily defined symptoms that alleviate when the bug is destroyed. It challenges our belief in our institutions, because truly contending with what long-haulers go through means acknowledging how poorly the health-care system treats chronically ill patients, how inaccessible social support is to them, and how many callous indignities they suffer at the hands of even those closest to them.



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