The Abstract Podcast

Life after Covid-19: Young people cope with lingering symptoms

In this episode, we discuss how young adults are coping with heart inflammation, sensory dysfunction, and moving forward.

Miguel Navarro/Getty Images

When the novel coronavirus first emerged, health experts were stunned by how fast it could damage the lungs. Now, as we continue to live with the virus, we’re learning how it also can attack the heart, GI tract, liver, kidneys, and even steal our senses of smell and taste.

While older people are hit hardest, young and healthy adults can also suffer lingering effects, and their experiences reveal key lessons about life after Covid-19.

As some athletes experience signs of heart muscle inflammation at an alarming rate, 34 to 68 percent of people infected with coronavirus are temporarily losing their sense of taste or smell. While scientists pour over data to make sense of these connections, those infected try to make sense of the disease’s aftermath.

Whether its learning how to exercise again after myocarditis or how to face a life without the smell of fresh flowers … or the taste of greasy comfort food … young people are sharing sobering insight into the complex ways Covid-19 impacts the body and mind.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss how young adults are coping with heart inflammation, sensory dysfunction, and moving forward.

Our first story explores how coronavirus affects the heart. As scientists examine how Covid-19 can lead to myocarditis, young athletes are shedding light on the best way to exercise after recovering from the disease.

Our second story is about the connection between Covid-19 and sensory dysfunction. As growing evidence suggests loss of taste or smell is a hallmark symptom of Covid-19, we meet the young people who suffered months without these vital abilities, and some who face a lifetime without smelling fresh cookies, fragrant curries, and more dangerously, burning food.

Read the original Inverse stories:

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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