In classes, Messiah, an honors student, said “my mind would kind of feel like it was going somewhere else.”
In a June appointment at Children’s National that the Times observed, Dr. Abigail Bosk, a rheumatologist, told him his post-Covid fatigue was more debilitating than simple tiredness. His athleticism, she said, should help recovery, but “it’s really not something you can push through.”
Dr. Yonts said Messiah’s treatment plan, including physical therapy, resembles concussion treatment. For the summer, she recommended “trying to give his brain a break, but also slowly build up the stamina for learning and thinking again.”
Messiah has maintained at least two hobbies: playing piano and writing poetry.
“I don’t want to float my boat, but I feel like I’m a pretty good writer,” he said. “I can still write. It’s just sometimes I’ve got to think harder than I usually had to.”
An excruciating cycle
Sometimes, Miya Walker feels like her old self. But after about four to six weeks, extreme fatigue and concentration difficulties strike again.
This roller coaster has lasted over a year. When she contracted Covid in June 2020, Miya, of Crofton, Md., was 14. In late August, she’ll turn 16.
Each time, “we thought, It’s going to be over,” her mother, Maisha Walker, said. “Then it just came again, and it was just so disappointing for her.”