MACON, Ga. — According to the CDC, long COVID or post-COVID Conditions is "a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19."
Macon attorney, Jordan Josey, was someone who was one of the first people in the younger age range to see severe symptoms from the virus.
Josey remembers the day he knew something was wrong like it was yesterday.
"I remember it was Friday the 15th. I'll never forget it," Josey said.
In March 2020, for two weeks, Josey has a fever and fatigue. During that time, vaccination wasn't available yet. When Josey went to the doctor, they told him he was too young for a COVID-19 test.
After pressing the doctors about his declining health, he was admitted to the hospital.
That's where he found out he indeed had the virus, a partially collapsed lung, and pneumonia.
"I was able to fight it off. It did a number on me," he said.
Josey thought he was in the clear but the virus came back three months later. But it wasn't the same COVID-19 symptoms. He said he was coming home from work, got in his car and realized just doing that was tough.
"I felt like I just couldn't catch my breath. And I thought maybe it was just the hot air. It really freaked me out. I almost drove myself to the hospital," Josey said.
From fatigue, rashes, and brain fog it went on for a year. All of these symptoms are what doctors say are called post-COVID Conditions.
According to the CDC, long covid symptoms declined from 19% to 11% from June 2022 to January 2023. Among people with long covid, 79% had to limit their day-to-day activities.
Josey says even after the vaccinations and contracting COVID-19 two more times, nothing compares to the first.
"It definitely was probably decreasingly severe in terms of the order of when I got each one," Josey said.
Post-COVID Conditions are often found in people who had severe COVID-19.
Post-COVID Conditions may start four weeks after infection. Symptoms of long covid can be fatigue, brain fog, and shortness of breath.
Josey says he's contracted COVID-19 three times since 2020.
However, a Facebook group for people who had COVID helped him find support from people who have the same problems.
"If you're still struggling you know with the long haul problems, I hope that they get better with time and don't give up. Just keep fighting on and know that there are millions of other people in the country that are probably dealing with the same thing that you are," Josey said.
Doctors still urge people to get vaccinated and boosted to limit their risk of contracting the virus.