When COVID-19 was first discovered in January of 2020, it was unknown how it would affect individuals long-term. After two and a half years, we now know that those who have contracted it in the past continue suffering from symptoms for months or years after. Below we will discuss the complications long COVID-19 is causing for students and how institutions need to support them.
What is Long COVID-19?
The COVID-19 virus changes neural structures in our brains, disrupting our cognitive functions, like memory and attention, and some individuals may suffer from pulmonary illnesses, cardiovascular issues, and extreme fatigue long after their first onset of symptoms. While many people bounce back after having COVID-19, others, especially those under large amounts of stress, such as students in college or graduate programs, will find it harder to recover. In fact, one study stated that almost 37% of individuals who have had COVID in the past will continue to experience symptoms for up to six months after.
What Does This Mean for College Students?
As we explained above, college students are continuously under significant amounts of pressure. Whether it be keeping up with class assignments, preparing for exams, or figuring out what they are going to do after college, there is no lack of stress and anxiety. Couple this with social expectations, like parties, staying up late to study, and generally not getting much sleep, and long COVID-19 symptoms are exacerbated.
Colleges and universities need to create measures to support students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing long COVID symptoms.
Possible Accommodations to Pursue
If you or someone you know is suffering from long COVID symptoms, you might find you are suffering from a lack of focus and concentration. It is important to enquire with your university about accommodations for exams and assignments, such as no time constraints. Additionally, if COVID has caused other issues, like hypoglycemia, your university must provide you with ways to check your blood sugar and/or consume snacks during class and examinations.
The best thing that colleges and universities can do is poll their students to determine who might need extra accommodations because of long COVID-19 symptoms and then build a plan to provide these accommodations.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm have years of experience helping students get the accommodations they need. Every student deserves the chance to succeed. Unfortunately, long COVID is not going away, and we will be dealing with the ramifications of this pandemic for decades to come. The most important thing we can do is create ways to help students succeed. They should not be left to feel isolated or left out because of their long COVID symptoms.
If your school is unable to find you the right accommodations, call our office today or schedule a consultation online. Attorney Lento can help. Call 888-535-3686 today.