*Speaking of which, there's some speculation that the effects of COVID-19 are also causing cognitive and emotional issues in drivers. I don't know about that, but it's enough to make me examine long COVID soon, if not next. Stay tuned.I haven't yet seen any evidence that long covid or just post-infection effects are contributing to U.S. traffic deaths reaching nearly 43,000 in 2021, the most in 16 years, instead of just the social reaction to it, but I did see cognitive deficits and decreased energy levels from the condition in CNBC's Why Long Covid Could Cost The U.S. $3.7 Trillion.
Long Covid is not just changing the lives of those affected, but it is proving to have a significant impact on the American labor force and economy. About a quarter of the roughly 16.3 million working-age Americans currently suffering from long Covid are out of work, and according to one estimate, long Covid could cost America as much as $3.7 trillion. Many of those suffering are either running out of disability insurance through their employers or getting denied Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI - an effect that’s expected to be long-lasting. In December 2021, Congress allocated $1.15 billion to the National Institutes of Health to study the long term effects of the disease. But many experts are saying that is not nearly enough.I can sum all of this up in one sentence: COVID is not over and won't be even if the virus stops circulating. The effects may be with us for decades, just like the effects of polio were and still are. My neighbor growing up had a limp from polio that she contracted as a young child in Iraq and she's probably still alive and living with that limp. The same will be true of the people disabled from COVID-19; they could be impoverished for the rest of their lives unless the disability system recognizes their condition.
I have another video from CNBC to share about other respiratory diseases like flu and RSV. Stay tuned after I post the Sunday entertainment feature. There is no new episode of "Saturday Night Live" tonight, so I plan on posting awards show coverage tomorrow instead.