Long Covid Kids receive communications from parents & groups around the world, all struggling with the same issues.
Samual is 11, he spoke to our friends in France, Ecole et Familles oubliées
What were your Covid symptoms?
I was vomiting bile, aching all over, I couldn't move. Every time I moved I was throwing up all the time, it was horrible and I sometimes fell asleep like that. I could fall asleep all of a sudden. I had huge exhaustion, I couldn't get up. That was horrible.
Do you still have Covid symptoms?
It's still going on today, I still have exhaustion attacks, but when the covid was really strong it lasted a week. And then the symptoms still last. Sometimes I get an exhaustion attack, and sometimes I have trouble moving, my body is heavy, I'm very very tired, exhausted even.
The covid also affects young people and it's really horrible to have exhaustion attacks that happen like that, and to go from being super energetic to completely dead: it's a horrible feeling. And not to be able to do our passion, it's also horrible because we're restricted by it.
What can't you do anymore?
Tennis. I used to do tournaments, so it was very, very tiring. And today with all the exhaustion attacks… a tournament lasts several days, and I can't hold it, I won't be able to hold a tournament. Even when I play tennis again I can't do it after 15 minutes, I'm exhausted, I feel like my lungs are dry, I can't breathe, it's horrible. And the other sports are quite strenuous.
What do you think of the protocol in your school?
At school, there are no restrictions at all. Only the wearing of a mask is mandatory.
And the canteen hasn't changed at all, because we don't have masks in the canteen.
So nothing has changed for the canteen.
There is no other protocol than the masks. As a result, people with frail parents isolate themselves completely.
For example, last year we went to school (june) for two weeks, and, for two weeks, I had a friend whose mother was quite old and had asthma problems, so he was completely isolated and he didn't see anyone anymore. He stayed in his corner because he didn't want to be contaminated. He didn't want us to eat with him, so he asked his mother not to eat at the canteen.
It's really horrible all these people who have to think about their parents because the schools are not doing anything to change this story. So for 11 year old children to be forced to do things for their parents... I find it really horrible.
What's the hardest thing for you?
The hardest thing right now: I'm trying to tell myself that if I'm infected I could infect other people. So I'm trying not to get infected, but the school really doesn't have a protocol. And so I try as best I can not to be contaminated. If I was contaminated and I passed it on to people, moreover to people with a health problem or elderly people, it would be very serious.
A recent government campaign in the UK highlights how important it is for a child's health and wellbeing for children to be in school. While LCK fully agrees children should be in school, we strongly feel that the way we educate in a pandemic needs further thought. As highlighted by Samual here.
LongCovidKids.org is a parent and patient-led campaign & support group for parents of children with Long Covid. Our story started with a short film on long-lasting symptoms of Covid in children & we are working on The Long Covid Kids Study with PeopleWith