The pandemic, she said in an interview, feels like “a hell that I am never going to get out of.” Her husband has a compromised immune system, she said, and she is still wearing masks.
“President Biden said, ‘No one’s wearing masks,’ and perhaps that is true,” she said. “But is it wise?”
Mr. Goodman, who worked as a music and arts reporter for Newsday before he turned to teaching, got sick shortly after he and his wife, Debbie, had returned from a cruise along the Rhine. He said he had no idea how they contracted Covid-19 — it could have been on the plane, where few people were wearing masks, or in the airport, or on the ship, where someone they ate with had a cough.
He said he does not regret the trip; his wife, who also had a lung disorder, consulted with her pulmonologist, who said it was fine for her to go. He is glad, he said, that they had that time together. He said he was trying not to pay attention to statistics.
“How many people are still dying a day — is it 400 people a day?” he asked. “It’s not over. It may feel over. Probably if it weren’t for my situation, I might feel that it was over, too, but I’m in a situation where it doesn’t matter whether other people think it’s over. It’s not over for me.”
Others say their lives are forever changed.
“For us, there is no normal that we can go back to,” said Mr. HsuBorger, seated in a wheelchair. He had just led a group of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis, a complex disorder also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, in a protest outside the White House. Many have long Covid. Their T-shirts declared: “Still Sick. Still Fighting.”
Sharon Otterman and Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.