'There’s a lot of nasty stuff': the people living with long Covid

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Sufferers say they have had little specialist help despite NHS England setting up dedicated clinics

“It’s not that I feel I have been abandoned, I think that is perfectly obvious,” says Rachel Pope. “If you speak to any long Covid patient, they have been abandoned.”

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Until exactly a year ago – 5 March 2020 – Pope was “an incredibly fit woman”. A senior lecturer in European prehistory at the University of Liverpool, her work and lifestyle were very active. But after falling ill to Covid, she spent four months unable to walk, then three more when she could manage little more than “a sort of shuffle”.

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