It’s time we recognised Long Covid as a disability when it comes to our heroes

Long Covid should be recognised as a disability says Voice of the People (Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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In April 2020, Holly Johnston was working on the frontline of the Covid battle.

An NHS nurse, she knew the risks, but was determined to do everything she could to save lives.

It was transferring a patient to intensive care that she caught the virus.

A lack of PPE had left her exposed. She felt, she said, like ‘a lamb to the slaughter.’

Holly has been left with a heart condition, palpitations and fainting. Sometimes she struggles to breathe.

She had to go part-time because of her illness. Her pay was slashed.

Dr Nathalie Macdermott was working at Great Ormond Street when she got Covid. Since contracting the virus she says her condition has gradually deteriorated. Now she struggles to walk more than 200m without crutches.

Kaveri Jalundhwala, 28, a doctor from London, got Covid in March 2020 and now is suffering severe fatigue. She has lost pay and says she is a shadow of her former self. Pregnant now, she worries about the effects of Long Covid on her unborn child.

These are just three snapshots from the frontline. Official figures show that 1.1 million people in the UK are living with Long Covid – including 122,000 healthcare workers.

Now the TUC is calling on employers to recognise Long Covid as a disability and recognised as an occupational disease.

It’s only right. They are battling not only the disease but discrimination and disadvantage.

This is a shameful way to treat people who kept the country going. Who risked everything to treat our loved ones.

These are people who have given their entire lives over to caring for others.

It’s time we cared for them.

Hannah and her son Alfie
(Image: Rowan Griffiths/Daily Mirror)

Made medicinal cannabis more easily available

Britain is a world leader in the export of medical cannabis.

Every year, 97 tons – 45 per cent of the global market – leaves our shores.

But legal restrictions mean it can’t be sold here.

That means parents like Hannah Deacon, who needs the drug for her severely epileptic son have to head abroad to get it.

With minor changes to the law that problem would be removed overnight.

And it would open up a multi-billion pound market – creating hundreds of jobs – to help with the pandemic recovery.

Making the drug more easily available – albeit strictly controlled and regulated – would help patients and help the country.

What’s not to like?

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