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Discussing The Physical Toll of COVID-19 On Younger People, Including "Long Haulers"

Many Northeast Ohio students are wrapping up their vacations soon and heading back to class, whether that's a physical classroom or a virtual one.

It is certainly a stressful and confusing time for kids, parents and educators. They're navigating how to protect themselves from the coronavirus while taking part in a real educational experience. Some catching up on learning that was disrupted last year, others ready for a final year of high school hoping to move on to college. 

All this week, ideastream is examining the challenges of returning to school during a pandemic, and we're telling the stories of people who are trying to make it work. The series is called "Homeroom: A Return To Learning”. You can hear coverage on Morning Edition, The Sound of Ideas, and All Things Considered.

Today we preview that project with Marlene Harris-Taylor from our health team, and Annie Wu from the news department.

Also on today’s program, we look at how COVID-19 has been affecting younger people.

Medical professions say young people, especially young adults, are occupying a growing share of the cases of COVID-19.

In the Cuyahoga County suburbs, people in their 20s and 30s made up 38 percent of the total caseload, according to data posted Friday by the county board of health. Cleveland's department of public health reported similar numbers in the city at the end of July.

COVID-19 tends to be more deadly in senior citizens and people with underlying health problems. Out of 4,000 confirmed or probable COVID-19 deaths in Ohio, 2400 -- more than half -- were in nursing homes.

While contracting the virus if you are young and healthy may not be a death sentence, some younger patients report going through a long recovery process and facing ongoing health issues.

Today we are focusing on what happens physically to the younger, and seemingly healthier, population when they contract COVID-19. We’ll also hear directly stories of young people who have recovered or are still on the road to recovery.

- Marlene Harris-Taylor, Managing Producer of Health, ideastream

- Annie Wu, News Director, ideastream

- Dr. Kristin Englund, Infectious Disease Specialist, The Cleveland Clinic

- John Micklewright, Recovering from COVID-19

- Sean Holt, Recovering from COVID-19

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.