Health Advice



What does long COVID feel like?

Hanh Truong, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in Health & Fitness

He closed his practice again and contracted COVID for the second time in fall 2020. He ended up getting a second bout of long-haul symptoms, but this time, he said they were worse.

This year, in Santa Barbara County, California, 31-year-old Joshua Parra would be forced awake in the middle of the night.

He said he felt a burning sensation in his feet and legs as if needles were pricking the bed of his foot. Then, he started feeling joint pain in his toes.

Although Parra is in the early months post-infection, he is experiencing typical long-haul symptoms. Doctors, however, have not attributed this directly to the infection, he told The Bee.

Parra, who has not received his vaccine, got COVID-19 in early September at a local community college where he was studying industrial engineering. By October, new symptoms were appearing.

A few days after noticing the neuropathy in his feet, he started seeing large amounts of hair in his sink.


"Over the course of a week, I began to see a lot of my hair falling out and thinning to the point you could see my scalp," Parra wrote, preferring to answer questions via email because he said COVID-19 had affected his voice and speech. "I shaved my head to avoid seeing the daily hair loss."

Parra, who once ran Spartan Races, climbed Mt. Whitney, backpacked in the Sierra Mountains and surfed the Pacific, now had seizures, severe fatigue, chronic headaches and heart and digestive issues, he said.

"I worry that when I go to sleep, I will wake up with a new debilitating condition that will reduce the quality of my life," he wrote. "When will this end?"



swipe to next page
©2021 The Sacramento Bee. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.