Federal vaccine ad shows San Antonio natives with long COVID-19
Federal vaccine ad shows San Antonio natives with long COVID-19

Federal vaccine ad shows San Antonio natives with long COVID-19

“This crisis is hitting us much faster than people think,” said Rob Smith, the 22-year-old Central Catholic candidate.

SAN ANTONIO – US Department of Health and Human Services released a new vaccine ad with a 22-year-old San Antonio native with long COVID-19.

“I used to run 5 to 6 miles a day,” Central Catholic candidate Rob Smith said in the ad. “Now, as I walk up a flight of stairs, I gasp for air.”

Smith caught coronavirus in September 2020. He says he noticed persistent problems a few weeks after he became infected.

“I wanted to go into a room and forget what I was doing,” he said in an interview with KENS 5. “It almost felt like a short-term memory loss, but it was just extreme fatigue.”

Smith says he connected with the producers of the commercial through an online support group for long haulers. These sites are among the only places he and others with long-term COVID-19 can turn to for news and information about their condition.

“Not many people know what’s going on yet,” he said. “I realized that there were at least tens of thousands of people around the country who had the same problems.”

Doctors recently told a congressional sub-committee that the pandemic could be a ‘mass-deactivating’ event. One San Antonio expert says Millions of Americans could soon qualify for disability assistance and services because persistent symptoms have hampered their ability to function.

“Right now, there is no cure or treatment,” Smith said. “We just want to help people stay informed … and make healthier choices.”

The ad is expected to run throughout March.

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