Cleveland State pupil describes ‘long-haul’ bout with COVID

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Marissa Durand’s lingering symptoms include a rapid heartbeat of up to 190 beats per second, which can begin just by standing up.

CLEVELAND – The United States has now exceeded 600,000 deaths from the coronavirus. That’s the number of Americans who died of cancer in 2019, and it’s roughly the size of the population of Denver, Colorado.

The news comes as the country emerges for the summer, with a drop in daily cases and deaths. However, a retired Cleveland State University volleyball player has warnings: don’t let up on your vigilance.

Marissa Durand, 19, expected to recover quickly after contracting COVID-19 in August 2020, shortly after returning to campus for her sophomore year.

“I was a little worried at first because I had so many symptoms,” she told us.

But her symptoms – including fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and an increased heart rate – worsened even after her 14-day quarantine.

“My parents had to make me breakfast, my parents had to make me lunch,” said Durand. “I had to take a shower. Sometimes my mother had to take me upstairs to my bedroom.”

Ten months after contracting the virus, Durand is slowly recovering, but she has been officially diagnosed with post-acute episodes of COVID-19 (PASC). She is a COVID “long distance runner” with symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat of up to 190 beats per second that can only be started by standing up.

Durand’s cardiologist, Dr. Tamanna Singh, of the Cleveland Clinic, says post-COVID symptoms that affect the heart can usually last for weeks. In Marissa’s case, these symptoms lasted almost a year.

“It’s heartbreaking, especially for young people like Marissa,” said Singh. “We’re quite concerned about myocarditis, which is essentially a viral and immediate inflammation of the heart muscle.”

Singh and Durand say therapy and medication work, but unfortunately Marissa won’t be returning to the volleyball team because she just can’t.

“There is still so much going on,” she complained. “I’m trying to run a mile instead. I just knew it and had to slowly get used to it.

“Don’t overestimate how healthy you are. From where I was, I thought I would be fine, had no reason to believe that it would affect me. … But you never know, so it’s better to be on the safe side. “

Marissa and Singh stress the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine in stopping the spread of the virus and the variants that continue to spread around the world. This fall, Durand will return to campus for her junior year at Cleveland State, studying biology with a minor in marketing.