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In this week’s episode of the “First Opinion Podcast,” I talk with critical care physician Adam Gaffney and philosopher Diane O’Leary about how to categorize the condition that’s come to be known as long Covid.

It’s easy to identify the physical manifestations of long Covid — severe fatigue, weakness, palpitations, brain fog, and more — but far trickier to understand what’s causing them. Gaffney and O’Leary take on the blurred distinction between the direct effect of a viral infection and potential psychosomatic origins. The conversation jumps off from each guest’s recent First Opinion: Gaffney’s “We need to start thinking more critically — and speaking more cautiously — about long Covid” and O’Leary’s “Needed for long Covid: a less authoritarian approach to understanding, treatment.”

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