In this episode of the Employee Survival Guide, Mark discloses the unspoken impact of the pandemic. The following statement is going to surprise you. There are an estimated 191,796,906 people living in the U.S. who have a disability called Covid-19. (The CDC has reported that 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability, but it is unclear if this number includes Covid-19 infections). This includes both individuals who have "recovered" from Covid-19 and those with long-haul Covid-19.
If nearly 60% of the U.S. population has a disability, then Covid-19 has also become a mass-equalization event. The disease affects all races, genders, ages, nationalities. Yes, now 60% of all of you have something in common, Covid-19, and you all live with a shared experience that may transform how you think about one another. It may be difficult to dislike someone who has something in common with you. Covid-19 may just be the one event where we all look at each other equally, not clouded by some form of bias associated with skin color, sexual orientation, gender, age, nationality, political affiliation, wealth group etc.
But explores a darker truth about post-Covid-19 infection, the U.S. Government does not recognize all recovered Covid-19 patients as having a physical nor mental disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To recognize this situation would cost insurance companies, employers and the U.S. Government billions in disabilities benefits. Mark will explore this dark truth in a follow up episode.
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Hey, it's Mark here and welcome to the next edition of the Employee Survival Guide where I tell you what your employer does not want to know about as usual, and a lot more. Today's episode we're going to talk about a topic that nearly 60% of the US population has had COVID and now has a disability. The Coronavirus pandemic has been labeled a mass disabling event where millions and US population have become infected with COVID-19 and thus considered disabled under federal, state and local disability laws. According to the CDC data, an estimated 57% of the US population has had COVID-19 Or has had an COVID-19 infection as of February 2022. According to the US Census Bureau, there are an estimated 332 million people living in the US as of January one 2022. There are an estimated 991 million people in the US who have had COVID 19, a group I will now label as the new majority. However, the CDC reports there were only 97 million reported cases as of November 18 through lesson 22. The number of reported cases is likely underreported due to increased vaccination rates on reported positive home test results, lack of mandatory reporting by public officials and increased public ambivalence regarding the pandemic. The following statement is going to surprise you. Based on the above data, there are an estimated 191 million people living in the US who have a disability called COVID-19. The CDC has reported that 61 million adults in the US live with a disability. But it is unclear if that number includes COVID-19 infections. Coincidentally, there are 140 million people in the US who have never contracted COVID-19. I'm labeling this group the new minority. I suspect and you probably intuitively agreed this number will dwindle as more people contract COVID-19 in the coming years after each new variant wave arises. So the new minority will grow smaller. But why is this important? The new minority will have a viewpoint about public policy, business and the law. And they'll want their voices to be heard on present issues of the day. By implication the new minority will be non disabled, their viewpoint may be dramatically different than the new majority of the pot in the population already, in fact, it just think like mass squares and non mass squares, but politically charged probably, this discourse has yet to rise to national level, but it will all differences in and among the US population eventually assert their influence in the public debate at some point in time, if nearly 60% of the US population has a disability, and COVID-19 has also become a mass equalization event. The disease affects all races, genders, ages, nationalities. Yes, now 60% of all of you have something in common COVID-19. And you all live with a shared experience that may transform how you think about one another. It may be difficult to dislike someone who has something in common with you. COVID-19 may just be the one event where we all look at each other equally, not clouded by some form of bias associated with skin color, sexual orientation, gender, age, nationality, political affiliation, wealth group, etc. Now, you have probably concluded that not every case of COVID-19 renders someone disabled and thus the term disability should not apply. I beg to differ. Certainly we now know there are a significant number of the US population that might have symptoms that last a long time after the infection, the so called the long haul COVID-19, according to the Mayo Clinic, but to say that everyone who has recovered from COVID-19, not once but twice or even three times does not have a disability is premature. as of this date, we have no understanding of the long term impact of COVID-19 on the health of the population. We don't know what really causes or what can cure COVID-19. And so how can the federal government, typically the Department of Justice, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued guidance to tell us that only those who have long COVID have disability and those who don't have long haul don't have a disability? Because we don't know what COVID-19 is. You could have let's say cancer in remission, are you disabled or not disabled? So, and I'll address this in a subsequent podcast on this topic of whether you have a disability or not when after you recover from your infection, but back to Long Haul COVID According to the Mayo Clinic, post COVID-19 syndrome involves a variety of new returning and ongoing symptoms that people experience More than four weeks after getting COVID-19 And some people post COVID-19 syndrome lasts months or years and causes disability. The most commonly reported symptoms of post COVID-19 syndrome include the following fatigue symptoms, I guess get worse after physical and mental effort, fever, lung respiratory symptoms, including difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and cough. Other possible symptoms include neurological symptoms or mental health conditions, including difficulty thinking or concentrating, headache, sleep problems, dizziness, when you stand, pins and needles feeling, loss of smell or taste, depression or anxiety, and I'll insert here depression and anxiety related to the whole Pete situation of the lockdowns and dealing with COVID and its initial outbreak. I mean, the entire population probably has this and to say that they're not disabled, because they have these conditions that are mental nervous, meaning they're having PTSD related to lock downs, etc. is really become an asinine say that they're not disabled, but that's the position of the government which I'll address in a separate podcast. Other symptoms include joint and muscle pain, heart symptoms and conditions including chest pain and fast pounding heartbeat, digestive symptoms, including diarrhea and stomach pain. That sounds awful. Here's a good one blood clot and blood vessel vascular issues, including a blood clot that travels to the lungs from deep veins and legs and blocked blood flow to the lungs, also called a pulmonary embolism, not fun folks. Other symptoms such such as a rash and changes in the menstrual cycle for women. I would argue these post COVID-19 syndrome symptoms constitute a physical disability, and in some cases I comorbid mental disability as I discussed earlier, protected by the federal, state and local disability laws. nearly 60% of the US population is now disabled, and protected against Disability Discrimination and Employment. Post COVID-19 syndrome symptoms qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act, because COVID-19 adversely in substantially limits one or more major life activities. In addition, every person who has had COVID-19 now has a history or a record of impairment and may be perceived by others as having the impairment. He for example, employees who suffer for long haul COVID 19, fatigue and cognitive issues which impair their ability to work. If you have had or had COVID-19, you are protected against disability discrimination. And you can also request reasonable accommodations at work. Do not hesitate to use your newly protected status as a shield to protect yourself from your employer's unlawful and discriminatory conduct while working in seeking reasonable accommodations, such as remote working and flexible work schedules. But you can also use your disability as a sword in the event you are being laid off or terminated from your employment. All you need to do is spell out the factual narrative regarding how your COVID-19 illness adversely affected your ability to do your job and lead to termination. Specifically, you should assert your COVID-19 disability and resulting discrimination in your severance negotiation with your employer. Now, getting back to the issue of whether 60% of population has a disability, the federal government right today says you do not if you don't have long term COVID symptoms. So Long Haul COVID Long Haul COVID-19 syndrome. And I'm going to assert that when I issued the article that which this blog, this podcast is based on there was a law professor at Yale University, which I won't name who basically canceled or unsubscribe to me. And I noticed it not because I mean people unsubscribe all the time, of course. But the individual in question was a recognizable name. And that person was also part of the Biden administration's lead counsel, or one of the team during the Biden's early days of COVID-19. And I looked her up, sorry, now you know the pronoun. And I was astounded that I was cancelled. And I didn't really well, I'll follow up with her. And I'll do some research. And I'll ask her the question of why but I suspect that it's because of this, that the people who recover from COVID-19 And I'll say now, because you probably have found out listening to me on the podcast that I sound like I have a head cold because I'm recovering right now from COVID-19. When I wrote the article, I didn't have it. I was a Friday. By Sunday, I was diagnosed positive test result. So I sit here today recovering from COVID-19. And according to this law professor and according to the federal government in in specifically the Department of Justice, and their guidelines and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and their guidelines? I don't have long term COVID Yet, yet? Well, I took the Paxil that that sort of prevents the long haul effect, we hope. But that folks, we don't really know what causes and how COVID works, because it's still going on. I'm fully boosted. I'll admit that too. I even got my flu shot. So get your flu shot, because that's going around. So the issue is, Do I have a disability sitting here today? Recovering from COVID? Well, yes, because I have COVID symptoms. But when I recovered, I started testing negative, whenever that's going to happen. At that point, I no longer have a disability. I mean, I have a disability in this respect. And this is my opinion, pretty, pretty strong one. What if I have PTSD, because COVID affects my heart, and causes me to have a heart attack in six months time, even though I don't have symptoms of Long Haul COVID. That heart attack in recover there from it then becomes what long haul? Well, the government doesn't know enough. And for his to go out. And to say that, well, just because you don't have long term Long Haul COVID You don't have a disability is so effing premature, that they should be ashamed for themselves. But while they're trying to do is essentially, to put a placeholder on people for purpose of insurance, for purposes of employment, for purposes of, of trying to be more certain on something that's so uncertain. In a lifetime. We have a pandemic, it hasn't gone away, folks. So I'm obviously upset by this issue. I don't like the idea that I'm not covered for disability, just because they don't have long haul COVID. And I'm going to do a follow up for this podcast, of course, was the test. And I want you all to understand this. And don't just be smoothed over by the fact that people tell you it was just because you have you don't have long haul COVID And you feel fine. I'm going to say something to you. Are you really sure? Do you really, really know whether you don't have a disability or not? Just because you feel fine. And then one day, all of a sudden, you're just deathly ill again. That's the problem. And that's the issue I'm trying to address with you. It's not over folks. It makes you feel comfortable to say, well, it's over. It's an epidemic, endemic, etc. Don't need to wear a mask, whatever. It's not political. The issue is, folks, there's a disability, it's ongoing. And you need to assert that if you are in problems with your employment, and you can make the argument because no one's going to sit there looking in the eyes and saying you don't have disability after you recovered from COVID. That's the point. It's something unusual that's has happened. And it's like you if you had your booster shot, and it's equivalent to getting eyeglasses, well, eyeglasses for a pilot are an accommodation is made, but he still has his disability. So the law is changed in that respect is Supreme Court cases about this issue about eyeglasses and airline pilots. So I got my booster, I still have COVID are recovered from COVID, I can get it again. So my point is, and I sound like I'm sick, because I'm sick. I still have COVID. And I'll have COVID I'll have a disability of physical disability affecting my respiratory effect team mental mental disability, mental status, if I'm scared of getting deathly ill again, who knows what's going to happen to us, not trying to, you know, throw fear in the wind here to scare the crap out of you. But the reality is real. There's a unique circumstance with COVID. That is you have a disability, whether you recovered or not. If you did not recover in the long haul, that's obvious. But if you don't have long haul, you still have a physical disability. That's the point. And you can use that to your advantage. That's the point of this, what I'm trying to get across to you. Now you're not going to hear this in mainstream, you're not going to hear this from them, reading the press. I did read it a left wing nonprofit that was supported by Google and Amazon who made donations to because I checked this morning. So they set it in there. And that's the basis of the next podcast article that I wrote probably tomorrow. So I wanted to share that with you. It's critically important. You're not going to hear mainstream, but it's real. If you've had COVID and fortunately don't have long haul. You still have a disability under state and federal law. And if when you use it, assert it because it's real. And no one's there to doubt you don't have it because we all don't know it's still three years into this process. and it's going to be four or five years. So I'll leave you with that. Look for the next podcast about same subject. And I'll get further in depth. Eyes wide open folks. Like I said, I tell you what your employer does not want you to know about and a lot more. This was the one of those a lot more podcasts. Thank you for listening. As always. I'm here to do the hard work and heavy lifting for you. I'll talk to you next time. Take care