Last summer, in the six weeks after she began feeling terrifyingly breathless and was briefly hospitalized for Covid-19, Crystal Williams returned to the emergency room eight times. Each visit was for dizziness and shortness of breath, for which she often received fluids and oxygen. She didn’t get any answers as to why her symptoms had persisted, though, and despite having insurance, she ran up tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills.
“At first, doctors listened, but they became dismissive the longer things went on,” said Williams, 30, a Tacoma, Wash., cosmetologist. “For months, I could barely walk down the hall to the bathroom without getting winded.”