Gez Medinger, a filmmaker, and Danny Altmann, an immunologist, have co-authored a book titled "The Long COVID Handbook" that discusses the impact of long COVID. According to Altmann, the clinical burden of long COVID is on par with heart disease and oncology, which are the biggest clinical bills. The authors met early in the pandemic when Medinger interviewed Altmann for his YouTube channel. Since then, they have worked together to provide a definitive guide to long COVID, combining anecdotal experiences and hard science. Their relationship also serves as a model for how patients with lived experiences can lead the way in medicine. Altmann is currently leading a major research project at Imperial College London on long COVID, while Medinger uses his social media platform and communication skills to advance the world's understanding of the disease.
The book includes comprehensive chapters on hypotheses and research, tips for managing symptoms, and content on mental health. It also includes a chapter about potential treatments, with cautionary tales like Medinger's experience with ivermectin. The authors believe that the most urgent next steps in the search for solving long COVID are to establish or eliminate viral persistence, develop a diagnostic test, and conduct treatment trials. They also touch on the need for public policy to adapt to long COVID, including social safety nets such as workers' compensation and disability benefits.
The authors remain optimistic about the future of long COVID research, with Altmann stating that his experience as an immunologist has shown him that wild promises and wildly optimistic projections can come true. Medinger has seen people who have been ill for more than two years recover, increasing the probability that he will, too. Overall, "The Long COVID Handbook" provides a comprehensive and informative guide to long COVID, combining patient experiences and scientific research.