Disability is a condition that doesn’t allow people to carry out their lives like every other person. Their disability could impact their movement, ability to think, memory, and/or other aspects of their body. When a person has a disability, their life changes drastically; they require assistance and have to relearn how to live their life. Many disabilities impact lives worldwide, but recently, a virus has also come up on the scene that has caused disability in millions. This disability is called Long COVID.
What Is Long COVID?
According to most people’s understanding, COVID-19 is a virus that causes a severe infection that impacts the lungs, weakens the body, and lowers immunity. Many people across the globe have lost their lives to it, but some have become disabled as well due to it. There is no particular definition for long COVID, as it has a different presentation in different patients, but the condition has affected 7.23 million American citizens. According to the US. Government Accountability Office, around 7% of the US population, is dealing with this disability.
Where Is The Silver Lining?
It is important to note, however, that while the world previously hasn’t dealt with disability, it has changed people’s views towards being more inclusive after companies and organizations have realized that this disability is different. According to University of Pennsylvania’s law professor, Jasmine Harris, this scenario is a perfect opportunity for employers and organizations to rethink their work models, renovating the workplace concept while taking into account the work that is done and how it is done in a healthy work environment.
This will not be an easy task as it will require the employer or the higher management to focus on accommodations that consider people with disabilities, such as special equipment or change in the work schedule that could cater to the disabled people. Harris claims that now is the time for companies to focus on this demographic. This means that the organizations have the work cut out for them as they will have to redesign and restructure their companies to be more inclusive.
What To Do?
Long COVID is considered to be an invisible disability that does not need any particular equipment like wheelchairs, crutches, service animals, or any telltale signs. Because of the invisibility factor, this disability is difficult to prove or document and also opens the door to doubt about whether the employee is exploiting the situation or not.
The thing about Long COVID is that while it might not have a proper distinction, you can easily accommodate people with this disability by providing them a place that does not hinder their performance by putting a strain on their health.
It’s high time employers work hard to accommodate people with disabilities.