By Tim McNicholas

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some of you are going to defy advice and invite loved ones into your home.

Before you start breathing on granny and uncle Irv, take a minute and watch this. CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas shows us that COVID doesn’t always go away after some magical 14 day window.

“I would never wish this on anyone.”

CBS 2 first met Christina Hill in April. She had oxygen tubes in her nose, recovering from COVID-19.

“This is not a joke,” she said. “Everyone’s dealing with their own stuff. I feel fortunate.”

CBS 2 caught up with Christina, some seven months later, to check on her recovery. How are things now?

“Pretty good, I feel pretty good,” she said. “I have developed asthma-like symptoms, short of breath, pretty chronic cough.”

It’s a cough she didn’t have before and she has to use an inhaler at least twice a day. If days in the hospital with a fever and trouble breathing weren’t enough for Christina, she’s now stuck with this thing for who knows how long.

“It’s becoming sadly more common.”

Doctor Katie Radigan is with Cook County Health. Hill is not a patient of hers, but Radigan has seen her fair share like Hill.

“The post-COVID syndrome is oftentimes what we call long haulers,” Radigan said.

It’s become so common, there are names to describe what Christina’s experiencing. And while actual COVID tends to last days or weeks, post-COVID syndrome is a mystery.

“Only studies will tell them the future whether it will last for years, or perhaps even permanently,” Radigan said.

So as you perhaps invite outsiders into your home for the holidays, Dr. Radigan offers this sobering advice:

“I think we need to look at each individual around the table. And if it’s not someone that lives within our house, how would we feel if we infected that individual?”

What does Christina Hill want people to know about the virus?

“People should definitely be social distancing and wearing masks,” Hill said.

Social distancing and masks, or you may wind up with an oxygen mask, inhalers or even worse.

Doctor Radigan warns it’s not just lung issues. Some patients have persistent heart issues. Download the new CBS 2 app and look for the section called Morning Insiders.


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Tim McNicholas