Biden says the pandemic is over. But at least 400 people die every day.

She said in an interview that the pandemic was like “a hell that I’ll never get out of”. Her husband has a compromised immune system, she said, and she is still wearing a mask.

“President Biden said, ‘Nobody wears a mask,’ and maybe that’s true,” she said. “But is it wise?”

Mr. Goodman, who worked as a music and art reporter for Newsday before switching to teaching, fell ill shortly after he and his wife, Debbie, returned from a cruise along the Rhine. He said he doesn’t know how they contracted Covid-19 – it could have been on an airplane, where there are few people wearing masks, or in an airport, or on a train, where someone they ate cough together.

He says he has no regrets about the trip; his wife, who also has a lung disorder, consulted a pulmonologist, who said she could go. He said he was glad they had a good time together. He said he was trying not to pay attention to the stats.

“How many people are still dying a day – is it 400 a day?” he asks. “It’s not over yet. It can feel over. Maybe if it weren’t for my situation, I might as well feel that it’s over, but I’m in a situation where it doesn’t matter if other people think it’s over. It’s not over for me yet.”

Others say their lives are forever changed.

“For us, there is no such thing as a normal thing that we can go back to,” said HsuBoger, who is in a wheelchair. He just led a group of patients with encephalitis, a complex disorder also known as chronic fatigue syndrome, at a protest outside the White House. Many people have long Covid. Their t-shirt declared: “Still sick. Still fighting.”

Sharon Otterman and Michael D. Shear contribution report.

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