Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

George Thomas

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© 2021 Maya R Shah


This thesis examines the American medical community’s unprecedentedly swift response to “COVID long-haulers” -- patients who continue to suffer debilitating and ongoing ailments long after being infected with COVID-19. Confronted by a wave of COVID long-hauler patients in the wake of the pandemic, the medical community was forced to take their complaints seriously, despite the absence of a readily detectable cause for the complained-of ailments. In less than two years, therefore, the medical community devoted substantial resources into researching the lingering symptoms, official recognized the condition as a disease (“PASC”), and issued protocols for its treatment.

Historically, the medical community has been slow to acknowledge and respond to similar chronic conditions whose cause was not revealed through diagnostic tests and other medical techniques. However, the medical community’s reaction to the plight of COVID long-haulers may signal a sea change in how it responds to chronic conditions whose causes are also not readily detectable or clearly understood. As a result, millions of sufferers of those under-recognized chronic conditions such as, fibromyalgia, Chronic Lyme Disease, and chronic fatigue syndrome, may finally obtain the recognition and medical treatment they have long sought.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.