The Art of Long Covid

UPDATED: April 2023.  Continuing to add more recent work at the top. Chronological art further below as noted. 

Mango Mussolini pretended Covid didn't exist. Joe Biden is now pretending it's over. Parody video based on George Romero's classic film, "Night (Day) of the Living Dead."


One of my "pet peeve" terms around Long Covid, is brain fog. Medical journals are starting to label it in a more serious context. I call it brain damage.

I use "parody" as a way of expression and parody of sorts. The third in my series of "Long Covid Mean Tweets" showing a spotlight on those gaslighting and railing on those disabled with Long Covid or trying to protect themselves from Covid.

As President Biden has declared the pandemic is "over," we're seeing more and more commercials minimize the effects of Covid and Long Covid. There's the television ad with Pink, and Michael Phelps, but the worst idea an intern ever turned into garbage was the California Department of Public Health sing-a-long (seriously? people are dying and getting disabled and we're singing about it???) video. My alternate video of what they really should have produced below.

My second Long Covid "mean tweets video based on Jimmy Kimmel's celebrity mean tweets--in this case, people gaslighting and being downright nasty towards those suffering from Long Covid. 

A common "victim" of my parody videos is the worst gaslighting (not really) medical professional, Vinay Prasad. I depicted Vinay and Natalie Shure who wrote the epic gaslighting article "We Might Have it All Wrong" in The New Republic rag. She failed to interview any notable names in the Long Covid medical community and suggested it was FND (functional neurological disorder.) She might want to check herself for disorders. 

Joshua Pribanic and the Public Herald put together a masterful rebuttal with over 200 professionals tearing apart her trash piece. A great read HERE.

Natalie and Vinay are often on the receiving end of my ire covered in THIS POST including the illustration below and one of my biggest pride and joy pieces, "Vinay the Angry Conspiracy Bear" video.

And the original Long Covid Mean Tweets.

As 2022 came to an end, I put out a holiday video; a spoof based on the movie, Love Actually. Aptly named, "Long Covid Actually" putting my green screen at home to work.

When Long Covid comes to town, bad things happen (carnival background stock photo.) 

As fears of Elon Musk completely melting down the servers at Twitter, I've got an escape strategy below to my Mastodon Account. 

Prior to my Star Wars escape Pod, one of my #LongCovid peeps on Twitter suggested we lobby for the great Dolly Parton to share some of the $100M Jeff Bezos is purportedly giving her for charity. C'mon Dolly, can you help us out? #DollyHelpLongCovid

I must be feeling a '60s vibe of late as shown in my concert poster-style image below promoting "Long Covid Solidarity!"

ORIGINAL POST (OCT. '22) I'd engaged in conversation recently with someone on Twitter and she asked if I did the accompanied drawing in a tweet. My normal retort is that the production department consults with the legal department then I approve here at Seeking Boston Marathon. Without sarcasm, I'm a "one-man-band" with Long Covid that writes and illustrates my journey. Part therapy, part advocacy. With that, much has happened over my 1001 day experience with Long Covid so I thought I'd share that journey through the art I've created over those 33 months.

My first drawing showed the "Elephant in the Room" as in early 2020 I had issues with breathing (as I was still trying to train for a half marathon in March '20) and doctors had no answers. News was just erupting over the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. 

I recall watching the stories in January 2020 from my hotel room in Cape Town, South Africa where I'd coughed all night and woke up with sheets soaked from the chills from the night before. My Long Covid journey had just begun, but I had no idea what I had or what I was getting into.

As the pandemic unfolded and everyone quarantined into their homes, there was a a nightly "howling" that hit the country at 8PM. I painted a "triptych" Beatles-themed painting in the front window of our home and I blasted "All you Need is Love" through my Sonos speakers into the neighborhood. A subtle jab at the early mocking of the administration shows a Covid squid and a certain POTUS' name on the whale--both attacking the Yellow Submarine.

As part of the quarantine life, also in 2020 I was sick but unsure of the nature of my illness as I started the first few of what would be close to 200 doctor appointments. Before my 100 day fever set in, I created a driveway mural as Denver's annual Larimer Square chalk art festival was cancelled but they encouraged people to create at home. I was sick but still uncertain what it was. I could not run at this point so perhaps it was a stubborn rebellion to create outdoors.  I created a London street scene from our trip there in 2019.

As my conditions became worse and running abruptly ended in March 2020, I took to my Wacom tablet and redirected my energy into a digital painting of my Grandparents (Lela and Lyle) and Aunt and Uncle. Many thought this was merely applying a "paint filter" to a photograph. I created using 9+ pixel "wet brushes" with Photoshop  to digitally recreate "Happy Hour on the Lanai." I presented to my mom who's since passed (HERE) on Mother's Day 2020.

As you can imagine, the above took quite some time (approximately 80 hours) and have since not been able to take on a project of this magnitude. As I continued to write on these virtual pages, what was later diagnosed as small fiber polyneuropathy started on top of the shortness of breath that again abruptly ended my running life. "My Long Haul Nightmare" was featured on NBC Nightly News along with my story below. Aside from the "monster" itself, you can seek the capillary tentacles wrapping around my legs showing the madness that hasn't left my lower extremities and now numbs fingers and doctors speculate could be causing the nightly chest spasms. 

Also shown above, my favorite Hoka run shoes and Pro Compression socks are set aside. The March '20 race with Liam was cancelled and I showed how much I missed running and Liam in the next gif illustration below. I no longer wear Pro Compression in races or to recover from them, but always have a pair in my nightstand for the more severe nights of neuropathy that prevents sleep. 
The above illustration also showed the self-isolation that we were still all subjected to. The next two  illustrations showed how we were all practicing (or at least should have) "social distancing." Seems crazy to think back to restaurants closing and delivering food and reopened with outdoor dining and pod tents to try and bring back normalcy. 

Despite the "gaslighting" I got from a recent Dr. at a renowned hospital who wrote in my clinical summary that "Ty fancies himself as runner," (F-you by the way,) I was still trying to reach and relate to running with the body odor social distancing drawing and the "Runner's Social Distancing Bingo" post below including such gems as "Run Without a Snot Rocket."

As 2020 started to come to a close and the 100 day fever ended, I depicted the "fire" inside my body that included the chest burning that has never gone away in the dark image below. 

My last illustration from 2020 showed the metaphor of Covid leaving town but leaving a swath of destruction behind being Long Covid. As the tornado swirled lifting cattle, cars and toilets into the air, once again someone's red tie was twisting around a tree as I sat in agony in my chair. 

As we left 2020, my medical journey continued with National Jewish Health in Denver who eliminated earlier notions of asthma and all heart and lung (pre-2020) issues.  Dr. Goldstein referred me to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn (Mayo's lead "Long Covid" doctor) finally diagnosed me as being a Covid "long hauler "and was featured on the Today Show

Growing up on Dr. Seuss, my next whimsical illustration was a play on words with his "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" but of course mine was on home Dexter Street. Another subtle political tone was Dr. Birks stuck in a tree with a sign saying, "Don't drink bleach." We all remember that cringe-worthy presser. 

You can see a return of my famous gray robe in the Dexter Street illustration which I've since lost. A byproduct of "brain fog" (I more accurately call brain damage.) How does somebody lose a robe? I often draw inspiration from classic film and the drawing below features Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka. The famous gum scene that changes flavors ending on the doomed blueberry pie symbolizes the way symptoms drift from one to another within a day or a week or in combination to create the debilitating condition of Long Covid. 

At this point, I was no longer working and on (private insurance) disability and applying for Social Security Disability. We rented out our home and moved into another family home to survive the financial impact of Long Covid. I had to begin pacing myself with writing and drawing. Reading became an issue as I could no longer read and retain often re-reading pages without being able to understand. Drawing continued to be my replacement for running and (trying to) be an advocate for my fellow Long Covid friends.

Perhaps my last most ambitious project was another inspiration from the movie "Alien." I created a few drawings that was once again a metaphor for the burning in my chest that I described to many doctors as "organs cooking inside my chest." I created a YouTube video of the famous "chestburster" scene that I felt aptly described that sensation. 

I say most ambitious from a standpoint of how much time I can sit at a computer and draw. I went to more simple illustrations that define my journey. Again, I drew influence from film and the movie "The Ring." Looking inside a well, you can see symptoms etched on the stone wall along with feelings such as "despair" and "lost hope" as the Long Covid black crow circles over my head.

A simpler graphic at the end of 2021 showed symptoms and feelings as depression and brain fog became "thick" with my journey. Similar to being an alcoholic, I suppose depression will always be something I have to manage, but lately Braincode Centers neurofeedback therapy has helped with both depression and the "mind racing" I describe as I try to sleep each night. 

I ended 2021 with my annual "Runner's Thanksgiving Toast: Covid Edition" that helps with that awkward time when everyone is supposed to say what they're thankful for. The Long Covid edition included, "I am most thankful for Zoom with Grandpa without his pants on." Sorry, TMI.

As the complexity of my drawings waned so did the frequency of blog posts symptoms got worse and I tried to manage the anxiety, depression, and "wicked mind racing." Some of my artwork is created in Adobe Photoshop but I also like to create videos with Adobe After Effects. The video below depicts the "burning feet" and chest issues that have continued to define my journey.

A quick piece but pretty much sums up the story of all of us with Long Covid is the "So Over It" graphic. #word
As my Social Security Disability (SSD) was denied, once again a few of my posts become political and it's hard not to. In the U.S., there are upwards of 33M Americans with Long Covid and roughly 70-80% of initial SSD claims get denied. Those two don't compute. I discussed navigating Social Security disability in the illustration below (and in this POST.)

My angst with the Country turning a "blind eye" to those with Long Covid and three House Bills stalled are covered along with what I think we need to do in (THIS POST) and a few related posts and videos below.


Another economy metaphor was my recent "Titanic" ship as I've tried to "turn up the heat" with my Federal Senate and House of Representatives who again seem to have their "head in the sand" on those with Long Covid and the economic impact. 

A common challenge or "tease" if you will is some days you wake up and feel that this is the day I'm going to feel better, or more aptly, "I don't feel as bad as I normally do." This false sense of hope at least for me is often hit like a shovel on the back of the head as my symptoms tend to grow or appear stronger as the day wears on as shown in this short video below.

My latest Long Covid short video was featured on Long Covid SOS--thanks to Helen Lunt Davies and everyone there for advocating for people with Long Covid. (click on the image below for the YouTube short.)
As I continued to try and find treatment working with Mayo, National Jewish Health, UC Health in Denver and more recently with a Long Covid clinic in CA and OR called RTHM, the world mourned the loss of Queen Elizabeth. As I shared above, it was the last trip I went on with the family abroad to London. I created a tribute as I've always had a high regard for the Queen and the UK. Many of my best Long Covid friends are from the UK. Only seemed fitting.

This week marked 1000 days of Long Covid as I mentioned my "onset" was in January of 2020. Way too long to be sick. I created two videos to (can't really say celebrate) the milestone.

I didn't realize how many creations I've had over this journey. I'd like to think that I find the right treatment or as with some people with Long Covid, for no particular reason, they start to emerge from the fog. Regardless, running will remain a "carrot" to chase to get back to the life I had.

I'll leave you with one last "light" creation using character animator from Adobe. 



  1. Much impressed by this article.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. The Art of Long COVID highlights the resilience and adaptability needed in these challenging times. Just as individuals and communities have adjusted to the long-term effects of the pandemic, businesses like online grocery store have also evolved to meet the changing needs of their customers, offering convenient and safe shopping options. It's a testament to human ingenuity and the ability to thrive in adversity.


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