An Interview with Journalist Ed Yong

By David Tuller, DrPH

In the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, journalist Ed Yong played a key role in alerting the public to the wave of people suffering prolonged symptoms after an acute bout of COVID-19—the phenomenon that has come to be called long Covid. Yong, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his coronavirus coverage in The Atlantic, first reported on long Covid in June, 2020, ultimately writing a total of eight substantive articles about the issue for the magazine. His work addressed many key issues, such as the dismissal and disbelief faced by long Covid patients, including medical professionals, and the emerging science on symptoms like brain fog and post-exertional malaise. Read in succession, these articles seem to represent Yong’s own learning curve and his growing alarm over this secondary wave of illness.

Throughout this body of work, Yong’s empathy for patients with long Covid is palpable. Last month, he wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times in which he discussed what he learned as a journalist from covering the issue. He and I spoke earlier today (audio only) about the Times piece, how he came to grasp the seriousness of long Covid, and related stuff.