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Dr. Sean O’Leary Beat Coronavirus But Symptoms Linger On

The COVID-19 ‘long-hauler’ has put the brakes on running and wonders when life will return to normal

minute read

What You Need To Know

CU Anschutz 360: COVID Reflections is a series of podcast episodes discussing the COVID-19 pandemic to date with CU Anschutz's top experts. They examine what has changed, what has surprised them, how they have evolved personally and professionally and what could happen in the future.

When the pandemic struck last winter, it upended our lives in ways few could have imagined. Many of us work from home now, our kids go to school online, we wear masks and avoid our elderly or sick relatives for fear of passing along a potentially deadly illness. Meanwhile, lockdowns and isolation have spawned a mental health crisis that we are only now beginning to fully grasp.

In this series of podcasts, we talk to some of our top experts about the evolution of the coronavirus – where we were, where we are, where we will be a year from now. Each one has a gift for making the complex accessible and are frequently sought out by the media for their expertise. 

Listen to CU Anschutz 360: COVID Reflections with Sean O’Leary, MD:


“I got completely better for about two weeks. But after a long run I came home and I said, "I feel like I might have the symptoms again." And so now, I have turned into one of these COVID long-haulers, so I've had off and on symptoms since then. It's been a very frustrating role to play just as a person but also as a medical professional, because you want answers and there really aren't any answers about these ongoing symptoms at this point.” — Sean O’Leary, MD, professor of pediatrics/infectious diseases at CU Anschutz

Dr. Sean O’Leary’s experience with the coronavirus became very personal, very quickly. He’s an expert on vaccines and the impact of Covid-19 on young people and been called upon repeatedly by the media to talk about how the virus affects children and whether they should go back to school.

Then one day he found himself with a cough and feeling achy. His wife, also a doctor, felt the same. They both had contracted the virus. While his wife recovered, O’Leary hasn’t been the same since.

He’s put the brakes on his avid running and endured continuing COVID symptoms despite being free of the disease. In an interview from September, O’Leary talks about the virus and why children seem less impacted by it, reflects on his own continuing journey with the disease and discusses the endless battle against misinformation.