How having had COVID-19 may harm your cognitive abilities

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Scientists from the University of Waterloo found that people who contract COVID‐19 often experience memory, attention, and concentration problems, even after recovering from the initial illness.

They found individuals who had contracted CCOVID‐19 reported much more cognitive failures at work.

The research is published in the journal Scientific Reports and was conducted by James Beck et al.

“COVID-19 is going to be an ongoing part of life, at least for the foreseeable future,” said, an associate professor in Waterloo’s Psychology department. “It is now common for people to catch COVID-19, recover, and then return to work. Yet, in our study, people who had contracted COVID-19 reported more difficulties at work, relative to people who had never caught COVID.”

In the study, the team collected data from a sample of 94 full-time working adults who either had or had not contracted COVID‐19 at least one month prior to the study.

Both groups were matched on key demographic characteristics.

The team found relative to the group who had never had COVID-19, the group who had contracted COVID-19 reported more cognitive failures at work, which are defined as problems with memory, attention, and action.

A second finding of the work is that cognitive failures were linked to decreased self-ratings of job performance, as well as increased intentions to voluntarily leave one’s current job.

These results may have important implications for managers and organizations more broadly.

The people returning to work after contracting COVID-19 may experience difficulties returning to their pre-COVID-19 level of performance, and accommodations may be necessary.

These accommodations might include reducing workloads, extending deadlines, or providing flexible work arrangements.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about vitamin D deficiency linked to severe COVID-19 and death, and why people with blood type O have lower COVID-19 risk.

For more information about COVID, please see recent studies about the cause of blood clotting in COVID-19 vaccination, and results showing Vitamin D3 could help people fight against COVID-19.

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