Healthcare Fund for Long COVID Recovery for a Labor Reporter

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Folks, 

Three months ago, I was diagnosed with COVID, and ever since then I have been sick and struggling with symptoms of long COVID.

While I have improved very slowly over the last few months, I am still suffering from debilitating migraines, fatigue, and brain fog. I find myself forgetting the basic details of a story much easier than normal. I find myself needing to frequently take breaks, preventing me from working at the pace that I did before I was sick. 

In fact, a new study by researchers at the University of Oxford shows that the brain actually shrinks among long COVID sufferers like myself.  Other studies have shown that long COVID is linked to cognitive decline, and I most definitely feel a lot slower and more confused in my mental functioning.  

Doctors expect it will take me months to fully recover, as has been the case with many other people struggling with long COVID. We need your donation to help pay for treatment over the next year. 

While I struggle to pace a full workload and find the energy to crowd fundraise, my medical bills from seeking treatment for long COVID are increasing. I am paying, on average, $500 to $600 for medical costs, including premiums, co-pays, and other costs. Those costs may go up as I seek experimental treatments for long COVID. 

As readers, I need your help so I can focus my limited energy on covering workers’ struggles like we did in 2021 when we helped define how the media covered the Strike Wave. 

In 2021, we took Payday to new heights as we published 171 stories and tracked 587 strikes.

We wrote 171 stories, newsletters, and posts for Payday Report while tracking 587 strikes. 

As a crowdfunded publication, and with the support of our readers, Payday Report played a major role in defining how the media covered “The Great Resignation” and strikes in 2021. 

The Washington Post cited our work tracking strikes in a front-page cover story. The New York Times described us as a publication with “new energy.” PBS American Portrait profiled our work tracking the strike wave, and

Esquire described our work as “invaluable.” 

In our greatest honor this year, our work on W. Kamau Bell’s CNN documentary “Where Do We Even Begin with White Supremacy” was nominated for an Emmy. 

We have some projects in the works and are excited about what this year has to offer. Your help is needed so I can stay healthy and travel to cover workers. 

We are hoping to build up a health care fund of $4,000 to cover my costs through the year, so I can focus on recovering and not how I will pay the bills. 

Donate today to help us continue covering workers as I recover from long COVID. 

Thanks again for all the support. 

Love & Solidarity, 

Melk 

About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered Lula & the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of retired United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he was once described as an "abrasive gadfly" by the New York Times for his role in exposing sexual misconduct in the labor movement. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]

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