Help a Broke Labor Reporter Recover from Long Covid

Payday is George Bailey-style crowdfunded publication and rely on your support.

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In mid-December, I came down with a terrible case of COVID like many workers in this country. Since then, I have developed long COVID, which has limited my ability to work and crowdfund money for Payday Report. Since then, I have developed “long COVID.” 

As I recover, I haven’t been able to work as much or crowdfund as much to keep Payday going. 

I find myself unable to work for more than an hour or two at a time and frequently need to lay down to rest. I have missed a month of work and valuable freelance assignments. 

When I do work, I often find myself easily confused and disoriented with brain fog, which causes significant cognitive impairment. I often forget what I am saying and its tough to recall details. 

When my brain often gets overwhelmed, I get severe migraines, which make it sometimes 2-3x as long to write a simple story. 

When my brain often gets overwhelmed, I get severe migraines, meaning it can take two to three times as long to write a simple story. 

To relieve the brain fog, I find myself having to nap a lot during the middle of the day and working at a much slower pace than I normally do. Often, I need to take a day or two off to rest. 

Meanwhile, while I am unable to work as much or crowdfund, I have to pay large bills for prescription drugs and doctors as I seek to relieve the symptoms. 

I am trying to get back to work, but it’ll be a while before I can produce the 3 to 4 stories a week that I regularly produce. So please, in the interim, your donations matter more than ever. 

This past year we took our publication to new heights. Our work covering thousands of walkouts has had an enormous impact on how the media covered “The Great Resignation” and striking workers 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 past year, our work on W. Kamau Bell’s CNN documentary “Where Do We Even Begin with White Supremacy” was nominated for an Emmy. 

We hope to do even more hard-hitting work in 2022, but we need your help to keep going. 

If you can, please donate today as I continue to recover from long COVID.

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Thank you to everyone who has helped and chipped in and supported us.

Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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