"I never considered this possibility. I pictured either being in the hospital and being on a ventilator or being asymptomatic. But living in the in-between is so much harder than I could’ve ever imagined," Reyes says, who as a reporter, had been covering news of the virus when it first started to spread across the globe in early 2020. She's speaking to me on the phone from her bedroom in Miami after returning home early from running errands. "I was so winded after 30 minutes I had to leave. It’s honestly unbelievable that after eight months, some days are still like that.”
I've been debating sharing bc it’s felt so personal but I’m 4 weeks into my fight with covid & still really struggling. It’s been really tough & I can’t believe how much it’s still affecting me. I wanted to share this for anyone who might be going through it & feeling alone.— Samantha Reyes (@samtayrey) July 22, 2020
But as trying as the recovery process has been, Reyes has found her greatest form of relief in a rather surprising place: compression leggings. "They help the most with my energy. Anyone who [tells me they have] COVID, it’s the first thing I send to them and I'm like, put these on.”
It's a tip she got from Dr. William Li, physician, scientist, president, and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and author of Eat To Beat Disease:The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. Reyes connected with Dr. Li through Survivor Corps, a grassroots movement formed to educate and advocate for recovered COVID patients while connecting them with experts in the fields of science and medicine.
Simply put: Compression tights help to bring more oxygen back to blood vessels that were under attack by the virus. For Reyes, this advice ended up being life-changing, and she saw the benefits almost immediately upon making the straight-forward wardrobe upgrade. "I was finally able to go on walks, I was finally able to last longer throughout the day. I was able to have the energy to leave my house and work from a desk and not my bed," she shares. Reyes recommends an ankle-length pair by the brand CW-X ("compression socks alone are not enough!" she cautions) and suggests trying a daily cocoa extract supplement to aid with blood flow, which she started doing per Dr. Li's recommendation.
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