Today I chat with Dr Joanna Herman, a Consultant in Infectious Diseases with particular expertise in Tropical and Travel Medicine and during the first wave of the Pandemic, she contracted COVID. Despite being defined as a ‘mild’ case, with no risk factors for severe disease, she is still significantly debilitated by symptoms of ‘Long COVID’, and has been unable to return to work as a hospital physician for the past year.
As you will hear on the pod, Joanna is a very well established physician with years of experience. She has taught at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for 14 years, and has been on the Council of the British Infection Association since 2015. She has worked for Médecins Sans Frontières, is a medical writer, and a specialist medical advisor for the BBC programme Holby City. She is also a qualified Ashtanga Yoga teacher.
Joanna wrote for The Guardian about her experience with Long COVID which is how I came upon the story. And it was particularly touching for me as Joanna also has the perspective of a doctor as a patient, and her experience has highlighted a system that is struggling to help those with a condition not yet understood.
Last year, Joanna set up a yoga group for people who were experiencing significant lung problems following their COVID infection. Combining her extensive medical and yoga knowledge, Joanna has helped them learn how to access their lungs and breathe again, and regain their physical pre-viral strength.
There are some absolute nuggets of inspiration that I personally found useful during our conversation and I do hope you enjoy this.
We’ve linked Joanna’s articles below as well as sharing a link to a BBC Radio 4 programme that Joanna appeared in – do check these articles out – they’re all very interesting to read and listen to.