Fatigue, inability to concentrate, difficulty breathing or tachycardia, headache, loss of taste and smell. The aftermath of Covid-19 last Thursday came out of anonymity with the visit of Emmanuel Macron to the Foch hospital in Suresnes. The president said he was very ‘concerned’ about the ‘long Covid’ with which we will have to ‘live sustainably’, 10 to 15% of those who have had the disease with symptoms suffer from it according to the assessments of doctors. He promised to adapt the health system to this disease still poorly supported medically and financially.
These sequelae are not just a health problem, it is also an economic issue for workers and employers. Because doing one’s job during a symptomatic illness is far from simple, many patients have to cease their activity or significantly slow it down.
While the Covid can affect any employee or business manager, some trades are extremely sensitive to the symptoms of the disease. This is the case of oenologists, who depend on their sense of smell to practice their profession. A survey commissioned by the Union of Oenologists of France reveals in particular that 13% of wine “noses” have lost their sense of smell. The latter are fighting for anosmia to be recognized as a disabling disease, as they tell in an article published on the Echos website: Oenologists want anosmia no longer to be a taboo
The Ile-de-France regional health agency is currently launching a study on the subject to try to see things clearly. Whether at the National Agency for the Improvement of Working Conditions or among representatives of occupational medicine, nobody has really worked yet on this aspect of the crisis.
Twenty trades on display
Vinh Ngo leads the Inter-company and artisanal center for occupational health (CIAMT), the organization of 365 occupational physicians which monitors the health of 408,000 employees. This doctor confirms having feedback from the field of these difficulties in exercising his profession after an infection, but he is counting on the study of the ARS to analyze the phenomenon. During the regulatory medical examination, a questionnaire will be distributed in particular to workers in the twenty trades exposed during the first two confinements in Ile-de-France. The Regional Health Observatory estimated the number of workers concerned at 500,000 in a recent study.
Some testimonies were put forward by Régis Juanico, PS deputy for the Loire, during his bill in February for a compensation fund for victims of Covid-19.
The virus does not only strike down employees, it can strike down leaders and further paralyze the activity of their company. Gilles Clavel has experienced this since last November. Its TPE, Burgundy Comfort, installs equipment in the homes of seniors and the disabled to adapt their kitchens, bathrooms, etc. The virus put him on the ground for several weeks with its procession of fatigue, fever, headaches etc. Unable to get up for days, he ended up going to the office, but still couldn’t get to work. Even today, it retains consequences. “We had to postpone a lot of projects, I couldn’t delegate because I’m the only sales person in the company. The Covid made us three or four months late. “ He just recognizes the virus to have made it possible to justify the delays to impatient customers, not to take them on the phone.
In Grasse even more than elsewhere, the prospect of catching Covid-19 is scary. The many “noses” who live and work in the perfume capital of the world fear losing their working tool, their sense of smell, in the event of contamination. To avoid this scenario, caution is required. Fragrance designers work at home, in videoconference, with all the problems that this can cause, as an article to read on the Echos website tells us: Covid 19: in Grasse, the “noses” have created a bubble against loss of smell
Jean François Lyonnet heads T2S, a company of 120 people which manufactures personal protective equipment for construction sites in the Loire, was affected for several weeks during the first confinement and had to close the company quickly. With this experience, he became very demanding the rest of the year on the barrier gestures of his employees. But in February, with the arrival of the new variants, a dozen employees were affected, imposing more teleworking on the whole company and the reorganization of its production. Two employees were kept away from work for more than a month. “The key positions were not impacted. If the HRD or the financial director of the company are concerned, it becomes very complicated ”, he breathes.
However, the Covid is far from affecting employee efficiency of a business by its symptoms alone. The two leaders point to the absolute need to boost their employees in the face of depressions and the decline in morale of the crisis. Martial Brun, president of the Présanse association, which brings together the majority of inter-company occupational health services, confirms: “The impact of teleworking and absences from work are much more harmful to people’s health. “
The Covid Long
The long-term sequelae of Covid tend to affect young people, rather female patients, aged 40 on average, without overweight, without co-morbidity, and even athletes. These are mainly respiratory disorders, heart disorders, digestive disorders and psychological disturbances.
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