Post COVID-19 Condition

If you have COVID-19 symptoms for more than 12 weeks after getting COVID-19 you might have Post COVID-19 Condition (also called Long COVID).

On this page

About Post COVID-19 Condition

The first case of COVID-19 in New Brunswick was confirmed in March 2020. Since then, many people have become infected. Although some people with COVID-19 do not feel sick or experience only mild symptoms, other people can become very sick and may improve more gradually, over several weeks.

There is a small number of people who continue to have COVID-19 symptoms for more than 12 weeks. This sickness is called Post COVID-19 Condition.

Staying up to date with immunizations can protect people from getting COVID-19 and post COVID-19 condition.


Some of the symptoms of post COVID-19 condition are:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Trouble breathing
  • Difficulty thinking or focusing
  • Trouble sleeping or staying asleep
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Feeling anxious, sad, or depressed


It’s okay to feel scared or worried if you still feel sick from COVID-19. Post COVID-19 Condition has a wide range of symptoms and everyone’s experience is different. Below you will find some things that you can do at home that may make the symptoms better.

Feeling very tired: You might feel very tired after having COVID-19. You might find you can no longer do things you used to because you get tired easily.

Tips to try:

  • Pace yourself. This means doing things slowly.
  • Take a break when you start to feel tired.
  • Make a list of things you want to do. Do the most important things on your list first.
  • Ask for help if a task feels too difficult or you do not have the energy to finish.
  • Take extra rests or a nap during quiet moments of the day.
  • Be patient and kind with yourself if it takes a longer time for you to get things done.

Having trouble breathing: Your lungs need more air when you exercise or work hard, like climbing stairs or carrying groceries. After having COVID-19, you might find it harder to breathe at times. You might feel worried or scared when you are short of breath.

Tips to try:

  • Lie down on your side with your head on pillow and bend your knees slightly. Take gentle breaths in and out.
  • Sit in a chair, bend forward a little at the waist and put your arms on your lap or armrests. Take slow, deep breaths.
  • Put your hands on your belly. Feel your belly get bigger as you breathe in through your nose. Hold your breath for two seconds and then blow out your breath very slowly.
  • Focus your eyes on one spot and think about the breath going in and out of your lungs.
  • Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose for five seconds and out through your mouth for five seconds.

Difficulty thinking or focusing (brain fog):  After having COVID-19, you might feel it is harder to think or focus. You might have trouble remembering things or forget what you wanted to say or do.

Tips to try:

  • Get enough sleep each night based on your age, e.g., adults need about 7-9 hours sleep each night.
  • Make a list of things you need to do.
  • Break projects into smaller tasks so they are easier to finish.
  • Do your work in a quiet area. Turn off noises (e.g., television, radio, cell phone) that might break your focus.
  • Read, do a puzzle, or play a memory game.

Trouble sleeping or staying asleep: Some people who had COVID-19 say that they have trouble going to sleep and/or staying asleep.  After having COVID-19, the sleep you get might not make you feel rested.

Tips to try:

  • Keep your sleep schedule the same as much as you can.
  • If you normally eat before bedtime, choose a healthy light snack such as berries, banana, yoghurt, oatmeal, eggs or cheese and crackers.
  • Take short naps earlier in the day. Do not nap close to bedtime.
  • Think about what might be waking you up (e.g., pain or trouble breathing) and try treating those symptoms.
  • Avoid screen time at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Turn off television and cell phone, try reading a book or magazine or writing in a journal to relax.
  • Do deep breathing exercises, stretches, or meditation, before bedtime to help you relax.

Muscle or Joint Pain: After having COVID-19, you may feel pain in your muscles or joints. Some pain may be from lying in bed or from not moving around as much as usual.

Tips to try:

  • Change body position often.
  • Use heat or cold therapy three times a day. Wrap a hot or cold pack in a towel a put it on the area that is painful. Do not apply the heat or cold for longer than 10-20 minutes at a time.
  • Do gentle exercises, like stretching or yoga.
  • Get a massage.
  • Do relaxation exercises (e.g., from your head to your toes, slowly tense then relax your muscle groups for 10 seconds at a time).
  • Talk to your health care provider about taking medication for the pain.

Loss of smell or taste: After having COVID-19, you may have problems smelling or tasting food. Lack of smell or taste can affect your appetite and how you enjoy your food.

Tips to try:

  • Eat healthy food that your body needs for energy.
  • Taste different foods (hot and cold) to find out what works for you.
  • Sample a small amount of food on a separate dish. If a food you usually enjoy doesn’t taste or smell good, freeze the uneaten portions for another time.
  • Make a list of the foods you can eat and have them nearby when you are hungry.
  • Focus on the colors and textures of the food.
  • Use a meal-replacement (e.g., protein shake) when you can’t eat.
  • Talk to your health care provider or a dietitian/nutritionist if you are unable to eat for more than a few days.

Feeling anxious, sad, or depressed: Everyone feels these emotions at times.  This can be a very normal feeling for people who have a long illness.  After having COVID-19, you may notice these emotions more strongly or more often.

Tips to try:

  • Speak to someone you trust about how you feel.
  • Do calming exercises like yoga or gentle stretching.
  • Set limits for yourself. Say no to the things you don’t want to do or that don’t need to be done.
  • Create a routine and add an activity you enjoy to your day.
  • Stay connected with people who make you feel good.

For more resources and tips on how to take care of yourself visit the COVID-19 Mental Health page.

Information for Family and Friends

Having a loved one who is sick can make you feel worried and helpless. Here are some ways you can help support and care for them if they have Post Covid-19 Condition:

  • Listen to how they feel.
  • Tell your loved ones you believe them.
  • Offer your help.
  • Ask them what they need you to do for them so they can rest and save their energy (e.g., getting the mail, picking up groceries, running errands or walking the dog).
  • Take care of yourself too. You need to be healthy and well so you can give your loved ones the best possible care.

Special tips for children:

  • Give children extra down-time or breaks during the day.
  • Look for ways (e.g., tutoring, extra time, reminders, etc.) to give children more help at school while they recover. Children may need more time to read and/or extra help with their schoolwork.
  • Give children a break from activities. Parents can ask a healthcare provider for advice before children go back to school or sporting activities.