A new study published in JAMA has demonstrated that so-called "Long COVID" has no statistical link to prior COVID-19. Rather, the initial severity of whatever virus a person succumbed to, along with loneliness, insufficient physical activity, and other issues are what determine the longevity of post-viral conditions.
The paper compares over 300 children who had a confirmed COVID diagnosis with almost 100 matched controls who are known not to have COVID-19 (via negative PCR results), following them for over half a year via questionnaires and blood tests. Among the COVID-positive group, 48.5 percent of children had "post-COVID" conditions, while among the COVID-negative group, 47.1 percent of children had "post-COVID" conditions.
The factors most linked with "post-COVID" were rather found to be: initial severity of symptoms; loneliness; fatigue; neuroticism; emotional maladjustment; and insufficient physical activity. Perhaps not coincidentally, these are all issues cited by many other studies conducted in the past few years as being linked to lockdowns and social distancing rather than the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself.
The study's authors conclude that: "These findings suggest that persistent symptoms in this age group are related to factors other than SARS-CoV-2 infection, and therefore question the usefulness of the WHO case definition of PCC [post-covid condition]."