Coronavirus News: Support group helps COVID-19 survivors on Long Island dealing with lingering issues

COVID-19 News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Support group helps COVID-19 survivors on LI dealing with lingering issues
Stacey Sager reports from Nassau County where a free virtual support group is helping COVID-19 survivors.

GLEN COVE, Nassau County (WABC) -- For some who have contracted the coronavirus, getting over the initial infection is just the beginning of their struggles.

"I have suffered from a lot of anxiety, depression, fear," COVID-19 survivor Aida Vazquez said.

In fact, studies show one in every five COVID-19 survivors is diagnosed with issues involving mental health and that's on top of all the lingering and bizarre, physical symptoms.

"I started to get like tingling in my toes, and my calf felt like it was on fire, which I still have, to this day," survivor Amy Mahnken said.

"I'm still suffering from brain fog. I have the hair loss," Vazquez said.

Lisa Penziner is a registered nurse with Emerge Rehabilitation and Nursing in Glen Cove.

She leads free virtual support groups for people dealing with lingering health issues including PTSD and other mental health issues.

"Some of these people tell me, they're in such dark places and this shouldn't be," Penziner said.

She said the goal is to help survivors move forward.

It's a weighty task now that coronavirus cases are raging around the country and Long Island is not immune.

For three straight days now the positivity rate has been over three percent.

"You know, it's like the folks who've been playing by the rules, are now facing the restrictions and Nassau County, our philosophy is always to support our help our businesses," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.

Officials say they're also determined to keep schools open since contract tracing is not pointing to schools as the problem.

"Birthday parties outside the school? Social events outside the school? Absolutely," Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Larry Eisenstein said.

But for those who've already made it through COVID-19, and continue to struggle, the group is a way for them to find help.

"We're not in this alone. We're not. We have this, we got this," Vazquez said.

the next virtual group meeting is scheduled for November 18.

For more information on how to participate in the support group, they can email Lisa Penziner at or call 516-457-5585.

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