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The pink line on Erin Blakeney's first positive Covid-19 test was so light that she almost didn't believe it. But there was no denying the fever and sore throat that developed overnight, just a few days after she and her husband attended a large memorial service in late March. The couple wore KN95 masks, but many others in attendance had not, even as the service stretched past 90 minutes.

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Covid-19 has become a chronic condition for tens of millions of people -- and an expensive one, as well. Long Covid -- a condition marked by lingering symptoms that can involve multiple bodily systems -- has cost a cumulative $386 billion in lost wages, savings and medical expenses in the US alone as of January, according to one estimate.

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