In the early weeks of the pandemic, a school teacher in Portland, Oregon, had a fever and tested positive for COVID-19 at a drive-up site. Because she did not feel well, she did not shower or wash her hair, so she threw on a trucker hat with a picture of a squirrel on it went to get tested, and snapped a selfie to share on social media.
Later that month, she was still experiencing a range of chronic symptoms and had contacted other COVID-positive people who also had persistent problems that their doctors had a hard time diagnosing. So, she decided to set up a support group on Facebook. The trucker hat, which was sitting her coffee table got her thinking of long-haul trucking, which inspired her to name the Facebook group “Long Haul Covid Fighters.” As the group kept growing, members began referring to each other using the bantam handle, “long-haulers.” Eventually the term was picked up by the press and during testimony in September 2020, Tony Fauci used the term to describe patients suffering from the COVID-associated new malady. It stuck.