Edmonton band puts everything on pause as member battles long COVID

Known for his high energy on stage as the vocalist for Royal Tusk, these days Daniel Carriere struggles to even play music or hold a conversation without being hit with debilitating symptoms of severe long-COVID.

By Carly Robinson

The reality of the pandemic hasn’t ended for one Edmonton band.

Royal Tusk hit pause on performing and promoting a new album as their singer battles a severe, and debilitating case of long haul COVID.

There are few jobs higher energy than the frontman of a rock band. But Daniel Carriere has been dealing with extreme exhaustion. His fiancé, Nia Pavesi, tells CityNews that the singer “loves talking to people, he loves connecting with people.”

She adds “I’ve seen him play music his whole life, and not being able to do that – it would make him sick, physically ill, to do any sort of efforts”

The worst of Daniels symptoms started last summer. Doctors believe he was infected as the pandemic began in March 2020, but because he never got a positive covid test result, he couldn’t take part in official long COVID clinics.

That’s left him and his fiancé searching for answers.“Some doctors were great,” said Pavesi. “They said this is long covid and we don’t know much about it. But we had some doctors who sent us home, saying it was anxiety, it’s not rea, it’s stress related.”

As the medical community is grappling with treating long COVID, Pavesi has discovered she has to stay on top of the research. She only found out Daniel had blood clots after she requested the test. She saw the public system was so overwhelmed that she decided to ask to community for help with the more than $15,000 bill to get Daniel into a private clinic in Calgary.

Royal Tusk

Royal Tusk band members dealing with long COVID. (Photo Credit: Royal Tusk)

“People have been so generous,” she said. “Not just in donations but reaching out.”

Alberta Health Services tells CityNews they have updated the requirements for the long COVID clinic to no longer require a test.

AHS is working to plan clinical supports for the small subset of long COVID patients with severe post-COVID symptoms, and supporting clinicians in various approaches to serve specific groups of patients.

While the majority of long COVID patients can manage with their family doctor, AHS is till working on a plan to support those with severe post-COVID symptoms as well as supporting doctors in identifying it.

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