The loved ones of Charlie Vallee were aware that something was awry, but they were unaware of the extent of it.
The 27-year-old Vermonter, who contracted Covid-19 in January, was unable to get rid of the lingering symptoms of protracted Covid, the enigmatic illness that has afflicted numerous pandemic survivors. Vallee’s excessive trembling and vacant look were noticed by those nearby. He struggled to read because of his acute case of brain fog. He got lost in a supermarket. Vallee, a Defense Intelligence Agency officer, was scheduled for deployment to Iraq for a second Middle East tour of service. But he hesitantly told his superiors that he thought his illness could endanger troops a week before his departure in March. In April, he requested a medical leave of absence from the Department of Defense to receive care. Vallee committed suicide on May 3 in Washington, D.C. Family members of Vallee have been working to cope with their loss and stop others from going through it in the months since. They started the Charles M. Vallee Foundation with the intention of financing extensive Covid research and offering tools to individuals looking for solutions.