TAMPA, Fla. — Search "COVID survivors" on Facebook, and you'll find a list of groups. Marcus Tomoff says when his COVID-19 symptoms were at their worst, it was one of these groups that got him through.

"We're all dealing with the same thing that a lot of people don't understand, and if you talk to an outsider, iit's hard for them to simply figure out what you're dealing with without having to explain it as anxiety or something like that," said Tomoff, 28.

What You Need To Know

  • Marcus Tomoff created the Facebook group "Florida COVID Longhaulers" this summer after struggling for months with COVID-19 symptoms

  • The private group has more than 400 members

  • Tomoff said he'd like to see therapy centers established to help long haulers

Still, Tomoff said he thought there should be something more Florida-centric. That's why he created the group "Florida COVID Longhaulers."

"Didn't think much of it, then it started to grow, started growing more," said Tomoff.

As of Friday afternoon, the group had 429 members. The group is private, and Tomoff said the goal was to create a safe space where people could talk about whatever they're going through.

"How do I deal with this? Who can I see? What specialists are there in Tampa or in Florida in general?" he listed as examples of discussions.

Tomoff said he hopes efforts like his are just the beginning. According to research published in the medical journal The BMJ, about ten percent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 experience long term illness. Tomoff said he'd one day like to see therapy centers established to address the needs of long haulers.