Now that COVID has been brought to heel in many areas and vaccines are widely available, hospital operating rooms are bustling again.

The week before Brian Colvin was scheduled for shoulder surgery in November, he tested positive for COVID-19. What he thought at first was a head cold had morphed into shortness of breath and chest congestion coupled with profound fatigue and loss of balance.

Now, seven months have passed and Colvin, 44, is still waiting to feel well enough for surgery. His surgeon is concerned about risking anesthesia with his ongoing respiratory problems, while Colvin worries he’ll lose his balance and fall on his shoulder before it heals.

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