The Courtneys' Courtney Garvin Reveals Debilitating Effects of Long COVID in New Interview

Garvin and her partner have spent roughly $62,000 USD on medical expenses since Garvin contracted COVID three years ago

Photo: Levi Manchak

BY Kaelen BellPublished Apr 19, 2023

Courtney Garvin — the guitarist for the Courtneys who also releases solo music under the name Gum Country — has detailed her debilitating battle with long COVID in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times

Garvin contracted COVID in March 2020 and stopped working later that year "when her fatigue, migraines and shortness of breath made it difficult for her to walk more than a few steps and speak more than a few words." 

She began collecting disability and attempted to secure a diagnosis from multiple doctors, many of whom she says dismissed her symptoms as her health continued to decline. After moving to Irvine, CA, in 2021, she was officially diagnosed with long COVID.

UPDATE (4/19, 11:20 a.m. ET): The Courtneys have taken to their Instagram account to share that Garvin is no longer receiving long term disability and her application for federal payments was denied. If you are able, the band is requesting donations to help support Garvin as she waits for her appeal decision.

Donations can be made to Garvin's PayPal at and her Venmo at @courtneygarvin. 

"The consistency of the experience of going to doctor after doctor, seeking help, and being disbelieved and condescended to is really surprising to me," Garvin told the Los Angeles Times. "It points to the underlying systemic issue in our culture where we see chronic illness as a moral failing."

Garvin is now able to walk only about 150 steps per day and must use a stair lift to climb and descend the stairs in the home that she shares with her partner, Connor Mayer, who acts as her full-time caregiver. It's noted in the feature that, due to her fatigue, some of Garvin's interview was done over email, while at other times, Mayer spoke on her behalf. 

Garvin spends a good portion of her conversation with the Los Angeles Times outlining the ways that the US healthcare system and the country's disability-hostile infrastructure have made her diagnosis more difficult to manage. Garvin and Mayer currently live in a townhome "provided by UC Irvine that is considered compliant, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the unit's stairs pose difficulties for Garvin. After several phone calls with the housing authority, letters from doctors and insurance, the couple installed a stair lift, but paid for it out of pocket."

Since contracting COVID three years ago, Garvin and Mayer have spent roughly $62,000 USD on medical expenses, including "compression garments ($450), the stair lift ($2,750), support groups ($860) and copays ($3,300)."

Garvin told the L.A. Times that she and Mayer wanted to share their story "in the hope of helping other people understand the impact this illness has had on their lives."

"I don't think anyone expects something like this to happen to them, but here we are," Mayer said. "When we got COVID in March 2020, we had no sense of the long-term risks associated with it. That sudden loss of independence was tough for both of us."

It's a hard story to read, and we very much hope that Garvin will find a path to eventual recovery. She's responsible for some truly fantastic music, both with the Courtneys and as Gum Country, and you can revisit some of that music below. 


A post shared by The Courts (@the_courtneys)

Latest Coverage