We mourn the loss of the brand that gave us our first flip phone or our first camera with a tweet and a broken heart emoji. But truthfully, we moved on long ago, as did most of the rest of the phone- or camera-buying population.
Things weren’t looking good for LG’s phone business in 2016 when it introduced the modular G5, and the ecosystem’s failure to take off perpetuated what would become years of losses for the mobile division. In 2020, the smartphone business recorded an operational loss of around $750 million for the year; the company promised to “closely review the direction of the business,” and we know now how that turned out.
There are obvious heirs: one of LG’s last bestselling devices is the Stylo 6, and its sole competitor, the Moto G Stylus, is quite frankly a better phone.
TCL has also made it clear in the past couple of years that it’s eager to get its own brand devices into more consumers’ hands, in addition to the phones the company already makes for other brands.
LG’s premium devices may have been interesting and unique, but the market spoke, and the company’s mobile phone exit became seemingly inevitable. That’s how these things work, and a multitude of companies are ready to swoop in and pick up where LG left off. But whether you follow mobile tech closely or just have a special place in your heart for your old flip phone, many of us will still take the opportunity to pause and shed a digital emoji tear.
Once upon a time, it seemed that once you recovered from Covid-19, you were home free — that experiencing the disease might be terrible, but surviving it meant you were done with it. Now we know that’s not the case, as it’s become clear that a growing number of Covid-19 survivors are experiencing long-term effects — known as “long Covid” (formally Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 or PASC) — even after the virus is ostensibly out of their bodies. What’s more, these “long haulers” are not a small group: studies are showing that, given the vast number of people who have survived Covid-19 globally, it could actually be in the millions.
A survey in Britain found that one in five survivors reported having symptoms after five weeks—and at 12 weeks, the number was still 13.7 percent (almost one in seven people). The most common symptoms experienced at five weeks were fatigue (11.8 percent), cough (11 percent), headache (10 percent), and muscle pain (7.7 percent). (Loss of taste and smell followed, each affecting about 6.3 percent of participants.) At 12 weeks, the prevalence of symptoms was slightly lower, but still distributed similarly and much higher than a control group who hadn’t had Covid-19.
Studies have also shown the striking array of acute effects the coronavirus can have on the body and its organ systems, from cardiovascular to pulmonary to neurological-psychological to kidney and more. That Covid-19 is now considered a multi-organ disease may translate to a wider spectrum of long Covid symptoms than previously understood, including fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, loss of sense of smell or taste, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, headache/migraine, and non-restorative sleep.
It’s not totally clear what causes long Covid, or any post-viral syndrome, for that matter, including chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. It may be that remnants of the virus are left in the body or that symptoms are due to damage from the body’s own immune response—and/or the fact that it may just take a long time to repair the various levels of injury caused by the acute phase of the illness.