Steve’s Long Covid Breakthrough

by Steve Dasseos on April 12, 2023

Anyone that’s talked with me in the last 31 months probably heard (as I tend to overshare) about my Long Covid symptoms: Fatigue and brain fog that affected me until the middle of the day. I wrote about it here on Jan. 21, 2023. Not surprisingly, I lost business due to delays in my responses.

Most people extended me grace and kindness and thankfully kept doing business with us. Plus, Deanna, Kim and my programmer Amrit went out of their way to help me for free after I laid them off. survived, I hired everyone back and we’re busier than ever.

Disclamer: I am not a doctor. I don’t have any medical training of any kind. Nor, do I have any other training in nutrition, diet, pharmaceuticals or any other related area. I even discount my doctors’ advice because I think I’m smarter than them.

I got the original Covid. My taste and smell came back after 19 months, but the fatigue and brain fog was slowly getting worse. I tried lots of ideas: foods, nutrients and vitamins. I thought if I got in better shape it would help, so I joined Crossfit four months ago even though I’ve never done weight training. I also looked online for anything diet-related to help benefit from Crossfit.

On February 6th I found “Glycine for Bodybuilding, Growth Hormone & Sleep” on This article cites many scientific references including the NIH.

Here are the excerpts from Brian’s article that convinced me to try it out:

What is Glycine?

“Glycine is a conditionally essential amino acid – your body can normally cover some of its daily glycine needs, so long as you get enough protein from your diet. The body primarily synthesizes glycine from serine.

According to research, the body can synthesize about 3 grams of glycine per day, which isn’t enough to cover all metabolic costs (most notably, collagen synthesis). The same researchers estimate that the human body’s ability to make glycine from other amino acids falls short by about 10 grams for a 70-kilo (154-pound) person. Meaning, we would need to get these remaining 10-12 grams through diet and supplementation.

This is important to know and act upon because glycine is quite important for the body. Not only is the amino acid is rich in collagen (which makes up about a third of its amino acid profile), but it also plays a role in many other vital processes within the body.”


“The importance of good sleep is undeniable because every single system and process is influenced by it in one form or another.

More specifically, sleep impacts cognitive function (memory, ability to focus, thinking skills, etc.), overall motivation to do things, energy levels, well-being, athletic performance, immune system function, hormonal levels, ability to burn fat and build muscle, blood glucose, and much more.”


“I started taking 20 grams of glycine every night before bed. The results it had on my ability to fall asleep and my quality of sleep was immediate. I woke up feeling more refreshed and just better after the first night.

It never seemed to stop working I continued to use it and I continued to have great sleep.”

I had some Glycine, so I started taking 20 grams a day. I woke up on Feb 7th at 7:30 am. Carol immediately noticed how alert I was. She asked me what changed. I said I’d tell her soon if it was still working. It’s been working for over 9 weeks! The brain fog and fatigue never came back. I’m sleeping better, but am still working until 1:30 am sending emails, etc.

A few weeks later I found this: “Glycine can prevent and fight virus invasiveness by reinforcing the extracellular matrix“. And, I keeping finding out good things about Glycine.

Where can you find Glycine online? The best places I’ve found are and I don’t get financial benefit if you buy from these places.

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Travel Insurance Can be Bought After Final Payment

by Steve Dasseos on March 6, 2023

Hi Steve, We recently paid our trip’s Final Payment, but didn’t buy a Trip Cancellation plan. Based on what I read on other websites, it’s too late to get a policy. But, your name keeps coming up online as the person to get the right answer from, so can you help me? We don’t need coverage for any pre-existing medical conditions. Thanks, Maxine

Hi Maxine, Thanks for writing. I’m happy to tell you that, yes you are able to get a Trip Cancellation plan after you pay your Final Payment. There are only two deadlines for buying a Trip Cancellation plan after you paid your Final Payment:

  1. The day before you leave home for your trip. Or,
  2. Two days before something unexpectedly bad happens (i.e. – a covered reason to cancel your trip) where you wish you had already bought the Travel Insurance plan.

Here are some examples of unexpectedly bad things that could happen making you wish you had bought the Travel Insurance plan a few days earlier: You get hit by a Cement Truck, weather is forecasted or a natural disaster occurs that will affect your trip, a non-traveling family member has a medical emergency, a transportation strike, your company cancels your previously-approved time off and tells you are needed at work.

The reason I said “unexpectedly” is because if the circumstance is already known, it’s too late to get a plan to cover you. Here are some of the Blog entries I wrote that address this: Do Callers Think We Were Born Yesterday?, New Job Will Not Allow Me to Take My Trip, Don’t Buy Travel Insurance When You’re Ill and Past the Deadlines, Travel Insurance Can’t Help Debbie and Travel Insurance Won’t Help With Paul’s Pre-Ex Condition.

There are more entries along this line in the 373 other Blog entries I’ve written in the past fifteen and a half years since September 2007, but I think you get the gist of it.

PS – I’ve had a breakthrough with my Long Covid I’ve had since May 2020. I’ll write about it next time.

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Welcome to 2023 and Long Covid Tips

by Steve Dasseos on January 21, 2023

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2023!

I’m happy the last 3 years are over. The travel and hospitality business is recovering, the worst of the pandemic is over, though Covid and other diseases are still very dangerous for a small part of the population. Unfortunately, some people now have Long Covid. I’ve had it since May 2020. The brain fog affects me until about 10 – 11 am, but there are many others who have it far worse. I hope they benefit from the new treatments and cures.

I have a customer who is part of a large team researching Long Covid at Johns Hopkins. She occasionally tells me what’s working for some. Here are two pages from Johns Hopkins with good information if you know anyone with Long Covid: Resources for COVID-19 Survivors and Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

I’m sorry I haven’t added to my Blog since July 28, 2022. I have 37 drafts, but, Deanna, Kim and I are so busy I seemingly haven’t had time to focus on finishing one.

“One never knows, when he enters an elevator or tears open an envelope or picks up the telephone, what new trick of fortune may be about to be played. Every day is a new series of adventures; around the next corner may lie the event that will change a whole career.” Bruce Barton, 1928

P.T. Barnum started his Circus when he was 65. I turned 65 in July and with the destruction and recovery of the travel and hospitality business, it felt like I started over with Like Barnum, I didn’t start from nothing, because I have been blessed with favor from God, loyal customers and a good reputation off and online.

You’ll hear from me again soon. Gratefully, Steve Dasseos

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How to Insure a Future Cruise or Travel Credit

by Steve Dasseos on July 28, 2022

You were referenced on a Cruise Critic thread. Someone suggested you might know insurance plans that would cover the full cost of a canceled trip with Viking Cruises, when a portion of the cruise fare was paid with a Viking Voucher from a previously cancelled cruise. Once a Viking Voucher is used, Viking will not restore or reissue it, even if the trip is “insured” with Viking.

I caught Covid the day before embarkation, so I had to cancel a June 2022 cruise for two people. Viking issued vouchers in the amount of $5,360 for each of us. I rebooked the same cruise for 2023. The cost of the new cruise will be about $6,000 per person. Viking applied the value of the two vouchers to this new booking.

I’d like to find trip cancellation insurance for the June, 2023 trip that will cover the full cost of the trip, including the value of the Vouchers, if we have to cancel for medical reasons again. Have you found a plan that will do this?

Thanks for asking. I have plans that will cover you. Insuring Future Travel Vouchers / Credits is an area that appears simple on the surface, but has an important detail that’s important to know if you want the waiver of the pre-existing medical condition exclusion and / or the Cancel For Any Reason coverage.

The simple part is: Regardless of how the credits are shown on your new booking invoice, all my plans will let you insure your prepaid and non-refundable trip costs when your trip is paid by any combination of Future Travel Credits, Travel Vouchers or cash. The Credits or Vouchers must be equal to the amount of money you had prepaid in cash for the cancelled trip that created the credits. You cannot insure the value of any bonus credits.

Here’s a tip: If you don’t have a clear accounting of monies paid and credits that were later issued, make sure you get it. This can get complicated when you’ve had multiple trips booked and cancelled that created subsequent credits. Be sure to note any bonus credits. You will need this accounting if you ever have a trip cancellation or interruption claim. We will help you with your claim, but we won’t sort out your credits for you.

The complicated and important detail to know when you are buying a new trip cancellation policy with past travel credits is this: Your Initial Trip Deposit Date will be the date you originally made the first payment on the trip that later caused the Travel Vouchers or Credits.

Why is this important? It’s important if you want the waiver of the pre-existing medical condition exclusion and / or the Cancel For Any Reason coverage. I have four plans that you may get that cover pre-existing conditions if bought any time before, but not later than your Final Payment. However, I don’t have any plans that offer the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage for this scenario.

Since there are so many travel vouchers and credits out there, we now ask everyone this question:
“Is any of your trip being paid with Future Travel Vouchers / Credits that represented money you had paid on a trip that was cancelled or interrupted?”

I ask this all the time and often get this answer: “My deposit is paid in cash”. So, I have to ask more followup questions like “Are you re-using airfare credits from any previously cancelled trips?” or “By the time you pay the Final Payment, will you be using any Future Travel Vouchers / Credits to pay for part of your trip?”.

I want to be sure our potential customer doesn’t have any unpleasant surprise if they later have a claim due to a pre-existing medical condition. Since a pre-existing medical condition won’t be covered, they will be governed by the Pre-Existing Medical Condition Lookback Period which defines a Pre-Existing Medical Condition. Click here to learn more.

There’s something else that’s related to insuring a Future Travel Voucher / Credit you will run into if you try to insure it with your travel supplier’s Pre-Departure Waiver Plan. They won’t be able to insure your credit because the Future or Travel Vouchers / Credits exisit in their accounting as a bookkeeping entry. That’s because their Pre-Departure Waiver Plan isn’t a Travel Insurance Plan. These plans do include insurance to pay claims for accident and sickness medical benefits and medical evacuation and transportation.

Click here learn more about this in detail:

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Why are Travel Insurance Claims Taking So Long to Process?

Note: I originally wrote this on July 18, 2020. I updated it today with some more information.

This is a typical phone call or email we have been getting for the last twenty nine (29) months:

It’s now been 4 (or 5, 6, 7…) months since I submitted my claim for my trip. I understand they are busy, but this seems like they found an excuse to put my claim at the bottom of their pile. Is there anything you can do to get that moving? I’m happy to provide documents but I think they should tell me why they need it. I also think they should be able to tell me everything they think is missing all at once. Nothing about this process is giving me confidence that any company will respond well should problems arise on either of the other vacations I have insured with any company. Also, when I call them, I leave my number for a callback, but no one ever calls me back.

I am very thankful that the vast majority of people who call or email us are kind and very pleasant to work with. And, I completely understand their frustrations. We make it a point to tell our customers that a claim will take at least six months.

While I cannot know what is the exact reason that claims are taking so long to process, I do know that all the Travel Insurance companies’ Claim Departments are overwhelmed with the volume of claims that started coming in the beginning of February 2020. In addition, many claims require supporting medical documentation so the backlog in medical record transfers is part of the problem.

Unlike other widespread events like hurricanes or bad winter storms, the volume of new claims has not dropped off after the initial event. In a normal event, the majority of claims come in over a two – four week period.

What’s different about this Covid mess is that the initial claim submissions were not spread out, but there was a surge in March 2022 that continued as trips kept getting postponed or cancelled. And, in normal times, if an insurance company needed documentation from a travel supplier or a doctor’s office, there was a very short turnaround time. Now, it’s longer, partly due to people working remotely or companies being understaffed, first due to layoffs, then due to labor shortages.

Another problem is that travel suppliers are taking months to furnish cancellation invoices and other documents so the traveler has to wait before they have all their paperwork to submit with their claim.

In early July 2020, one company told me they had over 9,000 unread emails in their Customer Service email queue. And, because they had a hiring freeze or laid people off, now they (and other companies) are understaffed, so the backlog aren’t clearing quickly. I wish the companies would stop over-promising faster turnarounds because they are under-performing and needlessly getting people angry.

Finally!! I got paid after waiting three months. Steve, thank you again for your help with this claim. Lisa M., Austin, TX

We are continuing to help our customers with their claims. I have worked very hard to have a good relationship with each of our companies. There are many reasons for this, but I think the main reason is that we have never lied, mis-represented the truth nor have ever tried to deceive our companies in any way. When we made a mistake, we always own up to it. We record our phone calls so we can send the call to our companies to document our mistakes.

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How Does Re-booking My Trip Affect My Initial Deposit Date?

March 28, 2022

Subscribe How Does Re-booking My Trip Affect My Initial Deposit Date? Prior to Covid, the most common reasons we saw that a traveler would potentially cancel and re-book their trip and not file a trip cancellation claim on their policy were these: Your travel supplier cancelled and they offered you a great deal on a […]

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Does Cancel For Any Reason Cover Me if the Travel Supplier Cancels My Trip?

January 27, 2022

Subscribe My cruise line cancelled my cruise. The cruise was supposed to be leaving 11 days from today. I have a policy with the Cancel for Any Reason Benefit. If I file a claim using my Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, will I receive the 75% cash refund from the insurance company as long […]

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Are Quarantine Costs Covered if I Test Positive for Covid?

December 31, 2021

Subscribe Will a Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance policy pay anything towards the quarantine costs if I have to be medically quarantined due to a positive Covid test? I don’t have Covid now and I am fully vaccinated and boostered. I have cruises, tours and land trips booked for 2022 and 2023, so if Covid is […]

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Don’t Cancel for Your Own Medical Reasons If You’re Not Ill or Injured

December 29, 2021

Subscribe I originally wrote this on March 6, 2020, but with the confusing guidance from the CDC in respect to the Omicron variant, I am updated this and am moving this post to the top of my archives. The Coronavirus threat is real. Unfortunately, thanks to fear, seemingly “political” science decisions and the lack of […]

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This Little-Known Benefit is Important

November 11, 2021

Subscribe The Extension of Coverage is an Important Benefit What is the Extension of Coverage? If you insured the entire length of your Trip with your Trip Cancellation Travel Insurance Policy and your return is delayed by specific unavoidable circumstances beyond your control, all coverages will be extended to the earlier of the date you […]

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How is a Positive Covid Test at the Cruise Terminal Covered?

September 28, 2021

Subscribe Hi Steve, In “Does a Trip Cancellation plan Cover a Last-Minute Positive Covid Test?”, you said that your plans will cover me if I have a positive Covid test result just before I leave on my trip as long as I see a doctor who tells me that I have to cancel my trip. […]

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TripInsuranceStore is in the Washington Post

September 10, 2021

Subscribe TripInsuranceStore is in the Washington Post. I am thankful to Christopher Elliott for including me in his September 8, 2021 article “What’s the best travel insurance for your fall trip? It depends.” Here are some excerpts from his article: Finding the best travel insurance has never been easy, but if you’re planning a trip […]

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Will My Non-Refundable Airfare Be Covered?

August 22, 2021

Subscribe Hi Steve, We are going to Spain in October 2021 and we bought a Trip Cancellation policy from you on March 29, 2021. Subsequent changes in covid conditions have elevated our anxiety for this trip, but a recent advisory from the U.S. State Department to “do not travel” to Spain have caused us to […]

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Does Travel Insurance Cover Flying Standby?

August 15, 2021

Subscribe Hi Steve, I am a retired airline employee. Does flying Standby affect any trip cancellation travel insurance coverages including trip cancellation or interruption coverages? I’m also looking at the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade. Yes, your coverages will be affected. Flying standby, or any other trip with no scheduled trip dates, would affect all […]

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