By now you know somebody or know someone that knows somebody that’s been affected by the Coronavirus or COVID-19. COVID 19 is an acronym for coronavirus 2019. The crazy rumor that was started about how Black folks cannot get the virus has not only proven to be false but shows how susceptible we are to bad and misleading information.
Nobody has done more for bringing to the forefront misleading information, i.e. “fake news,” than Donald Trump. And, nobody spreads more misleading information than Donald Trump. What a tragedy for the American people! Just know that we elect our politicians to govern our country, states and cities, not to govern the decisions we personally make for ourselves and our families. Believing everything you hear or see makes you vulnerable to deception, so know your facts.
Let’s start with some facts:
On New Year’s Eve, the government of China announced they were treating several cases of pneumonia from an unknown source in the city of Wuhan which has 11 million people.
By January 11th the first known death was of a 61-year-old man in Wuhan that frequently visited the marketplace from which it is believed the virus originated.
By January 21st the first known case in the U.S. was in the state of Washington from a 30-year-old that had recently returned from Wuhan, China, and had symptoms.
On January 30th the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus as a global pandemic, and on January 31st President Trump closed down travel from China to the U.S. At this point almost 10,000 people worldwide had contracted the virus.
Fast forward about 80 days, and we have more than 943,000 cases in the United States alone with more than 2.5 million worldwide and over 55,000 deaths in the U.S. The deaths in the United States have been disproportionately people of color. It doesn’t matter whether or not any of the rumors are true, what matters is real people are dying every day.
So, what does this mean for African American people? Since many of the deaths of African Americans are due to compromised immune systems, the first takeaway we should concern ourselves with is the business of improving our immune systems for future outbreaks. How do we do that? Start out by educating yourself. Information is literally at your fingertips, so check and recheck the information that you use is accurate, true and from a verified source. Get information from multiple sources, and then make an informed decision.
While I am not a medical professional, here are a few suggestions that you can find via the CDC, but please check with your health professional for guidance.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
Maintain a heathy weight.
Drink alcohol in moderation
Minimize your stress levels
Get adequate sleep
Cook your meats thoroughly and reduce the intake (eat less).
Wash your hands thoroughly and often to prevent infection.
Practice social distancing with out being told.
Use common sense.
Grow a garden.…it’s possible.
As a 63-year-old African American male, I am creeping into the high-risk category. However, as we have seen, neither the COVID-19 virus nor death is a respecter of age. Nonetheless, the older you get, the wiser you ought to become. Our choices have to be considerate, because our decisions affect, not just us, but our families, friends, co-workers, church members, neighbors, communities, cities, states, our nation, and our world. So, changing your mindset may take some time too, but it can be done. If you search online, there are several examples on what you can do. Personally, I would start with meditation. You don’t have to cross your legs and chant strange sounds to do it, just check it out for yourself.
I have been very fortunate to have two of my three daughters and my mother-in-law home with my wife and me during these critical times. My middle daughter is working in Pennsylvania—believe it or not—on vaccines. She is a scientist, and while she may not be working on the vaccine that cures you, it may cure your loved one in the near future. This time at home has given me the opportunity to reflect, refresh, refuel, and refurbish my soul. It has given me the time to love on my family and for them to love on me even more.
Every year we host the Power Couples Ball, which promotes marriage, education and family. With that being said, I believe the days ahead will be even more difficult for individuals without a helpmate. All you single men and women out there, go home to your families. Alone is not good. If you’ve always wanted a family, then what are you waiting on?
Let’s Keep family at the heart of the African American community. Let’s unite our finances, reset our lives and Survive!