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CORONAVIRUS IS BREAKING UP THE BLACK FAMILY!


In Episode 034 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott discuss recent comments from the surgeon general (Jerome Adams) regarding the mortality rates Black people who contract the coronavirus, how it impacts the Black family and how you can protect yourself.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts and I'm here with my husband,

Rich:

What's going on is your boy Rich. And today we're going to talk about awareness around that Rona.

Nik:

Right at the start of every episode, we always remind our listeners that we are not trained, licensed or professional therapists or counselors. We've been married for a while and use Naked Proverbs as our platform to share our advice, our experience, our stories, and our opinions. If you haven't already, make sure that you're following the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on. And if you like what you hear, show us your love and support by giving us a five-star rating and review on iTunes.

Rich:

As always, we want to take a moment and say thank you to our listeners. We also want to thank all those that tuned in on last week for our first Talkback live. It was a great experience, great opportunity to interact with us and to go over some of the things that we talked about during the episode.

Nik:

We'll be going live again tonight at six o'clock pm on our Facebook page. And if you care to join us, you can join us at www.facebook.com/nakedproverbs/live

Rich:

Speaking of live. Just a few days ago, we were live on the Audacity Podcast.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

And it was a great opportunity to talk about Naked Proverbs and just some different questions that the host Jamille Harley had for us in regards to life and love and marriage and raising kids. So, if you get the opportunity, go check out the Audacity Podcast.

Nik:

I'll make sure that I link the show on our Facebook page for those of you that want to listen, and it is, it was a great episode. Jamille is a longtime friend of ours and we had a great conversation, like Rich said about love, life and legacy.

Rich:

Some people call it what Corona, they call it COVID-19 but we call it that Rona.

Nik:

That Rona is taking people out like it's no joke.

Rich:

And Rona ain't playing fair. A few weeks ago, I was googling can Black people even get the Rona because it appeared that it was not something that was affecting African Americans or Africans even, at the rate that it was affecting the rest of the world.

Nik:

Right.

Rich:

And here we are a few weeks later, and they are saying that we are dying at a higher rate than anyone else when it comes to those that are getting affected with the Rona.

Nik:

Some people like to call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever, and that's fine. But I don't think it's a coincidence. Like, it's not a coincidence that all of a sudden, and it is all of a sudden, because everybody believed, even my own kids believed, based off of the things they were reading and researching that this was something that Black people couldn't get. And then when Idris, however you pronounce his name, Elba got it now all of a sudden, Black folks all over the place are getting the disease.

Rich:

Statistically speaking, they show that maybe three weeks ago that people in Africa had a much less, lesser rate of infection than anywhere else in the world.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

And we know that Africa is the largest continent in the world. And so, what was interesting to me was that when they started talking about testing antidotes, what do you call it?

Nik:

The antibodies.

Rich:

Antibodies, whatever. They've started talking about, they want to start it Africa. And then you can go Google right now there were all kinds of articles where people were like, well, why are we going to start something in Africa where people in Africa aren't even being impacted like, people in Italy where they were losing four or five, 600 people a day to the Coronavirus? So, to me, that was one of those red flags initially, like, well, why are we gonna test a cure in a place that is not even impacted as much as other places in the world? Now, I'm not saying there's a conspiracy, but I just think it's crazy that literally, we go from a few people here and there getting it to all the sudden we're dying at the highest rates.

Nik:

I don't believe in conspiracies, right. I just believe that it's not a coincidence, and it's not by accident. And I would like people to understand that this whole argument of preexisting conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure and these preexisting conditions that might be more prevalent in the African American community. That's only one part of the reason why we're contracting Coronavirus at higher rates.

Rich:

Well, it's not even contracting, we're dying from Coronavirus at a higher rate.

Nik:

That's true.

Rich:

And that's the cause of it is basically what they're saying is that we are carriers of all of those preexisting conditions more so than other people. And you know, when we started talking about this the other day, one of the things I thought of immediately was, but there's a reason. A lot of times in America and just across the world, we will talk about the outcomes, but not really discuss well, what was the cause? And how do we correct that cause?

Rich:

Yeah.

Rich:

And most recently, we had the Surgeon General, if y'all don't know the Surgeon General is African American. He is the highest ranking basically medical person in the government. He is a officer in the army, I believe. And so, he made a comment. Honestly, the government's still trying to figure this all out themselves, you know, and I mean, rightfully, so right? This is very unprecedented times for everyone. So, basically, they were going through, you know, all the things you should be doing to continue to flatten the curve. So, they were talking about washing your hands and stand six feet away from everybody, self-isolation, all these things. And then he kind of added some things, which I thought was kind of interesting. So, things he added was that African Americans and Latinos, Latin Americans, both need to also avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Now, that was a red flag for me.

Nik:

Well, because he was suggesting that A) African Americans and Latinos use tobacco and drugs at a higher rate than other ethnic or racial populations in the country. So, that's the first thing

Rich:

And that is false.

Nik:

And then the second thing that he's suggesting is that because African Americans and Latino communities in the United States use tobacco and alcohol at a higher rate, that's why we're contracting the Coronavirus and ultimately dying.

Rich:

That's not, that's not true. So, you know, he said, we do not think people of color are biologically or genetically predisposed to get COVID-19 but they are socially predisposed to Coronavirus exposure and have a higher incidence of the various diseases that put you at risk for severe complications of Coronavirus. Now, I can't say I disagree with that. But once again, there's a cause behind that. And I think this is a great opportunity for the Surgeon General and the United States to address why are people of color predisposed to social things that honestly don't, they don't have to be predisposed to anymore.

Nik:

The fact that he is saying, social, there's these social things that are making these communities predisposed. Nobody's asking the question of why. Now, that's a big thing. You're saying, well, we're saying these things, but we're just taking it at face value instead of saying, oh, well, why? Like what do you mean when you say there are social aspects to the way that we have to live our lives or the way that you are living your lives that make you predisposed to that. Those are the conversations I think that should be happening not just at home on Naked Proverbs and within our own houses, but at the highest levels in this country.

Rich:

Definitely. And I mean, I think you know, cuz I'm sure there's somebody right now, like I tuned in for some marriage and family counseling that y'all been giving how does this relate? This relates because we're talking about family, right, we're talking about, the reality is there are some things that are passed down from generation to generation that create some of these predisposed conditions that we have

Nik:

Social and health wise.

Rich:

So, it relates.

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Rich:

There are other things though that we don't have control over that still impact us. I remember growing up and going to my grandparents’ house and they lived on the north side. So, that's where all the Black people, people of color lived, and they still do to this day. Now there are levels over on the north side. You know there are some ghetto areas and then there's some affluent areas and I family that live in both. But my grandparents moved into a more affluent area. And one of the things I quickly noticed was there was no grocery store. And to this day, there is still no real grocery store in my grandparents' neighborhood. So, they're already at a disadvantage because when they have to go out in these environments to go shopping, they've got to go, they've got to travel further. They've got to go into neighborhoods that aren't full of people that they know or look like them. So, that impacts your likelihood of getting Coronavirus because you're out and about. And it's not just a quick hop and jump in a skip away like for us. We're less than a mile from a grocery store.

Nik:

Yeah, walking distance.

Rich:

You know, like we can get to the grocery store, get in and get out, have our little PPE on and get home and get cleaned up real quick. No big deal. But for some people, and especially people of color, that's not an option for them because it doesn't even exist.

Nik:

Right. So, PPE, personal protection equipment. Just for people who aren't familiar with the acronym. And yes, that is something that socially exists in communities all over this country. Right? It's also the African American and Latino populations, they're probably mostly hourly wage workers by a higher percentage, right? So, that means they're going to work.

Rich:

They don't have a choice.

Nik:

They're not working from home.

Rich:

They gotta pay they bills.

Nik:

That's right.

Rich:

Like, you know, I was reading an article recently, and they were talking about a lot of people that are out there working today that we quote, unquote, are calling, what? Essential personnel? They don't want to go to work. People are dying. They don't want to be out here, scanning your groceries. They don't want to be out here working, but they don't have a choice because if they don't work, they're not going to get paid. If they don't get paid, then they are going to be an even worse situation than they're currently in.

Nik:

And I think these are all great talking opportunities and teachable moments for your children. We have both been in situations where we've had to advocate for very close family members about their health care. And too often, especially in the Black community. We believe that doctors are what the media says, we just take it for face value, and we never, ever question it. So, we're poisoning our bodies with prescription drugs. We never ask any questions. We never ask why; we never do any research. We don't even read the side effects of these drugs and how it can start to harm ourselves and sometimes the people around us. So, this Coronavirus thing and especially the fact that Black people and brown people are dying at higher rates. This opens up the door to have very, very good strategic conversations with your children, with your spouse about how you want to communicate your healthcare needs to your providers.

Rich:

It even goes as follows as stopping and being honest and transparent with yourself. Do you have health care? Do you have health insurance? If you don't, why don't you? You know, and it's not just well, health insurance is expensive. Yes, we all know that. But, you know, we, in our community, we face an uphill battle from birth, from before birth. So, sometimes some of these things that we're facing, like I said, they are truly systemic issues of America's

Nik:

That's right.

Rich:

But this is an opportunity not to put your head in the sand and ignore it. But to really think through well, how do we handle these things? How do we handle if somebody with no health insurance gets sick in our family? Do we just let them die on the couch? Are we going to go ahead and take them to the hospital and figure it out later? Like, what are we going to do? And I think that these are great conversations to have and be transparent. You know, if you are a family that is struggling, talk to your kids and let them understand like, look, you know what, this is where we are, and these are these choices we have to make because of where we are.

Nik:

I love that you brought up the sys, I can't say the word

Rich:

systemic,

Nik:

thank you. The systemic obstacles that exist not just in our communities but within the systems that we have to navigate through. Because it's no secret when it comes to health care Black and brown people are discriminated against. Like that is one area where we will be discriminated against. A doctor will prescribe some of these other harmful drugs faster to us than they will to someone else, just because there's just no value for the Black and the brown lives. Black lives do matter, not just on the street when we're talking about police brutality, but in the hospitals and in these emergency rooms also.

Rich:

It's important to remember that your choices matter. So, make sure that you're able to make choices or that you even have the opportunity to make choices, that can impact and help your family. Because everything is not someone else. fault. You can't blame every situation on someone else. I was looking at some statistics before we started. And one of the things I noticed, which was kind of eye opening is that 57% of African Americans in 2018, had less than a college degree. Which meant that they had started college, but they didn't even get an associate degree. So, more than half of our community is lacking in education. Which means they're lacking an opportunity. Because we already know that we've got to be 10 times better. So, if you're going up against someone with a high school diploma, and you have no high school diploma, you're probably not getting the job.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

If you're going against someone with an associate degree, and all you have is your high school diploma, you probably don't have an opportunity. And this is not, you know, oh, everybody should go out and get a degree. But if you don't have a trade, if you don't have, if you're not an owner of your own business, you know, then you should consider furthering your education so that you can open up doors and opportunities.

Rich:

Because you said something earlier about how a lot of the service facing industry is full of people of color. And that's because a lot of them, because the only other people that had less education than us were Hispanics. So, when you stop and think that these two groups are dying at the highest rates, is that part of it? That we're stuck in these dead in service facing jobs that aren't really even paying the bills? Few years back, everybody was having arguments about should we give them a higher pay or not. And now everybody is literally able to do the things we can do today because those same people that people didn't see value in, it's them staying in those jobs, that are allowing us to go into the stores and buy toilet paper. That is allowing people to get their daily needs met. It's from those same people that three years ago, two years ago, people didn't see value in. So, this isn't about are those people valuable or not

Nik:

Right.

Rich:

but it's about, well, if that job is not seen as a job of value in America, then you're not going to have the same opportunities.

Nik:

One point that you bring up is education. And formal education is just one way to become educated. We live in a world where we literally can speak to a device, we don't even have to know how to spell or read. We can talk to a device and get answers to a question and get more information. So, I urge and encourage, even if you're not formally educated, to utilize the tools that are available to you to educate yourself. Educate yourself on these numbers, right? Statistics can say whatever we want them to say. And one thing that I've been teaching my kids about statistics, because you know, they're seeing all these numbers all over the place, this many percentage of that that many percentage of that, is ask why is it that many percentage, right. So, one example is, children, little young children are dying or contracting the disease at the lowest rate. But why is that? Why is that number so low? Well, could it be because people are keeping their kids at home? And they're really self-isolating their children at a higher rate than adults who have to go to work and people have to go out and do these things. So, education, yes, formal education it opens up opportunities. It gives you more healthcare opportunities and all of that but understand that there's more than just that formal education way to gather information.

Rich:

Especially talking about the statistics. Statistically speaking, there are more people of color that are dying. But also, if you look at this disease, it's happening in major metropolises, right? It's happening in cities. It's not, not saying it's not out in the suburbs or not out in the rural areas because it is. But most African American and Latino populated populations exist in cities. Like you're not gonna find a bunch of farmers and a bunch of people out in the rural areas that look like us. You're not. It doesn't say they don't exist, but you're not going to find large populations of them. So, when you say that New York, they're saying it's the epicenter of America, well what percentage of New York is made up of people of color?

Nik:

Okay? Yeah.

Rich:

or Chicago,

Nik:

right,

Rich:

or Louisiana? Like these places that they're saying, oh, my God, this is the epicenter, this is where it's happening, this is just, you know, balls to the walls crazy here. Well, most of those places they are mentioning are places that are full of people that look like us.

Nik:

I hesitate to say this, but I'm going to say it

Rich:

Oh Lord,

Rich:

Because we know we wash our hands. Let's be real. We ain't the ones not washing our hands.

Nik:

because no it's not even like that. Because it's something that I feel like a lot of people can resonate with and relate to and that is stay woke y'all. Do not just take this stuff that they're spoon feeding you on social media and in the media and on the news and consume it and digest it. Like it is your duty, it's your life. Right? It is your livelihood. It is your responsibility as an adult, as someone who is a provider for a family, as the head of a household for you to get as much information about this as possible. So, you have to stay woke. Ask the hard question of why. Why are these numbers looking the way that they look? Is it because of the discrimination in health care, health care? Is it because of the higher concentrations of Black and brown populations in these, in these environments? Why are these numbers looking the way that they look? And is it an automatic death sentence for you?

Rich:

Something else that We really need to think about, especially as parents, as Black men as Black women, if you are wearing personal protective equipment, right, I know here in the state of Colorado, it has been mandated that if you're outside, you need to wear a mask. And for us, we're blessed to have medical masks, because I was at the VA and sauce medical masks, and I just made sure I got a few right. So, we have some medical masks. So, when we were going out, we were already wearing our medical masks just because whenever the government tells me I probably shouldn't, I know I probably should. That's just my experience. So, I was wearing medical masks and gloves from day one.

Rich:

But I read an article you know; I do a lot of reading because I just like to read. And there were some young men that were wearing medical masks and they walked into a big box store and a police officer followed them and this is out there. Google it. You can find it on YouTube because they were smart enough to start recording. And as they were walking this police officer followed them through the store with his hand on his pistol. At one point he even told them, I think this was in Georgia. I can't remember. He even told them that it was against the law to wear a mask in a store. Long story short, he was lying that wasn't true. The young men decided before things escalated, and they died let me just go ahead and leave. So, they left the store in another situation a man purposely was thoughtful in what color durag, not durag. I'm sorry, a bandana did he purchase right? Because you know we have to be aware of everything we do. Right? So, he was like, I'm going to purchase a pink bandana. A light blue bandana, not like Bloods and Crips bandana but like a light blue like North Carolina blue. And I forgot, I think it's like a lime green one or something. Like totally he was like, you know, because I don't want people to look at me and be afraid of me. And this guy was like 50, some years old. He was like, I don't want people to look at me and be afraid of me. I don't want people to think that I'm here trying to rob them. He's like, I'm just trying to get, get my supplies like everybody else.

Rich:

And those are things that we actually have to think about as you are out there. As you are obeying these laws that are coming down. Make sure you're thinking through how these laws can impact you as an African American in America. I had to go to the bank recently. And that was one of the things I thought about was like, well, if I walk up in here, even with this medical mask on, I'm gonna have issues. So, do I take my mask off? Do I go to the drive thru? Do I not go to the bank? But I just want you guys to make sure that you're being safe, not just from the Rona. But from things that we face on a regular basis.

Nik:

Yeah, because it's heightened. You know, I appreciate that you brought that point up because I don't think a lot of people are thinking through, they're, they want to be compliant, we want to protect ourselves, we want to make sure that we're not contracting this disease when we have to go out into the community. And on top of that, I would say, practice safe habits. It's more than just washing your hands. My family thinks that I'm crazy, because every time that we leave the house, I have a spray bottle full of alcohol and literally

Rich:

Not drinking alcohol, y'all.

Nik:

Oh, no, not the alcohol the Surgeon General was talking about

Rich:

You know the Surgeon General think we just walking around taking shots all day.

Nik:

No, rubbing alcohol, 91% rubbing alcohol. And I have a spray bottle and literally every five or 10 minutes I'm spraying our hands with the alcohol. I'm spraying

Rich:

Our gloves.

Nik:

Well, yes, because we have gloves. I'm spraying all the surfaces that we touch. When I went to the bank through the drive thru, before I put that thing in my car, I sprayed down the little canister that comes in sprayed it down with alcohol sprayed everything. Because this virus does not discriminate as much as the media and social media is trying to make you believe that it is choosing Black and brown people, it's not. It's not so be safe out there, y'all.

Rich:

Stay inside. If you can stay inside, you know, because you can work from home or because whatever the situation but you're able to stay in then stay inside. That's I think one easy way to avoid some of this. Our very first day of quarantine here in the state. We were in our backyard, sitting on the patio talking or something. And we hear all this noise outside and there are literally people driving up and down the road, having a parade, high fiving other like people that, now I'm not going to call them strangers because they're your neighbors. But you don't know if they have Corona or, not right? And you are physically touching them. Because people just weren't taking it serious. And I'm not one that believes in everybody should be panicked and wrapped in saran wrap walking around but you should also be very cautious.

Rich:

You know, there were multiple people that were still going to church services to the point that police officers started sitting out in front of churches like, hey, you're going to jail if you can't be obedient and do what you're asked to do. So, stay inside, wash your hands.

Rich:

But I think more importantly, if you do start to feel that there's something going on physically, that just doesn't seem normal, doesn't seem right. This happens pretty quickly. So, don't wait around like we as Black people can do, and say, well, let's see how I feel in 48 hours, 72 hours. Go get medical attention as quickly as possible. There are multiple resources that have been created by the government, even for those that don't have insurance. So, once again, Google it, get out there and kind of get your, get your education on and learn about the resources that are available to you. If you do believe that you've come down with Corona or you've been exposed to Corona.

Nik:

Thanks, so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We truly want you to have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on. And we will talk to y'all in the next one. Stay safe y'all.

Rich:

Peace.

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