There is an old black saying that goes: “When white folks catch a cold, black people get pneumonia.”
Now that white folks are catching the coronavirus, what will black folks get? Coronavirus Ultra? Heinekenfluenza? Stella Artoirthritis?
While we may not worry about missing the St. Patrick’s day parade, shaking hands at CPAC or sharing a communion chalice, for many black people, the spread of COVID-19 has different implications. For instance, how will this affect the opening weekend of the cookout season? Should you reexamine your blunt-sharing policy? Does brown liquor weaken the immune system or can Hennessy kill the coronavirus?
We have questions.
Luckily, We created this guide to specifically speak to black people’s concerns about the coronavirus. It is gleaned from interviews with Dr. Karen Reynolds a primary care physician who has served black and indigent patients for over 20 years (full disclosure: she also happens to be married to a world famous wypipologist), as well as microbiologist Dr. Keith Lukins and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the coronavirus may cause mass hysteria akin to “radical Islamic terrorism” or negro thugs, we must remember that white men are a much deadlier terrorist threat; white people are much more likely to be victimized by another white person and black people are accustomed to health risks.
We’ve seen this before.
According to the CDC, people at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19 are the elderly, along with people with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and hypertension. Black people disproportionately suffer from these illnesses so it may hit our communities harder. African Americans are also more likely to be uninsured and have less access to medical care, which may prevent them from seeking treatment, causing them to spread the illness.
The same agency reports that the CDC also says that black women are three to four more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications but does Sean Kemp panic every time a woman gets pregnant? No.
If health disparities made black people panic, we’d be overwhelmingly supporting Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan and Joe Biden would be just some old white man telling stories about when he and his ride-or-die homie Corn Pop got locked up in South Africa.
Although some employers are offering options such as telecommuting, using personal days or working from home, many black people don’t have these options. That’s for people who have careers, not jobs. Nonwhite people are more likely to work jobs that pay hourly wages, reports the Economic Policy Institute.
Because of this, feel free to call in sick even if you don’t feel sick—you never know. Also, there’s always one white guy who you know doesn’t wash his hands. Take this opportunity to give him a gift basket filled with hand sanitizer. Tell him it has nothing to do with you noticing that his hands are always dry when he comes out of the bathroom, you just happened to read that hand-washing is the No. 1 way to fight the spread of the disease.
Women should also use this situation to practice social distancing from creepy dudes who always want a hug. When a guy at the club thinks that one $9 drink bought him the rights to an all-night conversation, tell him that you’d love to talk, but you just don’t know if he’d been tested. Also, you now have a valid excuse not to participate in the office potluck.
“I would love to try your applesauce and guacamole dip, Linda. But with this coronavirus thing, I probably shouldn’t. Better safe than sorry!”
“Social distancing” is also a great excuse when white people ask you to touch your hair. Plus, If a police officer pulls you over, you can just start wheezing and ask if he can take you to the COVID-19 testing facility.
On second thought, maybe that’s not such a good idea. He still might shoot you and claim coronavirus made him “fear for his life.”
If you have to quarantine yourself, make sure you have all the basic necessities—seasoned salt, hot sauce, your cousin’s Netflix password. Make sure you go shopping in a white neighborhood. The stores in black neighborhoods don’t mind price-gouging black people, so things might be a little more expensive where you live.
Also, you may need to visit your local beauty supply store. The pandemic has affected the weave market but you may be able to find some of the things that white people have already emptied from the shelves of Target, including hand sanitizer, face masks and shea butter (One of my Caucasian comrades actually thought it was butter made by a black girl named Shea.) If you’re in a bind, you might be able to find some shea butter and lye to make your own black soap which, studies show, has better antibacterial properties.
Wait...y’all’s grandmothers didn’t teach y’all how to make soap?
My grandmother always told me to wear clean underwear and use lotion. She said you never know when you’ll have an accident and you don’t want doctors seeing your dirty drawers or your ashy elbows and assume you weren’t raised right.
I’d hate to die from coronavirus only to find out in the afterlife that I embarrassed the ancestors.
Coronavirus will kill you.
People will tell you that more people die from the flu, which is only true because more people contract influenza. However, the infection and death rate seems to be higher for coronavirus than for the flu. For instance, more people die from car accidents than motorcycles but the fatality rate is 20 times higher for motorcycle accidents.
Saying the flu kills more people than COVID-19 is like saying stairs are more dangerous than man-eating tigers. Far more people die falling down stairs than being eaten by a tiger. But which one would you rather have in your house?
Don’t become a negro version of the MAGAts who spread disinformation and believe this is a hoax. I know some of you have heard from friends who used their “knowledge of self” to help you understand the new epidemic.
The following is a sample conversation from Kwambita Shabazz, who studied under Dr. Sebi at the highly GoFunded Umar Johnson School of Medicine:
What is a Corona, my brother? It is the Spanish word for “sun,” which goes back to the Ancient Egyptian sun god Ra, who spread his light across the world. Isn’t that what Coronavirus is doing? Spreading around the world
And who did Ra give his throne to?
His third daughter, Osiris Doesn’t that sound a lot like “virus,” which also sounds like Iris, which is part of the eye? See my African brother, if you use your third eye, you won’t catch the Coronavirus or, as the white man calls it, call it, COVID-19 which stands for “Concealing Our Very Identity,” because they know the black man is God.
But nineteen is which is a prime number because it can’t be divided by anything. Now, what is the number one in Spanish? Uno, the prefix of “universe!” And nine is “nueve,” or a “new wave, aye?” The sum of one and nine is 10, which means completion. So there you have it. The Coronavirus is the same as the people who Conceal Our Very Identity so that we wont’ be one with the universe because they know we weil be completed when we can’t be divided!
If you have a friend like this, push them down the stairs to an awaiting man-eating tiger that has been infected with the coronavirus.
If you are sick, go see a doctor.
It is a documented fact that black people don’t trust the white man’s medicine and black neighborhoods have fewer hospitals and clinics. But according to many medical professionals and my own research, ginger ale, Vicks VapoRub and Robitussin are no match for a mutating contagious virus. If you feel sick or come into contact with someone who contracted the virus, you should go see a medical professional immediately—even if your preacher lays hands on you while your grandmother dabs your forehead with anointing oil while wearing an extra-strength prayer cloth.
Dr. Reynolds says that even mild symptoms “might predict the outcome for a particular patient but says very little about their ability to infect others,” Reynolds explains, adding that visiting a medical center does not mean that you will automatically be tested and suggests calling ahead before you walk into a medical center.
“Notice that the White House is saying that any ‘public health’ doctor who wants to test has the test,” she said. “That is a very specific subcategory of physician.”
The CDC (pdf) recommends separating yourself from others, frequently cleaning your household surfaces and calling ahead before you visit a medical center.
When asked if there was a special blunt wrapping that was resistant to COVID-19 or if it could be transmitted through blunts, both Reynolds and Lukin just stared at me in what I can only assume was silent disgust.
How else was I supposed to use my third eye?
So there you have it.
That coronavirus does hit different when you’re black.
But if we remain vigilant and protect ourselves, we might just be lucky enough to be shot by the police, killed by a white supremacist or die from generic, good old-fashioned racism.
Like a real American.