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  • Writer's pictureJerri Haslem

It will take all of us to flatten the curve

Regardless of your age, gender, ethnicity, income or education. Life and how we Live has changed for forever because of COVID-19. What we are experiencing and what statistics reflect is our health; your health and my health are non negotiable.

This virus is deadly and beatable; but what we know to be true that any underlying issues act as a catalyst. Asthma, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes are diseases that impact the African-American community at a higher rate. Statistics reveal blacks are 20% more likely to have asthma, 40% more like to have high blood pressure and 46% more likely to have diabetes.

As a health educator, having the vision and being the co-founder of an organization that addresses physical activity, researching and reading articles for over thirty years in regards to health inequities, health disparities, and systematic systems that at many times in our history and currently are biased. The one factor that only you can address is obesity. It is not a magic pill or potion it requires commitment and discipline.

We are in a pandemic, lots of people are Shelter in Place; and I am asking you to Move! That is correct, move people! Your life is dependent upon it. All of the alarming statistics on the death rate of African-Americans in regards to the Coronavirus is shocking to so me many people, but not to me. I have had lots of jobs during my career; at age 56 what I know is my love, passion, and purpose of asking, helping, getting, pushing, pulling, some times cussing (LOL) and begging people to move.

What we are not saying, because it has and will always be a sensitive issue especially in the black community is the disease of obesity. If you’ve heard me speak or know me beyond my social media platforms I’ve stated this probably a thousand times.

Food is the only drug we must have, unlike nicotine or alcohol which can be addictive but are not necessities for sustaining life. The uncomfortable discussion of obesity is the person suffering from this disease believing, accepting, and owning responsibility. If a person suffers from a tumor or seizure there are no finger pointing indicating that the person created the situation. When it comes to obesity, we are all in this together. I challenge everyone of you to look at your weight on your drives license. Is this weight accurate, is it what you want to weigh, is it what you weighed when the picture was taken, or is it the pressure from society that make us purposely lie about weight. This thing called life has no rehearsals and our health is imperative. You have two choices, keep moving or start moving.


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