Black Women OWN The Conversation: Your COVID-19 Resource Guide
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because information is the best weapon against the virus.
By Joshua Eferighe
Check out a special edition of OZY’s Black Women OWN the Conversation focused on the impact of COVID-19 on the African American community. These episodes bring together real women and a curated panel of experts, professionals and thought leaders with host Carlos Watson for a timely discussion on how we are living during this pandemic. The specials air Saturday, April 18, at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. CT), and Tuesday, April 21, at 11 p.m. (10 p.m. CT) on OWN. Join the conversation at #BlackWomenOWN on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Just because you are an essential worker or deemed as high-risk does not mean you have to live your life in fear. While masks, gloves and hand washing are all great methods to help protect yourself, the most powerful defensive tool is information, which is why we have put together this handy resource guide.
Below we have tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nonprofit resources inside and outside the Black community, and some suggestions on how best to live during this unprecedented time.
The first and most important thing to consider when going out, whether you’re going in to work or snagging some precious vitamin D, is not contracting or spreading the virus. Here are some quick facts on what the CDC has to say about COVID-19 that you should keep in mind.
How COVID-19 Spreads
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, especially when in close contact (within about 6 feet).
- This spread comes from respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- The virus can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
- The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath
- After coming in from outside or any public place, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Same goes for after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.
- Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol is also okay to use, but only if soap and water aren’t readily available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed (or even gloved) hands at all costs.
- Social distance — if you can, stay home. A reminder: You can spread the virus without showing any symptoms.
What to Wear
- N-95 masks are best for containment, but a simple face cloth is better than nothing.
- Still, cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2, or anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do NOT use a face mask meant for a health care worker.
- Just because your face is covered doesn’t mean the 6-feet rule no longer applies.
Check out these nonprofits doing good work in the African American community and beyond.
Free Virtual Therapy
The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation was founded in 2018 in honor of actress Taraji P. Henson’s father, who suffered from mental health challenges after serving in the Vietnam War. It’s launched a campaign to help Black people affected by COVID-19 access free therapy during the outbreak.
People who have been impacted are eligible for up to five free sessions. Click here to get started. And if you need immediate help, call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255
Helping Health Workers
Project Parachute provides free therapy sessions to frontline health workers — including physicians, nurses, custodial staff, management and others.
Founded by psychologist Stephanie Zerwas, the initiative grew from organizing local therapists to aid the University of North Carolina’s physician mental health program, to a large-scale national network. It now has more than 500 volunteer therapists in 37 states, all offering pro bono therapy sessions.
Test, Test, Test
The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium is addressing the biggest problem facing communities across the country — access to coronavirus tests. They’ve built a mobile testing unit to get tests to the most underserved parts of Philadelphia. Founder Dr. Ala Stanford, the first African American female pediatric surgeon to be educated entirely in the U.S., launched the initiative. You can catch Stanford on the first special COVID-19 episode of Black Women OWN the Conversation, airing tonight (see note above in italics).
This pandemic is about more than health care. We’ve all got to figure out how to deal with disrupted, locked-down lives, as well as economic challenges. Here are some OZY guides to the coronavirus era: