As participants of all ethnicities support the Black Lives Matter movement en masse—taking a stand, speaking out against policy injustice—one must be woke and mindful of another invisible public enemy that has senselessly taking black lives. Black Americans are dying of COVID-19 at a rate three times higher than white Americans reports The Guardian.
Protestors and Social Distancing
The coronavirus has spread and caused chaos in public health, disrupting lives with its malevolent spread through droplets very much alike to most viruses as well as communicable and infectious diseases (WHO, 2020). The virulent spread from infected persons means that COVID-19 and its negative energy readily and quickly unfold from person to person. This, however, doesn’t imply that everyone who comes into contact with the virus instantly becomes infected. The rationale is that, as some people in a family may not be infected when everyone else in it has a flu, it is also possible for one to resist and protect oneself against the coronavirus. The resistive and protective mechanism determines if the immune system is up to the challenge.
There is no specific treatment to cure COVID-19; however, there are many preventions that will help boost your immunity to help protect you against the coronavirus and the manifestation of other ailments associated. Nutrition and mindset are two of the areas to focus your energy upon for protection. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the first and most profound way you can improve your immunity against all manner of illnesses and infections, is to make sure you’re optimizing nutrition (2020).
The immune system is powered by what we eat and is unable to perform optimally unless it gets the necessary ingredients. In particular, Vitamin C is considered one of the most essential nutrients when it comes to supporting good health and fighting disease-causing microorganisms. Among other things, it’s the most important tools for African Americans fighting acne because Vitamin C’s main functions include acting as an antioxidant, reducing the damage that toxins can have on your skin. It also prevents future damage. Your skin is the first line of defense. You can find Vitamin C in countless fruits and vegetables including, in particular, citrus fruits, apples, peppers, kale, sprouts, and berries.
Vitamin C also acts as a detox agent, removing toxins, along with other pollutants, from the body. It can also act to protect African American skin against damage caused by free radicals. Acne is usually a sign of a weakened immune system, a hint that your body is fighting off infections from bacteria, toxins and/or parasites. These can produce free radicals, which then lead to a breakout. Vitamin C is an antioxidant; thus, it helps to destroy “free radicals” that otherwise damage cells (Akbari et al., 2016).
Protestor Stress: Feel Happy
In addition to the limiting social distancing inherent to demonstrating, protesters risk contracting COVID-19, risking their Black lives in order protect other Black lives. Protesting and advocating can be an emotional roller coaster consisting of feelings such as grief, sadness, joy and including anger. This emotional state can weaken immunity.
The world has watched Americans publicly express a range of emotions: e.g., the mayor of Laurel in Mississippi crying while signing an order to take down the state flag. Thus, another Vitamin C benefit is also a precursor to the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, which can help to put the body in a calmer and more restorative state (Akbari et al.,). Studies have reported that short-term stress boosted the immune system, but chronic stress has a long-term impact on the immune system that ultimately manifests illnesses that are secret killers in the African American community, such as hypertension. It raises catecholamine and suppressor T cell levels, which suppress the immune system.
Protests are a great way to bring attention to a cause while expressing discontent, but the message might be lost if violence, rioting, or vandalism occurs. Mostly, more black lives may be lost, especially in this case because of COVID-19.
Behavioral wellness is a a neurolinguistic education practice that recommends mindfulness courses to help others understand emotions. We suggest that protesters seek peaceful modes of activism for the greater good, to awaken change. If you are hosting a march, work ahead of time to identify safe and legal avenues to protest. Participants should use unaggressive tactics to gain visibility without confrontation. This can be accomplished by working with both the police and with legal aids to ensure that nobody violates the law or individual rights system.