African-American, coronavirus, justice

Being Black in America–still tough

Thursday April 9, 2020

Being Black in America means I am more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, sickle cell disease and to die from complications related to those diseases than the rest of the population.

Being Black in America means that I have a higher chance of living in poverty, being homeless, and being unemployed (and underemployed).

Being Black means I have a greater change of being shot, being a victim of a violent crime (as well as being a victim of any crime) and of going to jail as a perpetrator of a crime.

Being Black in America means I am less likely to graduate from high school and less likely to go to college (let alone any other institutions of higher learning).

And now it appears that I can add Corona virus to the list of things that negatively effect us more than others in this country.

A feature article in the New York Times from April 8th lays out the issues in frightening detail. Here are a few quotes from the article that I find most disheartening.

For many public health experts, the reasons behind the disparities are not difficult to explain, the result of longstanding structural inequalities. At a time when the authorities have advocated staying home as the best way to avoid the virus, black Americans disproportionately belong to part of the work force that does not have the luxury of working from home, experts said. That places them at high risk for contracting the highly infectious disease in transit or at work.

and

Longstanding inequalities also make African-Americans less likely to be insured, and more likely to have existing health conditions and face racial bias that prevents them from getting proper treatment.

Initial indications are that doctors are less likely to refer African-Americans for testing when they visit a clinic with symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Since the disease can progress quickly, researchers say, a disparity in testing can lead to considerably worse outcomes. A lack of early communication about the threat of Covid-19 and confusing messages that followed left an information vacuum in some black communities that allowed false rumors to fester that black people were immune to the disease. Some places ended up behind in taking measures to slow the spread.

One more

“These communities, structurally, they’re breeding grounds for the transmission of the disease,” Dr. Barber said. “It’s not biological. It’s really these existing structural inequalities that are going to shape the racial inequalities in this pandemic.”

For me this pandemic underlines the fact that we have not defeated racism. For it’s effects, having become embedded in the social structure of the nation, are raging on. We have not undone the damage. That work of justice is still before us.

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coronavirus, exercise, fat girl report, food, weight loss

The News From Lake Weightbegone

Saturday April 4, 2020

Well, it’s been a quite week in Lake Weightbegone, my new hometown out here on the edge of good health.

To be honest I thought was doing quite poorly as the week went along. I wasn’t eating well. I didn’t do anything when it came to exercise. I didn’t think there was any chance I would see a loss on the scale, let alone the size of the loss. I do have an explanation: salt. In the week before I ate so much salt that I believe a lot of that gain was water. So this week that water went away with less salt consumption.

Still this does not change my intention for the next month. With the stress of Corona virus and the stay-at-order I don’t see a real chance to lose weight. I will still do my best to hold my weight and not gain anymore. If I happen to lose weight that will be an added benefit.

This coming week marks the start of bringing the weekend into the tracking circle. i anticipate that mu numbers will look terrible when it comes to points consumed. But this is necessary if I want to bring my weekend eating under control.

I was most unhappy with my exercise this past week. I did nothing. I didn’t take advantage of the weekend to walk anywhere. I can’t do any other kind of exercise because there is no place to do that work. Still I have a plan in place so that when the governor lifts the stay-at-home order I will be able to hit the ground running (although I don’t run). I have an exercise plan and I’ll be revealing that is time.

It’s now time for the Fat Girl Report. Let’s do the numbers (a happy version of “We’re in the Money” plays in the background).

WEIGHT:

Today’s weight: 208.6

Weight change: -3.8

Total weight loss: -5.6

Meal Segments tracked: 14 of 21 (67%)

ACTIVITY:

Saturday: 2,605 steps. No other activity

Sunday: 4,380 steps. No other activity

Monday: 11,637 steps. No other activity

Tuesday: 10,500 steps. No other activity

Wednesday: 10,000 steps. No other activity

Thursday: 11,365 steps. No other activity

Friday: 10,753 steps. No other activity

Total: 61,240 steps ( down 16,681 steps from last week)

EVALUATION:

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And that’s the news from Lake Weightbegone

…where all the women are strong because they workout

…all the men are good looking because they watch their portion sizes

…and all the children are above average when it comes to their activity points.

Inspired by:

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coronavirus, family, family drama, money, work

my family deals with ‘rona

Friday April 3, 2020

On January 19, 2020, a 35-year-old man presented to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Washington, with a 4-day history of cough and subjective fever. On January 20th he tested positive for Covid19. He thus became the first confirmed case of the virus in Washington State. Since then things have gone crazy and life in these United States has been flipped upside down.

Like so many other states, Washington State is under a stay-at-home order from the governor. Yesterday the governor extended the stay-at-home order until May 4th. Hundreds of businesses have closed in order to slow the spread of the virus. Thousands of households have been thrown into unpredictability as a result of the virus and the steps being taken to slow it down.  And that includes my household.

Financially we are doing OK. My nephew and I are still employed full-time. We are still able to pay the bills, meet the rent and buy groceries. Physically we are doing OK. We are all physically healthy. Still home life is stressful. We are bearing up emotionally but it’s not easy. Thankfully we do love one another and as the Scriptures say, “love covers a multitude of sins.” We are working at being gentle with each other. We acknowledge to each other that these are difficult time and we need to continue to pull together.

We are making plans to help each other deal with the stress of being stuck at home. We are doing our best to care for a 9 year old who is out of school. Crafting an educational plan for him that makes sense is difficult. And to be honest I’m not sure the educational system in our school district is up to the challenge. I expect we will have to do a lot on our own.

What will the school district do? How will we weather this storm of stay-at-home? We shall see.

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baseball, coronavirus, family, food, sports, weight loss

another horrible night eating

Friday April 3, 2020

It was another stressful night at home. Again more emotional pain as a result of the fallout of the Corona virus. As usual I took to my drug of choice: food. So I ended up with another horrible night of eating the wrong stuff and eating too much of it.

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Tomorrow when I step on the scale I’m going to see a disaster. I full expect to have gained two pounds at least. That will make it official. I will have undone in one month all the good work I’ve done in the first two months of the year around weight loss. It’s discouraging to think that I’m right back to where I started the year. It almost reduces me to despair to think of what the next month of the Stay-at-home order will bring.

Yogi Berra said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.”

I have a different adage. “When you come to a fact in the road, face it.”

I’ve come to a fact in the road and I’m facing it. Losing weight during this stressful time for my family is not going to happen. I am now adjusting my short term goal around weight loss. My short term goal is not to gain any more weight for the duration of the Stay-at-home order. When Governor Inslee lets the state out of house arrest, I’ll re-access my situation and re-adjust my weight loss goals.

This is a bitter pill to swallow. However it’s best that I swallow it now rather than to beat up on myself and then have to swallow the same bitter pill later.

As always, we’ll see what happens.

coronavirus, money, urban life, work

a trip to the bank

Tuesday March 24, 2020

I had a considerable amount of cash on me and I needed to go to the back to deposit it. Normally I would do this at the end of the day but my back now closes at 2pm instead of 5pm, thanks to the coronavirus.

So Monday I headed to the bank during my lunch break. It’s a little more than a half mile stroll. I decided to take the route that went down 3rd Avenue because the terrain was a bit less stressful on my knees. The half mile walk down 3rd Avenue turned out to be a veritable obstacle course. Between the construction workers puffing away on their smokes, the street people and their coughs and the aggressive pan-handlers, it made for an unpleasant journey. I found myself zigzagging from one side of the street to the other and back again as I made my way south.

By the time I got to the bank, there were two other people ahead of me. One of them, still reeking from whatever it was he was smoking, was still holding the extinguished remains of his smoke of chose. I stood back from him because the aroma was actually making me ill. The teller asked him to put away whatever he was smoking. The man was offended to be asked and he threw it in a nearby garbage can. The teller said, “No,” ran to the trash can, fished out the stub and threw it out the door of the bank.

Meanwhile the other teller was having a struggle of her own. She was trying to explain to a customer why she couldn’t cash his check. Try as she might, he simply couldn’t understand. It appeared that everything she said went over his head. He was as lost as a little puppy dog left alone in Manhattan. As he wandered off a new issue erupted.

A man came into the bank followed by a person I had seen often on 3rd Avenue. This woman is very aggressive in her asking for money. She followed the man into the bank demanding that he or someone in the place give her money and do it right now. The woman teller ran over to confront her. An argument ensued but eventually she convinced her to leave the man alone and leave the bank.

By the time I got to teller, transacted my business and left, I was feeling very much shaken. My emotions were all over the place. I was a little angry, a bit scared, but mostly I was sad–deeply sad. I felt bad for the man with the foul smelling smoking material. I felt bad for the man who couldn’t understand why the bank couldn’t cash his check. I felt bad for the man who was being harassed as he came into the bank. I felt bad for the woman who was demanding money out of her poverty. I felt bad for the tellers. I felt bad for people coughing on the street, with no where to go. I felt bad for everyone.

Then I did something that made me feel bad for me. I took a different route back to work. I walked one block up to 4th Avenue and enjoyed a very quite pleasant walk back to my workplace. I could walk away from 3rd Avenue and not have to deal with its mess. But what about all the folk I encountered on my walk to the bank? Getting away from 3rd Avenue and things it typified for me today might not be so easy for them.

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coronavirus, family drama, food, weight loss

The News From Lake Weightbegone

Saturday March 21, 2020

Well, it’s been a quite week in Lake Weightbegone, my new hometown out here on the edge of good health.

Actually it’s been a quiet month in Lake Weightbegone since that’s how long it’s been since I last wrote. And it has hardly been quiet. I (and everybody else in the country) now live in the Coronavirus age–and may that age be short lived. I live in King County, which was the first landing place of the virus in the US. Here in Washington State. We have 1524 cases, making us the state with the second most cases while having the most deaths (as of March 202, 2020).

Like everyone else I’ve felt the impact of this crisis in many ways. One of those ways has been in my eating. My eating has been almost out of control over the last couple of weeks. My family is stressed. I am stressed. I have taken to food as my drug of choice. I’m feeling it in my body. It is bound to show up on the scale. 

However that brings me to another impact. WW (like so many businesses) is closed to the public. Studios have been clothes and in person workshops have been cancelled. I’ve not been to a meeting since health officials first began to advise us to limit social contact. Thus one of my most important supports has been missing while I’ve struggled with eating and stress.

Today I will weight in on the scale in my home for the first time since February 29th. I am prepared for horrendous results.

And that the news from Lake Weightbegone

…where all the women are strong because they workout

…all the men are good looking because they watch their portion sizes

…and all the children are above average when it comes to their activity points.

Inspired by:

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