Suddenly everyone is an expert.
In a few weeks of self-isolation, I have seen people who think they have a platform talk about health in a way that they have no experience or training to do.
But in the era of social media that we live in, the more followers, the more you are qualified to talk about any given topic. But real talk, people are actually teaching from personal experience and not always from a place of background knowledge. And half the time, they are not of the community to whom they speak. They weren’t raised like you or me where no one was growing their food in the backyard or eating organic.
Personal experience works for some things like hair care and how to make spaghetti squash, but not for the management of chronic disease and the elimination of health disparities.
To be honest, I have seen some very strange and flat out wrong explanations lately on health disparities, diabetes in the Black community, and why people with type 2 diabetes might be more affected by the COVID-19 virus.
This is not a topic everyone should chime in on. I see people saying things like if you just eat right, you won’t get type 2 diabetes, and you won’t die from COVID-19. Number one that’s insensitive, and number two, in our community, that point is not helpful. And I know, in my early training, I used to say all the time to my diabetes patients, to eat this, not that. Some people took that advice, but most didn’t. It wasn’t until later, after significant time and training in health disparities and how to coach people, that I learned why.
But today people are scared.
Scared of COVID-19 because they have diabetes, they’ve had a stroke, or just because they are Black. So they’re looking for anything. And it seems like any answer will do. They’re worried that if they get sick and go into the hospital they’re going to get hydroxychloroquine and die from the interaction with their diabetes medications.
Never before have we been in this situation and never before has it been more important to get the right information.
COVID-19 is not the first illness to impact the Black community differently. In fact, every year when people get the flu, the Black community gets pneumonia. With diabetes, the Black community is more likely to get kidney disease and end up on dialysis. If you are Black with hypertension or high blood pressure, your hypertension is harder to control and some medications are not effective at all unless used in combination. The environment our communities tend to live in also impacts our experience with chronic disease. There are just so many factors beyond eat this, not that.
So I think it’s time for that come to Jesus, real talk about type 2 diabetes.
I’m hosting a webinar tomorrow evening with 2 fellow pharmacists to have a real conversation about type 2 diabetes and this medication hydroxychloroquine that everyone keeps talking about. I would love for you to join us.
Just register by clicking here and you’re on the list.
This is an important conversation that I don’t want you to miss. And better yet, I want you to contribute. If you have a question you need answered, ask me now and I will address it on the webinar. As a community, we have to start being a part of this conversation. The conversation is being had without our input. This is your opportunity. Shape the dialogue, ask questions, get answers from experienced health care professionals.
Your health is important all the time, not just now because there’s a new virus. The registration link is here. Click the link here and join us tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 8 PM ET.