Coronavirus Pandemic Update….

By Imam Dr. Mikal Ramadan

CHICAGO, Ill. S – When a person is rushed into the emergency room short of breath in respiratory distress, he needs immediate relief before he fatigues, becomes exhausted he stops breathing. 

If he stops breathing, next his heart stops. A Code Blue is called and CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is begun by the staff. The patient is simultaneously intubated, a breathing tube is inserted into his airway, and IV medications are administered according to a fixed protocol. 

This is exactly what happened to my brother-in-law less than 10 days ago. But despite these gallant efforts, he died.  His cause of death was presumed COVID-19 contracted in his nursing home. (To Allah do we belong and to Allah do we return.)  

Since his passing, scores of similar cases continue to occur daily throughout this country.  Needless to say, the full story inside nursing homes is just beginning to emerge.

In fact, the new epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States are shifting from the major metropolitan areas to the suburban and rural areas.  Specifically to prison populations, meatpacking plant workers, and nursing home patients.

We all depend upon our healthcare system and our economy. Yet the onslaught of COVID patients into hospitals and the closure of small businesses in response to the stay at home orders has placed the health care system and the economy both in severe distress. 

And just like the person in respiratory distress, these systems too can become fatigued, exhausted, and eventually collapse.   Emergency CPR for these distressed systems is widespread.

There is COVID-19 testing and increasing targeted stimulus checks to small businesses and the general population, but still there is no guarantee that these treatment measures will be enough to turn these systems around and prevent them from collapsing.                                   

As citizens and as a community, our primary job is to survive the current catastrophe! We have to develop a new independent collective Plan B for ourselves. We are the most impacted group by the coronavirus, and we have the most to lose. 

These critical times have brought us back around to “Doing For Self” but now within an emergency context. This concept was promoted by the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and his son Imam W. D. Muhammed (may Allah forgive them their sins and accept them into Paradise). 

The urgency of the times demands that we rethink how to implement this idea immediately. We can start with small moves which have  a great collective impact, such as: 

1) Continuing to avoid the emergency room – using it only when we must; 

2) Continuing the use of self-care strategies and herbal medicines in concert with your physician; 

3) Restructure our business organizations and plans to provide for our communities’ needs within a contracted economy; 

4) Return to the land; 

5) Plant family gardens everywhere possible, eg. our yards, empty lots, windowsills, etc. And incidentally, planting season comes in around Mother’s Day. 

6) Stockpile family food, supplies, and medications; 

7) Have a family evacuation plan on the shelf. 

More can be said on this in the future, but let’s start with this now. May Allah continue to guide us and keep us safe. Ameen.

Biosketch: Imam Dr. Mikal Ramadan has been a Muslim since 1962 when his family joined the Nation of Islam under the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. He was raised in the Muslim community. He has served as the past Resident Imam of Masjid Al-Taqwa in Chicago, Illinois, as a student of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed.

He is an Emergency Physician and has practiced in Chicago and Northwest Indiana for over 40 years. He retired from active practice over six months ago.

He has been married to his wife, Agnes, for over 50 years. They have four children, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He enjoys teaching and distance swimming.

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