We made this for our community after a lot of research and a lot of discussion. This is a compilation of African people need to know about the coronavirus and how we can take care of each other right now.
What we Know So Far
African People and Coronavirus
- African people are not immune – there are an increasing number of confirmed cases on the continent and in the diaspora. The first confirmed death from the virus on the continent happened this week in Burkina Faso.
- African people are particularly high-risk, not just elders and immuno-compromised folks. Medical complications caused by trauma from colonialism and capitalism – like diabetes and high blood pressure – can increase risk of death from the coronavirus. That on top of widespread limited access to medical care among our people and medical racism is a deadly combination.
Spread and Transmission of the Coronavirus
- The coronavirus can be transmitted through bodily fluids, can survive on surfaces for several days, can survive while airborne for up to 3 hours.
- The virus can be transmitted while asymptomatic – meaning people who aren’t displaying any symptoms can carry and transmit the virus for up to 14 days. Which means: assume you have it unless you’ve been tested or maintained a 14 day quarantine.
- But also it appears people who’ve had it can get it again.
What You Can Do
First and foremost remember that capitalism is not equipped to handle this crisis – medically, politically, or economically. Do not wait to be told what to do and do not assume anyone is coming to save us.
- Prepare for the Lockdown: stock up on water, food, and any medications you’ll need. Make sure your neighbors, friends, and family are getting stocked up too. Do this within the next few days.
- Make a go bag for yourself, your loved ones, and your comrades, in case you have to leave quickly.
- To Avoid Spreading the Virus: Wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, maintain six foot distance from folks when you’re out and about, frequently disinfect surfaces you touch (door handles, phones, remotes, steering wheels, etc), wear a mask and gloves when working with vulnerable populations, and if you are able to: stay home as much as possible.
- Remember: the risk isn’t just that you will get it, the risk is that you will give it to someone who can not survive it. The United States’ capitalist for-profit medical infrastructure does not have the capacity to take care of all of the people who are going to get this virus. A lot of people are going to get this virus, very few people are going to be able to get help. We need to make sure resources are available for the most vulnerable populations. Assume you are already infected and change your behavior to prevent spreading the virus.
- A guide to doing mutual aid work without spreading the virus. If you’re doing mutual aid of any kind right now, READ THIS.
- A zine with some sample safety protocols for doing aid drop off and food distribution during the pandemic.
- A resource toolkit for doing mutual aid during the pandemic.
- A more in-depth guide to doing mutual aid work during the pandemic.
- A guide to supporting prisoners during the pandemic.
- A guide for preparing for self-isolation during the pandemic.
- The World Health Organization mini-site about the coronavirus .