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I thought long and hard about it, but I’m here to prove that it’s not that bad

Photo: Daniel Schludi/Unsplash

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 500,000 people and infected almost 30 million people in the United States alone. Even with these extraordinarily high numbers, cases have been disproportionately amplified within communities of color. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people had an age-adjusted Covid-19 hospitalization rate about 5.3 times that of non-Hispanic White people. Covid-19 hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black people and Hispanic or Latino people were both about 4.7 times the rate of non-Hispanic White people.


Black folks don’t trust the system because this is what it looks like when it works

A man speaks with a member of the National Guard after receiving a coronavirus vaccine in the parking lot of Six Flags on February 6, 2021 in Bowie, Maryland.
A man speaks with a member of the National Guard after receiving a coronavirus vaccine in the parking lot of Six Flags on February 6, 2021 in Bowie, Maryland.
A man speaks with a member of the National Guard after receiving a coronavirus vaccine in the parking lot of Six Flags on February 6, 2021 in Bowie, Maryland. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

As far as the effort to vaccinate my Black ass goes, I don’t require much in the way of convincing. Whatever gets me back to some semblance of normal life — which in my case would be the ability to rap Cardi B’s “Up” out loud at a bar, party, or Walmart parking lot in the South maskless without fear of death — I’m down. But based on my text messages, conversations with select kinfolk, and surveying social media, others in my demo are going to need a wee bit more convincing.


Consequence reveals how he coped with a shocking diagnosis

Photos courtesy of Consequence.

I learned the difference between being a deal-broker and being an artist way back in the 1990s. I always got to the bag. I was getting to the bag at 16.


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Eat your heart out

5. Samosas

Health nuts love to chow down on Indian cuisine, presumably due to the wealth of vegetable options available. But these are basically glorified french fries with an added dose of refined flour to spike that insulin. (Free tip: Make sure you get some dal somewhere in the meal to temper that part.)

4. Fake-meat burgers

Hint: Anything with “burger” in its title is a dub. Sure, these qualify as vegan, but don’t sleep on the copious amounts of coconut oil and sodium in Beyond and Impossible burgers — or the fact that anything highly processed presents its own nutritional drawbacks.

3. McDonald’s Caesar salad

Iceberg lettuce has…


Aubrey Gordon, the formerly anonymous “Your Fat Friend” blogger and author of What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat, on the way weight stigma impacts the care…


The invasive procedure has long been feared and reviled—but a new alternative changes everything

As Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death made all too clear, colon cancer remains a pressing threat for Black men even before they enter middle age. Rates among younger males are on the rise. Early detection remains key to beating the disease—but it also necessitates a screening procedure that’s a literal pain in the ass. The preparation is unpleasant, the screening itself is uncomfortable, and the effects … well, we’ll just say things might not snap back immediately. So while you should be getting an annual colonoscopy once you turn 45, there’s also a good chance you avoided it. All the more…


You really wanna know why POC are scared of a shot for an unrestrained virus?

Photo: CDC/Unsplash

My favorite person in the entire world died of cancer. Not only did it shatter me irreparably, it didn’t make sense.


LEVEL Best Man 2020

Black health care workers watch the pandemic continue to take a disproportionate toll on people who look just like them

The title, “The Medical Maestros on the Covid-19 Frontlines” alongside several profile photos of Black doctors and nurses.
The title, “The Medical Maestros on the Covid-19 Frontlines” alongside several profile photos of Black doctors and nurses.

In March, when Dr. Kameno Bell saw a patient come out of an ambulance and into his emergency room, he did a double take because the man looked so much like him. Black man, same build, about the same age as Dr. Bell — and all he could manage to say was that he couldn’t breathe. An emergency room doctor solves mysteries every single shift, so Bell looked the man over, noted no immediate signs of injury, and got ready to figure it out.

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