by JR Valrey, Black New World Journalists Society
The country is in a frenzy behind the coronavirus pandemic, and if you watch television or read news online, you would think that the federal, state and local governments are doing everything possible to curb the spike in infection numbers throughout California, as we approach the 4 million mark and surpass New York as the nation’s hotbed of infection. If California was a country, the state would be fifth in infections and would be following only the U.S., Brazil, India and Russia.
From the mainstream news, we have heard from people all over the essential worker spectrum, but we have not heard enough from Black people, the biggest population who are infected with the virus, speaking on what their experiences have been with the medical community.
In this interview we are not identifying my friend from San Fernando Valley, Patient X, because although he wants what is happening with patients depending on the medical establishment to get out, he has not decided on whether he was going to go in for treatment because he feels like the process he was made to go through is not to aid him in getting better.
He told me he now believes it was a process to track him if he recovered or if he died, and nothing else. And he said if he recovers, especially without the medical establishment’s help, he doesn’t want to be put in some database mandating him to get vaccinated, if he wants to engage in luxuries like travelling or going to school.
Due to the long history of the U.S. medically experimenting on Black people and Melinda Gates, in a recent tv appearance, saying that Black people needed to get the vaccination first, most grassroots Black people are at the least very suspicious of what this government, the media and corporations are up to in dealing with this COVID pandemic.
Rapper G1 of the political Latino rap group Rebel Diaz said the government and medical establishment’s policy all over the country looks like “controlled demolition” and I couldn’t agree more. Check out Patient X’s story.
JR Valrey: Can you talk a little bit about your experiences, directly after you suspected that you had COVID?
Patient X: I don’t know if they are doing me like this because I’m Black, and I have asthma so that makes me high risk. I couldn’t get an appointment to see a doctor. I called a doctor the fourth day after my symptoms. My symptoms were night sweats, no fever, and small body aches. It felt like the flu at first. After the fourth day, I developed a cough. So that’s when I called the doctor.
This shit been going on since March. I should be able to go to 7-Eleven to get a test.
I called the doctor and they said they were backed up; they could see me in four days. So I called them in four days and they told me that they couldn’t see me but they could give me a telephone appointment. And I got insurance.
I called on Monday. They told me I could get a phone interview in four days. And that was as soon as they could do it, and that was on a Thursday. So I talked to them on the phone on Thursday and I got a nurse practitioner, which wasn’t a doctor, and she asked me what my symptoms were. So basically I’m never going to see a doctor.
JR Valrey: What did the nurse say? And what was the process like?
Patient X: She asked me my symptoms and I told her that I started that off with night sweats, and it graduated to a cough, so I’m progressing. That’s why I called. Now get this shit, she asked, “Do you want a COVID test?”
That would be responsible because I live with four people. And then she says, “OK, I’m going to call you back later today and the nurse will schedule your test.” Nobody called me back. So the next day I got a call from a nurse, and she scheduled the test for the following Tuesday, so now I will be taking the test on the 13th day of my symptoms.
She tells me that the lab has an eight-day business backup. So realistically i’m going to be 21 days out if they get to me on the eighth business day with the results.
What the fuck is the point? Literally, if I have to wait 21 days for a result, what did they actually do for me? They didn’t even protect you from me if I’m infected, by taking 21 days to come back with the results. How many people am I going to come across in 21 days.
JR Valrey: How do you feel about the experience over all?
Patient X: It’s irresponsible to say that you have an eight-day backup at a lab. The government needs to find another lab. This response is fuckin’ horrible. This shit been going on since March. I should be able to go to 7-Eleven to get a test.
After the doctor said four days, I went to my closest public testing spot. And I went there and they told me they were full. Then I went to the next one and they said the same thing, and the next one said the same thing.
CVS has a minute-clinic where a nurse could administer a flu shot. CVS is on the frontlines and they are not even into healthcare. That’s a joke. There is a pharmacy but they’re not equipped. There’s no doctors at CVS.
If I can’t come to the doctor, what does he or she exist for? I’m not going to the ER because it might make it worse – because if I don’t got it, I might leave with it.
JR Valrey, journalist, author, filmmaker and founder of the Black New World Journalists Society, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook. Visit www.youtube.com/blockreporttv. All stories related to COVID-19 were partially made possible by the Akonadi Fund #SoLoveCanWin.