Over 3.5 million known cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, have been reported in the United States, making up over a quarter of the more than 14 million known infections worldwide.
It is no secret that African (black) people in the U.S. are about three times more likely than white people to become infected by the novel coronavirus and about four times more likely to die from it.
What is less known, however, is that post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), a known side-effect of viruses in general, is plaguing many survivors of COVID-19.
PVFS and similar syndromes are notoriously undiagnosed even for middle and upper class white people with health insurance. Many doctors do not take seriously the patients who are reporting symptoms as most doctors lack adequate training on the syndrome.
This is extremely dangerous, as PVFS can become the lifelong myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) if the patient does not receive enough rest and care.
Even if an African patient is believed and a doctor catches the syndrome in its early stages, though, how can African people rest while trying to survive the colonial violence inflicted on us and our communities every single day?
What are post viral fatigue syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome?
A June 4 article in The Atlantic states that CFS is “hard to diagnose and easy to dismiss. According to the Institute of Medicine, 836,000 to 2.5 million people in the U.S. alone have ME/CFS. Between 84 and 91 percent are undiagnosed.”
Both PVFS and CFS include a host of symptoms, ranging from physical and mental fatigue, migraines, sore throat, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound to poor short-term memory. More severe cases can result in seizures or the victim being housebound or even bedbound.
PVFS can last weeks or up to six months. After that, it becomes CFS.
According to an article in The Washington Post:
“Sometimes a precursor to ME/CFS post-viral fatigue syndrome can occur after virtually any viral infection. Symptoms wax and wane; a person can feel fine one day and terrible the next. Exercise or other usual activities can bring fever and often symptoms rushing back. Although there is no known treatment, these problems often resolve on their own.
“But patients who have experienced post-viral fatigue syndrome advise the newly ill to rest, rest and rest some more, as returning to normal activities can trigger relapses. If symptoms continue for six months or longer, post-viral fatigue syndrome can convert to a diagnosis of ME/CFS, which is usually lifelong and often devastating. Up to 25 percent of ME/CFS patients are housebound or bedbound for years. There are no treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration.”
Some people with PVFS or CFS can work from home, can be approved to get disability and/or rely on family or personal employees to take care of needed activities such as laundry, cooking, grocery shopping and childcare.
This is unrealistic for most African people, due to the colonial discrimination we face by the medical industry and disability. Our resources are stolen from us, including the value of our labor. We are not able to pay for personal staff or assistance, and our family members are so often locked up and otherwise attacked by the State.
The colonialvirus and its symptoms as biowarfare
The African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and Chairman Omali Yeshitela raise that it is no coincidence that Africans in the U.S. test positive for COVID-19 at three times the rate of white people. “It’s not a medical problem,” says Yeshitela, “It’s a political problem!”
“This is colonialism,” he adds, referring to what the APSP defines in our 14-Point Platform as “a condition of existence where a whole people is oppressively dominated by a foreign and alien State power for the purpose of economic exploitation and political advantage.”
The APSP and our Chairman have responded to mainstream media blaming African infections and deaths on “pre-existing conditions” by raising that “colonialism is the real pre-existing condition!”
We call the virus “the colonialvirus” for this reason. Regardless of how the virus came to exist, Africans are more vulnerable to it and its symptoms because we live under colonialism. The State has not protected us and is not going to. We have to do for ourselves.
We are attacked by the police, attacked by the banks, attacked by the healthcare industry and attacked on every front. How can we rely on our attackers to protect us?
The People’s War against the colonialvirus and its symptoms
The African People’s Socialist Party has launched The People’s War against the colonialvirus and has created a health board, with telehealth services coming soon.
We must organize for economic and political power if we want to be self-determining and have control of our own health and healthcare.
Become a member of the African People’s Socialist Party at apspuhuru.org.
Join The People’s War committee by emailing email@example.com
Down with the colonialvirus!
Join The People’s War!
Death to colonialism!