By Dr. Jamila K. Maddox, DC
Holistic Chiropractor & Nutritionist

Black Lives Matter.
Black Health Matters.
Every experience in contrast, unpleasantry or adversity brings a beautiful seeded equivalent of
opportunity, joy and abundance.

Introduction
COVID-19 is as real as the air we breathe. Sometimes it’s in the air we breathe. We must consider
educating ourselves on and taking steps in mitigating our exposure. We can do this in 3 ways:
1. Adhering to the CDC COVID-19 and State of Ohio Guidelines 1.
2. Evaluating our current state of health.
3. Engaging in Self-Care by using daily Healthy Lifestyle Practices.
COVID-19 is thought to spread via respiratory droplets mainly from person to person within six
feet of each other. Some individuals are asymptomatic meaning having no symptoms or evidence of
this virus. Our state and CDC guidelines inform us of lessening the severity of exposure by:
Washing our hands often for a minimum of 20 seconds covering all surfaces including wrists;
Avoiding close contact- maintaining a six foot distance between people; Covering our mouth and
nose with a mask when around others; Covering our coughs and sneezes; Cleaning and disinfecting
high touch areas using an EPA-registered household disinfectant- (i.e. Clorox bleach) and
Monitoring our health daily by being alert of symptoms and doing temperature checks.2
How Do We Evaluate Our Current State of Health?
I propose a partnership between you and your primary care physician or personal doctor. In a recent
C-Span interview Dr. James Hildreth, MD addressed racial disparities and COVID-19, he stated
black people are dying of coronavirus at an alarming rate that is about 2.5 to 3 times higher than
other groups. He went on to say “When we get infected by a virus our immune system is responsible
for getting rid of the virus for us. Any condition that suppresses the function of the immune system
will mean that we have a more severe outcome.”3 This is where we can activate the partnership
between our primary care physician or personal doctor to identify and address conditions that
suppress our immune system. The current science tells us conditions such as Obesity, Heart Disease,
Chronic Lung Disease, Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), and Hypertension make us more fertile for
contracting COVID-19. Taking a closer look at the first condition adult obesity, we learn that it is
defined as a Body Mass Index or BMI of 30.0 or greater.4 “The age-adjusted percentage of persons
20 years of age and over who were overweight or obese for Non-Hispanic Blacks are- Men 70.6%
and Women 80.6% as compared to Non-Hispanic Whites- Men 75.3% and Women 64.8%. African
American women have the highest rates of obesity or being overweight compared to other groups in
the United States. About 4 out of 5 African American women are overweight or obese. In 2018,
non-Hispanic blacks were 1.3 times more likely to be obese as compared to Non-Hispanic whites.”5
Obesity can play a role in reducing immunity. Obese individuals in our community have increased
risks from bacterial and viral invasion. This creates an impaired immune response and thus more
severe complications due to COVID-19.6 One COVID-19 symptom tracker website7 collects data
from 2.6 million people including but not limited to height, weight, medical conditions and daily
health reports. Of note it is reported that obese individuals are 20% more likely to be hospitalized
with COVID-19 symptoms as compared to persons with a lower BMI.
Our Opportunity
The global collaboration of doctors and scientists actively researching COVID-19 solutions
including vaccines is exciting. A first step to improving our current state of health is increasing our
awareness and understanding of what creates poor health. We quickly learn that our health is our
primary responsibility. Engaging in Self-Care by using daily Healthy Lifestyle Practices on ramps us to
improved health. How can Self-Care using healthy lifestyle improve our health? Here are 7 action
steps:
● Adhere to CDC COVID-19 and State of Ohio Guidelines.1
Wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others and frequently wash hands. This is paramount.

● Measure Your BMI. Educate our families on moving towards a normal weight BMI of 18.5 to 24.9.
This begins to establish a healthier condition within our bodies. 8

● Eat Foods in Their Natural State. Many of us are mal-nourished due to consuming foods and
beverages that co-create poor health conditions. As opposed to consuming foods & beverages that
co-create optimal health conditions. Said another way, too much of the wrong foods and not
enough of the right foods. Ultra-processed foods are the wrong foods. Foods in their natural state
are the right foods.

● Read Food Labels. Training ourselves to read all food and beverages nutrition labels will allow us to
become familiar with ultra-processed vs wholefood-based ingredients. Eating whole foods supports
improved health. “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.” Said Michael
Pollen an American author, journalist and activist.

● Know Your Vitamin D Number. African Americans have the highest rate of Vitamin D deficiency at
82.1%.9 Science is becoming supportive of supplementing with Vitamin D. “Randomised controlled
trials showed that vitamin D decreases acute respiratory infections (ARIs).”10 In a Life Extension
article11 Dr. L. Ray Matthews, MD addresses his views of the healing power of Vitamin D- “People
always ask me about how a surgeon could get involved in vitamin D research.” Dr. Matthew says
“My answer is that being a surgeon, I’m very interested in wound infections and getting patients off
of ventilators. I’m interested in helping my patients heal faster, and I want to decrease the incidence
of pneumonia. Essentially, I want my patients healthy and out of the hospital as quickly as possible.”
It’s important to note a Vitamin D deficiency does not prove causality but it does suggest a
correlation to improving one’s immunity. We do need more research on Vitamin D.

● Increase Physical Activity. Walking has life enhancing benefits. In the article Solved by Walking
Simple steps to health12 Dr. James Brown, a professor at the School of Life and Health Sciences at
Aston University in Birmingham, England, presented his research findings on 29 benefits of a daily
30-minute walk. Three intriguing benefits of walking include:
No. 9 Prevents up to 91 percent of cases of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
No. 18 Increases immune system function.
No. 29 Enhances learning capacity up to 12 times.

● Meditate. More and more the salutogenic role of meditation related to immunity is being researched
and documented.13
We have the power to improve our current state of health. The importance of improving our health
and the health of our families cannot be taken lightly in this era of COVID-19. Bernice King, Martin
Luther King Jr.’s daughter once said, “Non-violence also includes non-violence to our-selves.”
Suffering from poor health is not sustainable. Our health is our primary responsibility. Engaging in Self-
Care by using daily Healthy Lifestyle Practices on ramps us to improved health.

Black Lives Matter.
Black Health Matters.
Every experience in contrast, unpleasantry or adversity brings a beautiful seeded equivalent of
opportunity, joy and abundance.

By Dr. Jamila K. Maddox, DC
Holistic Chiropractor & Nutritionist
cincinnatihealingarts.com

References
1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
2. https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2-
covid-19
3. https://www.c-span.org/video/?471845-5/washington-journal-dr-james-hildreth-discussesracial-
disparities-covid-19&event=471845&playEvent
4. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/defining.html
5. https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=25
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7130453/
7. https://covid.joinzoe.com/us
8. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmi-m.htm
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075634/
10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32474141/
11. https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2013/10/dr-l-ray-matthews-unleashes-thepower-
of-vitamin-d
12. https://www.seleneriverpress.com/solved-walking-simple-steps-health/
13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940234/