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COVID-19

‘I Let My Guard Down’ – Gospel Star Fred Hammond Has COVID-19 / WATCH

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Fred Hammond1 (Getty)
Fred Hammond1 (Getty)

Fred Hammond (Getty)

*Over the weekend, we reported that R&B singer Jeremih is hospitalized with COVID-19 and on a ventilator. Today, we have news of gospel singer Fred Hammond being in quarantine.

On Saturday Hammond uploaded a video to Instagram said he was on day five of his quarantine after getting a positive test result back on Monday, Nov. 9. He didn’t say how many days is quarantine is, but we’ll assume it’s 14 which is the amount the CDC is known to recommend.

“My doctor, she doesn’t know what side of it I’m on, so she’s keeping me very monitored,” he said. “And I have a doctor that’s with me pretty much, cares for me throughout the day, and I have three doctors on speed dial.”

A Mask is not a Political Statement” is how the Grammy-winning artist captioned his IG video. Hammond, 59, said he had been following COVID-19 safety protocols, but admits he let his guard down.

“I’m a mask wearer, but I let it down, I let my guard down in one place,” Hammond explained.

MORE NEWS: A Story That Needed to Be Told: 50 Cent Takes Us Inside Season 2 of ‘For Life’ / WATCH

 

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A post shared by Fred Hammond (@realfredh)

The good news is that the singer is keeping the faith and is feeling very positive as he fully expects to the healed from the coronavirus.

“I still have good hope,” he continued. “I’m feeling pretty good every day, and I’m on my regimen of vitamins.”

Hammond also let viewers know that he’s also lost several friends to the virus. Not only that, but a couple of his family members have contracted it. One was rushed to the hospital, but both are now recuperating.

The bottom line is that Hammond wants everyone and especially his followers to wear masks.

“Be diligent and vigilant because it’s out here.”

 

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COVID-19

Shawn V. Branch: My Personal Experience with COVID-19 and the Life Lessons Learned

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Shawn V. Branch - IMG_7609
Shawn V. Branch - IMG_7609

Shawn V. Branch

Changing Our Narrative

*The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on so many of us. Not only have we been dealing with quarantining, wearing masks, and social distancing, but we have also been dealing with all of this with the added pressure of a national reckoning with racial injustice and a nail-biting election. For so many of us, we are looking forward to 2021 and praying it will be much nicer than this crazy year.

My personal experience with COVID began the first week of March. It started with symptoms of a common cold that then turned into what I thought was the flu. I did not feel awful, but I developed a fever that would not go away. I tried everything that I had done in the past to rid myself of the flu, but nothing was working. Having COVID never crossed my mind until two close friends kept asking me if I thought I should get a test. My immediate reaction was to say no. In my mind, I was still thinking it was the flu and I felt sure I could not have COVID.

COVID-19 testing

File Photo: “Now I was starting to get nervous. The next morning, he called and instructed me to come to the office and call him when I parked, and he would meet me outside and bring me a mask. At this time, we were not required to wear masks but he was taking the necessary precautions for himself and the staff. He gave me the test (and thank God, he did the throat swab and not the nose swab).” Shawn V. Branch

A few more days passed, and I was not feeling better. My bestie said, “You need to get tested.” I called my doctor and he said that he was getting his first batch of COVID tests the following day and to text him in the morning. Now I was starting to get nervous. The next morning, he called and instructed me to come to the office and call him when I parked, and he would meet me outside and bring me a mask. At this time, we were not required to wear masks but he was taking the necessary precautions for himself and the staff. He gave me the test (and thank God, he did the throat swab and not the nose swab). He prescribed some medication to help fight what we thought was the flu. The pills worked and a few days later my fever was gone but I was still nervous while waiting for my results. I took the test on a Monday; the following Thursday, I received a call from my doctor that said I tested positive for COVID-19.I was stunned. After I got over the initial shock, I started thinking: how did this happen and why me? That day, I sent a text message to my family and then a few close friends telling them about my result. My mother instantly told me that she was flying to Atlanta to be with me. I told her she absolutely could not do that!! Honestly, I really did want her to come. It had been a while since I saw her and during this time, I did not want to be alone; but I knew it was not safe for her to come and visit. That night as I laid in bed, I started to cry. So many thoughts were running through my mind and now I knew I had to quarantine and be isolated from the very support system I felt I most needed at that very moment.

But in that deep sadness, I was reminded of all I have to be thankful for. I am so blessed to have a loving family and wonderful friends. They checked on me daily, and my friends in Atlanta brought me food and champagne regularly, leaving it at my door. I thank God daily for my circle of friends. Living alone during the pandemic was very hard, and then facing the stress and unknowns of having COVID tested all my strength.

During my time with COVID, I tried to continue with my regular routine. I was up early, working and working out. I hate being sick and I also hate laying around doing nothing. I was alone so I had to cook my own meals, clean and do all the things I do when I am not sick. As I began to get better, I realized my breathing was a little weird. I was not out of breath, but something was different. I also felt that my body was not feeling 100% better after quarantine. I had weird feelings throughout my body and it just made me mad. I started reading articles about the after effects of COVID and I saw several of my symptoms reflected. Again, I started to feel the same stress and panic I felt when I first got my positive COVID results back.

Now, eight months after getting over COVID, I am feeling like my old self. I’ve had several COVID tests since then and they have all come back negative. I know the question of immunity has been a topic of discussion. I don’t think that I am safe from re-infection, so I still take all the necessary precautions. There is much that is unknown about COVID, so I always lean on the side of caution.

There are a few things that I’ve learned and a few things that I have started doing since contracting the virus:

Dr. Anthony Fauci

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., July 31, 2020. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS

I take a multi-vitamin and Emergen-C (Immune +), every day. Dr. Fauci recommends vitamins C and D to help your immune system help fight off respiratory infections

Emergen-C and Centrum

“I am pretty good about my health, but now I really listen to my body and don’t take my health for granted.” Shawn V. Branch

I am pretty good about my health, but now I really listen to my body and don’t take my health for granted. I make my own smoothies at least five days a week. This serves as just another way to make sure I am getting all the proper nutrients that my body needs. In addition to working out five days a week, I now walk at least three days a week. I started doing this when the lock down in Atlanta first took place, and continued because its healthy and it gives me the opportunity to clear my head and exercise with friends.

Healthy food ingredients for smoothie

“I make my own smoothies at least five days a week. This serves as just another way to make sure I am getting all the proper nutrients that my body needs.” Shawn V. Branch

As much as I love a good happy hour, I realized that small, intimate gatherings with special people were really the way to go. I now have two gatherings that I look forward to: Building Boys Gathering- when I get together with a few guys in the building and we eat, drink and have a great conversation; and Family Time – every Saturday I hang out with my bestie and his husband. We take turns cooking, watching movies and enjoy great conversation. These two events are definitely food for my soul.

I can do without as many material things in my life. I realized that I do not need any more clothes, shoes, etc. One day while putting away laundry I noticed that I still had clothing with tags on them. As much as I love to shop, the pandemic made me realize that I have more than I need.

I need to protect my mental health by any means necessary. While I am lucky to be able to work from home, I have found that my default is to work a lot of hours because there’s nothing else to do. I have to force myself not to fall into that trap. I stop my workday at 5 pm, turn on music, fix myself a cocktail, and just relax. I’ve also decided to disconnect from news and social media one weekend a month. I think it is important more than ever to no longer neglect me and take a break.

alcoholic drink

“I stop my workday at 5 pm, turn on music, fix myself a cocktail, and just relax.” Shawn V. Branch

I really missed not being able to see family and friends. I’ve always considered my relationships most important and that has only become more the case now in the face of this pandemic.

Being alone for countless hours with nothing to do made me think about my life’s purpose and how I am making sure that I am being fulfilled.

I really missed hugging people. The first person I hugged was my bestie and that was not until August.

I am more empathetic to other people. We are all trying to cope with this new way of living and for some it’s been harder than for others. I’ve realized that I need to be more understanding to others and what they may be experiencing.

making a toast with people on Zoom

“I’ve realized that I need to be more understanding to others and what they may be experiencing.“ Shawn V. Branch

Even Zoom happy hours can get on my nerves.

Now, as we move into fall and winter, we’re already seeing an exponential increase in the number of COVID cases and deaths. I often say to myself, What is it that we’ve learned that we will want to carry with us long after the pandemic is behind us —and perhaps for the rest of our lives? I know that as individuals we can make our own choices, and it is individual choices that will make the difference.

I hope and pray that we learn from this pandemic to bring more stillness into our lives, take better care of ourselves, be gentle and loving to ourselves, never take people for granted, and be thankful for what we have!

Shawn V. Branch

Shawn V. Branch, Food, Lifestyle & Travel Editor, ReelUrbanNews.com, with professional imprint ranging from education to executive positioning. Shawn is the curator of the lifestyle blog, SV Branches (www.vanbranchblog.com), which is based on the vision of inspiring and connecting with people who are searching for positivity and motivation. Originally from Baltimore, Shawn now resides in the City of Atlanta.

 

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Coronavirus

The Ripple Effect of NFL QB Lamar Jackson Testing Positive for COVID-19 (Watch)

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GettyImages-1286250225

Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens walks to the locker room during half time of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

*With Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson reportedly testing positive for COVID-19, joining the multitude of recent positive tests in their organization, the team’s game that was scheduled Thanksgiving night against the Pittsburgh Steelers was moved to Sunday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. EST.

But the consequences of their COVID situation extend beyond Baltimore.

ESPN’s NFL reporter Adam Schefter joined SportsCenter yesterday to discuss Jackson’s positive test and what it could mean for the Ravens/Steelers matchup and future NFL games.

Baltimore’s COVID collapse:

This week, the Ravens placed outside linebacker Pernell McPhee on the Reserve/COVID-19, joining running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. Defensive end Jihad Ward, defensive end Calais Campbell, offensive linemen Patrick Mekari and Matt Skura were also among Ravens players placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list. Also, the Ravens said Wednesday the team “disciplined” a staff member for conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases affecting the organization.

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Coronavirus

Geraldo Suggests Naming the COVID Vaccines After Trump to Make Him Feel Better (Watch)

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F5BDE360-1360-4264-859F-9A4083C598D0_4_5005_c

Geraldo Rivera o Fox News out here suggesting the COVID vaccine be named after Trump (Nov 19, 2020)

*To soothe Donald Trump’s hurt feelings for losing his presidential re-election bid, his boy Geraldo Rivera proposed naming the COVID vaccine after him as a salve.

“I had an idea with the world so divided and everybody telling him he’s gotta give up and time to leave and time to transition … why not name the vaccine The Trump? Make it, like, ‘have you gotten your Trump yet?’ It would be a nice gesture to him. And years from now it would become kind of a generic name. Have you got your trump yet, I got my trump, I’m fine. I wished we could honor him in that way.”

Watch below (or here on Twitter):

Twitter had some thoughts.

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