It all started with Covid-19
How we met is rooted in a once-and-a-lifetime pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic was really heating up in April 2020. Many businesses were shutting down or already shuttered. The death toll was rising. Even though the SARS coronavirus had been around for years, we didn’t have a vaccine for this novel SARS Cov-2 strain. The guidance from public health officials was to shelter in place. If you had to go out to get groceries or other essential reasons, it was all about washing your hands; we were just learning about airborne transmission, social distancing, and wearing masks.
News about comorbidities and Covid-19 deaths
We were glued to the news reports. The death tolls and data showed that people with comorbidities were at far higher risk from Covid-19. I remember watching a daily update from then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said that over 95% of the people dying from Covid-19 had comorbidities—one or more chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
What did it mean for Black America?
Cuomo’s update made me think, “Well, I have the solution! If you reverse the comorbidities, you lower the death rate among Black Americans.” So I started pursuing this path by having Alyssa Nash from ThatIsWhatIDo.com write an article entitled Rations No More: Reclaiming Our Health After Covid-19.
By the way, do Black people have a higher genetic risk? No: a research study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that Black Americans have an 11% lower risk of death from Covid than white Americans when you adjust for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics in hospital admissions. So, the conclusion of that study is that death rates from Covid-19 are based on disease, not race. Some have said that the death rate is higher among Black Americans because we are disproportionately represented in essential jobs.
How we met on her podcast
I haven’t forgotten to tell you how we met. Right after I published Alyssa’s blog post about reclaiming our health after Covid-19, she did a search of vegan podcasters who might be interested in having a dialogue with us. There was Sersie and her Eat Your Best Life Podcast! When Alyssa reached out to Sersie, it turned out she was up for a conversation about the disproportionately high rates of Covid-19 deaths in the Black community. They scheduled the interview.
You’re that woman!
During the podcast interview, I realized Sersie and I were on the same wavelength regarding chronic disease prevention. Honestly, even though I’d just met her virtually, I felt like I had known her for years. After the podcast, I reached out to invite Sersie onto my YouTube channel to share her story. Shortly after I published that conversation, I reached out again to ask Sersie, “Do you know of someone who could write a blog post about the Daniel Fast?” And to my delight she responded, “I do! It’s me!”
The Daniel Fast: A Bridge to Healthy Living blog post becomes a program
I published the blog post Sersie wrote, The Daniel Fast: A Bridge to Healthy Living, on my website June 8, 2020. A few weeks later, I was on my bicycle trainer scrolling through my blog posts and I opened the one Sersie wrote. Even though I had read it a few times before, I found myself spinning faster on my bike and thinking a new thought: this could be made into a program with a course to help Christian women take control of their health.
I emailed Sersie to ask whether she’d be interested in co-creating a course—I’d cover the nutrition piece and she’d cover the spiritual part. She responded in two minutes flat with a definitive yes! We agreed on a time to meet online a few days later, and that officially kicked off Daniel Fast: A Bridge to Healthy Living.
Check out this video to learn more about our story:
Check out this article about our first physical face-to-face encounter in Atlanta July 2021.