District Director Brother Marvin Venay’s COVID-19 Letter to Eastern Region – District II

Greetings Brothers,

COVID-19 is real! Whether it is impacting us personally by infecting family, friends, and colleagues or mentally through our local and national news broadcasting, it’s impacting us all.

On March 11th, I sent a note to encourage our district to support our elderly brothers as well as our college brothers that have been displaced from school. Shortly after that post, I (unknowingly) began experiencing symptoms associated with the Coronavirus. I initially thought I was coming down with a head cold. However, my health deteriorated rapidly. I experience burning eyes, a perpetual migraine, and a fever of 100+ degrees for several days straight. After a few days, my breathing became so labored, it was difficult to walk 20 feet without stopping to rest.

Two visits to the ER for severe respiratory issues LED NO WHERE!  Despite my terrible condition,  I was repeatedly reminded of my ineligibility to be tested per the CDC guidelines supplied to the ER. I was quickly discharged. I returned home the same as I departed; depleted, fatigued, and unaware of whether I was exposing my family to harm. By the grace of God, the effectiveness of prayer and a wonderful primary care physician, I was able to receive good private care. In one week, I was ruled out for COVID-19 testing twice. However, in the following week, I was administered the test through two different collection methods. The tests  returned two different results. Ultimately, while hospitalized, I tested positive for COVID-19, despite testing negative earlier in the week.

Initially, I felt low. Becoming this ill from symptoms that are killing thousands of people daily would shake anyone. However, I immediately prayed and went to sleep. The rest allowed me to relax and see God’s hand in the situation. Yes, I am now a part of the alarming numbers associated with this unprecedented pandemic; but unlike many other individuals, when informed, I was at the tail end of the virus. I am recovering well. I walked out the hospital on my own two feet (having not to be quarantined – exceeding CDC guidelines) and returned home healthy and victorious while knowing others did not fair as well. It is my belief, that I was I was hospitalized to strictly be exposed to the extreme circumstances so that I might begin earnestly praying!

Unfortunately, the disproportionate impact of society’s ills (health inequity, mental illness, poverty, food scarcity, etc.) are making this worse for black and brown communities. Nonetheless, many among us are not taking social-distancing seriously. We are not quarantining or taking the precautions required to protect ourselves and the vulnerable among us. The fact is, many of our Brothers and Sisters will not have my outcome if they become as ill. Those with pre-existing conditions need our prayers and commitment. We must encourage testing, advocate for our health needs, and help those affected navigate a healthcare system that may serve them inadequately without a fight.

In fact, there are a some of our Brothers, in the district, that have tested positive, and some that have tested negative yet are experiencing all of the associated symptoms. This is far from over and at this time while maintaining social distance we must support each other. Further, we must keep the loved ones of those that recently joined our Omega Chapter due to COVID-19 in our thoughts.
LET’s CONNECT – it’s time for a War Cry!
Please join Incoming – District Director Bro. Yves Salomon and I for a prayer call – Monday, April 13th at 7:06 pm. The call-in number is 1-602-610-2078  code 411113.
If you are well, begin researching foods and supplements that build your immune system. There is no cure. All you have is your immune system and the care you receive.  Get your body in order. If you have symptoms, begin the process of pursuing a test and do not accept No for an answer! Pray earnestly, drink plenty of water. Eat properly and stay connected emotionally and spiritually despite our distance physically. If you have preexisting conditions, make sure you are on top of those!

I am blessed! God rescued me, my wife cared for me, my children loved on me, my church encouraged me, my family, and many of you brothers, prayed for me. We are our Brothers Keeper! Thank you for keeping my family and I lifted–we still need those prayers!

Beyond Fraternally, I love you Brothers,