By Marissa Wells
“A Second Chance: A Black Woman’s Story of Recovery from COVID-19,” by Gwen T. Samuels, shares the journey of the author as she battled COVID-19. In it she reflects on the immune-suppressing health conditions that may make many Black people more susceptible to contracting the illness.
Samuels, who was hospitalized for 23 days, including 10 days on a ventilator, was compelled to share her story of illness and recovery.
“It was important to let people, especially Black, brown, and indigenous people, know that there are healthy alternatives to nourish and heal their bodies making them less susceptible to degenerative disease and co-morbidities and less susceptible to death from COVID-19,” Samuels said. “People of color must be empowered to take more of their physical, spiritual and mental health into their own hands. Otherwise we will continue to suffer greatly from oppression and injustice.”
In her book, Samuels offers alternative tips regarding food, health and wellness in detail.
She also shares different forms of exercise, the benefits of counseling for mental health when necessary, and the importance relying on one another as family and community.
“I want readers to learn that the road to healing means taking their health, and that means spiritual, mental health, into their own hands and not just be guided by doctors and western medicine or the food that’s in the super market,” Samuels said. “People should do their own independent investigation of truth about what will make you a healthy person.”
The author also includes resources in her book that may aid readers on their health journey.
“A Second Chance” is intended for members of the Black community, indigenous people and other people of color, but the messages inside the book can resonate with those of any racial or ethnic background.
“Truthfully, my message is for people of any hue,” Samuels said. “That is, if they take care of themselves physically, spiritually, and mentally, preventing disease and recovering from it is a lot easier.”
In addition to being an author, Samuels is a retired teacher who now works as a fiber artist. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information about the author and her work, visit triayarts.com.
“A Second Chance: A Black Woman’s Story of Recovery from COVID-19” is available for $20 on TriayArts.com.