When the Black Lives Matter protests began, I was impressed by the crowds. I realized that sitting on my couch watching it on TV as a bystander was not enough. I felt that I had a duty to be a part of the cause. So, I went to the protest! I didn’t know what to expect, but I felt peaceful and encouraged. Another black man was shot in the back by police this weekend in Atlanta, GA. It's clear the protest will not be ending anytime soon.
One thing that alarmed me was observing my fellow protestors getting hurt and, in some cases, requiring medical care. It inspired me to write this blog, to help people protest safely. Here are some tips to consider:
- Wear proper shoes. I saw people with flip flops losing them and walking in the street barefoot exposed to glasses and debris. I also saw people twist their ankles and fall. Proper shoes would make a big difference.
- Maintain proper hydration. I noticed very few people carrying water. We were protesting in the summer heat for hours. Water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. Drinking coffee, alcohol, or energy drinks tend to dehydrate us even more.
- Be cautious of tear gas. My friend protesting in NYC was exposed to tear gas and had to be rushed to the hospital. He has asthma and didn’t realize that the tear gas could be fatal. It’s important to protest, but if you have respiratory challenges, exposure to tear gas can have dire consequences. Tear gas has been outlawed in war, yet it is still used on civilians in this country.
- Watch your blood sugar level. Low blood sugar is a real problem for people while protesting. Looking for people in physical or mental distress goes with my job. Most people would never notice the signs. I encourage you to bring healthy snacks while protesting. Most businesses were closed in the protest zone so don’t wait to purchase snacks while out protesting.
- Remember to social distance. Protesting is important, but I was shocked to see how many participants were hugging, shaking hands and not social distancing. Protesting itself is a large gathering, but it’s important to remember to social distance as much as possible.
- Wear a mask. It’s difficult at times to properly social distance, so we should be protecting ourselves. Most protestors were wearing masks which was great. So, remember your mask.
- Keep a vigilant eye out for yourself and fellow protestors. Protests may attract people who see them as a perfect opportunity to cause harm. Always be aware of your surroundings. If you experience a situation that is escalating around you, go the other way and protest another day. I love you, Fam!
For more information check out my IG: @iamdrfitness or text me 904-236-5858.