BY MARILYN REED, ACUMEN GUEST EDITOR
Three months into 2020, G. Wayne Conley, a resident of Memphis, Tenn., was still vibing off the success of his signature event, I Am the 90s. The party was a major hit, and Conley was looking forward to an even bigger and greater event in May. His vision and intention to reap the results of his grind were set. He was ready and then came the coronavirus. The novel” coronavirus (nCoV) made its way across the United States and shut down the southern portion of the United States in March. Conley stocked his fridge and began working from home for what he thought would be just a few weeks. “Honestly, it felt like a couple of snow days. I got some snacks and settled into work from home. I had no idea what was in front of me.”
Prior to the quarantine, Conley was known throughout social circles as ‘Biggie Smalls’ because he so closely resembled deceased rapper, Christopher Walker.
“I absolutely hated being called Biggie, but I knew why folks said it. I knew why,” he said.
Conley was a stylish, gregarious size 3XL. Popular and loved by nearly everyone, Conley was living his best life but knew that he would at some point have to take charge of his health. His pre-COVID-19 wellness routine or lack thereof had gifted Conley with low energy and lots of extra weight.
According to Very Well Health, Black men in the United States suffer worse health than any other racial group in America. As a group, Black men have the lowest life expectancy and the highest death rate from specific causes compared to both men and women of other racial and ethnic groups. With a family medical history of stroke, heart disease, and cancer, Conley’s DNA was not presenting him with good odds.