Jonathon Adewumi (292431)

Brooklyn teacher Samuel Adewumi told the Amsterdam News that he heard that someone called a Brooklyn testing location and, “They gave them an appointment in three weeks. You might not have three weeks to live if you are impacted by COVID-19. You won’t show up, because you would have passed.”

COVID-19 has taken yet another tri-state influencer.

In the same week Gotham mourns the loss of icons like steel pan man Martin Douglas, NOI’s Minister Hafeez Muhammad, Queens teacher Valerie Fata, activist Father Lawrence Lucas, Conrad’s Famous Bakery CEO Conrad Ifill; friends are now memorializing New York businessman Jonathan Adewumi.

New York State has suffered the loss of almost 15,000 people during this few weeks of what some social observers have labeled the COVID-19/coronavirus ‘Plandemic.’ Each death has a devastating impact on the suddenly grieving family members. Going through this terrible experience now is the venerable New York family of global entrepreneur Jonathan Adewumi, 58.

Grieving though he is, “It comes in waves,” his younger brother Samuel Adewumi asked, “How do we get into a situation where there is no comprehensive plan in place for a medical crisis like this? How do we get to a place where hospital staff do not have basic supplies?”

While everyone is clamoring for normalcy, it cannot be at the expense of common sense.

If physical/social distancing––in all its ‘going against natural nature’ essence––is what’s being required, then all the other states with their open beaches, nail salons and barber stores opening notwithstanding, tri-state folk are eager to leave the confines of home, but are largely staying put until advised otherwise.

“I think the world needs an overhaul,” said Joyce Adewumi, as she navigates the pain of losing and memorializing her elder brother. “We can’t go back to the way we have been treating each other. This virus doesn’t care about social status, so all that money they are making you can’t take it with you. It can’t be the survival of the fittest. That has done nothing for the world. Look at the president, the governor, the mayor, and the politicians––this is why we are in the condition that we are in now.”

Everyone is saluting ALL the frontline workers; from the hospitals, and the fire department, to the supermarkets and the post office.

A plan for the everyday people should have been put in place when the severity of the coronavirus crisis came into effect, said Adewumi. “When people go home they don’t give you instructions about what to do when you’re in quarantine. The medical industry is the pharmaceutical industry. But, why haven’t we mobilized the home health care workers who can do so much like giving people IVs if need be, medication if need be, the Z Packs, the oxygen monitors?”

The Adewumis with their international Nigerian Fabrics and Fashions and popular Amarachi Restaurant, are a well-known family in and around the city. Jonathan was a computer science graduate, a multi-faceted entrepreneur, and CEO of Homeland Travels and Tours. Joyce is an activist and community advocate from the New African Chorus Ensemble, the parent company of the New York City Multi-Cultural Festival.

“It’s still unreal. Jonathan was my hero. I am managing because of all of the people writing such good things about him,” she said.

Brooklyn high school teacher Samuel spoke of the immeasurable support he garnered from his brother over the decades. “I could ask anything and that man would do it,” said the Q of the Kappa.

The Adewumi parents passed back home in Nigeria in 2012. The siblings lost their brother Dr. Emmanuel Adewumi in 2016. After Jonathan’s transition last Friday (April 17), the remaining children are Liz, Joyce, Samuel, and Bobby.

Jonathan’s interaction with the coronavirus was a tragic three week saga.

“On March 21, he texted me and said that he felt better, that’s the last text I got. He said he was good, but I wasn’t afraid yet,” Samuel said of his big brother. “He said that he didn’t have fever on that Monday morning the 23rd, but he texted me and said that he wanted to get tested. I took him to Brooklyn Hospital and he went into a tent and came out 20, 25 minutes later. He said, ‘They said I don’t have it, they just took my vitals, but didn’t write down anything just my just name––they didn’t give me a test, said I wasn’t sick enough.’ He went home. On Wednesday he said he’d had a good night, but wanted to get tested. I took him to Woodhull ER, he came back a few hours later. He didn’t look as good as when I dropped him off. He had labored breathing and was coughing. He said his body hurt. On Thursday he had the labored breathing, a cough and fever. He went back to the ER in Brooklyn. He wasn’t tested, he left. That night our brother Bobby took him to a hospital in New Jersey. Since getting into a hospital in New York was almost impossible they went to a hospital in Bayonne, which didn’t have the intensity as the city. They saw he was in distress and they took him in.”

Adewumi said that had the Brooklyn hospitals admitted his brother the previous Thursday “we wouldn’t be in this position.”

Jonathan, the founder of Castestprep, the Specialized High School test preparation program, noted pointedly, “This is not about the frontrunners––the doctors, the nurses, the techs and the CNRs, and cleaners––they are the ones working hard, spending time with the public. This is about the infrastructure behind them, the people making policies.”

From Jonathan’s first night in the hospital, his brother told the paper, “they gave him antibiotics and he was receiving air on March 28th. He said he felt better, but on the 29th is when they incubated him.

“So he was breathing on his own on March 25th on the 5th day when he was on the ventilator and seemed to get worse. It was a week of stress touch-and-go, and then the positive reports from the hospital that his breathing was improving. They began doing dialysis because his blood wasn’t getting cleaned because the COVID-19 was damaging his kidneys.

“They took him off the ventilator on the 16th of April, but within half an hour his vitals went crazy. They put him back on the ventilator, but the next day, they took him off it again and he immediately went into distress. His lungs filled with liquid, no oxygen could get into his body, he had a cardiac arrest, and that’s how he died.”

Adewumi questioned why he would be removed from the ventilator the very next day when it hadn’t been determined if his body could withstand it given the previous day’s reaction. “It shows a lack of knowledge of how to deal with this.”

The family are planning both a private service, and doing a memorial service later “as a glorious honor” to Jonathan. “There has been such an outpouring of love. He was loved by so many people. He always did whatever he could to help people. He had so many plans here and in and for Africa.”

Samuel said he had his own bout with the virus, but dealt with it with his immune boosting regime––including his daily regimen with his intake of nutrients garlic, bitters and ginger. He is an advocate for boosting immune system therapy. “America’s pharmaceutical system has no answer for us. They don’t have an antidote or anti-viral solution. They do not have a drug to fight COVID.”

Adewumi is a big believer in natural medicine, alongside mainstream medicine. “People don’t wait till they get a problem, to boost their immune system. It is something people should do every day, plus breathing exercises to increase their lung capacity and circulation,” he said. “They don’t really have a medication for the COVID. So, are you better off at home with herbs and immune system support and some oxygen? What are things people can do at home when they send you home? Get sicker? Why aren’t they supporting outpatient and urgent care, healthcare workers? If you can’t get into a hospital in New York then what else can be done?”

In the meantime, Samuel Adewumi said that the family’s famed Amarachi restaurant in Downtown Brooklyn would be a place for comfort for the community. “We will be the venue for people to come to honor their loved ones, their family, friends and associates. There are so many people who lost loved ones who never got to say goodbye. They need a space where they can grow and heal from this tragedy.”

He added, “The pain that we are going through we are not unique. We have each other, a strong foundation. What about those who don’t? We have other people who need to be remembered. What do we do and how do we help our people through the pain? We will not allow people from outside our community or the media to reduce our losses of the people who were the backbone of their families. These people are suffering. When they say that New York had a good day because only 500 or 400 people died today that’s cavalier and its callous. No, these are people’s parents, uncles, brothers, mothers, sons, aunts and daughters who are dying. We need to honor them. When the time is right we will host these families at Amarachi, so that the families left behind can say goodbye.