Black People, High Blood Pressure and COVID-19

In a previous blog, I feared losing my job. As of this writing, the world is experiencing a recession. I always get fired during recessions.

Now, another fear adds on to my first one.  I have high blood pressure.  With high blood pressure, a person is more likely to catch COVID-19.  Not only are symptoms more likely worse for them, people with high blood pressure are also more likely to die from COVID-19.

Underlying conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes partly explains why African-Americans are dying at a high rate from COVID-19.  I live near Orlando.  Here’s an April statistic about Orange County, Florida.  Black people make up 22.7% of the population. Yet, accounted for 42% of Orange County’s Covid-19 deaths.

These grim realities force me to take COVID-19 seriously.  When I go to a store, I wear a face mask. When I pick up takeout food, I wear a mask when I enter the building. When I take walks in a park, I keep my distance.

Okay, once, I did break my own distance rule. I was walking at a park. There, I saw a cute female friend. I was depressed. So, I hugged her. COVID-19 or not, I was getting my hug.

Now, back to the seriousness. I also take my meds. I have to keep my blood pressure below 130/80.  Most times, this has been successful. Other times, it hasn’t.

One last thing, I don’t go out much.  I rarely even take the walks I mentioned previously. After work, I would stop by a grocery store. Then, I would come home. If I’m not working, I’m usually home.

At the moment, Florida is going through a reopening phase. Certain businesses are opening up.

I don’t trust that, even if the businesses are trying to be safe.  As of this writing, there is no vaccine for COVID-19.  No vaccine? Well, my black ass is going to keep wearing my mask and keep staying home.

Image by Linda Bartlett

About Patrick Scott Barnes

Most of Central Florida knows Stone Crazy (Patrick Scott Barnes) as a poet. Yet, he also photographs, DJ and blogs. The rest of the time, the now sober blogger guzzles Diet Coke in Central Florida nightspots.
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