For more WRAP® support, visit PEERS’ WRAP® Program webpage, download the WRAP® app, and find out more about WRAP® online. By Kenneth Kozi Arrington

Just Get Tested!

So, I was just tested for the COVID-19 Virus at Kaiser, Oakland. It was pretty easy and low stress. Being asymptomatic, I still wanted to be tested to make sure that I was not a carrier of the virus as so many people are. I am also one who is considered high risk. I am a senior, African American, male and I have preexisting conditions that make me a prime target for most likely to get sick from the virus. 

It is a well-known fact now that the virus has already been shown to disproportionately affect people from black, brown, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. African Americans are dying at disproportionately higher rates compared to all other ethnicities. Black and Hispanic people represent nearly two-thirds of US coronavirus deaths among people under 65.

One thing I can say about the experience is that afterwards, I immediately felt a sense of relief. Soon, I would know one way or the other whether I was infected. Waiting for the result is not very stressful for me at all. 

Whatever the result, that’s what it will be so it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for me to be preoccupied with that, not with so much other stuff to be concerned about. What good does it do for me to stress out about things over which I have no control?

That by definition describes what a trigger or stressor is when we address it in week 4 of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. A trigger or stressor is something external, outside of myself, over which I have no control, like traffic or the CoronaVirus.

So, no matter what I do, how much I might cuss and fuss, the traffic is not going to move any faster just to accommodate me is it? No! So why bother, right. Well, to be honest, I cuss and fuss anyway even though it does me no good at all. My bad.

And this virus thing…. As fearful as I am of contracting it, it is really hurting me more than anything to continually ruminate about it; to obsessively repeat thoughts or excessively think about the utter devastation the virus is reeking throughout the city, county and state where I live let alone the world. I can’t help myself. I wish I could stop but alas, I cannot. 

What is within my power is my choice to believe in prayer, my faith and my hope for a better today and a greater tomorrow.

I do what I need to do to take care of myself mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. Whole health is an important part of how I feel, how I act and react, and how I process life as it is served to me on my plate on a daily basis. I’ve gotta keep my head and my spirit up, keep a joyful song in my heart, and peace in my body and mind.

Peace & Blessings

Kozi