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Journalist tells of COVID-19 fight

After testing negative twice for COVD-19, media personality Jerome Sawyer said yesterday he tested positive on September 8.

“Ironically, when I tested positive, this was the third test that I had done,” Sawyer said.

“The first test was very early on (it was negative). Some time ago, I had a coworker who was positive and I tested out of an abundance of caution and I tested negative. You know they say three times is the charm. The third time, I tested positive.”

Sawyer, who is the host of the “On The Record” television show on Our News, said COVID-19 was life-changing.

“I went from reporting on this, talking about it and encouraging everyone to be safe and do what they needed to do, but now my work became my life,” he said.

Sawyer said after the symptoms became clear during his voluntary self-quarantine, he had no other choice but to get tested for COVID-19.

He experienced an elevated temperature, loss of appetite, body aches and a burning sensation in his eyes.

“I knew at that point that I had to get tested,” Sawyer said. “I knew what was going on and I called to find out all the information about testing. I said, ‘Okay, I am going to get tested because clearly this is more than just the flu.’”

He said he experienced the worst days before he was tested.

“I was really tired that day,” Sawyer said.

“I went to sleep and I got up at one point and my body was aching. I got up to go to the bathroom and the bottom of my feet hurt. It hurt to walk. I thought to myself that this has to be the worst day I’m having.”

Sawyer is unsure where he caught the virus.

“COVID-19 has no face on the outside,” he said. “You do not know [if] the person you are standing next to can be infected.”

He also noted that he was monitored by health officials from home and took the medication.

“I always said to myself if I felt that I was ill or I was concerned about something, I would quarantine and do some things immediately,” he said.

“From the moment I felt ill, even though I had no inkling at that point that it was COVID-19, I thought it was my sinuses, but I knew exactly what I needed to do to quarantine.”

He said his greatest relief was knowing that the people who were close to him were not exposed to the virus.

“I was also happy that at that point, I had been in quarantine for 10 days,” Sawyer said.

“I was concerned too about my family, just making sure they were safe. I had to alert them. I had to alert everyone at work. I alerted my manager as well. Fortunately, I hadn’t been to the office for a long time. Everyone related to work was safe.”

He said he never thought he would contract COVID-19, but was prepared for it.

“I was on a regimen of vitamins and immune boosters from six months ago,” Sawyer said.

“I also maintained a regimen of exercise. Even though the gym was closed, I worked out on the patio. I watched what I was eating. I was in good health when this happened and I’m sure that helped me significantly because there were times I felt my body fighting against whatever this was in my body. I could literally feel the battle that was going on in my body. Thank God my immune system was in a good place.”

Sawyer ended his quarantine on Friday and is symptom-free. He is awaiting the result of his latest test.

He said there is still a need for residents to take COVID-19 more seriously.

“What’s even frightening to me, there are many out there who are experiencing symptoms who are afraid to come forward or simply ignoring the symptoms or know they have come into contact and living life as normal because either they don’t want to be bothered with quarantine or they’re fearful to find out in fact that they are positive or fearful of telling people they are positive,” he said.

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Italia Clarke

Italia Clarke joined the Nassau Guardian in August 2020. Clarke covers national, human interest and social issues. Education: University of The Bahamas, BA in Media Journalism

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