Sports journalist in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19

It has been a few days since ZNS Sports Reporter Amajhal Knowles has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first known sports journalist in the country to receive a positive test. He is now at home recovering and hoping to resume doing what he loves best – covering sports and news – in short order. Knowles said he is isolating at home and is feeling fine.

“I had a few mild symptoms like headaches and chills but for the most part, I am fine. The most persistent symptom was a lack of smell and taste. I am slowly gaining my taste back – I’ll say about 15 to 20 percent – and there is still no smell,” Knowles said.

He was not a part of a contact tracing process and does not know where he could have contracted the virus from, but said he still decided to take a test. On Tuesday, management of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas confirmed that two of their employees had tested positive for COVID-19. Knowles confirmed on Twitter that he had tested positive.

“I decided to take the test because I spoke to a lot of people that have the virus because of the nature of my work. A lot of the symptoms that I had, coincided with the things that they said are the early symptoms and the symptoms in general. Once I started to experience that, I said I am going to isolate at home and said I was going to take a test and it came back positive. I have no idea as to where I could have contracted it. I am a very careful person and try to follow the safety protocols as much as possible,” Knowles said.

Knowles has been covering sports for a little under two years and has traveled to cover Bahamian National Basketball Association (NBA) players Chavano “Buddy” Hield and DeAndre Ayton when they played against each other in Phoenix, Arizona, and also to Barbados to cover The Bahamas’ junior swim team at CARIFTA. He has covered different island regattas and other local sporting events. He said he misses covering local sports and cannot wait for it to return. He has been doing a lot of hard news during the COVID-19 pandemic but still kept up with Bahamian athletes.

“I definitely miss covering sports,” Knowles said. “Since the pandemic started, locally, there haven’t been any sports. I have been covering more hard news stories. I still try as much as 

possible to keep up with athletes and do features on athletes and check on them and see how they have been doing during the pandemic. In terms of games and action itself, that came to a standstill and that is something that I miss a lot.”

It can get quite dull being self-isolated, but Knowles said he has been following the NBA restart in a bubble in Orlando, Florida. The start of the playoffs got underway on Monday and he said that has kept him busy during this period.

“Thankfully, the NBA playoffs started and that coincidentally started with my isolation. The NBA bubble has been a slither of hope and that has been able to feed that desire for sports that I needed. I am thankful for that. That has been my main activity during my isolation – just watching games and keeping up with what is happening in the bubble,” Knowles said.

Knowles is a huge supporter of Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony. The Blazers took a 1-0 lead in their playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. Knowles is happy for the win but said he is cautious when it comes to making a prediction for the series. He said he believes the Blazers have enough to shock the Lakers and win the series.

As for advice surrounding the new coronavirus, he wants the public to know that COVID-19 is real and people should do everything they can to not contract the virus.

“This is something that I have preached before and that is that the virus is indeed real. I think persons have this perception that it is a hoax or fake. It is definitely real and you want to do everything in your power to mitigate possible spread or contraction. Continue to social distance and sanitize because it is definitely real and it is something that you do not want to necessarily contract because if you get mild symptoms like me you still have to do the isolation thing and spend two weeks away from your family, loved ones and anyone else. So, you definitely want to take it seriously,” Knowles said.

Knowles said when he beats COVID-19, the first thing he wants to do is to go for a run or jog. He currently does home workouts to get some exercise in.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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