A time for reunion has become a time for needed separation this year as COVID-19 cases continue to spike with the upcoming holiday season. With Thanksgiving taking place in two days, many college students are traveling back home eager to reunite with their families, while several unknowingly put their loved ones at risk of contracting the deadly virus.
This wasn’t the case for Florida A&M student Jayden Knox. Knox is a normal college student, a third-year majoring in psychology, who likes to hang out with his friends and succeed in his studies. The 20-year-old also enjoys creating music and recently tested positive for COVID-19.
“I took the COVID test at the FAMU testing site at Bragg Memorial Stadium on November 20,” Knox said. “When I tested positive, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it because this whole semester I have been negative, and earlier that week, I was negative. I messaged everybody I was around to make sure they get tested and that they were OK. Everybody was fine, so I was happy about that. However, I started to get a little anxiety about having a positive result.”
Not knowing how he contracted the virus, Knox found out he tested positive a day before leaving his dorm to return home for the holidays. However, he and his mother decided that it would be best that he quarantine at home in Miami due to Knox already being set to leave the next day.
“I was already packed to go home, and it was the day before I was leaving when I found out I was positive,” Knox said. “My mom thought it would be best for me to be quarantined at home, and I thought that too, since I was already set to leave the next morning. I wasn’t worried about returning home due to having COVID because I was going to be quarantined, and I avoided any contact with people. I was more upset because I wouldn’t be able to see anybody for about two weeks.”
Miami is one of the many hotspots in the country for COVID-19, surpassing ’t an easy decision for Knox to return home. Yet, Knox and his mother continue to take extra precautions at their home to not put anyone at risk of contracting coronavirus., so it wasn
His mother, Dremica Mitchell, is a nurse who was also shocked by her son testing positive for COVID-19 when he initially tested negative days before.
“My initial reaction when Jayden told me was shock — shocked due to the fact that he took the test on a Monday, negative, and that Friday took another test, positive. As a nurse and a mother of a college student, COVID-19 has been a stressful battle mentally and emotionally,” Mitchell said. “As a parent, you worry about the well-being of your children. I’ve seen this virus in action as a frontline nurse. I’ve feared my health safety and Jayden’s health safety while away from home. I have had numerous conversations with Jayden concerning the seriousness of this virus and safety measures to take while in school.”
Kasia Janey, a graphic design student at FAMU, was also surprised that her close friend had tested positive when she and others around Knox tested negative.
“I was shocked when I found out he had COVID-19, especially because I had just been with him before he tested positive,” said Janey. “I turned up negative, so I’m still a little confused on how he contracted it, but I encouraged him to take care to make sure he recovers. From the beginning, he has been one of my number one supporters and a shoulder to lean on when I’m down. We will always have each other’s backs when it comes down to it.”
It has been five days since Knox tested positive. He said he hasn’t experienced any major symptoms, but COVID-19 has affected him in many aspects — mainly socially as he has been away from his family since August and can’t celebrate Thanksgiving with them.
Regardless of having COVID-19, Knox won’t let the virus stop him from doing what he loves — creating music. He has released throughout the pandemic and released a new song with a FAMU student on Monday titled “,” despite having the virus.
“I always wanted to create music since I was in high school, and the opportunity came up when I went to FAMU. I create music because it’s a form of expression for me,” Knox said. “From the sounds and the topic lyrics, I am able to express certain things that I normally don’t express in person. I feel like I improve with each project I make, and I want to see my full potential.”
As the eventful year 2020 is coming to a close, Knox plans to end this year strong by pursuing his love for music and staying connected with his friends and family — after quarantine. Although he continues to fight COVID-19 during the next two weeks, he won’t let the virus determine his life. He said he plans to come out stronger than ever.