NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - 20-year-old Taylor Gentry pays attention to what’s going on.
She’s a Nashville native. The daughter of Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry and is a rising junior at Dillard University in New Orleans, LA. But like many people, she has recently started to tone down her precautions when it comes to the coronavirus.
“I will admit that I did get comfortable. And kind of forgot that COVID was a thing. So, I was hanging out and going out once the city started opening up. I said well, you know, I’m just going to take advantage of it,” Gentry said.
It didn’t take long before she noticed that she was not feeling well. While waiting to get tested last week, her symptoms increased.
“I realized that I couldn’t taste or smell anything. So I was like, you know, we probably are about to deal with this virus,” Gentry said.
Both Taylor Gentry and her father tested positive for the coronavirus. The family is now taking every precaution necessary to ensure that they get well soon.
“I’m in my room. He’s in his. I’m just, I put on my mask and check on him. He still got a fever, like I said. He’s still dealing with some of the symptoms. Each day he’s progressing. Some days are rougher than others. But, he’s doing better,” Gentry said.
Gentry says she wants to let young people know, this too can happen to you.
“I would say the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is to not be “sometimey” with your safety. If you’re going to wear your mask to the grocery store, then when you’re going to the club, you probably want to do it then. So that was my problem. Me and my peers. Picking and choosing when we wear the mask and practicing social distancing and so--you can’t do that,” Gentry said.
Gentry’s not alone, especially in Davidson County. According to the Daily Metro Numbers, young adults make up the highest groups of Coronavirus cases. Over 2,000 cases between ages 21-20, over 1,700 between the ages 31-40, and over 1,200 between 41 and 50 years old.
Data can be seen here.
Gentry wants to use her voice to tell Generation Z, Millennials, Gen X and even Baby Boomers that you may be tired of hearing about COVID-19, but coronavirus is still here. And until things die down, don’t let your guard down.
“I would just encourage everybody to wash your hands! Wear your masks 6 feet. It’s very real and it’s very alive and it can get anybody! Nobody is immune,” Gentry said.
“What young people need to understand is that every time someone gets infected, we expand the reservoir of the virus to all of us,” Dr. James Hildreth, President and CEO of MeHarry Medical College said.
Dr. Hildreth says even though you feel healthy, you can pass the virus along to people who may not be able to fight it off as well as you: your mother, father or your grandparents.
“I think only about 15 percent of the people in Nashville who have become infected are older than 70 years old. Which is unusual compared to the rest of the country….but what those younger folks need to know is they are perpetuating the problem for everyone...even if they don’t get sick,” Dr. Hildreth said.
Until her results come back negative, Gentry’s staying inside, social distancing herself from the man she loves the most. She’s encouraging others in her age group to take precautions, wear a mask, and treat this virus seriously.
“We just have to remember that there is a pandemic going on," Gentry said.
A pandemic, experts both locally and nationally say is far from over.