To the BBN, the name Jeremy Jarmon brings back memories of dominating performances on the football field. His years in Lexington culminated in an All-SEC nod and a selection in the 3rd round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. Now, you may even recognize his voice on the UK Sports Network.
But to the people of Gallatin, Tennessee, Jarmon isn’t a menacing defensive end or even a radio broadcaster. After injuries ended Jarmon’s football career in 2012, he returned to school – this time, Bellarmine University – to earn a degree in nursing. Currently, he’s working as an emergency room nurse at the Sumner Regional Medical Center, which he says was “overrun” by COVID-19.
“It affects you,” Jarmon says of caring for patients with the virus everyday. “It stays with you.”
His profession’s role in managing the pandemic along with the birth of his son, born in late January, forced Jarmon to change his own perspective and even priorities. That’s the background (and title) of a new video by ESPN, reported by Marty Smith. The outbreak meant Jarmon had to have conversations he wasn’t expecting, including one with his wife that led to him updating his own will.
“If I told you I wasn’t worried over the course of a shift about contracting this and bringing it home to my family or contracting this and passing away from a complication from it, I’d be lying to you,” Jarmon says in the video. “It’s absolutely something I think about when I think about when I come home at night; it’s something I think about driving to work. But once I get in there and get that uniform on… it’s not on my mind anymore at that point.”
To help keep his mind at ease when he comes home, he immediately throws his work clothes into the washing machine, takes a shower, and consistently applies rubbing alcohol “from my elbow to my fingertips, my face, my hair, my neck” because of how easily the virus is transmitted. At the beginning of May, Jarmon described his experience and even told Paul Finebaum he’s “keeping these nails manicured, Paul,” to keep bacteria from sticking around under his fingernails after a long day at work.
Still, there’s only so much you can do. Long shifts at the hospital followed by constant media coverage and hard conversations with his loved ones means it’s nearly impossible to think about anything else.
“At the end of the night, the only thing somedays when I come home that I can smile about is when I see my beautiful wife and my beautiful child. It puts a lot of things in perspective, and I think this situation has done exactly that for our nation,” Jarmon says. “You’ve got to do everything you can to protect your family, your loved ones, and in my profession, your community.”
You can watch the video here: