Like many, Trevon Madison, 24, has had challenging times during the pandemic. But he keeps a positive and peaceful attitude through his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness, helping others as an assistant manager at Remedy’s Nutrition in Key Largo, and the simple pleasures of playing ball at the park and creating music. 

How long have you lived in Key Largo? Twenty-two years. I was born in Miami.

Do you have siblings? I have a twin brother, Tyrone. But my dad has eight kids altogether, so I have half-brothers and half-sisters, and there are also my dad’s wife’s kids. 

Who was one of your mentors? My granddad. My mom’s dad. Because of his patience. He wasn’t one to yell at you. He was one to talk to you in a way that got his point across. He didn’t have to raise his voice. He was a hard worker. He took care of my grandma and made sure the bills were paid. He was a really good mentor.

How did you get your job? I had known the owners for a long time. They are family friends. I approached them when I was 19. I’ve worked there almost 6 years. 

What’s your favorite part of the job? Helping people and teamwork. And we take high precautions in cleaning and being prepped properly. … (We helped people) with the stress of Covid. Helped people find ways to keep their immune system up. That’s always a positive about my life — being able to help people. 

There was a lady that came into the store one weekend, and she’s like everybody else, she didn’t want to catch it. That day was the first day she and her husband were out in six months. So I recommended an immunity booster and a few other things just to help them have that peace of mind. She came back into the store about three months later to thank me because her daughter got it and was also living with them at the time. She was afraid she might get it, but she was taking everything I recommended to her. And she said that her test came back negative. 

What was your worst moment of the pandemic? There’s a lot. (Long pause.) My brother catching it. My twin brother, Tyrone. He got it six months after it started, around September. We don’t live together — he lives in Tavernier. But I didn’t know what it was going to do to him. You hear about all of the pain and the breathing issues. He only lost his sense of taste and smell. Fortunately, he was not hospitalized. And I have asthma, so if I catch it, let’s just say I won’t be around any more.

Another “worst moment” — coming home every day to my grandmother and great-grandmother, because I live with them, and not knowing if I have it.

Do you know anyone who died from Covid-19? I’m a Jehovah’s Witness. There are about, say, 7,000 of fellow believers that did pass from it. I’m family oriented. I grew up around the faith, and you build a bond with a lot of people. Fellow worshipers were all there for one another spiritually, and some of us were physically there, to comfort one another. When you find out that 7,000 people died, it makes you feel the stress and the strain.

What got you through the stress? When my granddad passed in 2018, it was a hard time for my grandma because she was alone, basically, taking care of bills, making sure everything is fixed and cleaned. She’s also a Jehovah’s Witness. I asked her, how does she put up with knowing she doesn’t have my granddad during this pandemic? She just said, “Keep the faith, do not let the issues of this world bother you in a way that makes you turn your back.” This inspired me to keep going. 

Also, I’ve been making music for 10 years, at home on a computer. A mixture of hip-hop and techno dance. I grew up listening to hip-hop and Motown, the Temptations, the Five Heartbeats, the Ovations, Lee Moses, Oscar Toney Jr., Otis Redding, the list is like this (stretches hands up and down). I definitely use music as therapy, for sure, to get through the loneliness of it all.

What’s your favorite music to listen to right now? Country. Dead serious. Chris Young and Riley Green.

How do you like to have fun? I like to work out. And being around friends. I play ball at Key Largo Park, baseball or basketball. Throwing a ball around. Things like that. I haven’t had many chances for that, this year and last year.

What’s your favorite food? Chinese food — the crab Rangoon. So good, with fried cheese and crab. 

What’s your favorite Netflix show? I don’t watch Netflix. I watch YouTube. I try to learn something new by watching documentaries on World War II, the Vietnam War, something in the past I didn’t know about.

What’s your secret talent that no one knows about? I can wiggle my ears without touching them.

Any thoughts on this historical time, the pandemic or the protests? In 2020, with the elections, our political views, and race protests, it was a very divided year, for sure. It made a lot of people bitter. It didn’t make me bitter, because with my faith I know that being bitter is not going to help the situation. I did not attend any protests as a Jehovah’s Witness because we are politically neutral. And I naturally had to be careful because if I catch Covid, where am I gonna go?

Even though the whole world is going through a pandemic for the first time in history, it’s something that everybody has to experience. It shouldn’t divide us by who we are, our political views, our race, our social stance, our economic situation. We’re all going through this together, so we all should work together to make sure we can all live longer, and make sure we kill the virus that’s killing our friends and family. 

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