Laurent Duvernay-Tardif of chefs works as ordained during the coronavirus pandemic

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, goalkeeper of the Kansas City Chiefs, graduated from medical school and volunteered to help recently when his hometown of Montreal experienced a shortage of medical staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

He was assigned to help in a long-term care facility. Shortly before his first shift, he was struck by the gravity of what he was about to do.

“It is one thing to want to go to work,” said Duvernay-Tardif Friday. “When you actually get the date of your first shift and everything, it’s kind of when everything hits you and you say,” How am I going to protect myself? How am I going to handle this with football and everything? ‘

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” Everybody is concerned; everyone is a little scared. I received my training to measure and use appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment), which is really important for me, just to refresh how to put on a dress, how to put on a visor, how to wash everything and just put on a sort of process that makes you feel safe. “

As the COVID-19 virus arrived in Canada, Duvernay-Tardif contacted the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal to find out how he could help it. He received his medical degree from McGill earlier in his chef career. Duvernay-Tardif has not yet started the residency part of his medical training, which he will have to do before becoming a medical practitioner.

At first, as a popular professional athlete in his country of origin, he helped promote the social distancing measures that had been put in place.

“At one point, there was a shortage of people in long-term care facilities,” he said. “Right now, I’m working as a nurse. It was the easiest status to give myself because I’m sort of in a gray area. I got my doctorate in medicine, but I’m not in the residency program. It was difficult to get started as a doctor because I’m not really [a doctor] at this very moment. What the health care department needed was mostly as a nurse, so that’s what I do. I do a little bit of nursing work, distribute medicine, make sure the patients are okay. I work in a long term care facility right now, so the average patient is over 80 years old.

“In times of crisis, there are so many additional measures to take to protect yourself and also to protect your patients. We wear our visors and masks all day during the entire shift, we wash our hands [frequently]. There are so many precautionary measures in place to protect you and the patient, it weighs down in terms of tasks. That’s why they need so many people. Yes, there are many healthcare professionals who have been sick from COVID[-19] or are in quarantine right now, but there is also just more work to be done on each floor. That’s why they need people and that’s why I’m here right now. “

Duvernay-Tardif, 29, puts himself – and perhaps his NFL career – at significant risk. He has been the Chiefs’ right-hand goalie for the past five seasons and has played every attacking hit in their Super Bowl LIV San Francisco 49ers victory.

He said he kept an empty apartment away from his real home, which he used as a “transition zone” ‘after his shift.

“I’m going home to this apartment,” he said. “It’s empty. I throw everything in the washing machine, I wash it with special soap, I take a shower and everything, then I go home to try to protect my girlfriend too. I also don’t want her to get sick.

“Of course, there are risks. Ultimately, you have to look at it from a community perspective, that having young, fit individuals working in a risky environment with the best possible protective gear, I think that is the best way to fight this thing and that’s why I want to contribute. “

Duvernay-Tardif said he is following the Chiefs’ offseason virtual program, which started last week, as best as possible. Before starting the long-term care facility, he contacted the chefs and coach Andy Reid, who gave him permission.

“He takes all the precautions he can, but he intervenes,” said Reid, whose mother was also a graduate of the McGill School of Medicine. “He’s leaving and you wouldn’t expect anything different from Larry when you get to know Larry. He is ready to be a doctor and to be the best doctor possible.

“There are risks involved, but you go and you go 100 miles an hour. You take the precautions you can, but that’s how he handles it. “

Duvernay-Tardif said: “The chefs have been incredible. Everyone was really supportive and understanding. There’s something a little bigger than football happening right now, and if I think I can contribute, I should. “

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