If the COVID-19 pandemic has you feeling anxious, you’re far from alone. Trying to cope as a highly-contagious virus sweeps across the globe isn’t easy: the uncertainty of how it’ll impact family, friends, and finances, how long one may have to practice “social distancing,” and the long-term impact it will have on the world as a whole is enough to strike dread into even the stoic type of individual.
Winnipeg Jets players — amid the health crisis that has shuttered the NHL indefinitely, sent players home when they should be pushing for playoff spots, and ground life as we know it to a halt — are reaching out with encouraging messages that are worth heeding.
DeMelo, Beaulieu, Wheeler Provide Practical Advice
We live in uncertain times, with governments in Canada and the U.S. taking extraordinary emergency measures in an effort to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the Coronavirus so health care systems are not overwhelmed. Dylan DeMelo reached out to Jets fans with some practical advice on how to stay healthy.
“Just wanted to say a huge thank-you to our men and women who are fighting the Coronavirus and giving their time and effort and working countless hours,” he said in a video Tuesday.
“It’s our turn now to do our part and do our jobs — washing our hands, practicing safe hygiene, avoid touching our face, if you’re feeling sick or have any symptoms, stay inside and self-quarantine,” he said.Dylan DeMelo on how to combat COVID-19
What the defenseman said is right in line with the Government of Canada’s recommendations around how to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19.
Fellow blueliner Nathan Beaulieu echoed DeMelo’s advice Wednesday, saying in a video of his own that “it’s very simple. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Stay inside. It’s very simple, very easy. I think we can all get on board with that. The quicker we do this, the faster everything gets cured and we’re back on the ice doing what we love.”
Blake Wheeler had a similar message. “Look after one another,” the sunglasses and ball-cap clad captain said as his kids played behind him on his backyard rink. “We don’t need to be out in the community right now, we don’t need to be spreading this thing. We’re lucky to live in such a small community. We can really curb this thing right now if we take action right now.”
Copp, Lowry Cover How to Cope in the “Social Distancing” Era
While the advice to stay home is simple as Beaulieu said, it is not always easy to follow. Andrew Copp and Adam Lowry took to Twitter with some words on how to cope in the era of social distancing and self-quarantining.
“Let’s make sure we’re checking in with our friends and loved ones,” Adam Lowry said in a video of his own. “Anxiety and stress can be running high in moments like these. It’s important we take care and make sure everyone’s mental health is doing well.”
Copp and Lowry are right: just because we should stay at least six feet apart doesn’t mean we have to be islands. We have amazing technology at our disposal and can call, message, face time, or use social media to keep in touch with those we can’t see. Keeping up those connections can only be good for our mental health.
We may not be able to go to a hockey game, get drinks with friends, or see a movie, but there are still productive things we can do to stay entertained and sane. Watch that Netflix series you haven’t gotten around to or dust off that book you got through half of three years ago. Cook or bake something and leave it on your neighbour’s doorstep. Do an in-home workout or go for a walk to stay active.
Get take-out or delivery from local restaurants that may be struggling because they’ve had to shut down their dining rooms. Check out some of the creative ways artists, musicians, and hobbyists are harnessing the power of social media to provide entertainment online (may the author suggest the shockingly-entertaining Marble Runs and Races?)
Jets Believe We Can Get Through This Together
Times are tough, and if the NHL cannot resume, it will definitely sting for the contenders with dreams of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Mug. The Jets were finally healthy, soaring during the stretch run, and looking like they could make some noise in the postseason. However, the global ramifications of COVID-19 certainly makes hockey playoffs seem trivial.
“I think we can all get through this,” DeMelo said. “We can all come together. There’s nothing more than we all want than just to get back to our daily lives. I know everybody’s being affected by this. There’s nothing more that we want than to play in front of our great fans we have in Winnipeg. Until then, everyone just be safe, be healthy, and see everybody soon.”
“Hopefully we can see you guys back at Bell MTS sooner than later, and go Jets go!” Wheeler concluded.
How soon, we simply don’t know. There’s no timetable for when the season could resume, as health of the players and fans must come first, especially since an Ottawa Senators’ player tested positive. The NHL is working on possible scenarios for the game’s return, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be before July, at the earliest, if at all.
Until that time comes, be safe and do your best to stay hopeful.
Declan Schroeder is a 26-year-old communications specialist and freelance journalist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He holds a diploma in Creative Communications with a major in journalism from Red River College and a bachelors in Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Winnipeg.
Deeply rooted in the city’s hockey culture, the original Jets skipped town when he was two and the 2.0 version came onto the scene when he was 17.