A Canadian NFL participant who traded his jersey for scrubs to combat on the entrance strains of the COVID-19 pandemic says he felt a accountability to assist one thing he believes in: well being.
“After all I miss [football],” Laurent Duvernay-Tardif advised The Present‘s Matt Galloway.
However, he mentioned, main life choices are by no means “black or white.”
“5 years from now, I am going to have the ability to take a look at 2020 and be like, ‘Alright, I adopted my conviction and I made a transfer that I’ll be happy with.'”
Duvernay-Tardif made waves final yr when he determined to work throughout the low season as an orderly at a long-term care facility in Montreal, not removed from his hometown of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que. The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs offensive guard, who holds a medical diploma from McGill College and is working to develop into a health care provider, was recent off a Tremendous Bowl win.
In July, he took the choice a step additional by opting out of the 2020 NFL season altogether so he might proceed to combat the pandemic, making him the primary soccer participant to place his profession on maintain due to COVID-19. He additionally spent the autumn taking lessons at Harvard College’s T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being.
The 29-year-old was later honoured as co-winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy, which is handed out every year to Canada’s high athlete. Sports activities Illustrated named him a Sportsperson of the Yr, and his lab coat and medical scrubs have been additionally positioned on show on the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Latest artifacts to reach at The Corridor: medical scrubs & lab coat of <a href=”https://twitter.com/LaurentDTardif?ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>@LaurentDTardif</a>.<br><br>The beginning OG for the <a href=”https://twitter.com/Chiefs?ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>@Chiefs</a> in <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SuperBowl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>#SuperBowl</a> LIV, he stepped away from his soccer profession this season to make the most of his doctorate in drugs to assist combat the COVID pandemic.<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChiefsKingdom?src=hash&ref_src=twsrcpercent5Etfw”>#ChiefsKingdom</a> <a href=”https://t.co/1wOIxiXBU1″>pic.twitter.com/1wOIxiXBU1</a>
Duvernay-Tardif admits that when the pandemic first began, he was caught up in how it will interrupt his low season and his plans for the yr forward.
“After all, after like just a few days, you notice that you simply’re actually privileged,” he mentioned. “And my mindset went to … how can I assist?”
Expertise will ‘depart a mark’
When the Quebec authorities pleaded for health-care employees to assist look after aged residents within the province’s overburdened long-term care properties final spring, the soccer star knew it was his likelihood to contribute.
“Originally, I went in there with actually a mindset of attempting to optimize all the pieces, just a little bit like a medical pupil,” Duvernay-Tardif mentioned.
“What I noticed after spending time with the nurses, the [orderlies] down there, [is] that what issues is consolation, it is dignity, and actually the distinction between treating and caring for a affected person,” he mentioned.
WATCH | Duvernay-Tardif describes working in long-term care dwelling:
It is an expertise Duvernay-Tardif mentioned will “depart a mark” on him and plenty of different health-care employees, and it speaks to “the sacrifice and the dedication” wanted to get by means of these troublesome instances.
However similar to soccer, it takes a “workforce effort” to get the work executed, he mentioned.
“That is actually what makes a distinction,” he mentioned. “With a purpose to give good continuity of care, good high quality of care, you want to have the ability to go alongside data and work as a workforce the identical manner [you’ve] received to be working as a workforce in soccer.”
His thought of what makes a hero has modified
Duvernay-Tardif has advised he’ll be making a return to the soccer area in 2021. It is no secret he misses the game.
However as a lot as he is honoured by the awards and recognition he is acquired as a soccer star over the previous yr, he mentioned his thought of what makes a “hero” has modified so much all through the pandemic.
WATCH | Duvernay-Tardif on hanging his medical scrubs in Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame:
He described recognizing the “dedication” and “ardour” of 1 nurse he labored with who commonly pulled additional time or began her shift early, at 4 a.m.
“And no one is there to, like, pat them on the again and say, ‘Good job,’ or give them awards or [an] alternative to speak on the radio,” Duvernay-Tardif mentioned.
“They’re doing it as a result of they actually care. And so I really feel like being humble — or at the very least attempting to — is actually the least I can do once I see all these folks working like that.”
Written by Kirsten Fenn. Produced by Susan Mckenzie.