Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s offseason took a turn when the doctorate of medicine holder volunteered to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in his hometown of Montreal.
At first, the Kansas City Chiefs guard’s duties were directed towards promoting social distancing to the public. Then, the shortage of workers in long-term care communities began to appear.
After discussing his plan with Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs' front office, Duvernay-Tardif took on a role as an orderly, not too far from his offseason home in Montreal. The position was the easiest to step in to, since he has not completed the residency program, a step needed to become a practicing physician.
“It was hard to jump in as a physician because I’m not really [a doctor] at this specific time,” Duvernay-Tardif told reporters in a teleconference on Friday. “The help that the healthcare department needed was mostly as an orderly, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m doing a little bit of nurse tasks, handing out medication, making sure the patients are alright.”
The position is something different for Duvernay-Tardif, considering he had not worked in an environment where the average patient is over 80 years old.
“I’m here to help, support and contribute in a time of crisis,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “What goes through my mind is how can I, first, protect myself, care for the patient, protect the patient as well, and doing all that while of trying to do as much virtual football training as I can and work out at my home.”
Like other members of the medical industry, Duvernay-Tardif wears personal protective equipment including a gown, mask, face shield and gloves while at work. He took a course refreshing him on the proper way of putting each piece of equipment on. The class also touched on having a system for personal safety.
Duvernay-Tardif’s list of precautions included having a transitional apartment between work and home to further protect him and his girlfriend, Florence.
“I go back home to that apartment,“ Duvernay-Tardif said. “It’s empty. I just throw everything in the washer, wash it with a special soap, take a shower and everything and then go home in order to try to protect my girlfriend as well.”
Duvernay-Tardif worked with Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck to develop the proper schedule to make as many virtual training sessions as possible before beginning joining the COVID-19 fight.
For right now, LDT plans to participate in at least two of four virtual workouts per week. He will also make it a focus to lift each day as part of his contractual commitment to the organization.
“I think those virtual workouts, to a certain extent, they remind you that football is around the corner,” Duvernay-Tardif said. "And yes, there’s a certain uncertainty and we’re not sure what’s exactly is going to happen, but it’s around the corner. As a professional athlete, you got to stay ready.”