Ex-NHL Tough Guy: Coronavirus Is 'Worst Thing Ever'

Georges Laraque describes harrowing battle with COVID-19: 'It really hurts'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2020 12:03 AM CDT
Ex-NHL Enforcer Describes Harrowing Battle With COVID-19
Pittsburgh Penguins' Georges Laraque follows through on a shot during hockey practice at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Thursday, May 8, 2008.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Former NHL tough guy Georges Laraque this weekend started detailing his battle with the coronavirus on his Facebook page, as he's hospitalized in the Montreal area. Just a couple weeks ago, the 43-year-old was running six days a week training for a marathon. Now, "I can’t even get up without losing my breath. It's insane," he says in one video, per USA Today and the CBC. "I have pneumonia in both my lungs. ... I need to have oxygen blowing through my nose." He says he first started feeling symptoms April 26 while delivering groceries to the elderly and vulnerable in his community. By Thursday, he had been admitted to the hospital, per Reuters.

The Quebec government plans to start gradually reopening elementary schools and daycares starting May 11, but Laraque suggested testing capacity is not yet high enough to do that safely. "I know we have to start back the economy again, I know it’s going to be important, but for two months of school, are the parents really going to risk their life to get sick when their kids come back home every day?" he wondered. "Some parents are going to end up in a room like me in the hospital." He added of his condition, "It’s the worst thing ever. It takes all my energy just to get up." And for anyone who thinks "this is a government conspiracy, I can confirm to you that it isn’t,” he said, per the Montreal Gazette. “It really hurts." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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