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Canes' John Forslund, symptom-free for coronavirus, eager to end self-quarantine

Chip Alexander, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in Hockey

RALEIGH, N.C. -- At 8 p.m. Sunday, John Forslund was to leave the basement of his Apex home, rejoining his family, symptom-free for the coronavirus, his self-quarantine at an end.

"It's been an ordeal," Forslund said Saturday, thankful that a 10-day period filled with uncertainty and mind games would be coming to a close.

Forslund, the Carolina Hurricanes' longtime broadcaster, also quickly qualified that comment. Others, he said, face grave health challenges from COVID-19 during a global pandemic that has made life as we know it far from the life we once knew. And there are other life-threatening diseases.

"This is something totally different, where you have to sacrifice for the good of yourself and everyone around you, so that's basically what I did," Forslund said. "I do have to be honest. It has been harder than I thought it would be."

Forslind has stayed put in his basement since returning with the Hurricanes from New Jersey on March 12, the day the NHL announced it was suspending -- the league called it "pausing" -- the season because of the threat and spread of the novel virus. Another Canes employee, video producer Zackary Brame, also went into self-quarantine.

The NBA was the first major professional league to suspend play, that after one of its players, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, tested positive for the virus. The Jazz had just been in Detroit to play the Pistons, using the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit as its team hotel. When the Jazz left the Westin, the Canes then moved in for their March 10 game against the Red Wings.

 

Forslund's hotel room had previously been occupied by Gobert. Think about getting that startling news -- the same room. That's a lot to process.

"Unbelievable," Forslund said.

For the past 10 days since returning home, Forslund could only sit and wait in his basement, with any sneeze or cough a bit unsettling. Without displaying any symptoms, he was told he could not be tested for coronavirus, even as the Jazz players, coaches and media were being tested.

At the same time, Forslund was extremely thankful his family -- wife Natalie and three children -- was at home, safe. He said he has been able to hear some of them laughing at times and their mood upbeat, which is reassuring.

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