(Editor’s Note: IAVM member Tom Cornwall, CVE, shares about his work in the “bubble” during the National Hockey League playoffs. Cornwall has previously shared his story about this unique life and will be writing a concluding story following the crowning of the Stanley Cup champion.)
By Tom Cornwall, CVE
Life in the bubble is routine, especially now that we are entering Round 2 and having only one game a day instead of the three a day during Round 1. Like most of the other bubble dwellers, my morning consists of taking care of personal business including checking in with the outside world news, maybe a bit of online banking to keep the bill collectors away, some social media to stay connected with family/friends, and perhaps FaceTime with my wife, Betsy, to see how she’s holding up.
She’s having to take care of running the day to day with the house with a bit of help from some of the kids so there’s always something to chat about. Mid-morning I leave the hotel and walk 2.5 blocks through the secure bubble fence path to the arena where after getting my COVID test consisting of either a throat or nose swab depending on the day, I catch up with my colleagues and start the day’s activities. For us, it’s continuing to make sure the security protocols are being adhered to, checking to make sure all locations have enough masks, gloves, thermometers, hand sanitizer, and that the arena was properly cleaned and sanitized from the night before. If it’s a practice day, then the rest of the morning is spent at the two team hotels loading and unloading buses for the ride to the practice rink where we’ve created another bubble. Our secure and clean buses become what we refer to as the ‘rolling bubble’ linking the two bubbles.
Mid-afternoon there are a few meetings to review the game logistics and protocols and ensure everything is in order for the game. Perhaps there’s a trip down the bubble path to one of the two team hotels to check on their sanitization supplies in team lounges, meal rooms, medical support rooms, and restocking as necessary. Speaking of medical, there is a complete medical support team also housed in the bubble to deal with player injuries and the occasional staff injury. Dental and MRI services are provided off site in a clinic reserved just for the bubble occupants and accessed via another ‘rolling bubble’ vehicle ensuring that the player or staff member never leaves the security and safety of the bubble or has contact with the outside world.
Evenings are spent with hockey games, wrap-up and then the walk back to the hotel for perhaps a cold beverage in the hotel bar or the staff lounge before hitting the pillow to do it all over again the next day!
The bubble provides several opportunities for dining in the restaurants of the hotels, the restaurant of the arena, two or three food trucks in the outdoor plaza, or there is alway Skip the Dishes or Door Dash if one gets tired of restaurant food. The hotel gyms provide workout opportunities and the SCOTIA plaza area in the ICE DISTRICT outside ROGERS PLACE provides an outdoor space with picnic tables, basketball hoops, and food trucks where we can enjoy a bit of sun and fresh air while still inside the secure bubble environment.
All in all life is good in the bubble. We feel safe and secure and experiencing and making a bit of history with this NHL Hub City hockey in a bubble tournament structure.
#nhlbubble #Stanleycupplayoffs @NHL_Bubble_Life
Photo by NHL.com
To see a 45-minute video of Tom Cornwall discussing the bubble life, click here.