Editor's note: Sarah McLellan is covering the Wild during the NHL postseason in her birthplace of Edmonton, but first must spend 14 days confined to her hotel room. She'll write regularly to her father, who now lives in Arizona, with an update on life with limited freedom.
The Wild is back in action today, but I won’t be able to watch in person.
I still have a few more days left in quarantine, this two-week isolation test the first I must pass to gain entry into the outside world. But I’ve realized being sequestered is also preparing me for the other challenges that I’ll face once I’m in Rogers Place and covering games for the first time in months.
At this point, I consider myself a social distancing expert. The only people who regularly come close to my room are the hotel workers, and they’re usually already down the hallway when I open the door to scoop up the food they dropped off. I’ll have no problem staying away from other media members or staff at the arena.
Although I might have been tempted to make friends with the appliances in my room, I haven’t really talked out loud to myself much since I’ve been here. Honest! All right, maybe just a few words here and there … or when I see something funny on TV. It happens, OK? Bottom line, I will do my best to keep my lips shut when I’m at the games so I can pick up the natural sounds of a hockey game without fans and convey that in my coverage – even though I may not be able to print everything I hear.
The Wild’s first two games are late starts. I’ve adjusted my caffeine intake accordingly the last few days.
Returning to the arena means I’ll be back on deadline for game stories, and I’ve been putting the reps in at my computer. My fingers are probably in the best shape they’ve been in since they were in college when they churned out term papers one after another. I’ve also been writing under self-imposed deadlines every day, readying myself for the pressure of clicking send soon after the final horn blares. I got this.
And if I ever have to dash to my computer for a virtual post-game interview, I fully expect to move quickly. I’ve exercised every day in quarantine, spiking my heart rate like I’m sure the adrenaline will once I’m back doing the work I love.
My training’s not done yet. I still have some time to practice. But I’m ready.
P.S. The binoculars you gave me a few years back to help me see the ice? They’ll be coming with me.