Former Washington Capital Eric Fehr feels lucky to have got his wife and three young kids out of a coronavirus hot-spot and back home to Manitoba.
Fehr, who spent nine seasons with the Capitals, was playing for Genève-Servette HC in Switzerland when the COVID-19 virus began to spread.
“It was not a good feeling,” Fehr told the Winnipeg Sun, Tuesday. “As we were waiting for the season to cancel, and we could see the stuff in North America gaining speed on shutdowns and quarantines and stuff like that, we knew some flights would start getting cancelled. When we tried to book our flights, there were no flights available for three days. We just barely made it.”
“One teammate, Tommy Wingels, heard a report from Trump at 3 a.m., our time, that they were closing the (U.S.) borders at midnight the next day,” Fehr, 34, said. “So he booked a flight at 3 a.m. and left a couple hours later. Things happened really fast for the people from North America over there.
“Now Switzerland is on a lock-down, as well as France, Spain and Germany – everything around Switzerland is locked down completely, so there’s really nowhere to go.”
At home, Fehr and his wife have self-quarantined the family in their home, but can’t get through to an over-taxed Health Links line to determine if they should be tested.
“My wife and I have been calling since we landed, just to double-check because we have the sore throats and the cough, and that is one of the symptoms,” he said. “Everybody has good energy and there’s no fevers or anything. You just want to know for sure.”
“I think things are going to start getting crazy,” he said. “Being in Switzerland ahead of the curve here, I’m kind of seeing right now what was happening in Switzerland three weeks ago. I’m happy they’re shutting a lot of stuff down ahead of time. Switzerland took a little bit longer and it really spiralled out of control. So hopefully we’re able to contain it a bit better with the shutdowns we’ve had.
“And hopefully people actually respect the quarantines and stay away to try to prevent it from spreading.”