While many players in the NHL have bunkered down since the season hit pause and shelter in place orders have been enacted, but Kings forward Alex Iafallo took a different approach to social distancing and self-isolation. Packing up his car, Iafallo made the drive from Los Angeles back home to Buffalo, New York, camping along the way and even staying in teammate Cal Petersen’s driveway in Iowa.
Eventually, he landed at his parents’ home in Western New York, where he’s been self-isolating, helping them get through this time, as well. Iafallo’s mom is a nurse at Buffalo General Medical Center. Erie County has seen 3,891 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with at least 292 deaths from the disease.
In addition to helping his father with yard work, one way Iafallo has found to lend a hand right now is to bring food deliveries to his mom’s floor at the hospital, where they are treating coronavirus patients directly. He initially planned on buying food for the whole hospital, according to The Buffalo News, but the logistics of feeding so many proved to be a difficult barrier, so the plan downsized.
As it turns out, downsizing was probably a good idea, because Iafallo almost recorded a fever thanks to the methods he used to keep the food hot for the COVID-19 unit.
“He was 99.9 and the nurse said, ‘Oh, are you feeling OK? You’re pretty hot,’ “ said Barb Iafallo, a nurse at the hospital for 30 years. “He said, ‘Well, I had my clothes on and my coat, and I drove with the heat because I wanted to make sure I kept the food warm for my mom and her coworkers.’ “
The nurse laughed and let Iafallo enter the lobby, where he and Barb loaded the food from Major Tom’s Drop Zone in Hamburg onto a wheeled cart. The two posed for a picture before Barb returned with the dinners to the 16th floor, where she and her fellow nurses are caring for patients battling Covid-19.
“I thought it would be a nice gesture, especially with my mom being a nurse,” said Alex, who used it as an opportunity to help a local restaurant. “I know her coworkers are close to her, too, so I wanted to supply at least one meal for them. I got chicken parm from a local store and that was about it. I wanted to give back. They’re doing a lot of work and they have stressful jobs. It’s the least I could do.”
Still, he seems to be taking it as a learning experience, planning future deliveries to his mom’s hospital, as well as connecting with other organizations that provide relief to front-line healthcare workers the larger Western New York area.
The 26-year-old also told the Buffalo News that he’s been keeping in shape during the season pause, using his parents’ workout equipment and inline skating in a rink his parents had built in their backyard for Alex and his sister, Julianna, who also is a professional hockey player.