Georges Laraque calls on Quebecers to respect distancing following COVID recovery

Former Montreal Canadiens winger Georges Laraque is calling on Quebecers to respect physical distancing guidelines after his own battle with COVID-19.

The 43-year-old pugilistic forward was discharged from hospital and is back home after being hospitalized for a few days due to the virus.

"I just couldn't believe that I got it. Before that, I never thought I was going to get it," Laraque told CTV News. "I even thought it was blown out of proportion."

Laraque, who is asthmatic, first felt a shortness of breath two Sundays ago.

"My breathing got worse. The hospital called me back and said 'The way your X-ray was read, there was pneumonia in there," he said. 

He tested positive for COVID-19 and was soon transferred to Longueuil's Charles-Le Moyne Hospital and put on oxygen. 

"Because my breathing was so bad, they started right away when I got in to shoot oxygen through my nose," he said. "They gave me three litres of oxygen just so I could breathe a bit better."

Once admitted to hospital, Laraque was put in a room with COVID-positive seniors.

"I felt really bad because they were much older. They looked like they were really struggling," he said. "I heard them moan pretty much every day I was there. It was a really tough situation."

Now that he's out, Laraque said he hopes Quebecers will take all recommended steps to stop the spread of the virus.

"The worst thing you never want to happen is that you get it and give it to somebody that could lose their life," he said. 

Laraque said he believes he contracted COVID-19 while delivering meals to seniors, though he said none of the people he delivered to tested positive.

In another message, Laraque said he may have been infected with the virus while helping vulnerable people.

“I did errands, and deliveries for the elderly. I did a lot of grocery shopping and then 'bang,' it happened to me,” he said.

He described COVID-19 as a disease "that really hurts" and "that is really tough.”

  COVID-19 CASES IN QUEBEC
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2020.

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