Remy 'at high risk' for coronavirus, hopes baseball doesn't come back too soon
Boston — Jerry Remy is scared.
The longtime Red Sox icon and NESN broadcaster, as much as anybody, has been closely following the ongoing coronavirus pandemic since returning home from spring training more than two weeks ago. And he's doing everything he can to stay healthy and out of harm's way of the virus.
The 67-year-old Remy, who has survived four bouts with lung cancer, last beating it in November 2018, knows he's at high risk for the illness, so he's been even more careful. He immediately self-quarantined with his wife Phoebe upon returning from Florida, and hasn't left his home since. His grocery shopping has been done by his daughter and son-in-law.
"From my point of view, I have underlying conditions, so it's a little bit more dangerous for me to be exposed to any of this, so I'm making sure that I don't go out because I'm at high risk," Remy said by phone Tuesday. "If I get it, it could be pretty bad. ...
"It scares me when I see when they put on the TV, people who are under high risk. You can check off a number of those categories for me, so I'm being extra cautious and just staying in the house and just watching TV. My wife's been also very cautious about not going out also because she doesn't want to bring it home here, so we're in that kind of a situation."
Baseball, which like every sport is shut down indefinitely, is the last thing on Remy's mind. In addition to his own health, he's thinking about all the health workers, the nurses and doctors who are battling in the fight against the virus in hospitals every day, the same people who have helped him overcome his own medical issues.
"Their lives are in danger now and I have tremendous regard for all of them and what they're going through right now," Remy said. "The first responders, the nurses, the doctors, anybody that comes in contact with anybody who has this is just in tremendous danger. These people have taken care of me my entire life and I'm thinking a lot about them because it's a horrible situation. It's worldwide, we haven't even peaked yet. It's crazy and it's scary. It's probably the scariest thing that I've ever been through in my life.
"I just can't get my mind off the people who are working on the front lines. I really can't, I just can't get my mind off those people. It's just a horrible, horrible situation."
When Remy left Fort Myers after spring training was suspended, he said he had an idea of how bad the virus had gotten, but didn't truly know the severity of the situation until he got home. Remy said having no baseball last Thursday, which was the season's original Opening Day, didn't feel strange because he knew the season was delayed, but that feeling might change this Thursday, when the Red Sox were scheduled to have their home opener at Fenway Park.
Like everyone, Remy doesn't know when the season could begin, and he's even accepted the possibility that there might not be a season at all.
"I have no clue. I think anybody that tells you that they do, I don't think they have any clue either," Remy said. "As I said, we haven't even got to the top of this and there's gonna be a decline, but does that mean there's a green light that's going to go up and say, 'OK, everybody get back to normal'? I don't think that's the case, so I have no idea. Quite frankly, and just throwing my neck out there, I wouldn't be surprised if there's no baseball. It wouldn't surprise me at all the way this thing's tracking, so I'm prepared for that. I think everybody's prepared for that."
Remy also doesn't like the idea of playing with no crowds, a possibility that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has addressed and is on the table after the CDC recommended that there should be no public gatherings of more than 50 people until at least mid-May.
"We hear things about baseball maybe opening up with no crowds. None of that makes any sense to me," Remy said. "None of it makes any sense to me. ... Because all right, it opens up with no crowds, but what about the players that are playing the game and what about the travel that you have to make and the hotels you have to stay in? You're still exposed to the virus, so that doesn't make much sense to me at all. I think this needs to be cleared up 100 percent before anybody gets back to a normal life."
For now, Remy will stay hunkered down. He's spending time watching episodes of "Days of our Lives" with his wife Phoebe as they ride out this storm together, knowing now is not the time to be worrying about baseball.
"I miss the action of the game, I miss what I do because I love it, but I'm also old enough and smart enough to know that there are other things that are more important," Remy said. "Right now, frankly, the focus is on everything else but that. ... Don't take that the wrong way, I follow everything that's going on in baseball obviously, but it's not my No. 1 priority every day. My No. 1 priority is hoping that nobody else dies from this, so that's really what I'm thinking about."
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