Jordan Binnington helped bring the masks. A couple days earlier, Kelly Chase brought some food. And the folks at Mercy Hospital couldn’t have been happier about last week.
Binnington, the Blues goalie, and local businessman David Corbett delivered 2,000 N95 masks last Thursday to Mercy’s Virtual Care Center in Chesterfield.
Corbett owns Bespoke, a clothing and apparel company.
“He is the one who procured a bunch of masks,” said Donn Sorensen, executive vice president at Mercy. “And he and Jordan brought them over to the command center. We’re very grateful. Our caregivers need ‘em, and it was greatly appreciated. They helped us out a lot by doing that.”
Sorensen didn’t provide specifics in terms of numbers but said that Mercy has had its “fair share” of coronavirus patients over the past 2 ½ months.
He’s a big Blues fan and had met Binnington before the mask-bearing visit.
“A great guy; awesome guy,” Sorensen said. “I’m glad he came over. We gave him a little tour of our Command Center, which is the group that spearheads and looks over all of our efforts that are COVID.”
Like most Blues players, Binnington has remained in St. Louis since the NHL began its coronavirus “pause” on March 12, suspending play indefinitely. He has taken up the guitar, worked out from home, and kept in touch with his teammates, who have a group text going constantly during shelter-in-place.
“You know this is a really tough time for a lot of people,” Binnington said. “You see a lot of negative news. Seems like everyone knows someone who has gotten sick or even lost a loved one. But times like these also bring out the best in people.
“People show their true colors and rally around each other as humans. And it’s important for those of us with the means and a platform to do our part and lead the way.
“What Dave is doing is an example of that. It’s inspiring. We owe so much to the people that are fighting this thing on the front lines, and it was my responsibility to contribute.”
Independent of Binnington and Corbett, Chase showed up at Mercy Hospital earlier last week with food for emergency room and ICU workers.
“St. Louis is my home. It’s where the people I love the most live,” said Chase, a former Blues player and radio analyst. “I have friends in restaurants that are small restaurants — they’re not chains. And I figured if I did that I could help two groups of people that I have a great deal of respect for. Which is frontline workers, the people that are helping save this thing right now. …”
And local restaurant owners and employees.
Chase, who now has a role in business and community development for the Blues, tries to bring lunch to different places — not always hospitals — from different restaurants every week.
“He’s the biggest-hearted guy I know,” Sorensen said. “He doesn’t want anyone to know but he’s a big heart and he brought us pizzas and everyone loved it.”
Chase said visiting Mercy was comforting and boosted his spirits as he got a sense of what frontline medical workers are doing to treat COVID-19 patients.
“They gave me a true sense of how prepared they are, and how good they are at what they do,” he said. “They train their whole lives for this.”
In terms of handling the pandemic, Sorensen said Mercy did a good job preparing and was probably a bit ahead of the curve in that respect.
“We’ve literally worked around the clock the last 10 weeks to be prepared,” he said. “And we’re prepared as well as we could be.”
But just as you can never have enough good goaltending in hockey, you can never have enough masks during a pandemic.
“Like everyone in the nation and the world, having a supply of PPE, vents and beds is extraordinarily important,” Sorsensen said. “So we’re in pretty good shape right now.”
And many would agree, you can never have enough pizza either.