For the past two months, we’ve been highlighting Penguins fans on the FIRST LINE in the fight against Covid-19 on our social media pages (nominate your essential employee, healthcare worker or volunteer here). We wanted to give you a little more info on some of those making a difference, so every Monday we’ll be introducing you to one of those nominees in our FAN FILES feature.
Today, we’re chatting with Andrew Conley.
Are you an essential worker?
Yes, I am a certified Flight Paramedic. I work on a critical care transport team, so a lot of my duties include the treatment and transport of Covid-19 patients.
For you, what has been the most challenging part of this transition?
Not being able to do most of the activities I usually look forward to this time of the year. I am on a curling team which would have started playing in March, I play on two volleyball leagues, and enjoy going to Atlantic City on the weekends. The additional stress at work and not being able to do the things I enjoy and relieve stress with is tough.
What hobbies or activities have you focused on while social distancing?
[Recently] I planted a garden. I love to cook, mainly on my wood fire grill and smoker. Recently, I got a meat grinder and attachment for casing the meat so I can make my own sausage. And now that I am able to, I plan on doing a lot of golfing!
Is your family, neighbors or community doing anything unique to stay connected?
For Easter, we did a video chat with family. Dressed up and ate dinner like we were all together at the dinner table. Another thing we have a lot of fun doing is playing games on Jackbox TV. It has several different types of games (guessing, drawing, etc.) that you can play with friends or family.
What type of music or artists do you listen to?
I will listen to just about any type of music. It mostly depends on what I am currently doing. Gym music is usually the hard rock and metal. I could listen to country music while I am sitting on the porch. I also enjoy LoFi chill Hop mixes when I study.
When you are home, what are your favorite snacks?
My latest fad has been hummus and pretzels. I could eat a large container of hummus every day, but it gets costly! I also like beef jerky. Again, expensive snack!
Do you have a book, recipe or TV recommendation?
Dark Matter, written by Blake Crouch was probably one of my favorite books I have read recently. If you like alien invasion and space battle, I would suggest Expeditionary Force, written by Craig Alanson.
Do you have any suggestions that may help others physically or emotionally?
Remember, you can be physically distanced from people without being socially cut off. You can still video chat, voice call, play online games with family and friends. I started playing scrabble for free on my phone with other friends. Put some normalcy back into your life. Keep a routine going. Go for walks, it is getting nice outside. Lastly, take a break from social media and the news! I found my anxiety went down drastically when I stopped watching or hearing about the virus all day every day, especially after a long day at work.
What’s your favorite hockey memory? The last regular season game I had tickets to three years ago, I took a woman on a date to a WBS Penguins game. Little did I know, she was going to show up in a FLYERS JERSEY (ewwwwww, go PENS), but we had a great time and it was the first time I was able to talk hockey with someone who was just as excited about the sport as I am. Fast forward to today. We are engaged and getting married in Jamaica next month (fingers crossed)!
When hockey returns, what excites you most?
Mainly the heckling with all of my friends and fiancée. The Penguins, both AHL and NHL are my favorite team, but I love watching any team play.