The Iso: Gerald McCoy

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The Players’ Tribune is introducing a new series called The Iso. With so many of us keeping our distance from each other in a variety of ways, we decided to ask some of our favorite athletes to share how they’ve been dealing with life in the Covid-19 world, and how they’re spending their time away from their sport.

My wife, Ebony, is a germaphobe, so she had been following news about the virus for a while. She said a long time ago that we needed to start preparing for quarantine and getting ready for this. We went to BJ’s (our area’s version of Sam’s Club), and we were stocking up, getting everything. I remember her being like, “I don’t know, we might need to start chilling on where we go and what we do, who we interact with. I think it’s more serious than we’re being led to believe.”

Within the next week or so, when everything hit the fan, they started telling people to start quarantining and stocking up, and Ebony gives me this, “See I told you,” and I’m just like, “Alright, alright.” I didn’t want to give her no credit — but she was right.

O.K., this is a pandemic — if we’ve got to quarantine then let’s quarantine. That’s been my mindset throughout this whole thing. I prayed, like I always do, and asked God to cover us. But for me, I’m not one of those people who panic much. I’m taking it extremely serious, but I’m not gon’ panic about it. Everybody don’t need to start losing their minds.

Take the necessary precautions, and keep living. My family is quarantining. I wash nonstop, we clean up, we spray everything off. We don’t open any packages we get for at least three days. We spray them off before we bring them in. We wear gloves everywhere.

If being a dad slash husband slash athlete during all of this got a 2K rating, I have to say I’m a 97. I’m really doing it. I wash all the clothes. I do the dishes every day. I’m constantly cleaning up. I do the online schooling with our five kids in the morning. I get them up, make sure they get through school — they go to school from eight to three. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ebony does a lot as well, but that’s just some of the areas where I’ve taken the lead to ease the burden off everyone right now.

The other day I made biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and eggs for breakfast. For dinner, steaks. I’m making a pizza later. I’ve made chicken. I’ve made hamburgers. I made burritos. I’m doing it all.

After everybody settles in for the day, my 18-year-old son, Marcellus, and I, we go train. I run the family workout. I run his and my workouts, and then I do Ebony’s workouts (I’m her personal trainer). And my 14-year-old daughter, Nevaeh, I train her in basketball and softball. It’s a lot going on around here, definitely. I promise you it’s nooo boredom in the McCoy household. We are going nonstop.

A family like ours, we have to keep a tight schedule. We have five children, and Ebony owns a business. She runs a store every day where, normally, she has to be there making everything flow and go the right way. Really, the person who usually does the least right now, at this time of the year, is me. I get up, I train, and then I have the rest of the time off until I gotta pick the kids up.

I’m great. I try and take any time, any moment I can, to get closer to my family and just spend some quality time with them. So I’m enjoying the time.

That NBA thing was crazy. Extremely crazy. I was like, I can’t believe that they really stopped it. I’m telling you, that’s really when it hit home. But honestly, what else could you do? They had to make that decision once they found out how fast it spreads.

But there are so many unanswered questions! I’m a Lakers guy. I’ve always been a Lakers fan. It wasn’t just Kobe — I obviously love Kobe, but I still rocked with the Lakers even when Kobe retired, so it’s great to see them being so successful now. It’s like, O.K. what’s going to happen, now? Is LeBron going to win MVP? Is Giannis going to win? Are they going to make it to the Finals? It’s a lot of unanswered questions.

I believe with my oldest son, our relationship is better now than it ever has been because we’re spending so much time together. He’s getting to know me more and my mindset. I’m getting to know him and his mindset. He was in basketball, but now I’m training him to get ready for college football. There’s a small field around the corner that nobody goes to, so that’s where I do football drills with him and his brother.

Man, take this time to come together. That’s my advice to the whole world. Get close to somebody you wasn’t close to. If you have beef with anybody, apologize to them. Work it out. I’ve taken this time to dive deeper into my faith and get to know the Lord more, build my relationship more, and even get to know my kids more. I honestly believe sometimes God has to say, “Hey, I need y’all to listen. Take a second, sit back and fix it.” Let’s be better.