Four weeks into California's stay-at-home order, Cam Fowler is nearing the end of the 12th and final season of Big Bang Theory. He started with Season 1, Episode 1 and hasn't stopped since. A staple of the Fowler household, it's just one of the ways he's passed the time as the NHL season remains on pause.
But his time at home has been more than just binge-watching one of his favorite shows. He's been rehabbing a lower-body injury that forced him to miss the final 12 games leading into the season postponement on March 12 and is nearly fully recovered.
Most notably, though, Fowler, his teammates and their significant others, used the time to formulate a plan to start a meal donation program for healthcare workers on the frontline at UCI Medical Center. The program kicked off this past Friday and will continue based on ongoing needs and discussions with the staff at UCI. The Ducks teamed up with local restaurants still operating and staffing employees for the donations.
Fowler dishes on these topics and more in this Q&A session.
You were out with an injury in mid-February. How's the rehab process coming along?
I'm doing well. I've been able to continue my rehab process. Still working with some of our trainers at Great Park Ice. It gives me something to do every day. Times like these are difficult as an athlete because your whole schedule and way of life gets broken up. I still have a little bit of a routine, which I'm thankful for. I've been able to skate and feel good. I'm pretty much there, if not super close to feeling 100 percent again.
Tell me more about being able to skate during this time.
Within some of the guidelines and rules that were put together during the shutdown, players that had a previous injury can continue to rehab and workout with the people at the arena. There are only three or four of us there at a time. We're still taking all the necessary precautions and being safe, but you're still allowed to continue your rehab process to get healthy again.
Did you take part in the burpee challenge from your coach? Guys like you (No. 4), Brendan Guhle (No. 2) and Erik Gudbranson (No. 6) might've gotten off easy with those jersey numbers.
We would've been okay. [Laughs]. I would've been able to handle that, but I didn't really see that [Eakins' burpee challenge post] because I'm kind of off social media and everything now. I heard about it. I was at the rink skating and training that day, so I used that as my workout of the day.
How are things at the Fowler residence these days?
Life is as good as it can be given the circumstances. Like everyone else, Jasmine and I have been watching a lot of Netflix. Doing a lot of puzzles and crossword puzzles to keep our minds activated as best we can. We've had some nice days here recently so I'm trying to spend a little bit of time in the backyard. I got to lay by the pool, which was nice. Every couple hours take the dog out for a walk. I've been trying to enjoy my time with my family as much as I can because we all know once the season starts, and the schedule is the way it is, the time with family becomes a lot less. I'm trying to see the positives in this and spend the time that I miss with my loved ones.
How much do you miss your teammates? How are you staying in touch with them?
I miss them for sure. Our biggest thing is the group message. We have a constant loop that goes throughout the season. I've been communicating with a lot of the guys through the group text. I've been FaceTiming and Zooming with my family and friends from back home. I've probably done more Zoom chats and interviews in the past couple weeks than in my entire life. I've been trying to do as much as that as I can.
What are you watching?
It's been a variety of different things. It's not on Netflix, but I'm a huge Big Bang Theory fan. We started that around the time of the shutdown. We've been watching it from start to finish and we're on the 12th and final season now. You can go through a lot of episodes quickly, which I like. My attention span for shows that are an hour at a time I struggle with. I'm more about the lighthearted stuff. I've been a listening to a murder-mystery podcast called Crime Junkie a lot. I'm going all the way back listening to the episodes. Years back. I can't listen to those too close to bed time because there are some creepy stories on there. I don't like going to bed thinking about it. I have to be particular when I start those.
What are you guys doing in terms of cooking at home and ordering takeout?
We take it day by day. We make a grocery store run maybe every 10-12 days or so. We just alternate doing that. It's a hard time for local businesses, so we've tried to use Postmates for some meals and help out the restaurants in the area. We've also been doing a lot of cooking. We go with the flow, whatever we're in the mood for. When we go to the grocery store, we'll try to get three or four things we can make for dinner and other nights we'll order in.
Lastly, you, your teammates and significant others rolled out a meal donation program for healthcare workers on the frontline at UCI Medical Center. What sparked this decision to - as a team - collectively come together and donate meals?
This has been something that's been going on for a little while. The people on the team and our wives and girlfriends were trying to find a way to make an impact on the community somehow. We were originally thinking about trying to help out the people working at Honda Center, but you saw the generosity of Henry and Susan Samueli continuing the pay the employees and take care of them. That's the kind of people they are. We decided to switch our focus to the people at the hospital and on the frontlines fighting this virus and taking care of the people. It's been in the works for a couple weeks. We're excited to get the opportunity to help those people out.
What can you say about the people working the frontline right now?
I have a lot of admiration for them. That's the feeling amongst all of us. You think about what you're doing and how you're helping. It's a meal for these people, but hopefully it gives them a little peace of mind. They know they have a hot meal coming. They're working hard to take care of the people who really need help. If this at all can put their minds at ease in any way, that's all we're hoping to do. Show our support for them and how thankful we are that they're continuing to work for our community and keep us safe.