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Danielle Hunter Checking in Daily on Grandmother, a New York Nurse

EAGAN, Minn. – Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter checks in daily with his family.

Hunter's grandmother, Joy Gayle, is a nurse at Andrus on Hudson, a medical facility for elderly people in New York.

"It's kind of going crazy over there with [all of the coronavirus cases], a shortage of supplies and all that," he told Twin Cities media members via conference call Wednesday.

"We call and check up on her every day, make sure that she does all the right things and if she's all right," he later added. "But she's been doing good. It's just crazy [what's] been going on over there."

Hunter also has an uncle who works as a police officer in New York, which has been hit harder than any other state and many countries.

The 25-year-old explained that his personal connection to the crisis motivated his donation to North Memorial Health earlier this month. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook made an initial donation to North Memorial, and Hunter jumped in to help.

"It was very important to me," Hunter said. "I feel like it's better to be prepared in a time of uncertainty like this than to not be prepared."

He expressed concern for his grandmother and uncle but also emphasized the importance of following the proper processes to flatten the curve and care for our communities.

"It's just crazy knowing that they're in something like that … and the only thing we can do right now is just watch, hope for the best and pray," Hunter said. "We can also help by doing our part and just washing our hands, doing the stuff we need to do to keep our hygiene up to par and health up to par. That's basically what we can do."

While he keeps in touch with his family from afar, Hunter is still finding ways to train in Houston while following social distancing guidelines.

Hunter is unable to work out at O Athletik, the massive gym opened by former Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, but continues to receive guidance from his trainer, James Cooper.

"We'll meet up at different locations around the city in the mornings when there's not many people around and we'll do hill workouts, or he'll bring some of his own equipment and we'll use that for the day," Hunter said. "Basically just do the workouts that we need to do, and that'll be about it.

"I always go run a mile whenever I get a chance to, and then after that, I just go to my footwork guy," he added. "He can't have as many people as he's supposed to be having because of the lockdown rules and all that. There's a certain time for each participant to go there and work on their footwork."

Asked about a mental toll these unprecedented circumstances can create, Hunter acknowledged that it "definitely throws you off a little bit" but that it's important to stay focused and ready to go.

"You never know when they're going to call us back in. I think the number one thing that we can all do right now is keep our bodies in shape and pay attention to our coaches whenever they text us," Hunter said. "And text each other, check up on each other and see how we're doing."

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