For the 80th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Andy Kruse. Andy is a 43-year-old inline skater and elementary school teacher living in Helsinki, Finland.

What steps did Finland take to battle COVID-19 and how are things there now?

The Finns shut down the society for about 2 months and most everyone stayed home. Being that the Finns are quite socially distant anyway, it was already a normal habit to keep distance from people and not talk to them. Say for instance at a bus stop people are always a meter away from each other and not talking anyway, so the country did quite well keeping the virus contained. They then opened up the schools at the end of the school year and now things are back open with covid guidelines in place.

Were you skating during the COVID-19 lockdown?

Yes, I was going cruising with my big wheel skates for exercise mostly, now I am going back to the skateparks.

Are you doing any cross training?

Yes. I hike and swim and play tag and soccer with my kids.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?

Reading, studying , writing and hanging with my kids.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life?

It did during the shutdown because I was teaching from home and helping my kids do their school at home.

What are your major concerns right now and looking into the future?

Well the near future, whether the virus will come back stronger after the societies open up again and whether the schools will open up again, because home schooling is not near as good for the students and not as fun for me. In the far future, I’m concerned about the humans running and hiding from such viruses that come as a check for us and a way to make our bodies and immune systems stronger as a species. Our attempts to save every one of us is partly why we are so overpopulated and in trouble. But who wants themselves or their family to get sick? Here enlies the paradox.

How is your local skate community responding?

They have been quite isolated, but sometimes coming out for sessions giving only elbow bumps rather than high fives.

Photos by Kai Bäckström


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