Big Wheel Blading’s COVID-19 Coverage
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every skater in the world in some way. In this new series, Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19, we will be checking in with various inline skaters from around the globe to see how the pandemic has affected their life. This is only one part of our COVID-19 coverage, which includes editorials, interviews with skaters who are deemed essential workers and an in depth report of what long term affects the pandemic will have on our sport and industry. Also check out the series, Essential Workers, Inline Skaters on the Front Lines of COVID-19, where we talk to inline skaters from around the world who are considered Essential Workers. If you’d like to contribute an editorial piece or have any comments or suggestions you can email email@example.com.
Annalee Unwin is a 39-year-old urban, distance and marathon inline skater from Sydney, Australia.
What is the current situation with COVID-19 in Syndey?
We are in a semi-lockdown situation. People are still allowed to move about freely but are asked to stay at home unless they are going to work, doing grocery shopping or exercising. All non-essential businesses have been closed. I run my own business and currently am unable to operate due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Are you still skating? If so what precautions are you taking to stay safe?
I’m still skating. Being cautious to avoid other people and not touching things when I’m out and about.
Where have you been skating?
I’ve been skating wherever I’ve thought there would be less people. Skating around the city yesterday, the few people I encountered were pretty excited to see a rollerblader. Everyone was keeping their distance from everyone else but people were mock leaping out of my way and smiling at me. It was quite nice. Sydney is a big city and in general, keep to themselves like most people in other big cities. So, it was quite nice to experience that.
What would have to happen to make you stop skating completely?
A directive from the government or my own sense of unease with the situation.
What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?
Tennis, training outdoors with my PT and now that I can’t work due to government mandate, I have time to crochet again.
How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life?
It’s completely upended everything. My business has had to temporarily close and I don’t know when I’ll be able to reopen again. My job involves a lot of domestic and international travel and those trips have obviously been cancelled. My grandma is 90 years old and I haven’t seen her since mid-Feb because I’m terrified there’s a risk of giving her Corona Virus.
What are your major concerns right now and looking into the future?
To be honest, I’m pretty fearful of what the world looks like in 6 months.
How is the skate community in Sydney responding?
Until recently groups of up to 100 were allowed to congregate outside so Sydney City Skate was cautiously proceeding but the number quickly dropped to 10 and now no more than 2 people from different households may be together so there are no longer group skates for us.
- Go to Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 to read more interviews from skaters from around the world.
- For our full COVID-19 coverage go here.
- Follow Annalee Unwin on Instagram.
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