Big Wheel Blading’s COVID-19 Coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every skater in the world in some way. In this series, Essential Workers, Inline Skaters on the Front Lines of COVID-19, we talk to inline skaters from around the world who are considered Essential Workers. This is the second part of our COVID-19 coverage, check out the series Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19, where we check in with various inline skaters from around the globe to see how the pandemic has affected their life. If you’d like to contribute an editorial piece or have any comments or suggestions you can email janericwelch@bigwheelblading.com.


Alex Gol is an inline skater living in Los Angeles, California, USA. Alex works in banking.

Do you consider your job essential?

Yes I do.

Do you feel secure at work or would you rather be at home self isolating?

I feel secure at work and am able to work from home part of the time, during pandemic.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Catching the virus!

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

The response to the pandemic has limited my personal freedoms and liberties. California is also under pseudo martial law. That is scarier than any virus.

What are your concerns going into the future?

I’m concerend about more goodness encroachment into our lives and loss of personal freedoms.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

Hell yeah. COVID-19 has turned Los Angeles into a street skating paradise. There are very few cars on the road and I can now skate places I’d never dared to before without the fear of getting run over.


Nathan Buck is a 37-year-old inline skater living in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. Nathan works security at a national laboratory.

Do you consider your job essential?

Yes, given the nature of what we protect it is a critically vital mission.

Do you feel secure at work or would you rather be at home self isolating?

I feel fine at work. This stuff can get you anywhere.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Mainly the absolute fear that it is causing. I know it is a bad virus, but fear mongering and misinformation led to mass panic. That is my fear, people being stupid and doing stupid things. My job keeps me hands on with the public, but not like other essential roles like first responders.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

My everyday life has not changed too much. Going out and about in days off with the family is the main change. Family life has gotten tighter and closer. Kids being out of school is causing stress, but we are work through it.

What are your concerns going into the future?

Concerns for the future are, the world economy, what is the government sliding past us during this crisis, what are we going to do to prevent it the next time, and many more…. This is changing the world dynamic. Bright note to this is the pollution levels are down, nature is re-balancing, the world wide family units are reuniting and reengaging, sense of community is becoming stronger, the real heroes are showing their worth (First Responders, Hospital Staff, all those deemed truly essential), and the realization that the amenities of sports, movies, social dining, and so on are not a necessity. Maybe because of this those critical jobs will get payed what they are worth since they are trying to save and protect the world.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

My skating has not changed much. Since I have a mini park in my drive way I still skate there. But, skating downtown, skate park life, and just cruising still happen, just not as much as I would like.


Anthony Michael is a 31-year-old inline skater living in Buffalo, New York, USA. Anthony is an Industrial Floor Technician and lead cleaner at Brylin Mental Health Hospital.

Do you consider your job essential?

My job has been deemed essential by NY State officials and I do consider my job essential. If I don’t clean the building and disinfect frequently touched areas and surfaces it doesn’t get done properly and heightens the risk of infection for many workers in the building including children and adults patients.

Do you feel secure at work or would you rather be at home self isolating?

I do not feel secure at work due to lack of proper PPE and procedural protocols. Yes I’d much rather be home self isolating but because my job is essential if I don’t work I don’t get paid.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

My concerns about working during this time is obviously contamination from an infected individual and possible spread of the virus if I do have it and am unaware.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

The stores are sold out of toiletries, most food and cleaning supplies because the ignorant local citizens and Canadian citizens came over the border and bought everything till it was all gone.

What are your concerns going into the future?

My concerns for the future is the stability and economic health of our country. Job security, job benefits, health insurance and the downfall of many organizations that people depend on for planning for their futures. I’m worried there are groups of people or just singular people who are using the crisis as a way to capitalize on scarce product sales by using fear from the public as an advantage.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I skated the first few days of the COVID-109 outbreak before we had a serious number of cases reported here in NY State. I’m in Western NY nowhere near NYC and we don’t have the thousands of infected like they do. Mostly minor cases. Still, better to be safe than sorry I guess. I would love to skate when I can but I work til dark mon-fri and on the weekends help my wife keep up on the hygiene of our home and surroundings. Also sometimes I pick up extra work on Saturdays or Sundays if available. If I had a skateable setup on my property I would shred before work.

As the Founder and Creator of Upskate NY I urge our Bladers to keep sessions to a maximum of 3-4 people and keep distance between each other during skate sessions. We all wanna bump fists when dope tricks are nailed but elbows knocks will have to suffice or just throwing up hands to let that person know you saw them land that tasty trick. I’m hoping this all is over soon. Right before the outbreak was announced our group had big plans, skate trips, (wyii2020 and other events) lined up along with videos to be filmed, our signature clothing line to drop new merch (holding off now) and photoshoots for individual profiles for an E-Mag. Everything is on hold at the moment. Coronavirus couldn’t have come at a worse time. I just wanna shred til I’m dead wit the homies. ✌️


Louie Lunn is a 39-year-old inline skater living in Janesville, Wisconsin, USA. Louie works as an electrician.

Do you consider your job essential?

Yes, but only because I’m currently at a soon to open powerhouse.

Do you feel secure at work or would you rather be at home self isolating?

I’ll feel secure till someone becomes sick. Mainly because there’s very few of us there, I practice good hygiene regularly, and I’m keeping my distance.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

I’m concerned that others aren’t taking this as seriously as I am.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

It limited my time in the public (stores,restaurants,etc)

What are your concerns going into the future?

I’m worried it will get much worse than anyone could imagine and once the next flu season starts this kicks back into gear.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I usually skate a little aggressive, but now that hospitals are in need, I’m switching to simply cruising. I’ve got s pair of big wheels in the mail from Long of Oak City Skate Shop as I type this. 🙂


Matt Moya is a 38-year-old inline skater living in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Matt in logistics for a large online retailer..

Do you consider your job essential?

Yes. Through this pandemic we are providing supplies to households which in turn leads to less people having to go out in public.

Do you feel secure at work or would you rather be at home self isolating?

I feel secure at work. We have taken every possible measure to operate as cleanly and efficiently as possible.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Just the obvious; putting myself in a position to possibly contract the virus.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

It’s made me ration my toilet paper.

What are your concerns going into the future?

That this won’t just be a short term situation and it will alter our way of life for much longer than anticipated.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

Yes and no. I’m working long hours to keep up with customer demand, but on my free days I’m trying to squeeze in some skating. I’ve tried to do my best with spot selection in terms of little to no contact with people. Empty parking garages and abandoned areas mostly.


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Jan Welch

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