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.


Brett Davies is a 35-year-old inline skater living in Manchester, England, United Kingdom. Brett is a warehouse worker for a company that supplies cleaning machines for supermarkets & other businesses in the retail/food industry.

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

I’d rather be at home, at work I do not feel very secure because you cannot do your job while keeping your distance from other people. The machines that come back to our warehouse, from stores to be repaired, are always in a dirty state, which is extra worrisome when you don’t know who has been handling them whilst COVID-19 is going around. I have to take the bus to work ,which I don’t like doing at present, as you don’t know if someone on there is sick.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

My main concern with working at the moment is having to use public transport, working in a close vicinity with others, and sharing computers. If the supermarkets are open then we should be too, but in a time when most are told to not mix in groups and stay away from each other, that’s essentially what you are doing by going to work.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

The feeling of uncertainty is the main affect I’m feeling from the pandemic. What will be the next hing on the news? How long until we catch up with other countries? Will we get tighter regulations than we have so far? I’m worried about how many people are going about their lives without wearing masks.

What are your concerns going into the future?

What concerns me for the future after the pandemic is what lasting effects it will have. People taking loans or losing jobs being in debt due to lack of work. There’s also a lot of grey area when it comes to self employed people and what help they will receive, which means a lot of friends could potentially really suffer from this. During the crisis there has been a push to take away people’s freedom, what’s to say these policies won’t be implemented full time once this is over?

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I’ve still been blading during the pandemic but trying more to stay away from built up areas and other people in general, always with a mask or something to shield my face!


Donald Donovan is a 30-year-old inline skater living in Warwick, Rhode Island, USA. Donald works in the warehouse of a craft beer distribution center.

Do you consider your job essential?

Absolutely not, beer and liquor is not essential to human life

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

I do not feel secure, I’m in contact with drivers daily who arrive from many different states. I’m also nervous about receiving new products, as the virus could live on cardboard for 24hrs, metal and plastic of 3 days. We are touching this product fresh off the truck from the brewery’s and in most cases within a day’s time, so there is a possibility the virus could be on the packaging.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Keeping my wife and daughter safe, as well as my parents, grandparents and friends. Also a side note, my work gave me a temporary Coronavirus increased risk raise today of $2.50, retroactive to 3/23, until the pandemic is no longer. I feel like it is a generous gesture and I’m grateful, but still considering the company as greedy by not putting our health and well being first.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

Unfortunately my anxiety has been severe and I can’t stop looking for more information, death tolls, leaked videos and other information.

What are you concerns going into the future?

Riots, looting, martial law, microchips, new world order, aliens, space wars, etc. I feel like this whole country is about to become a complete disaster, and it scares me, the media is sugarcoating and fear mongering consistently to keep us all confused.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

Yes, but by myself or with 1 or 2 people, street skating is the safest bet. I am looking forward to skating spots I usually can’t, when they are open, while everything is still closed!


Glen Crider is a 57-year-old inline skater living in Los Angeles, California, USA. Glen works as a security officer at the main hospital for Los Angeles County.

Do you consider your job essential?

Yes

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

I do a bike patrol outside so I’m not exposed to too many people. I prefer this to being stuck at home.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

I have none for my situation.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

Not being able to be with close friends really has me depressed. I spend more time deciding what my next meal will be.

What are your concerns going into the future?

If I get sick, how will I get paid?

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I stopped skating several weeks ago but have been thinking about going out again.


Jarrod McBay is a 38-year-old inline skater living in Denver, Colorado, USA. Jarrod works in the CBD/Hemp industry.

Do you consider your job essential?

I feel my job is essential to keep the equipment and facilities running smoothly to produce our products. I work in the health and wellness industry, we make CBD products and my company is considered essential.

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

I feel safe at my job since we follow pharmaceutical guidelines.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

I’m concerned getting ticketed during shelter in place. Its affecting my anxiety and not being able to go long distance blading.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I am not skating during this time. Which is taking me out of the DUST challenge we started.


Preston Villanueva is a 28-year-old inline skater living in Seattle, Washington, USA. Preston works in the cannabis industry as a budtender and as a cashier and stocker at a produce stand.

Do you consider your job essential?

Maybe for medical marijuana, but not necessarily for recreational use. Just stock up! My company does online ordering too, which helps. The produce stand I work at is definitely essential, but I would like to see hazard pay.

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

I would rather self isolate.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Contracting the virus and spreading it to others.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

I am unable to travel to a family members funeral in another state. Apparently you will be quarantined for 14 days in the state of Hawaii, which means I could miss the funeral.

What are your concerns going into the future?

Economic collapse, death and sickness to those close to us.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

When no one else is around except for a couple of pals.


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Jan Welch

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