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.


Casey Wilson is an 33-year-old inline skater living in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Casey works in engineering and construction.

Do your consider your job essential?

I would consider it essential that we remain operational because we design MEP systems for hospitals.

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

I felt secure but a co-worker came in sick, so now I am working from home.

What are you concerns about working during this time?

Mainly just efficiency while working remotely.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

It has closed everything that I would typically do.

What are your concerns going into the future?

Mainly how much the economy will suffer from the shutdowns. How will small business or hourly workers survive.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I have been skating once or twice, but as my county is on lockdow, I will probably lay low.


Charley Neou is a 25 year-old inline skater living in Seattle, Washington, USA. Charley works on cargo airlift missions and handling maintenence.

Do you consider your job essential?

Yes I do.

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

Work is secure, manning is reduced to help regulate the spread of the virus.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

I have no concerns. I just make sure to always stay clean.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

No change at all, I’ve just continued with my daily routine.

What are your concerns going into the future?

The possibility of working on contaminated aircraft that could potentially get us sick.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

Yes, I am still skating regardless of the skateparks being closed. If I am considered essential to work, then I still have to have my place to release.


John Wennerstrom is a 32 year-old inline skater living in Round Lake, Illinois, USA. John is an automobile salesman.

Do you consider your job essential?

I do consider it essential because people may need transportation if their vehicle dies.

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

I definitely feel safe at work, we keep the facility disinfected and have it cleaned 3x a day.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

My main two concerns are getting the virus and not making any money.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

It has affected my life because my state is on lockdown, so I can’t go to the gym or go shopping somewhere other then the grocery store. And of course car sales are down.

What are your concerns going into the future?

I am scared of how long it is going to take to get back to normal.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

Yes, I am absolutely still skating during the pandemic!


Kyle Taylor is a 28-year-old inline skater living in Denver, Colorado, USA. Kyle is a controls electrician.

Do you consider your job essential?

Some days yes, some days no.

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

I could go either way. Yes I want to do my part in flattening the curve, but I also need to make an income.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

That I could be potentially be carrying the virus. Or that someone else that is essential could have it, not know it and give it to me.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

Life hasn’t changed much for me, only a some little things, such as shopping earlier and not making plans on the weekend. Work has been inconsistent but at least I’m still working.

What are your concerns going into the future?

My biggest concern is bills. I’ve made a third of what I normally make in a month so far. I was already stretched thin before the pandemic, having to borrow after my job loss in February.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

Yes, Colorado has allowed us to go outside and exercise, but I haven’t gone to a skatepark since the virus became a worry.


Pancho Barrera is a 36-year-old inline skater living in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Pancho is a heavy equipment technician for the city of San Antonio.

Do you consider your job essential?

Yes, I work for the city of San Antonio keeping their heavy equipment fleet maintained and on the road. I work on Vermeer 7500s, cat pavers, case loaders and cat bulldozers.

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

I feel safe.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

None, since I don’t work with the general public and we are a small group of employees at work.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

There is much less traffic to and from work. I’m not sure what the future holds financially.

What are your concerns going into the future?

I just hope that I don’t get infected with the virus.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

No, I have not been skating. I’ve been injured and just had surgery on my left knee again.


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Jan Welch

Founder and creator of bigwheelblading.com

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