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.


Brian Krans is a 38-year-old inline skater and journalist living in Oakland, California, USA. Brian is .

Do you consider your job essential?

Yes. At a time like this, people need information that’s timely and accurate.

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

I work remotely, unless I have to go out into the field to talk with people or attend government meetings. Last week I was sitting in the last jury trial in the state, which has now been postponed in part because of my reporting.

What are you concerns about working during this time?

Picking up the virus and giving it to my wife.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

I don’t go anywhere except for the store or out in the woods to get some exercise. People not maintaining social distancing guidelines freak me the fuck out.

What are your concerns going into the future?

That our government is more concerned about the stock market than making sure people are safe.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

No. Mainly because I don’t want to get hurt and go to the emergency room. They’re full up with COVID-19 patients and other people. They don’t need to be tending to a grown man who got hurt on his rollerblades during a global pandemic. That’s too selfish right now.


Eric Shamp is a 37 year-old inline skater living in Portland, Oregon, USA. Eric is a Medical Doctor in Anesthesiology.

Do you consider your job essential?

I do consider my job essential.

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

My line of work puts me at increased risk of being exposed to COVID-19 given that we deal with patient’s airways and therefor are exposed to aerosolized respiratory secretions. We are starting to implement utilization of PPE to minimize exposure, however, given the scarcity of PPE right now, protection is not on par as in other countries.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

I am not getting out to go skate or ride my bike as much as I’d like to. I have increased risk of getting exposed to COVID-19 at work, so I’m adhering to strict quarantine practice at home to minimize the risk to myself or my partner.

What are your concerns going into the future?

I am concerned that people will not take the matter at hand seriously thereby increasing the number of COVID-19 cases. Our hospital has limited ICU beds and ventilators and the moment the number of cases outgrows what we have available, then things will begin to look a lot like in Italy. For me personally, this is concerning because it will increase my chances of getting sick and worse yet, exposing my partner at home. As a whole, people coming in with non-COVID-19 issues will have to be triaged and could potentially result in less than prompt care given how spread thing we are.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I skate around my building’s indoor parking lot, but that’s about it. Have not skated outside for a couple of weeks.


Doug Williams is a 38-year-old inline skater living in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Doug works as a cook at a pizzeria.

Do you consider your job essential?

As long as people have to work, and people are hungry, absolutely but all measures need to be taken to maintain a good hygenic presence We are operating within our restrictions and being very sanitary to make sure our customers stay safe

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

I’m an omnivert, so it’s not affected my psyche much, but I have a great therapist who I do telehealth with

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Just people not being mindful and following directions, and being irresponsible about their surroundings and people around them

I’d like to dedicate my piece to Dale Thurman a legend and a staple to Lexington, Kentucky. Dale passed away from complications of COVID-19. He was there for my worst, and helped me get back to my best, I’m going to miss you.. RIP


Joseph Svehla is a 32-year-old inline skater and printing press operator living in Brownsville, Texas, USA.

Do you consider your job essential?

I do, if we were producing what we’re telling the government (which is labels for medical equipment, food supplies, etc.). But we’re not, were producing regular labels that aren’t essential.

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

I do not feel secure at my job but as a father of two, I’m forced to provide.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

My concern is that, in my opinion, this thing is going to get worse before it gets better. People really aren’t adhering to the policies put in place.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I haven’t skated since it started.


Will Enzenauer is a 28-year-old inline skater living in Denver, Colorado, USA. Will works for a beer distributor getting precious beer to the people in this time of need.

Do you consider your job essential?

I know I don’t want those beer shelves to be as empty as the toilet paper ones.

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

Just been on the canning line so far, pretty minimal number of people working at a time and everyone maintains their 6ft distance, so it’s been fine. Honestly I’m just happy to be able to work in these crazy times

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Not doing what I can to flatten the curve, infecting people who are at a higher risk, and the uncertainty of when/if things go back to “normal”.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

Normally my job is very social and I go meet people and shake hands all day. I can’t really do any of that now, so there have been a lot more emails, conference calls and texting with buyers about how we can help from a distance.

What are your concerns going into the future?

Trying to stay afloat and hoping I’ll still have my job in three months. Also losing anyone to this virus, but especially those special people in my life that are older or have respiratory issues.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I have not honestly, but this weather has been much nicer the last couple days and I’ve been itching to get out for a cruise. Getting cabin fever worse than anything else from this whole situation!


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Jan Welch

Founder and creator of bigwheelblading.com

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