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.


Jarrod Banning is a 26-year-old inline skater living in Denver, Colorado, USA. Jarrod works in the CBD/Hemp industry.

Do you consider your job essential?

I do consider my job as essential. CBD is considered medicine and people rely on our products to survive. I am lucky to be able to work from home, so I have not been going into the office.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

I would be concerned about working in the office while this virus is so easily spread among others.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

Everything non-essential has shut down. I work from home now. It is a pretty boring life at the moment, but we’re all in this together!

What are your concerns going into the future?

I’m concerned about getting sick, the economy crashing and the world ending. All that shitty stuff that probably won’t happen, but I still stress over!

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I have been doing social distance practice rail sessions with people on Instagram live to get out and safely enjoy the weather.


Jason Reyna is a 36-year-old inline skater and flight attendant from Dallas, Texas, USA.

Do you consider your job essential?

To some degree. We are the first responders in the air, people and cargo still need to get to where they need to be.

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

I feel secure. I’ve always taken precautions and believe that if I continue to do so I should be okay.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

The idiocy of other people. Their misuse of masks and gloves.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

Airports are empty and most stores in them are closed. I rely on those places to eat during my time away and that’s a major impact. Hotels are also on skeleton staff and only allowing for pick up or non interactive room service. So it’s a weird form of self isolating because I’m in a random city just sitting in a hotel room with the most interaction being social media and the friends and family who check in on me.

What are your concerns going into the future?

Job security. The airlines are taking a big hit on this and I just hope to have a job in the future still.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

Yeah, I’ve been cruising around downtown Dallas. People were saying hello and excited to see me. It was fun. Normally it’s like get out of the way! Stay of the streets! Even the police smiled and waved.


Kahinde Johnson is a 37-year-old inline skater living in London, England, United Kingdom. Kahinde works as an aircraft engineer for a critical supplier to the Ministry of Defense and Rolls Royce.

Do you consider your job essential?

Essential to the company? Very. Everything would literally stop working without me there. Essential to the world, I guess, it depends on which aircraft we’re helping to keep flying.

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

Fairly secure, for now! They recently sent most of the workforce home, and put in other mitigation actions to help reduce risk.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Keeping away from others. It’s just not possible sometimes.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

Pragmatically, not much. Just my local skate park has closed down! Psychologically, fair amount. I have to put the risk to myself and my wife out of my mind constantly

What are your concerns going into the future?

My wife and I coming out unscathed. My unscrupulous government using it as an excuse to suppress the UK’s freedom.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

Heck yeah.


Manuel Rodriguez is a 32-year-old inline skater and news cameraman living in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Do you consider your job essential?

I do consider it essential, only because I am responsible for getting important information to people, during this strange time of confusion and misinformation that is being put out there.

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

Well, on one hand, I do feel more safe right now because I am not even allowed in the building. Reporters are to drive separately and we are taking measures to also keep our distance from the people we talk to. It also helps that almost all press conferences are streamed now with a pool camera, that goes to every station in the market.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

Right now my biggest concern is just staying healthy, basically if anyone gets sick then it can take out a whole lot of people from being able to do their job. Its a weird and scary time. We have been some of the few people who have been working non-stop since this whole thing started taking place.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

All of it right now is basically superficial stuff. I’m still alive and have my health. So other than ruining some plans and a trip to New York I was going to take to go skate for a week, its not all so terrible. That’s really it and other than that I can’t say I’m affected too much, since I still have to go to work every day.

What are your concerns going into the future?

Basically, if this goes on for too long, I worry people will go crazy and not even care what health professionals are saying and just risk it all for a little bit of fun outside. I also am worried about how its affecting the economy and people who do live paycheck to paycheck. That is a very real reality we are going to be faced with soon.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

I pretty much accepted last weekend as my last weekend of skating with the homies for now. I need to set an example and take this more seriously as stuff just keeps getting worse here in the US. I’m hoping if we can get this under control I can be outside skating right in time before spring ends.


Ryan Lavigne is a 38-year-old inline skater living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ryan works for a company that prints packaging for food.

Do you consider your job essential?

I guess so with the craziness at the grocery stores.

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

I feel secure at work for the most part, except for other staff not practicing social distancing. Work is really good with cleaning and having cleaning products available to use, as well as lots of gloves.

What are your concerns about working during this time?

My main concern is for my 10-year-old son, who has lung issues. I would never forgive myself if I brought Coronavirus home from work to him or my wife.

What are your concerns going into the future?

I am concerned about how long this will last, and the ongoing health of my friends and family.

Are you still skating during the pandemic?

No, I’m not skating at the moment but may start doing some recreational skating soon.


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Jan Welch

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  1. […] CoverageThe 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 […]

  2. […] CoverageThe 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 […]

  3. […] CoverageThe 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 […]

  4. […] CoverageThe 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 […]

  5. […] CoverageThe 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 […]

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