Big Wheel Blading’s COVID-19 Coverage
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every skater in the world in some way. In this new series, Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19, we will be checking in with various inline skaters from around the globe to see how the pandemic has affected their life. This is only one part of our COVID-19 coverage, which includes editorials, interviews with skaters who are deemed essential workers and an in depth report of what long term affects the pandemic will have on our sport and industry. Also check out the series, Essential Workers, Inline Skaters on the Front Lines of COVID-19, where we talk to inline skaters from around the world who are considered Essential Workers. If you’d like to contribute an editorial piece or have any comments or suggestions you can email email@example.com.
Matthew Jastrzemski is a 41-year-old inline skater, hair stylist, street photographer and artist currently living in Zagreb, Croatia. Originally from the United States he now runs his own salon called Oblik.
How is Croatia responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Non essential businesses are closed and the country is mostly locked down. Inner city travel is forbidden and groups of more than 2 people are not allowed outside. It is also highly recommended that if you are leaving your house it needs to be for a good reason. We have had a few sunny days lately, which has resulted in seeing more people than I’d like to, ignoring social distancing guidelines by going to the lake to walk around and enjoy their day. But for the most part people here have been doing a really great job of keeping their distance. We also had a major earthquake hit Zagreb a week ago, so i think a lot of people are still a little jumpy due to that.
Are you still skating?
Not currently, as much as I would like too, but I decided to stop skating for two reasons. First, I do not want to run the risk of bringing an infection home. Secondly, the hospitals are being overwhelmed and I don’t want to visit one if I get injured.
When was the last time you skated?
I skated a week and half ago just to get out for a little bit and go to my salon to pick up a few things. I don’t think it was worth the risk and since then I believe that setting an example by staying in is the best thing i can do.
Matthew edited some of his Instagram footage while isolating at home.
What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?
I’m playing with my daughter, cooking, cleaning, and just stuff around the apartment. I have been taking time to stretch everyday, which I never did enough of before. Trying to gather footage to work on a skate edit that encompasses all aspects of skating . I have also downloaded new video editing software and have been working on some editing. It is a fun thing to do to occupy my time while my daughter naps.
Has COVID-19 affected your everyday life?
What is you major concern right now and looking into the future?
My families health… as long as I have my wife and daughter everything else will fall into place when the time comes.
How are the skaters in Zagreb reacting to the COVID-19 crisis?
There is not a huge blading community here, but the majority of the people here are really trying to help stop the spread. The people I do see skating are people who are heading to work.
Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Stay healthy everyone. Take some time to enjoy your family.
How can people send you footage for the edit you want to make?
I’m looking to gather clips from skaters of all disciplines to put together a montage. And create an edit with a little something for everyone who blades. People can send their clips through wetransfer.com to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A collection of Matthew’s street photography.
Haircuts Matthew has done at his Oblik Salon.
- Go to Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 to read more interviews from skaters from around the world.
- For our full COVID-19 coverage go here.
- Follow Matthew Jastrzemski skating and daily life on Instagram.
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