For the 55th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Pierre Chevarie. Pierre is a 32-year-old inline skater and licensed auto body technician living in Notre-Dame, New Brunswick, Canada.

What steps did New Brunswick take to battle COVID-19 and how are things there now?

Non-essential businesses and public spaces were closed in New Bunswick on March 17th. The province had relatively few cases of COVID-19, with only 120 people infected, so the government has begun to ease up on restrictions. Inter-provincial borders remain closed to non-essential travel, but public trails, skateparks, shopping centers and restaurants are beginning to reopen.

Were you skating during the COVID-19 lockdown? Are you skating now?

Not at first. We received a bunch of snow, ice and bad weather in March. Once April came along I organized my garage enough to be able to roll around in since we were only supposed to travel for essentials, not exercise. We live in the country and have limited skate-able areas near our home. So as soon as the nice weather arrived, we started bringing our skates with us to town when we’d go for groceries and essentials. Now we’re getting out at least once a week and I’ve been finding inspiration in Kazu Mori’s videos, for when I have limited space but still feel the need to lace up for a bit.

Are you doing any cross training?

Just my daily routine and chores.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time? 

Hiking in the backyard with the dogs and fiancée, home renovations, cleaning up the back part of our property, cutting firewood, getting everything ready for a big garden and next week I’ll be building a chicken coop.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life? 

It has actually had mostly positive effects in my case. I hadn’t been feeling like myself in the weeks leading up to my lay-off, mostly due to just being worn out. I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, but I spent the first two weeks just chilling and recharging. After that we started doing things that we had been putting off or didn’t previously have time for. We’ve wanted to start focusing more on agriculture and self-sufficiency and this pandemic is the kick in the ass we needed to get serious about producing our own food on a large enough scale to last the year. It’s the beginning of a new adventure!

What are your major concerns right now and looking into the future? 

My fiancée started working again this week. She works in a high-risk environment but her boss and co-workers aren’t taking the regulations and restrictions seriously enough. That stresses her out so it has a bit of an effect on me. People are also becoming increasingly impatient for things to “go back to normal” so there’s a bit of complacency developing in the general public. In general though, I’m optimistic about the near future.

How is your local skate community responding?

For the first time in ten years we actually have enough rollers to call it a community hahaha! It’s been growing too with more people showing interest and getting on wheels, be it inline or quads. The roller derby crowd is getting more into street skating too, it’s pretty exciting! We all try to follow social distancing rules and gathering size limits to be safe and lead by example.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

New Brunswick is full of hidden beauty, come see and skate it!


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