Brent Hopkins, King of Cleveland Street Skating

After thousands of confirmed cases and hundreds of deaths in Ohio, people are (hopefully) staying at home to help protect each other from the spread of COVID-19. We checked in with various Clevelanders to see how they’re holding up and how the pandemic has affected them and their organizations.

Q: How has COVID-19 and Ohio’s general shutdown affected you and your line of work?

A: The shutdown has affected me because I work in the service industry and was pretty much out of work from the get go. Blading, however, is very resilient as we’re used to being “shut down,” haha! Someone got an idea to start an online game of S. K. A. T. E. on Instagram live which has people all over the country participating and connected. As for the KOC, we’re usually about four to five fundraisers deep at this point, so financially we’re very behind. The plan this year was to move the contest to Labor Day weekend and coincide with the Blade CLE BBQ, so we might just have a party this year 

Q: What are you personally doing to help cope with the quarantine?

A: Personally, I’ve been trying to stay busy with things I don’t usually have time to do. Cooking from scratch, reorganizing trivial things like the junk drawer, haha! But really my wife and I have been catching up on books we’ve meant to read and movies/albums we’ve put off. And a lot of Yahtzee, best of three games with the loser doing the chore no one wants to do 

Q: How, if at all, has COVID-19 affected your worldview?

A: I wouldn’t necessarily say my views have changed, but a scary realization is just how far people are willing to believe and defend false information. The amount of memes/comments/protests going on is just astounding. People are literally dying around the world and this is being not taken as seriously as it should. I could go on for days, but damn, get it together people. I have begun to appreciate and miss simple interaction with people, high fives and hugs especially 

Q: Lastly, what’s the first thing you’re going to do when the shutdown ends?

A: The first thing I’m going to do when it’s over is see my family – both of my parents and in-laws live out of town and it’s been too long since we’ve visited. Not before we stop for a shot and a beer at ABC though.