We’re adaptive. It’s what we do. We’re finding ways to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic and its ripple effects.
It’s been a sobering 72 hours. Our society has taken drastic, sometimes painful steps to safeguard public health. Jobs and lives have been deeply affected, and the disruptions may continue for a while.
We’re reaching out to various friends in the adaptive community to find out how they’ve been affected and how they’re adjusting. We’ll add more updates as we hear from more people. And we want to hear from you. Send your input to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nichole Millage (USA Paralympic volleyball player): “Right now everything’s so up in the air.”
“We’re having constant contact from our coaches and our staff, giving us updates about what’s going on. We had the World Cup scheduled for the end of April, and it was originally supposed to be in China. Then it got moved to Egypt, and as of yesterday it got canceled. They’re talking about postponing it until maybe the end of the year, or until next year. But that World Cup was a chance for all the teams that are already qualified for Tokyo to play each other one last time. It was also a chance for any remaining players to get classified. You have to get classified in an international competition to participate in Tokyo. We have one player on our team in particular where the World Cup would have been her last chance for her to get classified. I have no idea if they’re going to give teams other opportunities to get athletes classified. But right now everything’s so up in the air.”
Johnny Maynard (aka Crew9t): “It’s reminiscent of when hurricanes are coming.”
“As a grocery store employee, we are being impacted heavily here in Central Florida. It’s reminiscent of when hurricanes are coming. Completely sold out of water and toilet paper, nonperishables are going fast, plus there’s pretty much no cleaning products left. I’m already scheduled for eight hours of overtime for the coming work week, with unlimited potential for more overtime as needed. Again, very reminiscent of the hurricane.
“On a personal level, my long-distance girlfriend and I are now having to worry that they’re going to close the borders between our two countries. She is Canadian, but we manage to see each other for at least one week out of every month. I’m actually supposed to visit her in 2 1/2 weeks for a three-week stay, and we are both very concerned that they’re going to close the Canadian/ US border between now and then.” [Read our Q&A with Johnny about his YouTube channel.]
Patrick Quinn, Chicago Sports & Entertainment Partners: “This is the core focus of their lives, and it’s in jeopardy.”
“The uncertainly of whether the Paralympics will actually happen is starting to create stress [for the athletes we represent], particularly as qualifying competitions get cancelled. Everyone’s foremost concern is the health of their fellow humans—they all get that in the big picture the Paralympics don’t really matter—but this is the core focus of their lives, and it’s in jeopardy. That’s stressful.
“Businesswise they are losing money, so we have pivoted away from live events and are now offering our athletes online. As the world moves to ‘work at home,’ that can be a very uninspiring/fragmented way for many companies to do business. We’ve created a program to interject some inspiration into your staff working from home via live-streaming lunchtime speakers. Basically, we’re trying to turn some unexpected lemons into some inspiring lemonade.”
Angie Heuser: “I just couldn’t ask my husband and son to get on a plane.”
“I had plans to travel today to Cali for the Adaptive Surf World Championships. I have a lot of people I wanted to meet, in person, after having met them through our Facebook group. And actually, one of them was the one who suggested I reach out to Amplitude Magazine to publish my surf story!
“I’m really bummed, because I just couldn’t ask my husband and oldest son to get on a plane for me. I was going to drive out with my younger son today, and then they were flying out tomorrow night. With all the fears and then all the rain, I just had to cancel.
“I’ve talked to some reps for St. Jude [Angie is a fundraising ambassador] who have told me they are on close watch of everything going on, and some events have had to be cancelled due to the rise in concern over the virus. And staff have been grounded from travels as well.”
Thomas Neuville: “We anticipate a great September event.”
Professor Neuville has lined up an exceptional lineup of participants for Millersville University’s “Beyond Inclusion” symposium to mark the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Earlier this week the university migrated to off-campus instruction for the rest of the semester and sent students and staff home. Pivoting quickly, Dr. Neuville rescheduled the symposium for this autumn, with exact dates TBD. When we know the new event dates, we’ll post them here.
Alec Zirkenbach: “We’ll see how things play out.”
Alec owns the Adaptive Training Academy, which operates workshops and clinics worldwide for adaptive athletes, fitness trainers, physical therapists and anyone who wants to enjoy high-intensity physical activity. He tells us: “As we continue to monitor the coronavirus status, we do not intend to cancel courses unless there are governmental restrictions on travel or group assembly. For now, we have postponed our European courses [scheduled for April] to a later date in October. I’m hoping we can keep our USA courses going, but we’ll see how things play out.”