A COVID-19 Conversation with Photographer Kike Abelleira
A COVID-19 Conversation with Photographer Kike Abelleira: How COVID-19 is affecting your world & how are you staying sane?
Since March 15th, 2020 I have been in a pretty strict lockdown here in Spain. I can't leave my house other than to go to the supermarket (advised once a week), to the bakery, the drug store and kiosks to buy the newspaper, etc. All the other retail stores, bars and restaurants are closed too, unless your job/business is necessary for fundamental industries like health industry, food chain, transportation, security.
One of the biggest differences from our lockdown restrictions to other countries is that we are not allowed to exercise outside, unless you live in a house with a backyard. Therefore, not even a lonely run, walk in the park or bike ride is accessible. As an outdoor lover, this restriction is a big bummer for me, otherwise it would be pretty easy to deal with the lockdown. But you know, I get it, and I am okay with that. The situation out there is so serious... this virus transmits so easily... and it is chaos at the hospitals here in Spain.
There're a few things that I can control so I'd rather focus my energy on that and I try to get the best out of the situation. As a freelance outdoor lifestyle and sports photographer focused on mountain biking, my work planned for this year -at least for its first half- has vanished into thin air. Logically, some racing events have been canceled, while others are postponed for later in the year, and same goes for scheduled photoshoots.
I'm trying to keep myself busy at home. The ever-procrastinated home tasks like tiding and cleaning up some rooms are already done. Since I can't shoot mountain biking at home, I am trying to keep in touch with clients and people from the industry. I'm also using this time to think of some ‘plan B’ creative projects to execute safely if this year's events never happen.
On top of that I'm also going through my files from previous years and working on re-editing old stuff for some projects like articles for magazines, interviews, etc. I've also joined a couple of online courses to strengthen some of my rusted editing software skills.
In a situation like this, loosing focus and abandoning yourself to unhealthy habits is easy. Therefore, since day one I've been positive and loyal to a daily exercise routine. I am riding my road bike on the turbo trainer a few times a week. Folks, hydration is key during turbo trainer sessions and training at home, wink! At the same time, I'm investing more time than I used to for cooking and I'm also eating as healthy as I can. Also, I am trying to measure the daily dose of social media to help ease the negativity out of my mind.
Besides the downs, there have been sweet highlights going on here like the 8pm daily chants when people go to their windows to applaud and honor the healthcare system workers.
The mountain bike industry will surely change when this situation is over. As most industries will probably do. This global health crisis is also carrying along an economy crisis because of many companies and businesses slowing down or even stopping their activity for a certain time. Facing that situation, this year is going to be a tough one. Unfortunately, that will lead to dramatic consequences on some smaller companies and event promoters.
As soon as I am allowed, I am really looking forward to going out for a bike ride with my friends and have some beers at the end, and also visiting my parents and brothers after two or three months without seeing them. And yeah, I'm planning of doing that with a camera, because they'll be moments to remember.
Author: Professional Photographer Kike Abelleira
Date Written: April 9th, 2020