COVID-19 Stories of Pain & Hope

Like most everyone else during this pandemic, ChutingStar and our crew members have been negatively affected during this COVID-19 pandemic. This worldwide shutdown will indeed change the world forever, and has resulted in the loss of loved ones.

At the same time, we're encouraged by the love and strength of the human resolve to not only survive, but make the best of the situation. Stories of families becoming closer, communities supporting each other and businesses switching gears to keep staff employed show us hope for tomorrow.

In our April Survey on Audibles, we put in one question at the end asking "Good, Bad or Indifferent, how has the Coronavirus and worldwide shutdown affected you?"

These are the raw responses below. I think the biggest takeaway I get out of these is that we're not alone in our struggles and fear. Empathize with your fellow human during this time. They may put on an "everything's fine" front, but deep down we all have many of the same issues during this time. Encourage, support and help others as you're able.

Pain + Hope

I am an essential employee so I am still working. It has however shut down every DZ around so no jumping right now.

No DZs open, not happy about how uncurrent we'll all be when we later return to the sky and hating seeing mates lose their incomes. What's really good is the way some awesome people are helping educate the community whilst we're all on hold.

I have lost work to the point that I'm pretty much part-time, but I'm not unemployed. I will be asking for leniency from my bill collectors. I typically work seven days a week, full time overnight and full time at the DZ during daylight, so I don't sleep much. The shutdown is allowing me to sleep as much as I want. I miss jumping so much, though. Aside from not jumping and missing my people, I'm very much enjoying the peace of alone time. I also have the time to get some semi-complicated work done on my rig.

I'm "essential." No skydiving sucks.

EVIL, In the area of skydiving sport, it ended my weekend, but I'm saving to invest in other interests and maybe improve my equipment.

A little bit of all three (good, bad and indifferent). Obviously skydiving has been shut down around the world which is a bummer, but it has allowed me to spend more time with family, which is something I don't get to do all that often when I'm working. I'm also starting up a new position in two days away from home for the next 6 months, so I'm a little nervous about doing that and being around new people, but excited for what the future may hold in store as well!

My wife and I make our income in the event industry. I have been out of work since Feb. 24. We are doing our part though and staying home. Ugh! I want to get in a tin can with all y’all and feel the breeze on my knees.

Good and bad, On the positive side I am catching up with a project that I need to finish. The bad side is that finally, I was going to do my first jump trip out of Chile to SDC and now with maybe I won't be able to do it for known reasons.

I can't jump :( It's also provided a great opportunity to catch-up on the crazy amount of $$ I've spent getting into this sport.

My wife is an ICU nurse, this shit is fucking stressful for anyone who works in healthcare and their families! I'm lucky to still working from home but energy is more focused on making sure my wife is happy and cared for above all else.

I wanted to take a vacation, so i'm happy to have a little time off work. but at the same time, I can't do anything. I can't go camping i can't jump... also tiger king was pretty good. so that's one for the good column

I'm a university professor. While I still have a job (and should still have one this fall), it's caused a financial crisis in higher ed that may force salary cuts this fall if enrollments are down significantly. That may have a negative effect on me financially, but skydiving is my top priority with whatever discretionary funds I have available (I'll cut other spending first). So, I'm intending to get back in the air whenever our DZs open. The Covid-19 crisis has caused me to cut back on my goals for what I hoped to accomplish in skydiving this year, since I'm expecting to be able to do at most half of what I was earlier planning on (and finances might be an issues as well). It will also probably keep me from traveling to any skydiving events away from my home DZ this year. But I'll get as much diving as I can and keep working to develop my skills to whatever degree is possible this season.

Staying as positive as possible, but bad. I’m sure like most people: Laid off, unemployment in my state is not accessible, mortgage company will only suspend payment for 90 days in which time 4 months of payments are due in full, skydiving is my best stress relief and we can’t even do that. Buuuut “one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, we will get through this one way or another.”

Well.. I own a martial arts and fitness studio. We have completely shut our doors so financially it has affected us greatly. We have pivoted to online training which has helped.

Can't go skydiving, so I can't finish my last 3 jumps on my B. Can't DJ so can't make the money on the side to go skydiving either. I'm lucky but, i have job security with my main income, being a firefighter, there's always going to be work. It's mental here in Australia and Sydney to be specific, first bushfires now this.

All good health wise, but I really miss meeting friends at the DZ and jumping.

The Good- I’ve been out fishing more than I have in the past 5 years. The Bad- I’ve been laid off from work. How the world conducts business in the future will change. Now we still and wait to see how much change will actually happen. The Indifferent- The virus doesn’t scare me. The way Humanity has acted these past few few weeks have frightened me more. I am amazed by people’s lack of understanding of their own mortality. People in fear scare me more than this virus.

For the business side man, it has kept us very very busy. Little time for anything other than work right now. Taking precautions with PPE while traveling from job site to job site... was being a little bit of an OCD germaphobe it has hardly affected my day-to-day habits other than face shield and gloves....many friends are not in the same situation and it is affecting them greatly. I feel very fortunate to still be working. Hope everything gets better quickly for everyone's sake. Corona sucks.

I'm ok. Of course there are a lot of uncertainty, but it all comes down to cash flow - if you have, you can walk through while this transition.

I teach high school woods. It’s gone from a hands on class to enrichment. But my family and sky family are safe.

Not bad, just no jumping, so that sucks, but now I have time to work on the house and saving money for jump tickets once this mess is over.

The corona virus has affected the lives of all of us. For some points of view it allowed to appreciate many lifestyles that our society had lost. For example, the family, the social life among human beings in one's own home, to appreciate more what we had and did before without giving the right importance. For other things it is a huge tragedy from which we will get out but it will not be all the same.

My husband is active duty, so I actually get to spend time with him & he doesn't have to leave as soon for a new duty station.

I'm still employed and working from home so very grateful about that. I do miss jumping on the weekends though.

Business has been OK. Social stuff is sucking. Getting creative with stuff to do at home.

Still have my job. Saving money on not jumping and not going out. Hard to date.

Bad. I had a flight booked to Australia (I'm from Chile) and got stranded back home. Good time to spend with the family though so is not everything bad.

Working from home and not skydiving. Healthy and still have a job.

Rigging part hasn't suffered much. But sure do want some air time. Been watching skydiving movies to get my fix

Helps me save some cash since I can't jump! :)

Not skydiving and can't wingsuit. I don't base jump, but I do have a PPG/Paramotor and BOOM get some.

Forced my partner and I to be together more and work through initial living together pains...honestly helped us so much....but not leaving the house sucks :)

Bad is maybe a season without jumping. Good is that the gap between my skills and those I admire is not growing!

On lockdown, unable to leave home but I’m working from home and still have income so it’s okay.

I haven't been able to jump for a while. With my secondary conditions I need to be perhaps more responsible than most during this event. I want to be around to jump. I plan to make up for it!

I've resigned from my day job, but still have a lot going on militarily. Kept me cooped up at home in some very nice weather days, and limited exploring!

I'm just recovering from a Rotator Cuff strain and after months of physical therapy I'm ready to jump again.

I am out of work (I am a skydive instructor only) so it has affected me a lot financially. However I believe recent programs created will provide me with enough to sustain my lifestyle, as long as business is back to normal by June. I have also been unable to visit family out of fear of infecting at risk people so the social isolation has been difficult to contend with.

Terrible, can’t skydive. Still working though to ship food out to grocery stores.

Good/bad. The work load has increased and the play time has come to a stop.

Not being able to jump sucks! I'm stuck at home playing teacher to my kids.

Good for all to save lives and to prevent diseases spread cause by Coronavirus

Good: time to read books! Bad: standby on dropzone. Indifferent: general "pause" in life

The Bad

My entire industry is furloughed. I worry that I will not be able to afford skydiving for a long time.

We live in a lock-down area, but both my wife and I are considered essential. She's been working from home for the past few weeks while I keep going in most days. Our M-F hasn't changed much. Our weekends have been obliterated. Multiple trips canceled. DZ's closed. Tunnels closed. Fuck, I can't even go to the bar to commiserate with friends like we used to on weather holds. We've canceled or had canceled multiple trips; we had a stacked summer planned. Had. Birthday in Vegas? NO. Big way camp in May? SCRATCH. June Music festival? HA! Overseas in July? ROFL! Even holding out hope for late-summer boogies seems futile. But, that's just the surface. Underneath every conversation and interaction is palpable anxiety and fear. Conversations we never considered just weeks ago are all we can talk about. Many of us realize we're living in a significant chapter in a future history book.

It is terrible to not be able to go skydiving

It sucks, I just made my 100th jump and bought $2000 in jump tickets, my plan for the year was 300 more jump but the weather and covid gods seem to screw that up

With a new baby it has made it hard for the family to see him, and just very inconvenient with work.

I quit my tunnel job to start my AFF certification and work at the DZ. Now, the certification class has been canceled and the DZ is closed. It's been a rough time.

Its given me a sense of dread to where we as veterans cannot be together as that was one way we dealt with issues in Round canopy parachuting as well as skydiving

Miss seeing my family

Seriously? I can’t jump. And I had a sweet job offer that got rescinded.

Can't watch TV, can't jump, can't work. WTF

I’m a self-employed massage therapist so this sucks. I finally have time off of work but I can’t jump. Makes me sad and anxious. I’m worried for people and hope everyone follows the rules.

I’m temporarily out of a job and hobby.

It has absolutely paralyzed my life. I cannot go flying, jumping or shooting. I sit at home and just do some rigging.

Bad, no skydiving. Skydiving is my sole source of income

Work has slowed. Less money. No school for child. Single mom. No jumping. I’m losing my mind.

Bad. My dropzone is shut down and I’m not making any money

I’m a firefighter and still working. We were told today it was just a matter of time before we were exposed to the virus. We are ill equipped as department to deal with this pandemic. It’s been a nightmare....all I want to do now is jump out of planes again.

No jumping during main part of season (Feb - May) in - Dubai. Then all closes down during summer (due to heat) until September.

Bad, my business is locked down

Bad, no more jumps. Dz shut down.

No jumping for the past two weeks. Skydiving is a stress release for me.

I work at IFLY as only source of income we got shutdown

I'm in France and everything is lockdown since March 14. My wife is a nurse so I make all the possible to limit the pandemic (stay home, keep distance with other...) and of course stop skydiving because the last thing emergency/hospitals needs is a guy who hurts himself by having fun when everybody is afraid for their life.

Can't jump anymore. Can't find baby food, diapers or baby wipes for my kid. Still have to work and expose myself to the virus because I'm an essential employee.

Bad :( I can work from home alright, but me and the misses had our first baby a couple of weeks ago and we're both pretty stressed out and worried. Also no jumping. Where I live there's no jumping during the winter and we're pretty much watching the jump season go by
each day.

Very bad. My last semester of college is cancelled and I won’t be able to see some of my friends or enjoy college for the last time. Can’t even jump either!!

I work in healthcare research so it’s impacted my every day life

I miss skydiving. It’s taken my job away. I’m a tandem Instructor with no work.

It has been very difficult for people who has independent line of work

No skydiving at all in California.

I aggregate capital for real estate projects and work from my home office. Also own a real estate brokerage that specializes in investment property. Everything in our world has slowed down because of the uncertainty that is so prevalent in the markets and world economy. I'm thankful I was able to spend 10 days this past January/February at Skydive AZ because it's not looking so good for our jump season...

No skydiving. Will probably cancel going to The Raw Dogs event in May.

Considering I JUST moved to a place with year-round jumping, this sucks!

Sucks not being able to jump. Also no rigging business.

Work is tough to still get to etc

No jumping (obviously!), cancelled international trips.

It has stopped skydiving in my area

No skydiving; Unsure of gear deliveries

I wish I could go skydiving, it's just not an option right now.

Bad I guess, planned to go to Russia for skydiving

No skydiving for earliest 15th of June :( I basejump tho. But probably losing job and ground sickness is starting to do its stuff!

No jumping in Home DZ

Bad - it's crashing my stock portfolio

Very bad I had goals to get to 300 jumps this year and get some ratings. In Europe the weather is great for jumping but we are all grounded. So I changed my goal to get at least 100 jumps, secure a coach rating and complete another canopy course.

Bad, i can't skydive at the moment.

It’s greatly affected my work and my jumping for the negative

Bad as we did not jump yet for this year

Can't skydive

Bad; no skydiving

Working from home, seeing friends less, and of course, no jumping right now :-(

Stopped all going out except for cycling

I work from home now and my kids aren’t in school

Bad. No employment

I can’t jump and I want it.

Left Australian DZ to come to Canada and no work for awhile

Bad as we cannot jump but not that bad as we will jump after the crisis

Can't jump out of planes

Badly. I’m in Dubai, so there’s not much left of the pre-summer season. Dubai closes when it’s too hot

No skydiving!!!

It has pushed the start of the season back.

Not jumping, so there's that.

Can't jump now as all the dz's are closed, skydiving was my release from working as a Police Officer and Paramedic.

Bad. Cannot get into the sky. Seems like the safest place to be right now

Bad!! I need to jump

I have to now work from home and I can't skydive. Isolation sucks

I can't skydive

Not too terribly so far; I'm still working

I can not jump! :(

Significant change to personal and professional life.

It looks like it might put me out of Tandem currency and that is going to SUCK.

I had set goals in 2020 which now are very unlikely to be achieved.

Bad no work self employed no unemployment

It's hard to qualify my COVID-19 experience . It's challenging, for sure!

S A D =(

It has halted everything for me as an instructor and a demonstrator...I’ve been really cranky due to the lack of jumping and I’m getting fat cuz I’m a stress eater so the wing loading is going to be great when this all goes away!

It got me sick and put me out for the count for several weeks. That and my local DZ is closed which super sucks.

I'm in skydive withdrawal!!!

Suspended jumping probably for the rest of the season probably going to deplete all my savings and wreck my employment so skydiving career is done for a while at least I think...

I'm cautious but the hype and hysteria is driving me nuts. I'm ready to get out the house

I’m a bartender waiting to go into the Air Force as a Pilot so it’s killed my cashflow and halted my ascension to officer. Definitely sucks that I can’t jump either.

Can't work as much, no skydiving, snowboarding, etc

Killed skydiving, and possibly for a long time, so not great. Otherwise, unaffected.

My family is out of work

Everything stopped here in Brazil, due to the Corona virus. We are respecting the quarantine.

No skydiving sucks as I’ve only just got into it and now I’ll probably have to do refresher course/jumps as I didn’t get my A License before the shutdown

I got fired from my graphic designer job and I can't pack or skydive to earn money.

I work skydiving part time so aren't doing that anymore. Many of my friends working here full time in NZ have lost their jobs but luckily can get a payment from the government.

Bad, miss skydiving

Bad, my DZ in Germany stopped to work, I’m a professional instructor skydiving

Working from home and has closed our DZ. We may go bankrupt and never be able to start up again

Business is down, and the DZ is closed...but my fridge isn't. Eating away the pain of not being able to jump.

Still have a job, lucky. But everything else in my life has basically stopped. I really feel for those suffering through having the virus or through the effects of the shutdown. What challenging times we live in.

Can’t skydive it’s killing me

Well I have been visiting all different drop zones and the first leg of the trip I was able to jump now its very difficult to find a open dropzone so it has effected me negatively

Hubby lost his job, DZ's closed - we are both wanting to jump but are afraid it'll be a while.

The Indifferent

Indifferent as long as we are good in a month.

Other than not being able to jump, no impact

Pretty indifferent. Everyone is guessing at the right thing to do I’m just hear for the ride! (And eventually the jump)

Indifferent for the moment, but the season is supposed to start in May and I'm dying to jump my new rig! I really don't think there'll be a season this year, skydiving (pack-shacks/the ride up) is too high risk for exposure.

Bad in terms of jumping, but my work lifestyle is pretty isolated already, so not much has changed. In that regard I feel very indifferent.

Except of staying on the ground nothing changed for me

No change yet, trip planned for November.

Three weeks at home, but I a pretty chilled out.

Indifferent, we are all in the situation.

The Good

Great time with family and have been able to do a number of things I haven't had the 'time for'.

It’s been fine. I’m incredibly lucky I have a job that allows me to keep working during this, and I make enough money that I can still pay rent and bills.

I am loving it really; I thrive in isolation. I just hate not skydiving. I feel like a bird with wings clipped!

Good, I'm not bored, doing a lot off stuff in a house.

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