Safety for Summer Swimming in a COVID-19 World

Memorial Day weekend saw hordes of people packed in pools and boardwalks as they partied nonstop. If there’s anything we can take away from that, it’s to avoid these places to minimize the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus disease.

Too bad because summertime is the perfect time for pool parties and swimming. The global health crisis has upended a lot of our traditions, including our summer plans. So until they find a cure or a vaccine for the disease, we’ll have to say goodbye to swimming. Swimming season is closed.

Or is it?

The Experts Agree

A lot of experts who have dealt closely with the coronavirus all agree that the risk of contracting the disease in an outdoor space is a lot less compared to indoors. The CDC also claims that there is no sufficient evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through water in pools, baths, spas, hot tubs, and water parks.

It is also found that chlorine and bromine found in pools — two chemicals typically added to pools and water parks to disinfect the water — help inactivate the coronavirus. So if you own a pool, make sure it has healthy levels of the chemicals on top of CO2 for pH control in pools. After all, if you plan to invite a few friends over, you need to ensure they stay safe as they have a good time.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Swimming isn’t exactly a bad thing to do this summer if, and only if, you observe and adhere to all the recommended COVID-19 safety measures and protocols.

Owners of commercial pools and resorts should enforce these rules and guidelines and prepare their establishments to be a COVID-safe zone. This means placing markers for social distancing, putting up signages and reminders everywhere, having a good distribution of hand sanitizers all over the place, temperature checks at the entrance, calling on people to wear masks and face shields whenever possible, and other similar preventive measures.

Compared to pools, a beach is somewhat a lot easier to space out which is ideal for social distancing. However, even if the beach is wider and more spacious, this doesn’t mean that safety concerns go out the window. While the risk of getting the disease outdoors is at a minimum, it doesn’t mean zero.

You still need to ensure you and your loved ones are protected.

woman swimming

Have Fun but Stay Safe

If you plan to host a pool party or go to the beach, make sure to never forget to bring your masks, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizers. As much as possible, do not share your swim gear with anyone, especially your towel, goggles, snorkel, and beach/pool toys.

Remember that even though the virus is not waterborne, the people around you could be asymptomatic carriers. It is still best to keep your distance from people when you’re in the water. At least six feet will do.

Keep your masks on until you get in the water. It is not advised to swim with your face mask as breathing will be difficult with a wet mask.

The fastest way the coronavirus can get transmitted is through droplets so if you’re coughing or sneezing, make sure you cover your mouth or sneeze or cough into your elbow.

Sanitize and wipe down all frequently-touched surfaces. Do the same thing with your personal belongings now and then.

Living in a COVID-19 world doesn’t necessarily mean you can no longer enjoy life. What’s important is as you enjoy, you take the necessary steps to keep your health protected and not compromised.

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