Swimming in a Pandemic: Is it Safe?
July 2020: The wave pool sits drained, the animatronic dinosaurs stand still waiting for someone to come around the corner in a raft, and the rest of the Water World Water Park in Federal Heights Colorado stands empty, frozen in a happier time, from not so long ago. Meanwhile, in Parker neighborhoods such as Clarke Farms, Stonegate, and Canterberry’s pools operate with much fewer people than the year before. All while the diving blocks, swim lanes, and kick-boards stay off to the side, just waiting for the day when the pool can once again host a swim meet. A swim meet where lifelong friends are made, a swim meet where fun competition inspires sportsmanship that will last a lifetime, a swim meet where any goal can be reached if you just give it your all. Instead those same kids who would be building some of the greatest memories of their life are instead finding a way to navigate their way through an unprecedented, unbelievable pandemic. Even though the local Water Park is closed, there is still a way to get into a pool through swim lessons, swim practices, or just open independent swim by yourself. But this has led many people to question whether swimming is safe in a pandemic and the answer is encouraging.
The answer to the question is it safe to swim at a pool during the Pandemic is complicated, and needs to be broken down into several other questions. The first little question answer is can COVID spread in the water, and according to the CDC there is no available evidence that it can. The main reason for this is that the CDC has stated that chlorine can “inactivate” the virus like when I decide to inactive the Rockies game off my TV because the GM paid another team $50 million to take one of the greatest players in the game. However, they do recommend limiting your contact with those outside your family in the water. So that means it's safe to go to the pool and swim a nice 500 freestyle if you're into that type of event. That might lead to questions as to why was Water World not open? Water World was not open because the park is not just one giant pool, it has several different water rides that have lines that make social distancing an impossibility. As a result of that you may need to hold on to your Lego Batman Movie themed swimsuits until you get the vaccine to attend Water World.
The next question commonly asked is “why can’t we have swim teams?” The good news is swim teams are back practicing throughout Colorado, including the Chap girls swim team. Swim meets between the schools will of course look very different with less people in the pools. However it is a great joy for many swimmers across the state. These facts may also lead you to wonder whether you need to wear a mask in the water. Well the answer to that is that you won’t have to wear one while in the pool, but you will need to have one nearby for when you get out. There are some exceptions such as if you are in a hot tub, where masks are required as you will most likely not be diving head first into the burning water like the kid I saw at a hotel when I was 12. He said, “he liked to challenge himself,” I still don’t understand what that meant.
So hopefully this article helped you learn more about the facts regarding swimming and the pandemic. There are great places all around Parker to swim just look google it and if a pool comes off as intriguing to you just give them a call and make an appointment to swim soon. Of course the pool needs to be indoors. With the vaccine and other practices in place, hopefully the dinosaurs will be able to scare people coming around the bend again soon; but until then, at least we still have access to the pool!
- Story by Dominic Fratino '21