SWIMMING IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
As concern over COVID-19 sweeps the world there are few things unaffected. Swimming is no exception. All around the world swimming competitions are being cancelled as to not spread the virus. Countries like Ireland, Australia, and the US have postponed swim meets and major competitions. In light of these events, and due to the aggressively contagious nature of COVID-19, the question remains: is it still safe to swim?
testing the waters
Regular swimmers may find it concerning that all around the globe swimming gatherings are being called off. However, these precautions are due to the number of people that will be in attendance, not because there is any existing threat that the virus can be contracted through swimming. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have released a resource containing FAQ’s regarding COVID-19 with a section on its transmission by water, you can find the resource here.
The resource states that if the pool is properly maintained and undergoes the recommended treatment of chlorine it should be sufficient to render the virus inactive.
For those concerned with the exact measurement of chlorine that should be used to sanitize swimming pools, here’s what the Health Protection Surveillance Centre says: “For Swimming Pool chlorination, operating to ‘current recommendations / best practice’ means maintenance of a free chlorine residual of at least 1.0 mg/l (depending on pool type and disinfectant used)”
You can find more details on this resource here.
So, the good news is, swimming is still safe! So long as your pool is maintained properly and appropriately chlorinated. It’s good to know that when it’s not considered safe to shake hands and visit densely populated areas, the pool is still a refuge for recreation, relaxation, and exercise.
Keeping Busy and Staying Healthy
During this time of distress, it’s very important to maintain mental health as well as physical health. The CDC has also released a guide on how to cope with current events and ensure mental health during this time. Believe it or not, swimming can actually help to ease the mind and prepare the body to maintain your overall well-being. Since swimming is safe in the sense that the virus can’t be contracted through chlorinated water, it can be a useful alternative to other forms of exercise that might expose you to people that have been affected by the virus. Here are just two ways we believe swimming can help your wellness:
1. Raise your resistance through regular exercise.
Boosting your immune system doesn’t happen overnight. That’s because the immune system isn’t just one aspect of your body, it’s an entire system that’s connected to various parts and functions of the body. One of the key components in boosting your immune system is getting regular exercise. Experts say that the activity doesn’t have to be particularly rigorous, physical activity that requires moderate effort is sufficient to play it’s part in helping you stay healthy. Swimming is ideal for this because it’s easy on the joints, uses body weight and water as resistance, and helps moderate breathing.
2. Swimming can provide structure and a sense of normalcy.
Calamity tends to leave us feeling helpless and unable to control unfolding events. While we can’t control everything around us, we can make a schedule and regular activities that give us a sense that life will go on and that the unfortunate events will pass. This goes a long way in terms of our mental health, especially for children. It can cause them a great deal of concern when they can’t go to school regularly or walk around the mall, but if their usual swimming lesson still goes as scheduled it could give them much needed peace of mind.
During these difficult times, caution and safety are a priority. But it’s good to know that not everything about our lives has to change, there are still plenty of things we can enjoy while remaining safe. We hope that you stay healthy and happy as the COVID-19 passes, until then stay #uniquelycolorful!
Swimming Australia Statement re COVID-19
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update No. 1 (Swim Ireland) Environmental Health Guidance for COVID-19 Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19