As Swimmers Return to Water, Chlorine Alone Cannot Succeed; Other Measures Critical

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The Covid-19 Swimming Pool Study of Prof. Spica offers valuable guidance for programs planning a return to water - Images Courtesy: Myrtha Pools

As Swimming Programs Plan Revival Strategies, a COVID-19 Swimming Pool Study Provides Valuable Guidance

Chlorine alone is no guarantee that novel coronavirus infection cannot be spread in treated pools but is one measure among several key building blocks to getting swimmers back to the water in controlled sports environments, according one of the world’s leading experts on safety of swimming pool water in his first comments on a COVID-19 Swimming Pool Study underway.

Vincenzo Romano Spica, Professor of Hygiene at the University of Rome “Foro Italico”, advocates a return to swimming but only in controlled environments in which disinfection of the wider pool environment is a part of heightened awareness of hygiene standards and what is known about a “new virus … still little known and [one that] has already given us unwanted surprises”.

Confidence in controlled environments such as those being planned and already managed for elite training programs at the Olympic end of the business of swimming is widespread among experts who also advocate a high level of caution and patience at a time they are seeking deeper understanding of a virus in its infancy in the human population.

If operators and users get it right, swimming pools, he suggests, can be “among the safest and most controllable structures” in the realm of realms seeking a way out of pandemic.

In a COVID-19 Swimming Pool Study commissioned by Myrtha Pools, the temporary facility specialist that has built the world-class ranks for many Olympic Games and World Championships in the past 25 years since Rio’s Copacabana hosted the global short-course showcase in Brazil, Prof. Spica knocks down one of the most repeated falsehoods that has spread faster than the coronavirus COVID-19.

Asked if the virus was ‘like a heavy ‘flu?’, Prof. Spica says:

“No, influenza is another disease, caused by a different microbe, which has another name, it is called Orthomyxovirus. However, the two diseases have common aspects, and one can help us understand the other. Even the flu could be transmitted accidentally among the visitors to a swimming pool, but this is an exception compared to what happens in crowded places such as subways, cinemas, offices, schools, gyms, conferences or meetings of different types. Furthermore, influenza also leads to high mortality in the population, albeit often underestimated.

“Both SARS-CoV-2 and Orthomyxovirus kill on a large scale, that is, they manage to infect so many people and in such a short time, that even if the serious and fatal cases are a minimum percentage, the numbers, however, become very high, with a significant burden on health systems. For the flu, however, we have a vaccine and therapies that have been tried and tested for some time, for Covid-19 on the other hand, there are no specific vaccines or antiviral drugs.”

That thorny issue out of the way, Prof. Spica notes in his first report into a study yet to be completed that if swimming organisers, pool facility operators and users observed strict hygiene and behavioural protocols and applied heightened levels of control and cleaning, then “swimming pools could also be among the safest and most controllable structures”.

Swimming pools are just “one of the many areas in which SARS-CoV-2 can spread, but they do not stand out as constituting a particular danger, at least according to current epidemiological data”. He adds:

“The Covid-19 risk in the pool … is a negligible part of a completely new and much wider risk and must be addressed as such, in managing swimming facilities properly at the time of the Coronavirus.”

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Covid-19 Swimming Pool Study 0 Photo Courtesy: Myrtha Pools

In advocating high levels of control and caution, Prof. Spica pushes back on a call in the swell of opinions in the worldwide swimming community to “open up!”, “just get the pools open!”, “It’s just a ‘flu, there should never have been any shutdowns”, “it’s all hysteria” and much else along the same lines in the past two weeks as federations, facility owners and swim programs turn their attention to revival strategies as lockdown measures ease. Says Prof. Spica:

“Of course, swimming pools are only a small part of the many different situations in which the virus can spread from one individual to another. At the moment there is no epidemiological evidence that can demonstrate a particular role of swimming pools in the spread of Covid. Most likely, in fact, if general prevention measures are respected, swimming pools could also be among the safest and most controllable structures.

“However, it is necessary to distinguish between the sport-physical activity or rehabilitative use of swimming pools from the play-recreational one, which comes more within the sphere of beaches and fun spaces. In fact, it becomes more difficult to foresee a control over social distancing or compliance with stringent regulations on an open beach or in a pool where elderly and children play freely and without rules.

“At the time of the new Coronavirus, these situations should wait for a substantial reduction in the epidemic before they can be reopened safely, and in any case always in compliance with shared rules.

“For sports swimming facilities, on the other hand, clear regulations, preventive measures, technical solutions and user discipline can encourage the achievement of higher levels of safety to counter the possible transmission of Covid-19.”

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Covid-19 – Photo Courtesy: Myrtha Pools

Chlorine Helps But Is No Guarantee Against Covid-19 Transmission in Pools, Says COVID-19 Swimming Pool Study

Asked if pool water treated with chlorine or other similar products was not “a guarantee” of safety, Prof. Spica replied:

“At another time, I would have said yes, it is a guarantee of safety that the water is disinfected and appropriately treated according to current regulations. Today I have to say “yes, but …”. He explained:

“Yes, because – what you say is right – various disinfectants including chlorine also act on viruses and therefore also on a Coronavirus; but it is also true that this “new” virus is still little known and has already given us unwanted surprises. Therefore, in the absence of epidemiological evidence and dedicated experimental studies, it is necessary to be very cautious.”

“At the moment, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of swimming pools; and proper operation, maintenance and disinfection should remove or inactivate the virus causing COVID-19. However, SARS-CoV-2 could be present in saliva or other biological fluids that could contaminate the water even just in traces, protecting the virus with organic material.

“We therefore have yet to verify the real ability of this virus to survive chlorine, in the different conditions of the water in the pool. In the past, swimming pool epidemics due to various viral and non-viral microbial agents, have been mainly associated with poor management of the water and the hygiene conditions of the system. However, it could be that a person particularly capable of expelling microbes into the environment could put a strain on the best run pool (e.g. a carrier of a more virulent form of the virus, or because they are disrespectful of hygiene measures, or as a result of an accidental release of biological fluids).

“Therefore, chlorination and more generally water disinfection are especially important, such as the optimal implementation of all treatments (e.g. recirculation, replenishment, filtration), but at present they may not be sufficient to guarantee safety in the presence of virus carriers.”

More COVID-19 Knowledge Required, While Previous Research Offers Clues

Prof. Spica notes that the “results of specific studies on swimming pools and Covid-19 are not yet available” but says that science can provide some more clues, by borrowing theories from previous research. He explains:

“We know in particular that other human or animal Coronaviruses are sensitive to disinfection also through chlorine-based products, and this bodes well for the control of the new Coronavirus in the pool. Therefore, swimming pool water that meets the optimal requirements of current regulations could probably be considered more protected, but new data and experiments would be welcome in the short term, for tests based on scientific evidence in light of the challenges posed by the new Coronavirus.”

Asked if “water was not a danger in itself”, Prof Spica noted:

“Often yes, in the past, but this time no. Legislation and guidelines on swimming pool water have followed one another indicating the risks and updating the parameters, and the reason is that water is a known vehicle for diseases and must be suitably treated. Covid-19 mainly follows another transmission route, which is by air. The pools, if well maintained, are now safe from epidemics carried by water and once feared, such as typhoid, cholera or cryptosporidiosis, and may soon also be from Covid-19.

“Unfortunately, Coronavirus can be expelled through saliva, nasal secretions and also through urine, faeces and other biological fluids, traces of which could contaminate the water and reach other swimmers but at the moment it is only a theory …”.

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Covid-19 Swimming Pool Study 0 Photo Courtesy: Myrtha Pools

Later in the report, he urges all pool users to adopt safe practices in the water and pool environment, including: “… it is necessary to scrupulously comply with the current indications by the health authorities, both for the sanitation of the pools and for the methods to be adopted to check their effectiveness. In conclusion, it is important to be even more careful not to release biological fluids into the water and … you can no longer exchange your water bottle at the bottom of the pool!”

In another part of his Covid-19 Swimming Pool Study, he notes: ” … it is a good thing to clarify that even if we had the water of a very crowded swimming pool, for example for training or a competition, if none of the athletes was sick or a carrier of Sars-Cov-2, that water can never be a danger through Covid-19, neither for the players nor for those who use it later.”

“This concept is very important to correctly configure safety measures, because it makes it necessary to take into account the local situation and the circulation of the virus in the gen-eral population. In this perspective, control over users and their education in swimming pool hygiene become the other fundamental principle for prevention. It is true that water can be a vehicle for various diseases, but the progress of science and compliance with technical, facility and regulatory requirements have made this risk practically negligible and acceptable. Now we have to adapt this knowledge to Coronavirus.

“It is a team effort between scientists, health authorities, the world of sport and industry. In fact, a joint effort by industry is also needed to combat Covid-19, in swimming pools as in other places open to the public, through innovative products for the management of water, air and the hygiene of surfaces and environments. However, as far as we know at the moment about this new and strange virus, the fundamental mode of transmission is air and not water, which among other things must be treated and have an antimicrobial action in the pool, as provided for by the law and by the WHO guidelines.”

Five Points To Conclude The Covid-19 Swimming Pool Study

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Covid-19 Swimming Pool Study 0 Photo Courtesy: Myrtha Pools

Prof. Spica concludes his COVID-19 Swimming Pool Study with a summary in five points:

  1. ensure correct maintenance, placing the parameters on the maximum permitted levels of safety and quality. Both for water, but also for air, adjacent surfaces and environments, such as changing rooms.
  2. perform a Covid risk assessment in the facility, and prepare a prevention plan with targeted and individualized measures, including updating the regulations and training users and staff. Ensure the measures are applied, possibly without excluding forms of internal sanctions for those who seriously violate the safety rules, such as temporary withdrawal of the membership card for access to the facility or temporary suspension from activities.
    Deny access to individuals in quarantine or with symptoms (fever, cough), or without negative swab certification, if required by regional or national directives, or by specific local situations. Promote the exchange and / or replenishment of water and air.
  3. ensure social distancing, both in the pool, in the changing rooms and other rooms attached to the swimming pool, avoiding crowding through taking turns and devising methods of accessing the pool or changing rooms. Do not exclude measures on internal staff or athletes, for example also through active surveillance that may also consider the results of negative swabs.
  4. optimize environmental sanitation procedures, particularly in the changing rooms, both through establishing procedures for periodic cleaning and disinfection, and through the activation of control measures on the level of environ- mental hygiene achieved.
    Have emergency plans in the event of contamination (e.g. accidental releases of biological fluids), failures or interruptions in the operation of the water or air treatment systems, or violations of internal regulations, both as regards the pool area and the adjoining spaces.
  5. follow the local epidemiological situation and adapt the measures by updating them based on indications from the health authorities.

Read Prof. Spica’s report in full

Further reading and awareness:

Paul Garner: For 7 weeks I have been through a roller coaster of ill health, extreme emotions, and utter exhaustion:

Paul Garner, professor of infectious diseases at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, discusses his experience of having covid-19:

“The illness went on and on. The symptoms changed, it was like an advent calendar, every day there was a surprise, something new. A muggy head; acutely painful calf; upset stomach; tinnitus; pins and needles; aching all over; breathlessness; dizziness; arthritis in my hands; weird sensation in the skin with synthetic materials. Gentle exercise or walking made me worse—I would feel absolutely dreadful the next day. I started talking to others. I found a marathon runner who had tried 8 km in her second week, which caused her to collapse with rigors and sleep for 24 hours. I spoke to others experiencing weird symptoms, which were often discounted by those around them as anxiety, making them doubt themselves. …

“The aim of this piece is to get this message out: for some people the illness goes on for a few weeks. Symptoms come and go, are strange and frightening. The exhaustion is severe, real, and part of the illness. And we all need support and love from the community around us.”

‘Finally, a virus got me.’ Scientist who fought Ebola and HIV reflects on facing death from COVID-19

“Many people think COVID-19 kills 1% of patients, and the rest get away with some flulike symptoms. But the story gets more complicated. Many people will be left with chronic kidney and heart problems. Even their neural system is disrupted. There will be hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, possibly more, who will need treatments such as renal dialysis for the rest of their lives. The more we learn about the coronavirus, the more questions arise. We are learning while we are sailing. That’s why I get so annoyed by the many commentators on the sidelines who, without much insight, criticize the scientists and policymakers trying hard to get the epidemic under control. That’s very unfair.”

New Reports on Virus in Kids Fuel Uncertainty on Schools – German study cautions against unlimited reopening of schools

“Children with the new coronavirus may be as infectious as adults, according to a study from Germany that stoked confusion over kids’ role in the pandemic. Levels of virus in the respiratory tract — the main route via which the pathogen is transmitted — don’t appear significantly different across age groups, Christian Drosten, director of the Institute of Virology at Berlin’s Charite hospital, and colleagues found. They advised caution in reopening schools and kindergartens.”

England’s Covid-19 infection rate too high for further easing, experts say

“A new study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that one in 400 people had the virus outside hospitals and care homes over the past two weeks, described by Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, as “very low” circulation in the community.

“The ONS data, the first national snapshot of Covid-19 rates, also showed children were as likely to catch coronavirus as adults, and that frontline healthcare workers were much more likely to contract it than the general population.”

COVID-19’s Devastating Impact on Children

‘Llamas are the real unicorns’: why they could be our secret weapon against coronavirus

“A study published last week in the journal Cell found that antibodies in llamas’ blood could offer a defense against the coronavirus. In addition to larger antibodies like ours, llamas have small ones that can sneak into spaces on viral proteins that are too tiny for human antibodies, helping them to fend off the threat. The hope is that the llama antibodies could help protect humans who have not been infected.”

Scholar references:

Related Context On Swimming World

  • WHO Chief Tedros Calls For Global Solidarity To Ensure Tokyo 2020 Can Be Safely Staged
  • David Marsh to Gavin Newsom: “We’d Love to Get These Pools Open”
  • Swimming Pool Water Unlikely to Spread Coronavirus But Facility Environments Need Careful Handling, Says Expert
  • Swim Ireland ‘Return To Water Roadmap’ Plots Phased Revival For Elite In May To Clubs In August
  • UK Government Issues Guidelines For Elite Athletes To Return To Training; British Swimming Responds
  • Mireia Belmonte & Mates Pray For Pain In Spain To End As Swim Fed Seeks To Overturn Pool Closures
  • Pernille Blume Leads 41 Top Danish Swimmers Back To Training After Talks Navigate ‘No Pools Until August’
  • Swimming Canada Developing Plan For Safe Return to Pool
  • USA Swimming Releases ‘Road to Competition Roadmap’ For Summer Return
  • Potential Risks Of COVID-19 For Open Water Swimmers Highlighted By UNC Research Paper
  • 2008 Uni of Arizona Research Called For More Study Into Survival Of Coronavirus in Water [+ CDC Guide]
  • With Home-Built Lane Shields, Alaskan Club Back in Water and Safely Fighting Covid-19
  • Pools Are Opening: How to Make Sure the Swimming Environment is Safe
  • Swimming During COVID-19: Closure of Summer Pools a Real Possibility
  • USA Swimming Board of Directors Will Sanction Through June 30, Not LSCs
  • Japanese PM Shinzo Abe: Olympics Cannot Be Held Unless Coronavirus Is Contained
  • FINA Urged To Hand Northern Winter To ISL & ‘Use Coronavirus’ Storm To Reinvent Swimming
  • Send in the Clowns: Coach Walter Bolognani On The Challenges Of Corona Season
  • WADA Addresses Athlete Questions about Testing during Coronavirus Pandemic
185 Comments
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2 years ago

Melanie Morgan Sara Simon

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2 years ago

There are no guarantees in life but this sounds like it can be done safely if done right. Good news cause I need to be back in the pool! ?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Dana Schlitter precisely… done safely if done right ?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Dana Schlitter me 2. Time to train for Tokyo 2021 if that’s cancelled I will move on to Paris 2024.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Leslie Cichocki Wow! That’s impressive! I’m just talking about getting laps in with the Masters Swimming. Wish you luck! What’s your event?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Dana Schlitter 100 back and 100 fly

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Paralympics are usually 3 weeks after the Olympics.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Leslie Cichocki Cool! 100 back was my event when I competed. Don’t give up the dream!

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2 years ago

Is there a link to any research on this/ It would be most useful.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Nickey Burke

Nickey, the article mentions that there is no confirmed and peer review research on COVD-19 and chlorination etc as yet… but it looks at research on coronavirus in general and there are scholar references on the end of the article.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Nickey Burke

Nickey Burke so no studies or research so let’s make hypothesis or simply say “Guess” on the effect of COVID 19 and pools. Sounds legit to me

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2 years ago
Reply to  Nickey Burke

there is little/no research on COVID19 and physical activity or exercise settings at all- hell there is none on COVID19 and mask efficacy specifically….everything is speculation from other germs/viruses. Remember the virus has only been around for a few months they say so they extrapolate the data and make the best guess they can. Understandable, but it’s not necessarily accurate

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2 years ago

What “experts”?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Prof. Spica is a world-renowned expert… hence expert’s study … explained in the headline and in the article

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Love how swimming world started this – with fear. It’s almost like starting a swim lessons article like this: You will die in a swimming pool. But if you get swimming lessons, you can survive in a pool.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Meagan Bradley nothing like it Meagan

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Swimming World where is the “study” he allegedly did. He says a lot of things, but, never actually mention where and what pools he looked at.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Lisa Alcorn I agree with you. What exactly is a Professor of Hygiene? Is he a scientist ? Does he specialize in virology?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Rick Stanfield Exactly. Publish the study so we can see it’s design and outcomes. Many studies are simply done to show whatever statistics the author wants to show.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Steve Cox i would have settled for even one piece of verifiable evidence that corroborates what we all know.

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Anne Gatlin
2 years ago
Reply to  Rick Stanfield

Rick Stanfield, can you provide verifiable evidence to corroborates “what we all know” and the credentials of “we all” to counter Professor Vincenzo Romano Spica, please?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Lisa Alcorn bit.ly/3bDEASi

I just found guidelines for all swimmers to follow from a country that has been back to training.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Meagan Bradley Tenured Professor of Hygiene and Public Health. Graduat- ed with honours at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery “A Gemelli” at the Università Cattolica, he furthered his studies abroad, in the USA and Europe. He is part of an international network on the study of the safety of swimming pool and spa waters and has collaborated with the WHO regarding water for recreational use. He teaches various Degree and Doc- torate courses, and is head of the sports facilities Swimming
Sports and Prevention course at the “Foro Italico” University of Rome where he was Dean Faculty, President of the Master’s Degree Courses and is head of the Epidemiology and Biotech- nology Laboratory doing his own research on the health and hygiene management of swimming facilities.
Member and former coordinator of the GSMS-SItI National Working Group on Physical Education for Health, in the Soci- ety of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and
Public Health. Author of articles, pat-
ents, and editor of the recent volume “Hygiene in the Pool”, IV Edition, Editore il Campo, 2020.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

So I’m fortunate enough to be back in the water 3500 yards x 4 days (sorrynotsorry ?)… all 4 days I was joined by elderly, unmasked lap swimmers and water walkers….ONE man was a 92 years old (and had ripped abs too!)- said he wasn’t sure he’d make a full hour with me flip turning next to him on his 1st day back (so I opened turned to create less wake) BUT he did!! All were happy, UNFFEARFUL and so grateful to be back I the water. Another 70 year old man water walking told me he’d rather catch the virus and get sick than be locked up healthy…. So there ya’ go…..Let people do what they wanna… go out if they want, exercise if they want, work it they want, eat Big Macs if they want- or stay home if they want. I’m so sick of the so called governing bodies thinking people want to stay home and “be safe”… NOT TRUE…or to use a term we all now know…..FAKE NEWS! #OPENMYPOOL

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Ellen
2 years ago

If you read the earlier messages, you will find out that even if you recover from the virus, you may be left with lifelong disabilities such as heart, lung and kidney problems. People being tired of isolating doesn’t change the facts and the facts are still being gathered for this virus. Stay safe!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Mickey McNeil and yet, he didn’t actually say anything unknown or explain where and what his study was. I don’t think anyone is questioning his credentials. We are questioning that this was a “study” of any kind.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Rick Stanfield FYI: stated at the beginning of document> “We then commissioned Prof. Spica to carry out a scientific study – supported by laboratory tests currently un- derway – which can help us to draw some objective conclusions about the survival of the virus in the different chemical characteristics of the water and in particular with respect to the quantities of chlorine measured.
We are confident that the study in question can be completed in the coming weeks and we will be happy to share the results, in hope that they are significant and that they can help the authorities in charge in defining the param- eters within which the swimming centres can return to being considered safe places in respect to health.’” From
Roberto Colletto,
Myrtha Pools CEO

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Anne Gatlin
2 years ago
Reply to  Mickey McNeil

Thank you for this. I will look for the results of this study as I appreciate the information offered here over previous I’ve read (which seem to be popular by those wishing to get back to swimming) because I am considering the health of my swimmers and their families above any single person’s wishes . . . even mine who would rather earn a paycheck than not, but who would never put a child/client at risk before sound data and research or a vaccine come out in favor of little to no risk!
Anne Gatlin
SwimVerse

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Mickey McNeil yet, nothing he states has any data, locations or anything else. I read it. Since “the study” will be completed, why is it even here. Again, I’m not questioning his credentials. However, there is no study that he can say anything about. According to Myrtha, it is NOT completed.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Rick Stanfield Let’s give thumbs up to the proactive approach for more research & studied. This document which is sited in SW article is being reported just like reports of various vaccines being reported in other media that I see,yet, none of those studies are completed. I feel the more updated research related to COVID 19 is better to lead to appropriate management of pools.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

his background is provided … to start with he is an MD….. ….Full Professor of Public Health
MD cum Laude, 1990 Medical School “A Gemelli”, Rome.
Fellow at the National Institute of Hygiene, Budapest, Hungary (1990) Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, NCI, Frederick MD, USA (1991-1994) Visiting Scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, CA, USA (1995) Visiting Scientist at Laboratory Genomic Diversity, NIH, MD, USA (1997) Associate Researcher at The Scripps Research Institute, CA, USA (2005)
Assistant Professor at the Institute of Hygiene of the Faculty of Medicine of the Catholic University Medical School (1994-2002); Associate Professor (2002) IUSM and Full Professor (2005-today) University of Rome “Foro Italico”.
Teaching Experience in different Universities and Medical Schools, presently professor in courses related to Preventive Medicine and Environmental Hygiene, Epidemiology and Health Education mainly applied in the area of Sport and Physical Activity.
– Faculty Dean (2007-10); Master Coordinator (2003-12); Head Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biotechnologies.
– Scientific &Technical Committee (2003-07) and Board of Directors (2007-2013) Interuniversity Consortium Supercomputing Research, Caspur;
– Evaluation panel European Commission, DG – SANCO , ECDC ; FP4- K4; Rumanian Research Ministry.
– Member Working Group of CNBB Committee for Biotechnology and Biosafety (2003-2004) ;
– Accredited expert: Ministries MISE, MIUR.
– Coordinator of the National Working Group Sport & Movement Sciences for Health, GSMS-SItI;
– Member WHO working group recreational waters and swimming pool 2010-12;
– Scientific Committee ICSPS 2013, 2017, 2017 Swimming Pool and SPA.
– Higher School in Safety Quality of Food and Beverages, Sapienza University (2004-2010) .
– Founder/Member of MDD University Spin off and scientific director of research start up.
– Associate Editor for Biotech Ann Rev (since 1997); and for New Biotechnology (since 2009); Guest Editor dedicated issue on Molecular Medicine (2012); and Guest Editor Microchem Journal on ICSPS 2013; Referee for several indexed international journals.
– Prize ISRA SITI 2002, and ” ML Profeta 1998; and Prizes SITI 2014 for a study on Legionellosis and a study on application of mfDNA.
– Author over 200 publications, books , patents (H-index: 18; IF > 300; Cited > 1000 )

why is anyone questioning his skills ???

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Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Jennifer Shipp Graham ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

I’m not against any research. I’m against the headline calling this a study and I’m early portion, they made you think it was. When you’ve had to look at studies over the years in work, that’s what you want to see. Research and something that can be assessed.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Alcorn

Mickey, I didn’t challenge the expert. I challenged swimming worlds approach … seems they have some one leading their communications that prefers to have swimming shutdown and place fear on their audience, than someone that’s an advocate for the sport. There are solutions. Many solutions. And that’s a shame.

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2 years ago

Melanie Stephic- news keeps changing

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2 years ago
Reply to  Wendy Terrazas

Wendy Terrazas no change just states enviroment itself can leave those at risk….which we know. We still have to abode by cdc

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2 years ago

Anna Marie Pizer Robbins

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2 years ago

Life is risky! If you are scared or at risk… stay home!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kate Dunne

Kate Dunne there is a chance the roof will fall down too! LOL

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kate Dunne

Natalia Vaganova or you could get suctioned to a floor drain.?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kate Dunne

There is also chance you could actually drown.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kate Dunne

Kate Dunne the pool I go to has hair jellyfish, spit, sweat and on occasion feces in it that I have seen with my own eyes so I know it is dirty. I suspect most pools are like this to a degree unless they are private. I won’t swim indoors for a loooonnnngggg time. No doubt between chlorine and sun all bacteria and viruses die. Amoebas not so much.

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2 years ago

I simply do not accept this for myself. The reward of “ME” getting back in the pool outweighs the risk. This is no super virus with magical powers.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Schack

Doug Schack exactly. Yet people are running around with masks yelling at us like they are going to catch Ebola. Its ridiculous.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Schack

Thats what every Sr. Citizen tells me…. they would rather be back living life…in the water/gym…with friends/family…otherwise what’s the point of the limited time they have left? I’ve swam the past 4 days – since our facility reopened (private gym) with older, active adults…most over 70…. we all have our own lane but we visit and talk between sets…they have no qualms about being there or the grocery or restaurants…or with their grandkids. Time to live life!!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Schack

Jennifer Shipp Graham I have an elderly mother and while I’d hate to think about losing her, she says she’d like to return to normal walking at her community center and chair volleyball. “If it gets me, it gets me. I’ve had a full life.”

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Suzette Gomez
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Schack

Doug, I love your mom’s need for chair vball! I miss playing in my leagues but will have to make do with outdoor/sand vball with my household. Best wishes to your mom.

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2 years ago

For those who don’t want to read the link, there is no Study regarding the safety of pools. Long read about what the swimming community already knows. Terrible headline

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2 years ago
Reply to  Rick Stanfield

Rick Stanfield I completely agree! Misleading and not based on data.

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2 years ago

Swim World has quickly become the CNN of swimming !
I am out, can follow you anymore.

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2 years ago

Frank Patrick Sole right?!

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2 years ago

Frank Patrick Sole they certainly like to evoke fear!

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2 years ago

Seasonal influenza lills more people per month than this virus. Statistically speaking, most of the people who die are in their 80’s and 90’s and would die anyway. Plus, more people die in car accidents EVERY YEAR so cars be banned too, right? Or am I missing something? Do tell me, please!

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2 years ago

Sirkku Henkari Tampio amen to that. So many people ignoring reality that our country made a huge mistske shutting down or treating this virus as something special. They need to admit their mistake and open it all.

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2 years ago

Sirkku Henkari Tampio and people will tell you! There is an over abundance of armchair epidemiologists these days extolling the supernatural powers that this virus has.

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john
2 years ago

yes, you are all advocating for driving cars without seat belts, or brakes. “its still a car! what difference does it make!” well, the difference you just gave to it. You want everything open and 1 percent of the population to die. Thats 3.6 million Americans. Maybe seat belts and brakes could save a million lives. see?

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2 years ago

Sirkku Henkari Tampio That is factually false. Who do you think succumbs to the flu? Healthy people? Influenzas and corona virus’s both take down the infirm. The covid-19 is better at it have you not seen the news?

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Fred Simpson
2 years ago
Reply to  Erika Marie

Actually, influenza, which is not the same as Corona Virus does often kill healthy , young people. It does so because young healthy people have a strong immune system which triggers an overreaction to the virus, causing an over abundance of cytokines which triggers pneumonia. And let’s not forget how many pregnant mothers are negatively affected by the flu virus, sometimes causing developmental disabilities on their children. To date, if we look at science, the Corona Virus is more virulent and offers potentially more negative symptomatology and course of disease than the flu (which,again, Corona Virus is not the same as the flu). To say that it is okay to let older people, developmentally disabled people, people with compromised immune systems die because they would anyway smacks of social Darwinism and the arguments that the Nazi’s used to exterminate millions of “socially useless” people. Come on, let’s follow science, be kind to each other and respect that we all need to protect each other by taking measured steps to reopening society. I want to get back in the pool as much as everyone else, but I want to do so safely for me, and others!

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2 years ago

Here is a quote from the article

We therefore have yet to verify the real ability of this virus to survive chlorine, in the different conditions of the water in the pool.

What a waste of a read. What was the purpose of the article?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Danilo Trias

Danilo Trias statement by Roberto Colletto
Myrtha Pools CEO … Myrthia Pools put the document together: “In the face of the Covid-19 emergency, swimming pools – like many other sports centres and gyms – are now under a magnifying glass to better understand the risks of virus transmission both in common areas of use and – more specifically – in the water.
We therefore asked ourselves – like many others – about the possibility of short-term reopening of swimming pools and swimming centres and we thought about how we could contribute to a better understanding of the Covid-19 transmission risks in chlorinated water, typical of the swimming pool environment.
That being said, we decided to rely on the advice of one of the leading international scholars on the safety of swim- ming pool water and swimming facilities, Professor Vincenzo Romano Spica, Professor of Hygiene at the University of Rome “Foro Italico”.
Prof. Spica shared a first outlook and evaluation of the current scenario, which we have put together in this doc- ument.”

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2 years ago
Reply to  Danilo Trias

Mickey McNeil no studies, no clinical data. All hypothetical. Means nothing. Science isn’t about best guesses

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2 years ago
Reply to  Danilo Trias

Danilo Trias I am impress that Myrthia Pools is pushing for further data and information. The document which is quoted in SW article is in regards to fight Covid-19, in swimming pools and open places around pools. New &/or Improved approaches and innovative &/or effective upgraded products for management & care of water, air and the surfaces in a pool environment. I actually read the Myrthia Pool document which contributes to a safe restart of pools and the call for continue research & information. I find this document resourceful to opening & managing a pool.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Danilo Trias

Danilo Trias You must see what you wish to see Danilo but there is plenty there that is far more valuable that ‘we know nothing but we won’t to leap back in anyway’.

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2 years ago

Seat belts in a car or a helmet for a motorcycle is no safety guarantee either. But we still travel using these modes of transportation.

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2 years ago

There have been NO OFFICIAL peer reviewed, reproducible studies done- this is all speculation. Let it go-

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2 years ago

I am done with the so called experts. They have been wrong on absolutely everything, but the mortality rates dont lie. 99.5 or greater survival rate makes this akin to the flu. This virus has been overhyped for political reasons. Most Americans see this for what it is and want to just go back to normal, now, and not the “new normal” they are cramming down our throats to fit their agenda.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly Joy

Kimberly Joy 110% ??

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John
2 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly Joy

The politicization of this occured when the president reversed his own recomendations to encourage people to dislike a Democratic Governer. All other controversy is welcomed by his administration because it takes the heat off of its own mistakes.

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2 years ago

“Proper operation, maintenance and disinfection with chlorine and bromine should remove or inactive the virus that causes COVID-19,” the CDC said in a statement.

https://abc7chicago.com/pool-safety-are-pools-open-coronavirus-in-covid-19/6172412/

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2 years ago

Lol I can’t with you people.

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2 years ago

More “Eggspurts ” looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
Our pools have been safe for 100 years!
And now one virus has made them ALL UN-USABLE….WORLDWIDE??
Since when have we let INTELLIGENT COMMON SENSE be ruled by massive STUPIDITY?

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2 years ago

Raul Villavicencio F ?

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John
2 years ago

Doesn’t conclude anything, just says “probably”. How do you socially distance in a pool? Ever seen a crowded pool in the summer? there is no social distancing, plus you have the snot pouring out of kids and restroom facilities wet, it sounds like a nightmare if you ask me. im not looking forward to maintaining pools in the near future.

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2 years ago

We have not been living in and do not currently live in a germ-free society. The height of swim season occurs at the height of cold and flu season, yet everyone keeps training. ???‍♀️

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2 years ago

I am pretty sure chlorine will kill anything I have not heard otherwise except right now. I will take my chances.

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2 years ago

Swimming world posting another article that holds a different opinion every single day as an attempt to appease all of their readers. Pick a side.

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James
2 years ago
Reply to  Craig Lord

Hey Craig, you and your celebrity experts are not my mommy.

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2 years ago

Nicola Byrne

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kelly Evans

Kelly Evans I’ve always said in the pool is fine it’s just getting out ?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kelly Evans

Nicola Byrne ???? sure something can be figured out ! X

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2 years ago

I’m not worried about my daughter contracting the virus while literally swimming in the pool. I believe chlorine probably kills the virus. However, the swimmers are not submerged the entire time. They breathe near each other when they are above water and touch lots of surfaces in and around the pool. My daughter and some teammates once caught the flu at a meet, so pool complexes are no safer than anywhere else as far as spreading germs of any kind.

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2 years ago

Lauren Miles Lee my son’s been swimming competitively for almost 10 years. Every winter, once one kid gets sick, most of the others follow. Every winter it happens!!

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2 years ago

Sasha Kocyk Andrews I definitely see it throughout the winter season, any large gathering is going to allow germs to spread whether there is chlorine around or not. I know parents, coaches, and officials get sick at practices and meets, too.

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2 years ago

Lauren Miles Lee they’re together 20+ hours a week. It’s bound to happen. Hoping our kids will all be able to get back to swimming safely ??

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Open the pools. Period. Stop fear mongering. Open the pools.

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2 years ago

Alberto Lantieri

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2 years ago

Garry Hudson

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2 years ago

Joel Pitchforth I’m with Donald he put his weight behind disinfectant

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2 years ago

“Is chlorine a guarantee against safety? Yes, but…..” – this is a magical virus with supernatural properties. ?

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2 years ago

Member WHO working group recreational waters and swimming pool 2010-12;

Scientific Committee ICSPS 2013, 2017, 2017 Swimming Pool and SPA.

Would like to see more CURRENT specialist in the field. These are the last Water related groups the Professor was last associated with (last being 2017)…

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2 years ago

Why can’t your headline be: “If operators and users get it right, swimming pools…can be “among the safest and most controllable structures” in the realm of realms seeking a way out of pandemic” as quoted in your story.

I am so sick of all the negative teaser headlines – not just from Swimming World, but also SwimSwam and all other media. Not a good way to hekp our sport return back anytime soon.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Rob Richardson

see reply in SW comments Rob

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2 years ago
Reply to  Rob Richardson

Rob Richardson I so agree!!!
Opening pools and swim teams would be so healing for this country. Sadly many are buying into the fear.
What has happened to this country?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Rob Richardson

Kids getting sick should not be part of the healing process ?

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2 years ago

Stop scary …Let people live and swim normal as usual

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2 years ago
Reply to  Marta Mazi

See reply in SW comments Marta

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2 years ago

Seat belts are no safety guarantee in cars yet we all still drive.

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2 years ago

I’m about to unfollow Swimming World. The negativity is getting ridiculous.

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2 years ago

Rebecca Lauterbach truth is not negativity

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2 years ago

Dont believe you. This site is becoming just as bad as CNN.

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2 years ago

Meg Omainsky

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2 years ago

Can we please stop this stupid discussion? No one said, it is a guarantee to stay illness-free, but it is a big risk-reducer. In my more than 20 years of experience as swimmer and coach in later years I can safely say, that people get ill outside of the water, but not in the water. Just stupid and unnecessary topics to talk about…

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2 years ago

René Gregor Asmus no, not at all … surface thought falls shy of what’s required

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2 years ago

I guess it needs saying again: one persons experience is not science.

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2 years ago

Thank you Rene – well said and totally agree!!

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2 years ago

SWM. PLEASE!
Enough of these so called experts. Swimmers are among the healthiest of all athletes.
PLEASE start LOBBYING FOR OPEN POOLS.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dick Beaver

Dick Beaver safe open pools …nothing else makes sense for the majority who get it

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dick Beaver

Dick Beaver exactly so annoying

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dick Beaver

There is no need to shout. And they are not “so called experts” they are in fact experts that know more about a particular subject than 99% of other people. It’s their job to do so.

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No guarantees in life except one. Move on and let them swim already.

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Deanne Ward-Hopkins

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2 years ago

1. There is zero data which makes this a research paper, not a study. 2. Neither flu nor coronavirus are microbes!!!! Not even close to a microbe. The fact that the Dr. Spica calls them microbes reduces the realness to nearly zero. 3. Pool, by definition, is a large puddle disinfectant. A pool that burns the eyes could be safer than the outdoor air. Isn’t that why we chlorinate pools? It kills enteric bacteria and viruses, some of the deadliest diseases in human history.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Tammy Arbogast

Tammy Arbogast no, you need to read a lot more … and a pool ‘that burns your eyes’ is likely to be damaging your lungs … look it up

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2 years ago

Rabbit holes get very dark very fast.

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2 years ago
Reply to  John Dussliere

John Dussliere as does death… while knowledge turns on the lights

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2 years ago

Let’s talk about kids going back to swimming. I witnessed a large group of “well disciplined” high school swimmers swim in the San Francisco Bay today. Although they tried hard, they were swimming on top of each other, hugging, carpooling, everything kids love to do.

It was beautiful to see them swimming BUT. . .
We all need to plan this well and not be afraid to talk through ALL of it.

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2 years ago

Guarentee?

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2 years ago

Oh please let’s move past Covid and stop living in fear !!! If kids want to swim let them and the germ freaks can stay home

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2 years ago

Just get our lives back to normal!

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2 years ago

SanDra Santillán ? ya valió mi idea jaja seguiremos en modo pachón

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2 years ago

Lissette Pimentel ups jajaja justo de lo q hablábamos

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2 years ago

SanDra Santillán ???

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Knock offf the bull shit.