Swimming During COVID-19: Closure of Summer Pools a Real Possibility

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

For so many swimmers, the first experience in the water isn’t about competition. It’s not about racing or times or finishes. It’s about fun, splashing around at the swim club in your neighborhood all summer or making friends at the local Y. It’s a safe place to learn the sport, and maybe to learn to love it for years to come.

Like every other level of swimming straight up to the Olympics, coronavirus threatens to upend that in 2020. As summer approaches, social distancing restrictions can erode the foundation of the swimming pyramid, blocking the entry point that so many have used. USA Swimming in 2019 counted more than 411,000 members at nearly 3,000 clubs nationwide, with another million summer league swimmers outside of the USA Swimming domain. So many of them got there by the often under-appreciated first step of summer swimming, vying not for scholarships or championship cuts but for ribbons on a Saturday morning among family and friends.

Just as the progression of COVID-19 looks different depending on what part of the United States you’re in, the impact on summer swimming could differ widely from place to place. While social distancing restrictions are necessary for public health, they come at a cost, from the monetary impact on clubs that can’t open and collect dues to the community detriment where swim clubs are local pillars to the personal challenge of missing a summer in the water.

As we progress into the uncharted waters of a summer with less (and possibly no) swimming, we at Swimming World want to hear your stories. Summer swimming is a vital link in the developmental chain that leads to the elite swimmers we write about every day, and we also want to hear the stories from the grassroots – about the challenges that clubs across the country are facing and the resilience and creativity they’re summoning in the face of them.

For stories about summer league pools closing and swimming curtailed, email mattd@swimmingworld.com.

174 comments

    • Alex Lecrone

      Wonderful, more awful news, just what I needed.

  1. Jackie O

    Just another of likely cancelled events and experiences. I cannot imagine our summer without summer swim team! It’s crazy, chaos, long nights filled with some of our BEST summer memories.

  2. Carmen Cleare

    All of our pools are closed in Australia

    • Lisa Ann

      Carmen Cleare and in Canada

    • avatar
      Bill

      What a shame. A lot of us seniors get much of our exercise from swimming laps

    • avatar
      Mary Ross

      Can’t wait to get back to hydrotherapy pool; hope we don’t have to wait much longer as I need it to stop the pain I have in my hips and shoulder!

  3. avatar
    Kristin Ray

    Summer swimming is where it all began for me growing up, and my 4 boys, who all swim year round. Two of them have become summer coaches at our local pool….summer swimming with donut mornings, Coach splash contests and heat winner ribbons lead to our family becoming a true swim family. From the Graylyn Gators in Wilmington , Delaware to the Seadogs in Upper Arlington, Ohio…. truly essential to our family life.

  4. Nichol Tran

    My son misses swim so much. It is his safe place and his true friends.

  5. avatar
    A Washington

    After losing JO’s my kids have all but lost their Long Course season and are ok with that as long as they can have their summer Interclub season. The psychological trauma that will ensue if that happen is unfathomable.

  6. Marie Moffitt

    This is why I only learned to swim as an adult. When I was a child the pools were frequently closed in the summer due to polio epidemics. We will get through this, just as we got through the scourge of infantile paralysis. For elderly people like me, this is déja vu.

    • avatar
      Melissann

      This is a needed perspective. This is not the first time such things have happened and it won’t be forever, however depressing and frustrating it may be now. I’m sad at the prospect of possibly not having any ability to visit the beach, but eventually we will be able to do all these things again.

    • avatar
      Chetan Vaid

      FYI, We had a polio vaccine, and despite world wide efforts to deploy teams to ontact trace and vaccinate people. Still from 1916 Polio outbreaks occured every summer. It was finally eradicated in the U.S. in 1979. Put things in perspective is it too much to be asked to do nothing and not swim? weak!

  7. avatar
    Doretta

    I understand the health reasons. being a coach and a swim parent, it’s sad that the fun and friendships that happen in summer swim may have to have a hiatus. But this too shall pass and hopefully we will appreciate it a little more. I can say that a lot of summer pools may not survive financially.

  8. Mike Kahn

    These pools and leagues need to wait to see how the next month goes. To many r panicking.

    • Seth Perkin

      Mike Kahn wait are you telling me that America hasn’t closed down it’s pools and leisure centres yet?

      • avatar
        Leander

        Summer pools aren’t open yet because it’s not summer. We had snow in Michigan last week.

    • Sam Buirski

      Seth Perkin pools, gyms and rec centers are closed in the US. Swim teams are not currently swimming

    • Mike Kahn

      Seth Perkin no pools r closed now . I was referring to summer pools and leagues.

  9. Cyndi Starr

    All pools are closed in SA. Here’s hoping after Lockdown which is meant to end next week, there is better news for our swimmers. I would like to return to the pool. So staying positive is key. I would never tell my swimmers of this article. They need hope

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      They need real hope not false positivity Cyndi. Many programs will stay closed into the summer in many places in the world. Some nations have pools down on the last list of ‘things to reopen’ because pools cost, especially if the numbers are not allowed and it’s the numbers that pay for the pool costs and maintenance. Your swimmers will be stronger and more resilient if they learn to face and accept ‘how it really is’ and adapt in any legitimate way possible to be the best they can be. Thinking back down the years through all the champions I’ve interviewed, rare were the ones who didn’t want to know the truth and tell it like it was (except when it came to expressing openly the criticism they had of feds and others because they understood the risks involved). Don’t hide your kids from the possible and even probable outcomes – if you do, you get kids and later adults who don’t have the capacity to work out that things can go several ways and you have to be able to cope with the pathway that unfolds; if you do, you get kids and later adults who lose trust in you the adult if what you’ve hidden from them can no longer be hidden, lose faith in what they’re being told when the thing they never wanted but were not made aware of is in fact the thing they have to face but never prepared for; if you do, you get kids who become adults running swimming programs but unable to lead from the front, when you need adults who can do more than just cope and can come up with robust plans when things cannot be how we’d want them to be. Kids are robust – I’d recommend bolstering that by teaching awareness and resilience.

      • avatar
        Anonymous

        I plan on swimming in the east river. I hope I don’t drown.

      • avatar
        Rick Matthews

        Craig Lord, your philosophy strikes me as one that Wins! Our athletes will overcome this hurdle as any other in life if they receive honest and strong guidance from their mentors. Let’s teach our young people that they can grow and improve themselves in any situation – it’s how they respond to the challenge which counts.

      • avatar
        Anonymous Fact

        I consider this article irresponsible and dramatizing the unknown just to gain readership and stir the pot. Kids can be (and are) taught resilience by using known facts, not the drama of the unknown. Dramatizing the unknown causes inner turmoil and angst about the future. Communicate closures on the actual decisions and the facts behind the decisions, not “Well, it MIGHT storm next month because it’s hot so we MIGHT not be able to hold that tournament” type of thinking. Our kids have enough to deal with right now without having to add this shade of gray to the mix.

      • avatar
        Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

        You miss several key levels of being prepared for the unexpected. I advocate going back in the archive of Sweetenham, Bowman, Troy, Vergnoux, Rudd, Talbot, Schubert, Reese and many others to remind yourself what resilience looks like and how you paint the picture. Have fun. Realism includes the human complexity of being able to understand risks and weigh those as opposed to ignoring them and then being rather surprised like a rabbit caught in headlights. Storm warnings can go two ways: the storm passes, no damage; the storm hits hard and all those who thought ‘shut up!’ get washed away: a caricature but think about it, while adding this dimension … it may not be you who gets washed away but someone else because your argument about storm warnings won the day. Meanwhile, have the courage to write in your own name – if you can’t even get that far, your view is really not worth sharing.

  10. avatar
    Delicia

    I don’t want swim being cancelled it’s my good to place and it’s the place I feel good at and all my friends are their and I love it. I live the sport to so please don’t cancel the season

  11. avatar
    Jennifer

    This is hard for so many of us! From the parents, to the coaches, and the swimmers. Everyone is missing it and longing to get back to the way things were. They will soon, but I suggest writing, blogging, vlogging, or something during this time of longing. You’ll need in time when training is hard, plateaus hit, or when friends move off to college. You’ll need your why! These heartfelt journal entries can make you remember your why. Remember the feeling you had when you achieved a goal for the first time, like REALLY achieved. This too shall pass but take this time to reflect, train your brain to become stronger and more resilient than before, and most importantly remember ALL the fun.. because when it’s back things will get crazy and you’ll put it off to the side.

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Good note, Jennifer. Thank you.

  12. Jennifer Williams

    What is the science behind this? Who contracted the virus in a pool that is properly treated? This headline bothers me. Disappointed. Please support the sport of swimming by NOT reporting speculation. This headline is not helping.

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      The headline is real, Jennifer; it is a real stretch to see it as speculative when the reasons why pools are closed right now is the reason they might be closed for some weeks and even months yet. Lockdowns will ease but ‘life aw we knew it’ will only arrive when those responsible for public health can look you in the eye and say ‘all safe, as you were’. That may not happen until sometime in 2021. The treated pool is not the problem in itself, of course. The standard type of use of pools, where most programs have hundreds of kids in tight spaces at the same time is; aerosolised water is a potential problem; shower rooms are a potential problem; habits and bad habits (unpleasant but important to note that research more than a decade old shows us that mucus from nose & fecal matter harbour coronavirus, which can live for many months in some conditions that can be observed around pools; these are all potential problems. Swimming authorities can help: I haven’t seen any specific ones as yet but from the top of feds and the experts they work with should come plans and suggestions for higher authorities that don’t necessarily understand the environment beyond ‘pool = massive numbers of people in a limited space”. The latter has to be applied to public/leisure pools and how those are used in general, for obvious reasons (again, not about the pool water, if properly treated). The way sports swimming can get back is there to be suggested, starting with the opening of elite training centres and equivalent, where the environment can be very specifically controlled, through control of numbers and sensible processes and procedures. It will take swimming to suggest ways out; if that doesn’t happen, folk with responsibility for many realms are likely to leave swimming pools for a time later in lockdown easing rather than sooner.

      • avatar
        Chris Saunders

        Can understand keeping indoor pools closed. But, it makes no sense to keep outdoor pools exposed to massive amounts of strong summer UV light closed during the day. Cv19 is killed within 1-2 mins @ 75F and 80% humidity. Even faster @ higher temps with higher humidity. Much less cv19 transmission risk a from swimming pool than a grocery store or movie theater.

        Swimming leaders need to press public health authorities on the technical case for closing a place bathed in disinfecting UV light

        In fairness, it would be prudent to limit pool open hours to daylight.

    • avatar
      Melissann

      I cannot understand your thinking Jennifer. Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but it seems that you are suggesting that the chemicals in the pool will prevent the spread of the virus. The main concern is obviously not contaminated pool water but rather the gathering in large groups that is usually the nature of public pools. Are you trying to say something else that is just not obvious to me?

  13. Lynn Titchener

    WHY? It’s CHLORINE ! Keep your social distance and limit the number of people in the pool, but come on! ??

    • Kimberly Joy

      Lynn Titchener It is absurd to limit the number of people in the pool. It’s common water. I can’t believe you would support something like that period people need to just go back to normal. The virus is a big nothing.

  14. Lori C Taylor

    No sport works all the muscles like swimming. I have 3 who have chosen to swim competitively since ages 9, 9, and 7 they are now 20, 19, 17. 2 have college scholarships pending. Because this virus they hopefully will be able to stay in shape to keep them

  15. Kimberly Joy

    So unjustified it defies logic.

  16. Ness Mc

    Open water swims cancelled too, they need to very careful. Staying safe is the important thing currently not a competition.

    • avatar
      Jeanne

      I agree. I have 2 who swim competitively and one who is a coach. If we have our summer team I don’t think my kids will be participating.

  17. avatar

    I’m in Canada and am fortunate to live on a lake. My birthday present to myself on May 6 will be to jump in the lake and swim as long as I can in my wet suit …before freezing! I will be 52 years old that day and that exact day will be 52 days without a pool. (Before the coronavirus, I was swimming a mile a day). I’ll be writing a story about the experience afterwards if you want me to send it your way.

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Stephanie – we’d love to read your story: editorial@swimmingworld.com – enjoy the quick dip on the way to the deeper plunge back to water

      • avatar
        stephanie

        for sure!

    • avatar
      Amy

      Wow! That sounds so amazing! Like everyone here commenting, the water is my home and my breath. Swimming feeds my soul but as a cancer survivor, it is now part of my pain management. I definitely feel that swimmers have been forgotten in the Coronavirus discussion. I hope that you enjoy your swim and relish the soothing sound of your own rhythmic breath, the icy fingers of the water, the strength of your body, and the beautiful harmony of yourself in nature.
      And…Happy Birthday early!

      • avatar
        stephanie

        Thanks so much! One week today….

  18. avatar
    Pam Magnan

    Really worried about our summer club pool. Each summer we hover on closing because of low new members. Once you are there, people realize what a great place it is. Nothing compares to summer swimming; so many memories for my 3 D1 swimmers.

  19. avatar
    Matt Palm

    Hopefully we should know more about our summer league here in Georgia by weeks end. The main problem is the large gatherings for the practices & meets. I really don’t see them moving forward in Atlanta but I could be wrong. The local year around clubs are going to have limit the number of swimmers at practice and adjust their schedules, meaning more small group practices and coaches working longer hours. Pools are very costly to open and run. You most have lots of swimmers to stay profitable. With that said, we in the swim industry have some hard times ahead.

  20. avatar
    Kim

    I’m an 9x Ironman snd masters swimmer and I was supposed to complete 3 more fulls this year so I could then apply for Kona. All of us triathletes are having a hard time with the lack of swimming and race cancellations. We are wondering if we can even OWS this summer. I built a 6 x 10 ft pool in my backyard and I tether myself. It’s better than nothing. But it might be a rough summer for us all.

  21. avatar
    K

    ?? Hi…
    Well, idk… I’m no scientist, but when it comes to the general public. And I’m sorry for some, but people are gross. Then to think most don’t shower before swimming or half wear proper gear/ cloths. Spitting , coughing, hacking, not yet to peeing in the pool and poop ? we all know. What about runny noses and let’s talk about the poor lifeguards that have to sit around that for hours… when half the time people come to the gym to talk and not work out. Imagine if someone fell or became unconscious.. now CPR and mouth to mouth issues… I truly don’t know from a perspective of common sense

  22. avatar
    Annonymous

    A lot of great comments in here. I’m a Pool Operator, and one of the issues I can’t wrap my head around is how do you “socail distance” lifeguards?? Perhaps this is one of the issues many public and private pools are grappling with. No one wants to put “swim at your own risk” signage up.

    • avatar
      Celeste

      When I was a little girl, in the late 60’s, we had several little neighborhoods that were Houston suburbs near what is now the Johnson Space Center. We were lucky enough to have neighbors pools in each of the little subdivisions, and had a wonderful summer swim meet season between 10-12 subdivision teams. I lived at the pool (or so my mother says), going over early for practice (after I stopped hanging on the wall and crying like a baby!) then I would ride my bike home for breakfast, and as soon as I could around 10:30-11:00am, I went back, and pretty much stayed there until dinner time. I was covered in freckles, and constantly had a sunburned nose, but I have the fondest memories of that time! The other children went to my elementary & middle school with me, we all carpooled together when the AAU came to town and we had a new “year round” team we could join. And we all joined the high school swim team as well! The pool is where we hung out with our neighbors, had BBQs and volleyball games, it’s where my mother found our babysitters, and where I got my first babysitting job! It was a great time, and I lament that even without the Corona virus this year, children in my new town (in Florida) will not have that experience, because there just aren’t that many subdivisions around here with a pool for their little community. Such good memories! You know, I earned my first swim cap at 5 years of age, by swimming the 25 fly (and getting 3rd place woo hoo!) it was in Huntsville, AL, and set up long course, but for 8 & unders, they would string a rope across half way, and we just swam to the rope!

  23. Anne Marie DeRogatis

    Why? Outside! Fresh air… chlorine… come on! Thought this was America

    • Doug Schack

      Anne Marie DeRogatis fear rules America now. Not logic or personal freedom.

    • Julie Tellier

      Doug Schack I am sure someone will reply to my comment with some prickly very emotional answer and probably call me some insulting name, but whatever ?! I thought we quarantined because our healthcare system is woefully inadequate in all regards and could not handle the amount of patients in ICU due to lack of ventilators. We quarantined to allow healthcare facilities to “catch up”. We didn’t quarantine to find a cure, find a treatment protocol or drug, to create a vaccine and/or rid the world of Coronaviruses. Reportedly all Hospitals have open beds including ICU and have acquired ventilators. Slowing the spread is not, or ever will be, stopping the spread. We are not going to eradicate this virus today, so why are we still sheltering in place?

    • Margie Hood

      Anne Marie DeRogatis if someone got sick at a pool they would sue everyone and anyone they could think of.

    • Jason Cronk

      Julie Tellier Couldn’t agree more.

    • Claire Sayce Council

      Julie Tellier you are 100% correct. The virus will be there. Protect the elderly and lets allow our kids to live and grow.

    • Claire Sayce Council

      Margie Hood my son had the flu a couple of years ago. Sure he got it at the pool or school. I did not sue.

    • Doug Schack

      Margie Hood would never stand in any court. You would have to prove without a shadow of a doubt where the person called caught it from. And from my understanding, a case of food poisoning from a restaurant (similar situation)is near impossible to win in court.

    • Steven Rose

      Claire Sayce Council The flu has a 0.1% mortality rate and has a vaccine. Covid has a 5+% mortality rate in the USA and has no vaccine while also being far more contagious.

      Vast difference. But go ahead and let your kids spread the disease and kill other people’s parents and grandparents because you’re bored and selfish.

    • Anne Marie DeRogatis

      Margie Hood how are they going to prove they got sick at a pool? They go food shopping, Walmart….

    • Steven Rose

      Jason Cronk You’re from Florida and religiously follow right wing propaganda pages.

    • Julie Tellier

      Steven Rose If social distancing and sanitation protocols are establish and followed at swim practice how are our “selfish” kids going to spread the disease and kill parents and grandparents by attending swim practice anymore than you going to the grocery store or you coming in contact with grocery delivery and/or curbside person? If an athlete has a relative or friend that they want to visit regularly (being fully aware of the risks) those athletes would opt not to attend practice.

    • Steven Rose

      Julie Tellier WITH distancing, lockdown, and sanitation in place; It has a 19% infection rate and 6% death rate in the USA.

      It’s very and strictly American to be bored and annoyed with the pandemic, so cry and pretend it doesn’t exist anymore.

      Groceries, medicine, etc. are all ESSENTIAL. Going for a swim is not.

      You also can’t claim herd immunity because by definition you need a vaccine to exist.

      You can’t trust adults to follow necessary protocols, yet you think kids are going to? Especially from parents who are claiming covid isn’t a big deal and/or doesn’t exist.

      The purpose of quarantine is to slow the spread as much as possible, not say “as long as I get mine, I don’t care who has to die for me to not be inconvenienced anymore”.

      It is incredibly selfish to tell others to stay home if they’re “scared” because you’re “going to live your life”.

    • Steven Rose

      Julie Tellier Sweden is the only country to lift restrictions entirely. And they have the worst deaths per capita by an insanely large margin. More than USA, and we have people with attitude like you.

    • Julie Tellier

      Steven Rose I don’t recall saying stay home because your scared. I stated athletes would make informed decisions on wether to attend or not. Your argument is moot at this point. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that more and more businesses will be allowed to open. He also noted that decision-making will be enabled at the local level, rather than at the state level.

    • Julie Tellier

      Steven Rose Sweden never had a quarantine or stay at home restriction

    • Steven Rose

      Julie Tellier The point stands. They experimented with their citizens on pretending it didn’t exist. It backfired splendidly.

    • Jason Cronk

      Steven Rose That truly hurts.

    • Julie Tellier

      Steven Rose I truly hope the media hype ends so you can calm down and fell safe. You are way to dramatic to have a serious conversation. All the best

    • Steven Rose

      Julie Tellier Anyone who claims reporting live, scientific, repeatedly supported facts and reality as “media hype” is a fucking imbecile and deserves covid themselves. Piss off with your dangerously willful ignorance.

    • Steven Rose

      Julie Tellier Also you have the grammar of a slightly intoxicated 2nd grader. So I wouldn’t expect you to understand complex and deadly things such as a global pandemic nor express something as supposedly natural as empathy.

    • Nathan Gersten

      Yes. People dying from covid19 is increasing. Fact

    • Diana Terry Bolding

      Nathan Gersten yes so true but we can’t shut down the entire world –

  24. Ildiko Morris

    Enough already! I can go to Home Depot but I can’t swim in a chlorinated water????? Open up!!!!!

    • Nathan Gersten

      Why? People dying is fake?? Yes. People dying from covid19 is increasing. Fact

  25. Jennifer Smalley

    Let those swimmers who want to compete.and those that don’t want to compete cuz they’re scared of this have them stay home

  26. Dana Burch

    No!

    Tiffany Davis Ouellette

  27. Given that swimmer, coaches, parents, spectators are not fully submerged in chlorinated water at all times, and ocassionally do have to breathe in air, this is probably a good idea. We don’t want a second surge worse than the first.

    • Claire Sayce Council

      Amanda Klotzsche Landry spectators can stay home. As much as I love to watch them swim, right now it is all about them. Risk is so low. Let the parents decide.

      • avatar
        Tina

        The coaches and guards and facility people won’t have the just don’t go option if anyone comes to meets. Again, it’s not just about the people who decide they’ll take the risk; it only works if everyone doesn’t do social interactions like a swim meet for 2-3 hours.

    • Claire Sayce Council I’d rather the health professionals and local authorities decide. They have the greater good in mind, and not the (naturally) selfish desires of parents and individuals.

    • Claire Sayce Council

      Amanda Klotzsche Landry oh yes. I have complete faith in the medical professionals. NOT. I look at the data and listen to the data coming in.

    • Claire Sayce Council well, that reinforces my prior opinion. I would trust an entire body of health professionals with years of training and studying over the comments of an internet surfing parent with a few hours of googling behind them.

    • Eric Crowe

      Amanda Klotzsche Landry what first wave?

    • Bob Liebzeit

      Amanda Klotzsche Landry keep watching CNN and your kid will never swim again.

    • Joe Milinovich

      Bob Liebzeit nope her kid will swim again. Just not yet. What I posted is pretty legit. If you need I can link you some more unbiased scholarly articles on this subject.

      I also promise you none of it will contain any politics.

    • Joe Milinovich

      Eric Crowe
      Could you explain the increase of deaths these last few months? I do not know all the facts but deaths are deaths regardless of the cause.

      There is a quite an increase of deaths in my area. I know this is anecdotal l evidence, but when I also see other large cities experiencing the same type of situation around the world I can put two and two together.

      It is not everywhere so I totally understand why people are frustrated in that area. But, all it takes is a few people to come into your community area and have no idea they have the virus.

      I just want people to be informed. With your comment of what first wave I am not sure what you believe. Politically what I want won’t matter. So no politics from me.

    • Joe Milinovich

      In my area there is a 30% increase of deaths caused by Flu and pneumonia (pneumonia deaths also included positive for covid19) from 2018 data and the data from the department of health. I did not include just covid deaths.

      For this I looked up the Cause of Death 2018 in my state. Flu and pneumonia then took the numbers of just what i stated above. I used the Percent of increase formula and that determined my percent of increase.

      Once again I did not use only covid19 deaths.

      If I would have added covid19 deaths I would have gotten a 93% increase.

      I live in Illinois you can check my data if you want. Please do and if I am wrong please correct me.

      To see a percent of increase or decrease you need

      (New data number – old data number)/old data number

    • Nathan Gersten

      Yes. People dying from covid19 is increasing. Fact. It’s a global issue. How many deaths in the US, Eric?? More than 60 thousand deaths

    • Joe Milinovich

      Eric Crowe What is really scary is that with my 2018 numbers that is for the whole state and whole year. During this time it is highly concentrated about Chicago and St. Louis which would change some statistics.

      I would really like to do it just for the Chicago and the suburbs and not the whole state. To get a more accurate percentage.

    • Eric Crowe

      Nathan Gersten and how many million people live here? 290,000,000

  28. Jennifer Jensen Treat

    I can see both sides of the issue…… I am USA Swim official and I also help run a summer league. The need for social distancing is real. And it will be nearly impossible to honor that aspect at any swim meet.
    This time of year I am missing the fun that is summer league. I miss the camaraderie of my swim official friends. However, if putting off seeing them helps to keep just a single person alive than so be it.

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      Just so, Jennifer. ?

    • Jennifer Jensen Treat opening pools and practices is very different from hosting meets.

    • Irene Robins Viola

      Elizabeth Cromwell Austin Agreed. At least let the kids practice. Certainly precautions can be put in to place for practices.

    • Joe Milinovich even as facilities open up the structure of availability for training will be limited. Elite athletes training at the level Peaty trains looked for alternatives like a backyard endless pool. My guess is it’s not that elite athletes won’t go back to train at pools, it’s more that they don’t have the access they require to train at the level they need to.

    • Joe Milinovich

      Elizabeth Cromwell Austin I agree they would probably train if available but it would look like club team practice.

      These types of situations change societies for the better or worse.

    • Paul Poitevent

      Jennifer Jensen Treat If we stopped driving we’d save more than a single life. Life does indeed have risks and the Flu is much more dangerous for the young than the corona virus. IMO the young need to get back to their lives and at risk people should quarantine based on their preference and risk factor.

    • Alexys Matcuk

      Paul Poitevent a lot of young people live with their parents. most parents are at risk due to health issues like a bummy heart, diabetes, asthma, etc. so letting young people out and not the at risk people would still not work because the young could still contract the virus and bring it into their homes where at risk people live. You can not compare a contagious deadly disease to driving a car. Yes if we all stopped driving we’d save lives, but car accidents are not contagious and this virus is. Yes the Flu might be more dangerous for the young than COVID is but it’s not all about the young. We should care about every bodies life including the at risk, not just the young healthy people. Plus many young people can contract the virus and be unsymptomatic, so what happens when a young person who has an underlying health issue they do not know about contracts the disease from someone who had COVID but shows no symptoms? they would probably die and the only thing that could have stopped that from happening is distancing and staying home. Everyone that has died is someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, etc. All their lives are equally as important and should not be seen as less.

    • Paul Poitevent

      Alexys Matcuk I agree with you people that live with people with comorbidities should lockdown their households, but those that don’t should not. The US has 300 million people. Everyday on lockdown that equates to over 11,000 lives lived in a single day. So 6 days in lockdown is equal to the lives lost so far in the US. Half of the lives lost are in two states what about the other 48? 80 percent of the lives lost are in LTC facilities. I think even more the focus should be on the LTC facilities! 100,000 people die every month of cancer and heart disease. How will not going to the doctor for 6 weeks effect that number? How about the story of a woman that discovered breast cancer in one breast. She want to remove both, but removing the other is elective and there is a ban on elective medical care? That is an example of one size fits all world we live in today. I’ll grant you not everyone is on lockdown as our former US president was out golfing last weekend violating his governor’s stay at home order while his wife was recording a message to not leave your home to pass to the general public. People are smart they can make their own decisions and choices and mitigate their own risks as they navigate the dangerous thing we call life.

    • Paul Poitevent

      Alexys Matcuk One last thing. I work at a hospital and if we don’t fully open we will continue furloughing more and more people until we go under then the virus will hit us later when all our hospitals have gone bankrupt. Check-Mate.

  29. Cara Jones

    New flash: they are in chlorine. I just read a different article with plan to re-open Mission Viejo already has.

    • Darren Ward

      Cara Jones news flash… chlorine isn’t the issue and MVN only has 18 swimmers in the water under very controlled conditions… and that decision is under scrutiny as well.

  30. Diana Terry Bolding

    Why do we need to keep social distancing? Stop the madness – maybe we should not drive either people have cat wrecks

    • Darren Ward

      Diana Terry Bolding there’s that ridiculous car crash analogy again…. car crashes are not highly contagious.

    • Diana Terry Bolding

      Darren Ward get my point – we shut our entire economy down for 6 weeks and now the entire USA is changed over a virus

    • Darren Ward

      Diana Terry Bolding boo hoo, the entire world has changed.. broaden your scope. Imagine if no social distancing measures were taken. BTW… the projections for the USA are now at 135,00 deaths.. because of relaxed measures..

    • Joe Milinovich

      Diana Terry Bolding I mean yeah! Take a step back and think of the world. The world shut down for weeks! When was the last time that has ever happened. This isn’t a country issue. This was and still is a global issue.

    • Diana Terry Bolding

      Joe Milinovich and it’s out of control and people are living in fear

    • Joe Milinovich

      I understand the fear. Fear generates so many emotions regardless of what you are afraid of.

      I think of it some people are afraid of heights and will never step foot on a ladder because of it. It causes panic attacks and will paralyze people.

      With this there are so many unknowns. There are many people in world that are experiencing it first hand. I am on the edge of Chicago which makes me nervous. I look at what happened to NYC and that could be here.

      I also see fear in people when it comes to the government taking over. Those people want their guns and 2nd amendment. I get it.

      We should not judge people based on their fears. We should have actual conversations with rational thinking and not some meme or personal attacks. (in general terms)

      Am I afraid I will get it somehow? Yep and I am doing the best I can to minimize that risk by doing everything I can when I leave. I made the decision during this time to deliver food which is by choice not by need.

      The reason why I am mentioning that is because my mom and I had a long discussion and I expressed I would not come down to see for quite some time. Her community is very small therefor there are hardly any cases if at all. If I were to drive there and have the virus and not show symptoms I could potentially infect quite a few people.

      Now with that 100 infected let’s just say the death rate is 3%. I just caused 3 people to die as well as potentially causes life long complications.

      So I am staying in my bubble and doing the best I can. I do not see swimming as something that needs to start back up quickly. I know people will disagree and that is okay. Just be respectful and kind to each other through this.

    • Jason Stegbauer

      Diana Terry Bolding people like yourself make our current situation even worse, maybe you should open your eyes a little.

    • Joe Milinovich

      Jason Stegbauer I totally get your statement but it comes across very bold and aggressive. This type of discourse does nothing but create negativity and blaming.

  31. Claire Sayce Council

    Lowes and WalMart and beach safe. Chlorinated pool with least affected members of society, not safe.

    • Joe Milinovich

      Disagree with that statement. The first could actually be a necessity to live while we all love swimming here it is lower on the totem pole when it comes to times like these.

    • Joe Milinovich

      If you look at what is being said people should not be congregating in large numbers together in places. Beaches do fall into that category. Yet some people feel differently.

    • Nathan Gersten

      There’s no vaccine. Herd immunity only works if there’s a vaccine. Are you maybe stupid?

    • Chesleigh Marc Lee

      Nathan Gersten, this is doctor Lee in Tullahoma, TN. Herd immunity is when enough people around you have contracted a virus and developed immunity such that any person that brings the virus into your area will not cause an outbreak. Vaccination is providing that immunity without having to contract the illness. In either case about 60% or more of the population will have to be immune.

      • avatar
        Tina

        And we absolutely do not know if getting Covid 19 or having it’s antibodies results in immunity. People in China that got sick are getting it again. And, even if it did, just because you aren’t getting sick doesn’t mean you can’t transmit it to others and make them ill. So, until we know that, there is no herd immunity! And besides all of this, not enough people have gotten Covid 19 yet to have herd immunity. You understood a bit of the concept of herd immunity, but not all of it.

    • Chesleigh Marc Lee

      Nathan Gersten, what medical school did you graduate from?

    • Nathan Gersten

      “Herd immunity only works if most people in the population are vaccinated (for example, 19 out of every 20 people need to be vaccinated against measles to protect people who are not vaccinated).”
      UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.

    • Chris Hallander

      From sciencealert //Here’s Why Herd Immunity Won’t Save Us From The COVID-19 Pandemic//

    • Sheri Thompson

      Nathan Gersten Vaccination does not = immunity.

    • Peter Scott

      Chesleigh Marc Lee sadly the ones promoting herd immunity are not necessarily the ones contracting the virus ……..herd immunity ‘solution’ with a killer virus is pretty much offering up your parents and grandparents to a terrible disease that potentially will kill them?stay safe?

    • Alexys Matcuk

      what happens if they open the pools and you contract COVID and have an underlying health condition you don’t know about and end up hospitalized or dead? will opening up the pools be worth it? what if a kid on your team contracts COVID and dies? or a coach? will you still believe the pools were right to open? Peoples live are more important than you being “done” and wanting the pools to open. The pools will open up at some point and everything will go back to normal, but people who lose family due to contracting COVID, their lives will never be the same. Maybe go on a run, a bike ride, or do a home workout instead of pushing for pools to open for your convenience and risking people’s lives.

  32. Irene Barber Kinsey

    I don’t believe the object of quarantine was to keep people from getting it but rather to ensure hospitals could manage without getting overrun? That curve has been flattened – by everyone’s estimate. This isolation is not sustainable.

  33. I understand not having meets, but I really wish they could get back in the pool. I have one kid that swims to keep anxiety down, and I think he’s starting to crack.

    • Alexys Matcuk

      Kimberly Kendell Petersen Hello!! I also swim to keep my anxiety down and since I can’t practice my anxiety levels have been going up as well! I am not sure if you have tried anything else but i recommend going on a bike rides or a run or even do some at home workout routine from youtube, it’s not as effective as swimming is but it still really helps me atleast, however everyone is different! I hope you and your family stay healthy and safe and i hope your son can get back in the water soon!

    • Tanya Pinto

      Alexys Matcuk my son is the same. I’ve been driving an hour each way for him to swim in the ocean in 8 degree temps at 5.30am (his choice) and we can’t wait to get back in the pool, but our health and the lives of the nation are so much more important. We do what we can with what we have for now. Stay safe x

  34. Jennifer Chu

    Well, they are closed in majority of countries where people are much more aware regarding this dire situation.

  35. Dick Beaver

    AL SCHOENFIELD is probably turning over in his grave regarding his Swimming World Magazine’s lack of huge, positive support…and lobbying for opening up our amazing, healthy swimming programs.
    For those of you young whipper snappers, Al was the original publisher, editor, writer and reporter of SWM.

    • Peter Scott

      Dick Beaver I think that Al would be turning over in his grave if he was aware of the lack of empathy that certain members of society have in the face of a world wide pandemic thatvis not only killing people but destroying the world economy. The situation not helped by those very people that think they are brave and ignoring it?stay safe?

  36. Kady Dalbey Gaines

    I think this will cause a serious rise in drowning. My kids have lifeguarded for the last 5 years and have each had daily saves in the pool. What is going to happen when kids go to lakes, rivers, back yard pools. Closing public pools is a HUGE mistake…in my opinion.

  37. Kelly DeMell Lacinak

    Just got the email from our coach our Suburban Swim League votes to cancel the 2020 season. We are heartbroken.

  38. Kimberly Joy

    Very sad snd totally uncalled for.

  39. Jonathan Ross

    In Boise it has already been decided. No public pools will open during 2020. Makes me sad

  40. avatar
    Angela

    It’s ridiculous to close the pools all summer. It was unnecessary to close them at all. Masters swimmers need lap swimming for exercise. It’s awful to take away the fun summer swim team experience that youths enjoy. There are so many youth swimmers and masters swimmers, everyone needs to start writing their county health departments and governors and asking for the pools to be reopened. If you don’t speak up then you allow it to happen. Get writing!

    • avatar
      Craig Lord - Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

      What should they write, Angela, keeping in mind the necessary distancing rules and associated safety measures? What does your framework for safe swimming look like? Numbers of swimmers at one time? No use of changing rooms and showers? What is your advice on the risks of aerosolised water, regardless of chlorination? Do club insurance policies cover for contagion? These are all issues that health departments and governors and many other responsible folk MUST consider. Perhaps they can learn from you. What does your framework look like? Thanks.

  41. avatar
    Mountain Peace

    In my sixties, worked hard all my life get laid off and our condo pool is closed. I have to find a job soon, summer dreams dead, wish I were too. Swimming is what I live for.

  42. avatar
    marzo desoto

    used bits and pieces from this to write a statement to my apartments manager to open our pool or discount our rent. thanks!