The Worries and Concerns of Lap Swimming As Pools Open

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Lap swimming may not be deemed a safe activity if people are not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

As we get deeper into the month of May and online schooling comes to a close, many people will be hoping to spend their summer days by the pool. According to the CDC, “there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.”

So as the virus starts to (hopefully) slow down, a return to the pool  will happen for some longing to dive in and be immersed in that environment on a hot summer’s day. But according to a recent report from The Mercury News in San Jose, California, it might be harder than originally thought to social distance in a public pool.

“There’s more and more research showing that coronavirus can be spread even more than six feet when people are vigorously exercising like running or swimming,” Contra Costa County’s Health Officer Christopher Farnitano said in a video interview posted by the county. “There’s a concern that even if someone is swimming in their own lane, when the person is right next to them is breathing heavily, they could be exposed. It’s hard to maintain that kind of social distancing in a public pool.”

Lap swimmers also would have trouble maintaining an appropriate physical distance if more than one stops at the end of a lane to rest or to wait for another swimmer to finish, Lavin acknowledged.

USA Swimming has published guidelines to teams regarding strict social distancing guidelines if they are to hold organized practice. Swimmers will be permitted to stay within six feet of each other in the pool with a limited number of swimmers in each lane. USA Swimming provided the following visual aids to illustrate what would be appropriate. If public pools are to open for lap swimming, then they may have to follow USA Swimming’s lead with mandating social distancing, but that may become difficult for the pools to police.

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usa-swimming

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2 years ago

The obsession over this is making my head spin. Next, they will be suggesting that people wear masks while swimming. An entire new industry will be created for the manufacturing of masks that can be worn while swimming, surfing, diving, etc… ???

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2 years ago
Reply to  Spencer Pinter

Spencer Pinter , snorkels with filters, the solution is right before our eyes

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2 years ago
Reply to  Spencer Pinter

Fred Rodkey Ridiculous!

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2 years ago

They are literally swimming in disinfectant…

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2 years ago

Stop with the negativity. Come on swimming world without swimmers you have no company. Come up with solutions not doom and gloom!!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell if they didn’t tell you. You’d be wondering why without any information. Information isn’t doom and gloom just because you don’t like it.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Buster Smith you obviously haven’t been following their page the last at least 4 post have been about swimmers not returning to the pool. Plus in what world do club swimmers not know they aren’t back in the water…smh

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell seriously!!! They need to be leaders and not followers

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

You can’t will this virus away with positivity. The number one consideration must be the safety of the athletes. If there’s any chance of them being unsafe, a few more weeks or months away from the pool is worth it.

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Anonymous
2 years ago
Reply to  Sean Judge

Exactly! Especially lungs are very important to the swimmers!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Sean Judge viruses have to run there course we can’t live in fear forever. We don’t hide from any other virus and if they don’t gather in groups and get directly in the pool they should be fine. Article even says there is no evidence that the virus can live in chlorine. If you don’t want to return to the pool don’t but for those that do want to train let them

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell that doesn’t mean go all free willy either. People do not know about all of the outcomes of this virus.

Just one thing coming out

https://www.livescience.com/covid-19-kids-rare-inflammatory-syndrome.html

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell when did an article containing information regarding safety become negativity? You consider it negative because it doesn’t support your desire to get your child back in the water. I’d rather have all the information and make a decision than god my head in the sand and assume all is good.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

I appreciate the purely choice based point of view. The problem is that many age groupers and other children can be unwitting, asymptomatic carriers to family members. This phenomenon of course isn’t limited to children. We simply must figure this out for the health and safety of all. We aren’t there yet.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Tanya McDowell Thome they are putting out same info over and over with different headlines and it is not new information. Plus we know our kids aren’t in pool…smh

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Sean Judge really guess walmart and all other stores are immune just pools with chlorine aren’t smh

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell then I’d suggest not reading them. There is no swimming going on so they really have nothing else to report on.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell Would lap swimming be limited to every third lane to maintain social distancing ?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Rob Hauptschein no most lanes are 8 feet wide you could put a kid in a lane

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell so every other lane by your measures?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Some teams that have gone back are putting a kid in every lane and telling them to swim down black line to make distance requirements.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Sean Judge seems we are worried so much more about this than the regular flu because we’ve been sold the story through mainstream media . Sad that we bought it hook line and sinker…only time will tell and we will never know the entire truth.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Still guessing. But best of luck to those who choose for their children to get back in the pool. It’s ridiculously frustrating to sit on the sidelines- I get it. I just have a different point of view.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Sean Judge you can have a different point of view. I don’t see how you think grocery stores are safe and a pool with chlorine isn’t?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell “stop reporting scientifically supported facts about the reality of the situation!”

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

I didn’t say I thought stores were safe. I don’t believe they are either and we have to evaluate risks accordingly. All I said is that it’s my opinion that we need more information. I respect yours – I just have a different one.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Rob Hauptschein Did you read the article?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Terri Hixenbaugh People are worried because this is worse than the regular flu and we currently have already have medicines and therapies available to combat the old flu. So the new flu, had already killed nearly a years worth of people that the old flu would have killed in 4 months. Again it is not the same. That isn’t fear, that’s just the stats. That’s why people “bought it hook line and sinker”.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Terri Hixenbaugh it is many times worse than other flues. More than 70,000 deaths in a couple of months.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell it is simple – it is essential to get food and even thought swimming is really important to us – it is not essential.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Dale Alton well I live in Fl and some things are opening and if a store can be open a pool can be too a virus doesn’t the difference and a pool is safer

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell swimming and Walmart are not equal. Just my thought.

Have you kid run to stay in shape for awhile. I am not sure how old your son or daughter is but swimming isn’t everything. Sooner or later they will be a swammer

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Why because we might still be better then the chinese??

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2 years ago

Just shoot me now.

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Nooo

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2 years ago

So how about we just call it now. No more swimming ever again. Screw the sport. Sorry all you kids who have busted your asses for years… find something new to do now. I’m sorry- but we don’t honestly know crap about this and a lot can change quickly. Can we at least give our kids some hope that we will be able to return to normal; or won’t we be able to do that til after an election? Politicians are ALL ruining our emotional and physical selves much more than COVID ever will.

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2 years ago

Who cares. Move on! Life is full of risks! Lets Go

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kate Dunne

Simple and well said. From the day we are born, we have exactly a 0% chance of making out of here alive!! Chill out and live life to its fullest, while you are able. ???

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2 years ago

Aquatic is risk management not elimination. There are always going to be ways to get sick or injured at a pool. As a community, facility all we can do is develop risk avoidance based on the current science at the time. USA Swimming in their provided return to swim guideline are just that.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Sutton

Jeff Sutton guess we should eliminate all laws then. There’s always risk of getting killed by a drunk driver. Guess we should eliminate those restrictions. Let people decide if they can function enough to drive. I

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2 years ago

I though I read somewhere it said that the coronavirus can’t survive or spread in water. Anybody else know if that is true or not?

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Swimming is one sport that SHOULD be back to normal

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2 years ago

Stacy Lawton Laferriere and weeks ago!!!

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2 years ago

why?

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2 years ago

Robert Fisher, obviously because you never breathe hard in a moist environment when you are swimming surrounded by other hard-breathing swimmers touching your toes trying to pass you, and… oh, never mind.

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2 years ago

Keith Havens Come on coach how would you know. You only swam at William & Mary and coached at Albion College for several decades…. ha!

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2 years ago

Robert Fisher, yeah, but like you, I was a sprinter, and never breathed hard!

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2 years ago

Would lap swimming be limited to every third lane to maintain social distancing ?

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2 years ago

Keith Havens Technically we didn’t breathe hard because we held our breath for so long. Maybe that’s the solution…. no breathing.

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2 years ago

Stacy Lawton Laferriere no

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2 years ago

Open water swimming and competition would be fine

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2 years ago
Reply to  Daniel Moe

Daniel Moe stands can be a bit tight. Just sayin’.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Daniel Moe

Daniel Moe Would lap swimming be limited to every third lane to maintain social distancing ?

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2 years ago
Reply to  Daniel Moe

im saying open water swimming like in the ocean.

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2 years ago

Now this is becoming ridiculous. Let’s just shut the whole world down until we maybe find a vaccine that might work. Enough with the negativity already.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Robert Hayon

Robert Hayon no coronavirus vaccine has ever been developed. Let that sink in

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2 years ago

This is stupid. They’re swimming in chlorine.

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MBroad
2 years ago
Reply to  Jodi Robins

‘Swimming in chlorine’, Not circulating chlorine through their lungs. the chlorine in the pool will not have any effect on the shedding virus in their lungs, if they happen to be asymptomatic. As the article said, athletes blow the virus much farther than six feet. The exhalation tends to get aerosolized and spreads much farther. As they pass each other, even if lanes apart, they could be swimming through plumes of the other swimmers possibly infected breath.

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2 years ago

If I don’t jump in the pool soon, I may just forget how to flip turn. ???

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2 years ago

This is beyond ridiculous!

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It’s time to go back to swimming.

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2 years ago

Alice Tiuseco Pergolini USA Swimming its time to get back in the water. Let the families make their own decision.

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2 years ago

Alice Tiuseco Pergolini no

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2 years ago

Leslie Cichocki your decision to head out doesn’t stick with you. You risk every single person around you and then some.

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2 years ago

Alice Tiuseco Pergolini this doesn’t seem like the USA at all. Someone else ?has tell us what to do. USA is about freedom.

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2 years ago

Steven Rose Yes. Stop living in fear. WalMart and Costco are doing just fine (in fact, I don’t there’s been a single Costco employee infected!). Lowe’s and Home Depot are doing fine. Apply social distancing and let people swim. Those, like you, who seem to be too scared to leave your house, can simply stay home until you deem it safe for you and yours. What you don’t seem to understand is that we can’t leave the entire country locked down until everyone feels safe. That’s not how life works. you’re going to eventually have to venture out of your bubble. You act like you’ve never been sick in your entire life.

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2 years ago

Stop posting this! Florida just opened their pools. There are signs out that say swim at your own risk! Pools and gyms with pools need to open!

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2 years ago

Let them swim! If there are swimmers or their families who are uncomfortable, they can choose not to participate

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2 years ago

But……. chlorine kills everything??!! Skin, hair, suits, everything comes out looking worse than when it went in!!!!!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Cait Ann

Cait Ann Yup…I’m a chemical engineer and chlorine ALWAYS wins.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Cait Ann

Jiri F. Smetana seeing as you’re a scientist and have experience with chlorine exposures, I would assume covid-19 would come out looking mighty pitiful!!!!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Cait Ann

Cait Ann it doesn’t kill the air. Nor all the surfaces shared.

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2 years ago

Contact the folks in Sweden that have kept their pools open (inside) the entire time

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2 years ago

Vanessa Rives

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Joel Gitlin
2 years ago

Correct me if I’m wrong , but don’t swimmers
breathe into the water where the chlorine is
and not exhale into the air to the swimmer next
to them?

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2 years ago

People a lot of these pools are run by county’s or city’s not swimming world. It’s up to them. If I’m not mistaken MISSION VIEJO is a club pool. Up to the owner.

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2 years ago

Of all people likely to get sick from this virus, lap swimmers have to be at the very bottom of the list. ?

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2 years ago

Competitive swimmers and Swim teams need to practice in the water and it’s chlorinated…. please let them swim❤️

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2 years ago

Oh for God’s sake. Open the pools and let US decide if it’s a risk we want to take! The pool operators are scared of lawsuits. I need to get back into Masters Swimming!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Dana Schlitter it’s not your risk to take. It’s the risk you bring to everyone around you.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Steven Rose You and/or your swimmer should stay home then. You see how that works? You get your ‘safety’ and Dana Schlitter, and the rest of us that want to, get to swim/train. That’s how it’s supposed to work in America.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Jason Barnard No. That is NOT “how it’s suppose to work in America”. America is SUPPOSE to work together for the good of the whole. You want to infect and kill thousands if not millions of people because you think your swimming is more important than people’s lives. You are selfish and pro-plague. You have a right to be a fucking imbecile; But you do not have a right to swim and not care about others’ lives.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Jason Barnard Thanks Jason. We can’t argue with people like Steven who would rather take our rights away and make snide remarks about Texas. Well, I’m in Arizona so, guess we’re just like Texas and I’m proud of that!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Dana Schlitter

Steven Rose do tell – which state gets to claim your Chicken Little lifestyle?

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2 years ago

Would lap swimming be limited to every third lane to maintain social distancing ?

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2 years ago

Rob Hauptschein did you even read the article? There’s even pictures if you didn’t want to read!

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2 years ago

Jason Barnard skimmed. If two swimmers in the same lane or even adjacent lanes pass each other, is that is too close?

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2 years ago

Rob Hauptschein Read the article and take a look at the diagrams. I bet you can answer your own questions.

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2 years ago

Jason Barnard I dont think any of those configurations if I’m looking correctly maintain distancing? Seems every other lane at least should be empty

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2 years ago

Rob Hauptschein distancing is based upon 6′ air born transmission. they are limiting the downtime between sets when swimmers would normally be standing/talking shoulder to shoulder at one end of the pool. Otherwise, they are swimming in disinfectant.

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2 years ago

This is not feasible in nyc. There are too many people using pool at all times.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Lori Carena

Leave NYC shut down then.

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Reply to  Lori Carena

Not CNY.. time to open them

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2 years ago

Qiana Scott Brittany Rose Florio

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2 years ago

SupremlyPetty Logan I would demand they have the kids in their own lanes for a LONG time.

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2 years ago

Brittany Rose Florio it’s going to be 2 in a lane

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2 years ago

I can’t help but think that there is some serious self centeredness at work here. Why are we trying to get swimming up and running? Is it for folk’s job security? Or are we just incredibly uncomfortable without our swimming habits? I want to swim as well, but people are still dying!

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2 years ago

I always thought the swimming world was intelligent until I started reading the comments.

Everybody seems to be severely selfish and willfully ignorant.

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2 years ago

Complete crap. Let the people swim!!!!! But they can play tennis and golf!?

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2 years ago

The water isn’t the issue, it’s the air above and around the swimmers that’s the problem.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Law

Amanda Law what about outdoor pools you come in already in your suit go straight to your lane and get in?

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2 years ago

This is not the message swimming community needs. We should follow safety guidelines to the letter and the CDC says swimming is safe.

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2 years ago

Wow I am dying to watch my College daughter swim again. Crazy Swim Dad here. But although I do see other news more positive elsewhere. I appreciate this group putting out factual information. Bad news is unpleasant but important. Suck it up. You’re swimmers not football players

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2 years ago

The issue is locker rooms, bathrooms. Chlorine killsx covid, correct?

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2 years ago

Moron

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2 years ago

So you scrapped all the other comments and re-posted?! Nice! How very open-minded of you guys!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Barnard

It’s all about the clicks and views!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Barnard

Jason Barnard right! That’s what I was thinking. I’m wondering if they are actually supporting the sport anymore or a hidden agenda.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Barnard

The original post is still on the page with all the comments, why did they repost this?

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2 years ago

Linda, if you’re looking through Facebook, the ‘post’ is the real article on the website which is posted just the once. Facebook is a way of alerting readers to posts on the website and our readership is 24 hours around the world. When an Australian wakes up, for example, he/she may check latest social media pushes. Hence the reposts that advertise posts on the website.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Jason Barnard

Linda Vetter Forman It’s all about the clicks and views. They re-post and maybe the comments take a different tone and they get more people involved in their thread. Not much going on to report on due to COVID so they’re recycling content.

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2 years ago

Let us decide what’s safe for us.

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2 years ago

Kathryn Meinhardt you go girl. I don’t know why we are not enjoying some local reservoir swimming right now. Totally safe.

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2 years ago

Wow…smh…I am done with this page

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell same. They post one article, then a conflicting one right after. They keep posting the same stuff since they don’t have anything else to talk about. I’m snoozing this account for the next 30’days.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Amanda Law

Amanda and Maranda: there are many views and strategies being worked out, all of them geared to finding a safe return to the water. There is no ‘eureka! we found the solution’ to this, every pool, type of pool and facility, size of program – around the world (we have a world audience) – bringing its own challenges. That different views are reflected in our coverage is a strength. That you don’t like to read one view or another is a matter for you, not a reflection of whether our coverage is reasonable and balanced, which it is.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell just trying to present all sides

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell peace out!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Maranda Bell

Maranda Bell yep…about to dump them too. This is a flu, nothing more. Most who get it dont even know they are sick from it. Its ridiculous

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly Joy

Kim, you keep repeating that untruth. As penned in other comment, it is not “a flu” in the clinical and standard interpretations of that … there is no vaccine nor remedy nor alleviating medication for COVID-19. In the period 2017 to 2019, according to CDC figures, vaccination against ‘flu strains have resulted in 10.6m averted infections, 5.5m averted visits to doctor, around 150,000 averted hospitalisations and 9,200 deaths, in the U.S. alone. COVID-19 is estimated to be 3-4 times more virulent (some estimates go much higher) and is a virus that is not yet fully understood.

On that basis, caveat emptor on any calls for pool returns without the back-up of safe strategies backed by science and expert knowledge and opinion.

If we’re to get swimming back to where it would love to be, with the smallest risk of reversal, the fastest route is to tell it like it is, including noting the fundamental differences that scientists are still working out between flu and covid-19 (unlike ‘flu, “COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route, meaning that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near” … and that is among key things, along with the risks in pools of aerosolised water and trace elements of faeces in pool environments, that MUST be considered in the process of opening up pools and programs). When we acknowledge and pay attention to such things, safe strategies will be much easier to work out and implement … It is not ‘a ‘flu’ … :

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu

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Not cool

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2 years ago

Looks difficult.

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2 years ago

Realistically I don’t think I am going to be in the water until September at the earliest.

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2 years ago

“according to a recent report from The Mercury News in San Jose, California” – that explains it.

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2 years ago

Curious as to how many of the folks who think this is BS have actually had the virus.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Holden Bank

That’s an interesting question! Does anyone here know any competitive swimmers who have been diagnosed with the virus?

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2 years ago

Oh give me a break. This virus is overhyped beyond belief. Its a flu. Thats it. Most who get it dont even get sick from it. Stop with the fear mongering

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2 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly Joy

Kimberly Joy have a look at the death tolls in Europe the USA is constantly rising I know many people who have had it and it’s not the flu it’s much worse and it’s not just the old who get it badly

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Chlorine kills… put 1 swimmer or 2 swimmers per lane. All would be fine

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2 years ago

Marianela Vargas

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2 years ago

Plan for Swimming… What about Water Polo?!?