In what has been the first crisis of the new decade, COVID-19 – i.e. the coronavirus – is spreading across the country at a frantic pace. While some of the virus’s symptoms mirror that of the flu, the two illnesses are, in fact, much different. The coronavirus is extremely contagious, and it can be passed from one individual to another through “respiratory droplets.” This has Americans world-wide asking: is it still safe to swim during this pandemic?
For most people asking this question, the point is moot – gyms across the world are temporarily shutting down in an effort to contain the spread of this virus. However, individuals who own a pool of their own find themselves in a unique situation. Whether they wish to practice social distancing by laying on a raft out in the sun or with laps for regular exercise, there is real fear that swimming will better their odds of contracting the virus.
Fortunately, swimming in your pool is still safe during the COVID-19 outbreak – so long as the water is properly maintained and cared for.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that “there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs,” and that “proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
The reveal of this information, however, does not call for a pool party. The CDC still recommends that individuals electing to use a pool during this time limit the occupants and maintain a six-foot radius between one another at all times. Additionally, our team at East Carolina Services suggests users maintain proper hygiene and sanitation by:
- Wiping down all handrails and ledges touched with disinfectant wipes and/or sprays after use
- Ensuring pool sanitation levels are actively maintained
- Doing your best to refrain from coughing or sneezing in the area (since “respiratory droplets” can linger for up the three hours after exiting the body)
The Benefits of Swimming
During this unprecedented time in our country’s recent history, people are finding it more difficult than ever to exercise. Home workouts can be a unique challenge for some fitness enthusiasts, but there are other individuals out there who struggle to find motivation working out in the comforts of their living room.
Now more than ever, it is essential that people remain in good health, as the virus is more likely to target individuals with respiratory issues or concerns. Swimming is a great way to work your lungs, especially now when the alternative is likely sitting on your couch!
Some of the other benefits of swimming include:
- Building and toning muscles
- Enhancing aerobic capacity
- Relief from joint-pain and related conditions, including arthritis
- Release of powerful endorphins (hormones that make your feel good)