Over the past four and a half months the world has changed and may never go back to what it once was. Coronavirus is just the beginning of it as 2020 will go down as one of the most historic years of this country’s history. One thing that will stick with me for a long time is how our local, state, and federal government didn’t know how to categorize the use of pools during a pandemic. As far as I’m concerned, they made a bad problem worse.

By no means is this a political post as it speaks truth to the lack of knowledge of our leaders in regard to the essential need for pools. I figured that the state government was closing down all public pools, which means any pool that is not in your backyard, because they figured people would use them to congregate and cool down during hot spring/summer days. That is only one of many reasons that people use pools and making sure that the categorization of pools as essential in the future is extremely important.

Water safety instruction saves lives. As an organization, Evolution Swim Academy has worked with thousands of infants and toddlers in Orange County and it is because of our expertise in water safety instruction and because of the vigilance of more educated families, that these kids are safer & more confident in and around water. Closing public pools made teaching children impossible and it could not have come at a worse time. Drownings spike during spring and summer as more families opt to be near bodies of water during these months. Without the teachings of these essential skills, children are left vulnerable to drownings that would otherwise be preventable. Wearing personal protective equipment as an instructor is as easy as wearing a face covering and a face shield to protect both student and instructor. The chlorine and bromine in the water does the rest in making sure that the environment is as safe as can be. I hope that we never go through another pandemic again but in case we do, I would hope that all levels of government would consider working with experts in this field so that they do not make a bad problem worse.

Swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88% and this holds true for all age groups, not just infants and toddlers. But swim lessons are not the only programing that is interrupted when pools close. Aquatic therapy for rehabilitation patients is also interrupted as is lap swimming for mental health. It would make more sense to close pools down for recreational use but keep them open for essential uses like swim lessons, lap swimming, and aquatic therapy, all with proper supervision.

I will never understand why it is important to save our local eateries from going under but not equally as important to save our kids from drowning. I will never understand how it is safe to keep liquor stores open for business but not equally as important to keep aquatic therapy open for patients. I may not know what the future holds but what I do know is that the swimming community needs to get to local, state and federal officials to educate them on the essential services that swimming pools provide people of all ages.