Just keep swimming

The pros and cons of reopening pools in Surrey


It’s felt like forever since lockdown has commenced. Parties packed with friends seem like something of the past. To simply chill with your squad is a desire that remains unfulfilled. Lockdown fatigue has affected us all. And with the second wave inbound, any hopes of things returning to the way they were remain distant.

On Oct. 13, the City of Surrey Council reopened the Sport and Leisure Complex indoor pool to the public. By reopening the pool, the hope is to promote limited human interaction as well as activity in a contained environment.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of opening up indoor pools.

In this case, opening up pools while still restricting the number of people swimming is a great way to boost morale and lift everyone’s spirits. The kinship each participant receives while engaging in these swimming activities is hugely beneficial, even if it’s just for a small amount of time.

Then there’s the physical aspect of an indoor pool. The opportunity to plunge into a different environment that isn’t in our houses, which is where we spend most of our time now, is one not to be missed.

Swimming itself is quite the practice, staying afloat is a full-body workout, and while swimming is not without its hazards, keeping afloat is very satisfying when you nail the concept in your head and your body adapts to it.

Learning the different forms of swimming, like the backstroke and advancing towards the front stroke, as well as how to properly dive into the water takes practice but it’s well worth the time.

Now let’s talk about the cons of opening up indoor pools.

Let’s start with the obvious. As if 2020 couldn’t be more screwed up, there are reports of the virus cases increasing. Even though it is transmitted through the air and contact with surfaces, there is no guarantee that it can’t be spread while people are swimming close to one another. Even with chlorine, there is a chance that the virus could survive in the air for a period of time, and it is recommended that people not wear masks while swimming, because it can make breathing more difficult when they get wet.

Before anyone has time to realise it, they may become carriers without knowing, even if they wear masks outside the pool. Pool staff are disinfecting and taking extra cleaning precautions, but if other swimmers have the virus and aren’t aware, there’s nothing anybody can do.

I think that reopening indoor pools isn’t such a bad idea, ultimately. By carefully opening up swimming pools, the physical and therapeutic benefits gained from these indoor spaces can be lifesavers. However, the potential for infections, even if it’s just a small amount of people, is still there. If handled the wrong way, not only could people get infected, but the pool will be shut down again, robbing people of their exercise.