Please Open the Pools! New Petition Advocates Safe Access for Swimming, Water Polo

4lifelessons_chlorine-deckwear-overhead-pool-butterfly
Photo Courtesy: Chlorine Deckwear

Amidst a plethora of petitions regarding swimming and water polo in the U.S., add an effort by a pair of California parents urging public officials to reopen public pools despite COVID-19. Sean Plotkin, a parent whose life-long love of all things aquatics includes swimming, scuba diving and water polo, has joined forces with Steven Munatones, a parent as well as long-time polo player and supporter, on a push to get pools open nationwide.

[Please Open our Pools for the Good of the Community]

Plotkin_Son_Jan_21

Photo Courtesy: Sean Plotkin

According to Plotkin, the petition’s goal is to “gain support amongst decision makers for a uniform method of opening up pools in SoCal, CA and the USA.” He—and others—believe that when proper pool maintenance and COVID-19 protocols are strictly adhered to, a chlorinated pool is one of the safest places for kids to gather, exercise and enjoy activities with friends that provide comfort and emotional sustenance during America’s seemingly endless coronavirus pandemic.

“Outdoor chlorinated pools have been documented to be exceedingly difficult to transmit the COVID-19 virus because of the disinfectant properties of liquid chlorine, the natural repeated action of submerging one’s head and limbs in the chlorinated water while swimming, and the humid conditions that exist immediately above the water’s surface serve to dissipate possible virus aerosolization….”

In petitioning “Superintendents, Trustees, esteemed Decision Makers,” one of Plotkin and Munatones key considerations is the impact closing aquatics facilities has had upon children in less fortunate school districts. Another passage from the petition states:

“The majority of children, especially, those in less advantaged financial demographics, do not have access to local community aquatics facilities beyond their neighboring high school. Consider also the diminished community safety from these athletes not being ready to help protect our beaches when needed.”

By evoking a civic responsibility for pools to be reopened, the authors are perhaps swimming upstream in California, a state currently battered by the virus. In recent weeks, the Golden State has experience record waves of COVID-19 infection and death, with Governor Gavin Newsome facing the grim prospects of overcrowded hospital ICUs, shortages of necessary supplies, including oxygen tanks, and a crisis of a magnitude that threatens his once promising political career.

Pool_Pict_Plotkin_JAN21

Photo Courtesy: Sean Plotkin

In a moment that would take political will, it may make sense for Newsome and California legislators carefully examine the optics of keeping kids at home, away from schools and shuttering local outdoor pools, which have been proven to offer a safe haven for physical activity.

In an email to Swimming World, Plotkin directly addressed the positive benefits that communal activities like swimming and polo have—and the ill-effects of ignoring the pandemic’s emotional toll.

“The emotional component of camaraderie and human interaction on a regular basis is an additional intangible component that is huge in these times of increased suicide and emotional pain,” he wrote.

To sign the petition and support this cause, please click on this link.

For more information about what actions might be taken to reverse the trend of closing pools due to coronavirus concerns, please email Sean Plotkin at principalstone@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.