As the days get extended, summery, and warmer, it’s no surprise that people are craving to head to the beach. However, going to the beach, or performing any public outdoor activity these days can have benefits and risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people to go outside to alleviate stress and get crisp air and vitamin D. To be safe outside, it’s crucial to take proper precautions and to stay home if you are sick.
Thus, simply because several beaches may be re-opening doesn’t mean that you are not required to follow precautions. If you’re planning to visit the beach in the future, here’s what you need to know to do it safely.
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Maintain Social Distancing
If you are at the beach, make sure you treat everyone like they were wearing thongs and had great gassy problems. With this thing in mind, you can keep your distance at least six feet away if not further from everyone else. Above all, in spite of the sun, wind, and waves, keep in your mind that the COVID-19 coronavirus may still be all over the place. Additionally, you should wear a mask or other facial covering to shield others from you in case you are carrying the virus and you don’t know it. Although, it may not look matching to your swimsuit unless you happened to use the same fabric but who cares, right? Think about your health instead of how you look like.
Verify the Rules Before You Go
Beaches have different coronavirus-related requirements and they may vary differently among states—and even among neighbouring towns. There are some that are open to all activities without limitation, others permit beach access only for running, walking, fishing, or swimming but not for relaxing or picnicking.
There are several areas also implementing or taking measures to help reduce crowding like limiting parking lots to 50 per cent capacity and selling hardly any beach passes, and if wearing a mask is required or recommended. So if you’re planning to go for a beach weekend getaway, contact first your local beach or public health department for current guidelines, and try to do your part by just simply going back home if the parking lot and beach are too crowded to follow social distancing.
The CDC also recommends limiting visits to beaches (and other outdoor recreation areas, like parks) to those near at home. Travelling further distances means that you’ll most likely have to stop along the way and potentially add to the spread of the virus. Moreover, if you ever do visit the beach or anywhere else, always have disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers with you that you can use while you’re outdoors. So wash your hands as soon as your return home.
Health experts accept that while waterborne transmission of the novel coronavirus may be possible, it’s very unlikely. One potential direction of infection is through the saliva or mucus from an infected person that might possibly end up in the water when you’re swimming. The virus can enter into the eyes, nose, or mouth of another swimmer.
Research from Gerba concludes that the virus that causes common cold can live in freshwater for up to three days. He adds that we don’t have studies on seawater, but normally viruses survive for less time in saltwater. But the bigger threat in the water is being close enough to an infected person to directly breathe in the virus particles they sneeze, exhale, or cough. So try to keep that in mind.
Avoid Staying Longer in Different Facilities
Even in areas where beaches have opened, their corresponding facilities like bathrooms and concession stands are not safe from the virus. These facilities have plenty of high-touch surfaces such as toilet handles, faucets, doorknobs that can highly increase the chances of picking up the virus particles on their fingers.
Always Keep In Mind
Since a lot of your energy and time would be focused on coronavirus safety, don’t forget to also take common beach precautions also in mind. Although most beaches open to swimming are likely to have lifeguards on duty, you still have to swim responsibly. But don’t wander too far from the lifeguard protected zone because you are keeping your social distance from other swimmers. Also, put some sun protection while you are at the beach!