Because it has with so many different features of life, the pandemic has upended almost each component of lifeguarding. Ocean rescues are contactless and require guards to bathe and sanitize gear afterward. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is completed by means of a face masks geared up with a guide pump.
Many lifeguards now carry hand sanitizer plus disposable masks and gloves, to present out and to guard themselves from the teams of individuals, usually maskless, who’re packing the shore.
To this point, outbreaks amongst lifeguards have appeared to resulted largely from group housing and post-work gatherings, which for a lot of younger employees are promoting factors of this quintessential seasonal job.
Final month, roughly two dozen lifeguards in Avalon, N.J., examined optimistic for the virus. That led to the quarantining of about 45 guards, depleting the ranks and forcing different guards to work shifts with no breaks. In New York, 13 lifeguards from two Suffolk County seashores tested positive in July after attending a barbecue. There have been quite a few smaller outbreaks, together with in Cape Cod, Delaware and Newport Beach, Calif.
Janet Fash, a lifeguard chief at New York Metropolis’s Rockaway Seashore, mentioned her guards had been making extra rescues than regular, partially as a result of there are such a lot of beachgoers.
The problem is to take care of distance from struggling swimmers — an odd notion to most lifeguards, who’re largely educated to by no means lose contact with them.
Usually, lifeguards cross swimmers a rescue buoy after which clasp them throughout the chest. Now, to keep away from making contact, many guards strategy individuals from behind, cross them the buoy and tow them in utilizing the buoy line.