As we have a little bit more time on our hands than normally during lockdown we thought we would write about what implications Covid-19 has on our paddleboard school and how ‘business as usual’ after lockdown could look like.

(COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, WHO, 2020).

First of all we would like to start with something positive; The impact the lockdown has had on the environment and especially within sea-life all over the world. Dolphins in the Venetian canals? Whether true or not, The canal water, nonetheless, is clearer because of the decrease in boat activity (National Geographic, 2020). I have received a video from a friend in Mallorca showing dolphins playing in the port of Portals Nous. It’s good to see that it doesn’t take long for wildlife to flourish again while we all stay at home (and take a break from polluting the world). Sadly, if we go back to ‘business as usual’ those developments will quickly disappear. However, it shows that our actions do matter and if we all change our habits and watch our ‘footprint’ more carefully we can help the environment and wildlife to recover slowly.

Before we write about the negative implications, we would like to offer our sincere condolences to all the families affected by the virus and who have lost a loved one.

A big impact the lockdown has on all of us, is the lack of activity. Especially now it is important to stay active and fit, as some articles indicate that people whose BMI falls into the normal zone (18.5 to 25) can tackle the virus better than others (CDC 2020). That’s why we recommend to spend at least 30 min. each day exercising at home or outdoors while respecting the lockdown rules.

The lockdown and it’s social distancing rules can also affect our mental health negatively. The outbreak of the virus itself, and it’s consequences such as job-loss or insecurity about the future, can be very stressful and cause anxiety and overwhelming emotions in adults and children. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend to take breaks from watching the news, take care of our bodies, make time to unwind and to connect with others in order to cope with the stress caused by the virus (CDC, 2020). A reason more to stay active and use exercising as a method of releasing stress.

We can only imagine how much people are missing their outdoor activities right now. While paddleboarding would offer a perfect way of getting back into a more sporty self, we are not sure whether we will be fully operating this summer and when we are allowed to open our doors to the public again. However, we have put together an action plan about how to be operative so that we can be ready as quick as possible.

But first of all, is Covid-19 in the water? According to an article experts agree on: it’s not the beach itself that’s a threat as much as the beachgoers.

There is one small way the water might pose a hazard. Kimberly Prather, PhD, director of the NSF Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment, says there’s a slim chance that in areas where ocean water mixes with untreated wastewater contaminated by the virus, the churn of the waves could aerosolize it, and wind could carry it back to shore (WebMD, 2020)

According to public data from Natural Resources Wales, There are no sewage treatment works which discharge in the vicinity of Saundersfoot (NRW, 2020). That’s why our main focus will be on keeping social distancing and sterilising equipment while running the paddleboard school.

For our Paddleboard school we have made the following decisions:

  • Sterilise each equipment after usage
  • Keep the changing rooms sterilised
  • Keeping 1m distance in queues and group briefings
  • Keep groups small and if possible within groups of families and friends (not mixing with other families and friends)
  • Technically we could fully operate outdoors without the need of entering our unit if people have health concerns

We hope we can welcome you soon in our Paddleboard school in Saundersfoot. We can’t wait to get into the water!

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