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HOW THE CORONAVIRUS CHANGED LIFEGUARDING IN AMERICA

The pandemic has taught the world a lot of things and one of the most important things that the pandemic taught us is that our jobs are always at a risk. That is why we should not stick to just one job and develop skills which would help us make a change in our profession. Today we’ll take a look at how the pandemic changed lifeguarding in America to understand why it is important to develop more than one skill.

1. LOSS OF JOBS

It was not just lifeguarding business that got affected by the pandemic. The virus severely damaged multiple businesses and that led to a loss of jobs. People were wandering with their educational qualifications in their hands hoping to get employed somewhere, but that made a very little difference to their condition. Lifeguards were also affected by the pandemic as people were restricted from visiting beaches during the lockdown and that led to a loss of jobs for lifeguards.

2. LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES EVEN AFTER THE LOCKDOWN ENDED

The pandemic showed the world how criminally underrated the issue of unemployment is and how it was present way before the pandemic hit us. The previous point made it clear that the pandemic made people lose their jobs and even when the restrictions were lifted up, people found it really hard to get a job. Lifeguards tried to return to their jobs but since the beaches had already incurred a lot of loss during the pandemic, it was difficult to hire them back. So clearly there was a lack of opportunities for people and they were not getting employed at any decent organization.

3. CHANGE IN THE TRAINING PROCESS OF LIFEGUARDS

The training process of lifeguards faced a lot of challenges in the form of changes in the training process. The training process which previously used to have a lot of practical exposure to all kinds of situations a lifeguard might face at the beach, now it was just reduced to videos and online lectures. Don’t you think that it is too less of a training for such an important profession? So, the lifeguard training process got overridden with virtual learning and practical exercises such as CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation were restricted to videos only.

4. MAKING PEOPLE FOLLOW THE SOCIAL DISTANCING NORMS AT POOLS

A lot of people rushed to the beaches when they came to know that the lockdown was no longer an obstacle between them and their vacation time. Lifeguards who were deployed at the beaches which faced a lot of rush found it difficult to make people follow all the social distancing rules and their lack of restraint put at risk the lives of multiple people on the beach. A lifeguard shares his experience about the same, “They were just hugging each other all the time and throwing water at each other from their mouths, I tried to keep them at bay but they just did not listen!”

5. DIFFICULTY IN GETTING RECERTIFIED

The lifeguard recertification process became a headache for many lifeguards as they found it hard to clear the tests after spending a long holiday (the coronavirus lockdown) at homes and that holiday took a toll on their physical fitness. There are a lot of tests which take place during the lifeguard recertification process and it is not easy to clear them all without being fit enough. So, that played a major role in lifeguards turning to other occupations to make a living for themselves.

6. NO MOUTH-TO-MOUTH RESUSCITATION

The coronavirus is a highly infectious disease and anything which involves a physical contact which might expose you to the virus is strictly a big no to all the lifeguards. All the lifeguards on their respective duties were asked to refrain from using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation techniques whenever they find a person who has water filled in their lungs because of drowning. This technique involves a direct exchange of the fluids of two individuals and that makes it a great carrier of coronavirus. So, that is one of the major ways the coronavirus has affected the lives of many lifeguards.

7. WEARING PROTECTIVE GEAR

It was mandated that all the people who are involved in this job had to wear protective gear such as PPE kits, masks, gloves etc. That certainly made it difficult for them to operate normally as whenever there was an emergency, they would have to take off their safety kits and run towards the sea. It hindered their efficiency and response time, but it was necessary to wear it to keep themselves safe from getting infected. So, that is just another way in which the coronavirus affected lifeguards and their jobs.

Even after all that has been mentioned above, lifeguarding is not that bad of a job. If you want to join lifeguarding, then you must enroll yourself for lifeguard classes in any nearby facility so that you can also serve the people who are out for fun. Also, make sure that you pass the recertification process every time to continue your services.

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