SCUBA diving the new normal

Unless you were hiding under a stone over the past few months, quite a few expressions, new and old, have sneaked into our daily conversations.This is maybe because giving clever names to things we do not fully understand, gives us the illusion of control and safety. 

In any case, between pandemic, mitigation, quarantine, flattening the curve, social distanciation and many other idioms, the expression “New Normal” is the one that had me wondering the most. How, with a lack of consensus and without a normalised response on how to best face this novel virus can there be any normal, let alone a new one?

In this matter the good news is that SCUBA divers generally know how essential risk management procedures are to safe diving practices. This is why, I have no doubt that my fellow divers are asking themselves COVID related questions and will be ready to add extra routines to help prevent the spread of the virus while engaging in diving again. 

Like most of us, I have read as much as I could possibly take on the novel COVID-19 in order to get a clear view of how it will modify our diving routines. For that matter I logically turned to a reference in Diving safety matters: Dive Alert Network (DAN). 

DAN has the merit, to have issued a clear set of recommendations to resume operations. They concede with honesty that their guidelines do not represent a guarantee against contamination and that they will induce extra costs and workload.

You’ll have understood that I am no infectious diseases expert and that I’ll trust and apply DAN’s recommendations as closely as possible, but I wonder:

  • Have you read DAN’s guidelines? If you haven’t, you may want to start here.
  • As a dive center owner: How practical do you think these guidelines will be in the specific context of your shop? Have you come up with creative workarounds?
  • As a diver: In what way will you adapt your behaviour when diving? What do you expect from the dive operators?

If you are reading this, you most probably fall on either or both of the two categories above so feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. `

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