Why You Should Hold Off on Scuba Diving Right Now

It’s been well over half a year since the first handful of cases of Coronavirus cases were identified in Wuhan, China. Still, COVID-19 continues to be a looming threat, infecting thousands of people daily and racking up a fatality count reminiscent of past wars.

Some countries have started easing up on their restrictions and many have somewhat returned to their pre-pandemic routine. Exercise and entertainment activities are allowed as long as they follow social distancing and a host of other health protocols.  Scuba diving professionals and enthusiasts have now resumed group dives or classes in some coastal areas.

However, the big question persists: Is it safe to scuba dive with the Coronavirus? It would seem to be that it’s better to hold off on engaging in this underwater activity for a number of reasons.

Rapid transmission

COVID-19 has been known to spread quickly, sometimes without people even realizing it. So venturing outside for prolonged periods of time and coming into contact with a multitude of individuals can easily get you infected with the Coronavirus. 

Lasting Lung Damage

Dr. Matias Nochetto, director of medical service at Divers Alert Network (DAN), talks about how being infected with COVID-19 can cause lasting lung damage and possibly be dangerous for underwater activities.

The Coronavirus infection damages cells in the lungs. And the body’s inflammatory reaction makes it worse. This results in reduced lung function and gas exchange capabilities. Inflammation of the lungs can cause fluid and pus to leak into the lungs, leading to irreparable lung scarring and damage.

Here’s what he had to say on the matter during a DAN webinar that discussed the fears surrounding the virus.

"This is not good for anyone's lungs, let alone diving...There is no proof that any lungs have fully recovered from COVID-19. Everyone that has had COVID so far, even if they had COVID in January, their lungs are likely still recovering, so it is too soon to say if they are or are not gonna be able to dive."

With that warning from experts, it’s safe to say that the risk far outweighs the rewards. So as scientists scramble to create an effective vaccine against COVID-19, it’s best to stay outside the  water and safe in one’s home.

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