It’s been a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Looking back, many people around the world have fallen victims to this disease. To protect the people, communities around the world enforced strict health protocols and travel restrictions. These preventive measures caused a setback in the economy which affected the majority of business sectors including the diving sector.
Many people were convinced that the pandemic would only last a few months. Who would have thought that we will still be faced with this concern a year later? People are resilient and we learned to face the enemy head-on. We found a renewed sense of hope now that COVID-19 vaccines are being disseminated to the people.
We would like to take this opportunity to share the lessons we learned from this pandemic.
Lesson #1: The lockdown strengthened family ties
The lockdown forced many people to adapt to the changes in their work environment. Many companies allowed their employees to work from home to prevent the spread of the virus. This gave people the opportunity to spend more quality time with their spouses, children, and extended family.
With many parents working remotely from their homes and children taking online classes or distance learning programs, families have more time to bond. If there’s a silver lining in these unprecedented times, then this is it. The global situation opened a path for family members to become closer to one another.
Lesson #2: COVID-19 made businesses re-evaluate policies and procedures
The COVID-19 pandemic affected small, mid-sized, and even big companies. One of the industries hit hard in this pandemic is tourism and travel.
Like many other businesses, we at Nemo Diving Center re-evaluated our policies and procedures to adjust to the changes brought about by the situation. We are committed to keeping our customers safe that’s why we implemented stringent health and safety protocols in the new normal. Our team regularly disinfects our dive center especially highly-touched areas to ensure the safety of our instructors and divers. We also make sure that our boat and dive equipment are properly disinfected before and after use.
Lesson #3: Nature found a way to flourish
When the global lockdown began, scientists observed the decline in air pollution. With many people forced to stay home, the usage of petroleum and other fossil-fuel products went down. The air quality dramatically improved in many urban centers. Even the ocean showed remarkable improvements such as the flourishing of some marine species populations due to the reduction of human-induced stressors.
Lesson #4: People can unite in times of social distancing
Plastic pollution has been a long-term global concern. Plastic is a major pollutant but the pandemic has led to the rise of new ocean pollutants – single-use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as disposal face masks and gloves. Disposable medical masks that end up at the beach and the ocean are entangling birds and marine creatures.
Despite the restrictions of COVID-19, people have turned to online measures to urge people to dispose of single-use PPE particularly face masks properly.
Our divers make it a point to retrieve discarded medical masks that we encounter in the ocean to protect marine life. We encourage fellow divers to do the same. If your group wants to do a clean-up dive, please get in touch with our dive shop Dubai and we can organize one for you.
Lesson #5: We can defeat this.
By continuing efforts to enforce strict health and safety protocols and getting vaccinated, we have better chances to win this battle. Stay safe everyone.