Diary

Coronavirus and diving

There are a few 'conflicting' views on the impact of Covid-19 so I have added the details for your information....

Please, before we start I am not a doctor or a medical professional but I am a chartered engineer who can follow the evidence and make a considered judgement and form my own opinions. These opinions are exactly that, an opinion, as additional data is made available then for sure my opinion will be finessed, so without further ado:

Firstly here is an article from Divernet on the impacts:

https://divernet.com/2020/04/25/covid-19-lung-effects-worry-diving-doc/

That looks quite grim reading but then on a second on-line forum, Linkedin, a guy posted this link on the "Marine Archeology" group page which is probably technically more accurate, and started the article with the words below:

https://www.uhms.org/images/Position-Statements/Return_to_Diving_Post_COVID-19_Final_NB.pdf

This post links the position statement of the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, which concludes: "At the present time, we simply do not have sufficient data to support or refute the definitive proclamations made by [the recent article]."

So what opinion am I forming?

Well, based on the available data my opinion is that it is simply too early to form an opinion! Why? 

Divernet are in effect a news agency who have a job, that is to sell print and a definitive articles which arguably preys on peoples fears will sell copy and apologies for taking that stance.

When the data has been peer-reviewed by experts they have found shortfalls including a very, very small sample size, possibly due in part to divers tending to have an efficient lung/cardio-vascular system. At an age of 50 my recent medical identified that my lung function is that of a teenager!

My advice for those unfortunate enough to contract Covid-19 is that you should take a steady return, acting as if you had a case of flu or even pneumonia. So that means taking the first baby steps at an inland site, ideally one with cover should you have problems......swallow your pride and go to Stoney Cove or similar. Start nice and shallow 6m and have a good long dive an hour or so if you can find something to keep you occupied. Take a break and then go deeper, maybe 20m but head down slowly just in-case there are issues and dive.

Other ideas would be to use Nitrox for these dives so that the higher oxygen Partial Pressure will 'assist' your lungs in taking in oxygen and maybe carry a bail out of 100% oxygen just in-case you hit issues, you can get up to 10m switch to pure oxygen and then keep breathing even upon surfacing.

So there you go, lets see if there is anymore data coming out and in the meantime I hope you don't catch this horrible condition.

Dive safe

RichW

 

 

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