Shockwaves went through the diving community when ‘long-haul COVID’, a form of the virus where covid symptoms can last as long as a year, was announced. It seemed as if it was going to mean the end of diving for many people. However, as doctors learned more about the virus and its effects on the body, the possibility of getting back to scuba diving after Covid seemed more likely. Perhaps all hope was not lost after all.
If you are one of the unlucky scuba divers who found themselves the victim of long-haul COVID, you’re probably eager to get back in the water. Here’s what you need to know about when to scuba dive after having COVID-19.
Wait Until You Are Fully Recovered
The good news is that doctors say you can definitely get back in the water after suffering from long-haul COVID. However, you will have to wait for a full recovery until you’re ready to get back in the water.
Many people suffer from COVID long-haul relapse. After their symptoms clear up for a few weeks or even months, they suddenly find themselves suffering from shortness of breath, brain fog, and fatigue again.
It’s important not to try to get back in your dive gear until you know that you’re fully recovered. Otherwise, you may not have the strength needed to complete your dive.
That puts you at a huge safety risk and can lead to devastating diving emergencies. Make sure that you’re no longer undergoing follow-up care and that you have returned to your normal fitness baseline before donning your wetsuit again.
Take a Fitness to Scuba Dive Assessment
Once you feel that your fitness is back where it should be, it’s time to take a fitness-to-dive test. These tests help prove that you’re ready to get back in the water and start diving again.
You’ll want to make sure you speak with a doctor who specializes in dive medicine. They’ll know what to look for to make sure that you’re truly ready to start diving again.
During your dive assessment, you’ll most likely undergo an oxygen saturation exercise test, take a chest radiograph, and have spirometry performed. These processes will all help your doctor understand if you’re ready to dive again.
Take Things Slowly
If you haven’t gone on a dive in several months, it can be tempting to jump right in. However, it’s extremely important to take things slowly.
Start by diving closer to home or in areas that you’re very familiar with. Make sure to choose scuba dive sites that aren’t too difficult and allow yourself to ease back into the water.
You may even want to start by sticking to close water locations. This can help make sure that you’re truly ready to get started again and that you aren’t putting yourself at risk.
Be sure to practice dive safety protocol and to bring someone with you. That helps ensure that if for some reason things go awry, you’ve got someone who can help.
The Bottom Line
Getting ready to scuba dive after long-haul COVID is exciting, and as long as you take things slowly it’s a lot of fun, too. Following these tips can help ensure a safe return to the water even after suffering from covid.
If you’re interested in getting your scuba certification, the team at Scuba Guru has got you covered! Call our team and learn about our classes and dive trips today and if you want to learn to dive the Northeast, we also have a great formula for that.