Posted BY: Geoff Brown
The archaeology of COVID persists. Outside this aquatic center, on the concrete sidewalks and expanses that surround the pool buildings, are the fading spray-painted X’s that once pinned in-bound swimmers to a “safe” spot, attempting to reassure the frightened, as Jim Breuer so memorably puts it: “Six feet safe; five feet danger!” Gone are the wedding tents that once sheltered incoming practice groups marooned outside as they shivered and waited for an opportunity to enter a restricted indoor space. Invisible but present still are the layers of virus-killing disinfectant that cake every wall.
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Above the wall opposite the scoreboard, a remote camera maintains a lonely vigil, a memory of the day when parents and non-competing swimmers were not allowed on deck during competitions but could watch their children or teammates compete via video in idling cars. The plastic circles and traffic cones that marked the progression of swimmers through the “sorting cap” of the clerk of the course (where competing swimmers are organized into heats and lanes) prior to entering the competition pool are gone. In the pump rooms are ghostly baskets or bags proudly marked with their disinfecting dates.