COVID - 19

Diving in the Era of COVID-19

Douglas Ebersole, MD

RAID Medical Advisor

April 2020

 

I come to you as a recreational and technical diving instructor, as a physician consultant for Divers Alert Network, as the medical advisor for RAID and as a COVID-19 survivor. For me, was just an occupational hazard. I tested positive for COVID-19 after seeing a patient in my cardiology clinic for an unrelated condition who seemed quite short of breath. He was admitted to the ICU and tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, he did not require a ventilator and recovered after approximately two weeks in the hospital.

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I was notified of his positive test one week after my exposure. As I had been wearing my N95 mask when I saw him, I was advised to take my temperature daily and self monitor for symptoms. I did well for a few days and then began developing a cough and profound fatigue followed by fever. I ended up testing positive and spent the next couple of weeks quarantined at home. I have now recovered and will be going back to work this week and look forward to returning to diving. More on that later. I am definitely one of the lucky ones. Thousands of others have been hospitalized, required ventilators, and have died. Our thoughts and prayers should go out to those patients and their families.


While this is a horrific global event, the diving industry will come out the other side. When we do, how do we safely get people diving? This is a multifactorial issue, involving dive shops, dive charters, instructors and the individual diver/student.

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