Dear Crabby, Where Can I Go Swimming?

Dear Crabby,

Not to be too overdramatic, but is it safe to go swimming this summer? And if so, where?

Amy Island

Dear Amy Island,

Duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun.

Sorry. As soon as I read your question all I could think of was the movie Jaws. If anyone reading this doesn’t know what I’m talking about, you may not be the target audience for my column. Or perhaps you’ve led a sheltered life. Either way, I suggest you go ahead and watch it. Better yet, read the book by Peter Benchley that it’s based on. Now back to your question: sure, it’s safe to go swimming this summer. It just depends on what type of water you plan on wading around in.

Over Memorial Day Weekend it was hotter than a firecracker lit at both ends! And most people I know were looking for a little relief, which isn’t easy to achieve in the days of social distancing and limited gatherings. If you’re looking to swim in a public pool, you’re out of luck. Just last week, Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties (Detroit is included in this too) announced they were closing all public pools for the summer and… HOLD THE PHONE! This week Governor Whitmer says public OUTDOOR pools (indoor pools are staying shut) can start opening Monday, June 8. I’ll give you a moment to recover from the information whiplash.

Ready to read on? Good.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Before you pull out your speedo and water wings, remember even though the chlorine in most swimming pools is enough to inactivate the COVID-19 virus, pools will be operating at a limited capacity and folks are still required to follow social distancing rules. How in the world the lifeguards plan to enforce that is beyond me. Maybe people will have reservations like at a restaurant? “Now serving the Smith party of four. Please come to the shallow end for your swimming reservation.” I wonder if you have to tip for towel service?

Now, lakes and rivers are another matter.

The smarty-pants experts say there aren’t any known virus transmissions in these bodies of water and that in general the outdoors poses less of a risk because the air flows more freely. That doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement to me, but seeing as we live in the Great Lakes State and that we have over 11,000 inland lakes to choose from, the odds are in your favor of finding a safe place to swim. To help maintain the proper distance from your fellow swimmers, I recommend getting one of those obnoxiously large floats that seem to be everywhere. Bonus if it has a beverage holder. You might as well be comfortable if you have to follow all these rules.

Of course, you could always buy an inflatable pool or even one of those round kiddie pools. That is if you can find them and they can last more than a week. If you do get an inflatable pool, for the love, buy an air pump so you don’t pass out from trying to blow it up the old-fashioned way. And if this was the summer you planned on putting in a pool, either above- or in-the-ground – good luck finding one that doesn’t cost as much as a new car. Because even if you are willing to shell out the clams for one, pool suppliers are slammed and struggling to meet the demand, which means they might not be able to help you out until winter. So, if you know someone who has a pool or lives on a lake, start sucking up to them now. For those of you fortunate to have a pool already or live on a lake, you might want to consider charging a “club fee” to offset the cost of entertaining all the freeloaders who are sure to come knocking.

As for me, I plan on helping the neighborhood stay cool this summer by turning a hose on anyone who steps on my lawn! Just one of the perks of being old and crabby.

Stay cool!
Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. James F. Ahearn says

    Always get a kick out of your articles.

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