Indoor Water Parks Added Extra Safety Measures

Group of young kids wearing face masks at an indoor water park
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Group of young kids wearing face masks at an indoor water park

In the winter of 2020, there were still quite a lot of restrictions on businesses. Our family got invited to a 10-year old’s birthday party, and a lot of the things you would normally do to celebrate that milestone were still closed. Bowling alleys, escape rooms, and video game arcades were all still shut down. Hotels never really closed, and as luck would have it, there was a great hotel in our area that has a huge indoor water park, with several tube water slides, splash pad for the toddlers and a lazy river and huge hot tub for the parents to enjoy. These hotel/waterparks are very popular in cold weather northern states because they let you escape the drudgery of bitter cold winters, even if it’s just for just a quick weekend visit.

At this hotel, they hadn’t quite figured out how they were going to operate during COVID-19. The waterpark portion of the property had been closed in the spring like everything else in the country. It took them about six months to figure out how to open the waterpark, and when they did, it brought a lot of pent-up families out of their house to do anything other than sit at home.

We checked into our room and immediately everyone in our party changed into swimming gear and headed down to the waterpark. Here is where it got a little silly. The hotel management opened one of their banquet rooms to serve as the entrance to the waterpark area. They used a second otherwise-out-of-the-way door as the exit. Each door was one-way only, so that the people entering would not have to cross paths with the people exiting. While you were walking to and from the entrance/exit, you were required to wear a face mask. The parents were casually sitting around tables trying to have a conversation, but indoor waterparks are notoriously the loudest places on the planet, and to try and have a conversation through a mask was quite a challenge.

When the kids came out of the water for a drink or snack, they had to immediately mask up. The lifeguards were tasked equally with watching the water for safety, and making sure the out-of-water children were wearing masks. But when the kids entered the water, they didn’t have to wear masks! There is no bigger petri dish of activity than a waterpark, even with the chlorine and chemicals in the water.

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Picture of author Anthony Faust

About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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