Well, here we are… still. It’s been some time since COVID-19 first went from a frightening headline to the reality of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean it’s much easier to navigate. And while the virus itself is still as strong as it was back in the beginning, it’s tempting to return to the way life was before the pandemic. Let’s face it: we’ve got cabin fever. The numbers of those who have been infected are only growing, but we’re all trying to implement as much normalcy as we can—and really getting to know the phrase “calculated risk.”
Luckily, a trip to the pool store doesn’t need to be one of the risks we take. Pandemic or not, there’s a better way to get the gear you need to maintain your pool—all while getting the best equipment on the market and saving some serious cash. Read on to get the quick brief on COVID-19, a recap of how it spreads, how retail stores are especially susceptible, and exactly why online pool supply is the better way—and will continue to be even after the pandemic.
Your COVID-19 Briefing—As If We’re Not All Glued to the Headlines
Chances are that you already know the basics of COVID-19, especially since you own a swimming pool. But since there is so much misinformation out there, I just want to make sure that we’re on the same page. I’ll be citing the authorized health authorities for every fact, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is a respiratory pathogen. Symptoms are usually mild, and the most common are fever, dry cough, and fatigue. However, some more severe symptoms include shortness of breath, loss of appetite, confusion, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, and high temperature. Although people aged sixty and over and those with underlying medical problems are at higher risk of developing serious illness, anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age (WHO).
Chances are that it’s been quite some time since you visited the CDC or WHO websites, which are updated frequently to reflect new scientific findings. Because most of us are taking cues from our family and friends, it’s easy to forget that COVID-19 can affect anyone, regardless of condition or age. Now let’s do a refresh on how exactly COVID-19 spreads.
Whatever sanitizing chemicals you add to your water don’t just spread evenly on their own. You’ll need a reliable, powerful, and energy-saving pump like the 2 HP Energy Star Variable Speed In Ground Blue Torrent Cyclone Pump to make sure all your water is treated. Plus, it comes with a free warranty, is eligible for rebates, and pays itself off in under a year. According to customer Dave Schmidt, “my pool has never looked cleaner!”
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
This topic is a hub of misinformation, so again I’m going to focus only on what the health authorities have reported. According to the CDC, COVID-19 most commonly spreads through exposure to respiratory droplets when a person is in close contact with someone who is infected. It can also be spread by airborne transmission, meaning across distances further than six feet from the person who is infected or even after that person has left the space.
For these reasons, the CDC recommends wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, avoiding crowds, and avoiding indoor spaces as much as possible. As they report, “The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19” (CDC).
COVID-19 and Retail Stores
It’s a tough time. I think I can speak for most of us when I say we just want the world to return back to pre-pandemic normalcy. (For people who have learned that they love isolation, at least it would be a choice!) But even though there are still ways to have fun safely—including owning a pool—we do still need to be careful. I’ll quote the CDC directly here: “As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country and the world, we all must remain vigilant. The changes we have had to make to routines and daily life are extremely hard, but these changes are even more important now and in the future.”
Among their recommendations for protecting yourself and others—including those in your household—is to “avoid indoor spaces as much as possible, particularly ones that aren’t well ventilated.” They also recommend ordering online or doing curbside pickup, adding “in general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread” (CDC).
If you do go to the store, it’s recommended that you wear a mask, go during hours when fewer people will be there, clean your reusable bags, disinfect your cart, refrain from touching parts of your face, stay at least six feet away from others, used marked entry or exit points, only touch what you plan to purchase, avoid food from self-service stations, and use touchless payment (CDC).
Whew. That’s a long list, and it’s still all preventative measures. As we’ve learned, COVID-19 can also be spread by airborne transmission, which can expand beyond the six feet of distance recommended. So even if you do all these measures, you can’t assume the store is ironclad-safe from the virus.
To keep your sanitizer working, it’s important to shock your pool about once a week. I recommend tried and true shock like the Super Premium Sanitizing and Fast-Acting Pool Shock. Not only does it work fast in your water, but its conveniently packaged in one-pound bags, so you never have to worry about measuring yours out again. As customer W Graves says, “Perfectly good shock at a third of the regular brick-and-mortar stores’ price. What’s not to like?”
COVID-19 and Online Stores
You probably guessed this one. Unlike retail stores, online stores are just about as safe as it gets. Computers might have software viruses, but you’re never going to get a biological virus from your browser.
Of course, it’s probably unrealistic to expect anyone to shop exclusively online. There are many times that we do have to go to the store—but you might as well save the risk for your groceries. Besides, the benefits of shopping for pool gear online go far beyond staying safe from COVID-19. But in order to understand that, we’ll need a quick briefing on what the pool industry has been up to lately.
The Pool Industry Is Changing—And That’s a Good Thing!
Even before the pandemic, the pool industry was shifting away from the traditional channels. Since the very beginning, the market has been dominated by two pool supply companies that were able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits. Pool owners simply had no other options but to pay top dollar at retail. In other words, there was a virtual monopoly on the market, and it’s the pool owners who bore the brunt of it. But now, there’s a better way. I’ll explain what you can expect from online pool supply stores—and why it’s always the better option, regardless of the state of public health.
Online Pool Supply: The Better Alternative
Pandemic or not, there’s no way around it: when it comes to pool supplies, online stores are the way to go. And the reasons why go beyond the obvious fact that you don’t need to leave the house, mask up, clean your bags, disinfect your cart, keep your hands away from certain parts of your face, dodge fellow shoppers to ensure you’re standing six feet apart, worry about what you touch, and follow the plethora of signs herding you through the store.
In addition to shopping online from the comfort of your home—because it is comfortable, even if we’re all going stir-crazy—there are a few other benefits. When you shop pool supply stores online, you probably save yourself a good chunk of time, too. And you don’t have to lug all that heavy equipment home. But there’s even more: when you shop online, you also secure yourself more diverse pool supplier options and more innovative product—and you’re likely to spend a lot less.
Looking to extend the swim season as much as you can, so that you can safely get out and have fun? A heat pump is the answer for you—but you’ll want a powerful unit that will save you on your energy bill every month, like the Energy-Saving ComforTemp Pool Heat Pump 95,000 BTU to heat 18,000 Gallons. According to customer Steve, “Simple install and simple set up. Heated my pool from 66 to 82 degrees in about 2 complete days.”
Those two companies that I mentioned dominated the market and kept prices artificially high, extracting a huge profit from pool owners? Yeah, they’ve got competition. Now pool owners can choose between a few different companies, which opens up a range of preferences. Do you want the online equivalent of a mom and pop shop? Are you looking for warm, quick, and efficient customer service? Yeah, I don’t blame you. Since you’re no longer forced to choose between a couple of massive companies, you have more options in a more diverse market. And as you’re sure to find, some are a lot better than others. Not to name names or anything.
If you take a deep dive into the history of pool equipment, you’ll discover that retail monopolies weren’t exactly designed to be the most innovative. Go figure. Since other pool supply companies have cropped up, product has evolved—fast. For example, at PoolPartsToGo we have longtime pool service experts help to engineer the products they’ve wanted for decades. One such invention was the Patented 360 Degree Bristles Pool Brush, which was designed to help avoid all the aches and pains they used to experience when trying to get those tough-to-reach corners. Now all pool owners can benefit from this invention by cleaning their pools quickly and comfortably—which is major, considering that’s a task pool owners are recommended to do at least three times a week.
Another evolved piece of equipment is the 2HP Energy Star Variable Speed Blue Torrent Cyclone Swimming Pool Pump, which is designed to be adjusted for your pool’s needs to achieve super-thorough circulation—plus, it pays itself off in energy saved in under one year. No kidding. Pool owners with a variable-speed pump can expect to save on their energy bill every single month moving forward. Now that’s the kind of innovation we always needed.
This one might be the most important. You can expect that the right online pool supplier will offer the same (or better!) product as retail stores, but at a significantly reduced price. This isn’t just about keeping prices artificially high. It’s also about cutting out the middle man—by operating primarily online, pool suppliers can keep the cost of operations low and return the savings right back to pool owners.
Sourcing your pool equipment online also gives you the ability to conduct your own cost comparisons—instead of being persuaded by a retail worker looking for a cut of commission. It’s a lot easier to make the right choice for your new heat pump when you don’t feel pressured to make a commitment in the store. Plus, you can check out all the heat pumps currently on the market to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
The benefit goes further than comparing prices, too. You can also read up on reviews by fellow pool owners to make sure that your prospective new gear is just as good as the product description claims. It’s your pool and your wallet—with just a bit of research, you can be your own authority and make a decision that’s best for you.
There’s even more new innovative gear out there. Keep your sanitizer working at its highest capacity by switching to a powerful automatic cleaner that works on its own to keep your pool sparkling clean, like the Blue Torrent MyBot Inground Robotic Cleaner, which works powerfully on its own to keep your walls and floor sparkling clean. As customer David Lain says, “Very pleased. My wife loves it.”
Stay Safe, and Stay Smart!
That was easy, wasn’t it? Now that you’ve got your new online shopping plan in the bag, you can be sure that you took absolutely no risk with the virus currently raging across the globe. Whew. As always, safety comes first—but in this case, it’s not the only reason why you should skip the retail pool supply store. You’re also about to save yourself a lot of time, effort, and cash—and secure yourself some pretty incredible gear, too. Stay safe out there, and take care.