Miller Swim School navigating the waters of a pandemic
By Sarah Clavin, Miller Swim School Jenks Chief Operator
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”
– Martin Luther King
I believe a celebration is in order, our local paper is up and printing once more! What a victory for small businesses all over our city.
As a small business owner, we, at Miller Swim School, have also experienced the ebb and flow of the global pandemic over these past several months. We are not where we imagined we would be starting our second season, but we are immensely grateful for our friends in Jenks and the communities of south Tulsa to be where we are.
At the end of March, we were blindsided with a sudden, unforeseeable closure, with no clear end in sight. Data, recommendations and regulations changed almost daily, and we were bombarded with information, questions, and uncertainties from others in our industry around the globe. While no definite end was in sight, we planned and trained and prepared to the best of our ability for the unknown. We prayed that our business would be sustained, that our employees would be taken care of, and that we would soon have the opportunity to re-open our doors and provide the lifesaving service we had been for the past 60 years.
No less than eight weeks after our sudden closure, we were able to gently re-open our doors to the bulk of our staff and many of our loyal customers. We had overnight become pioneers in our industry during the pandemic. One of the very first swim schools to reopen after the unexpected hit of COVID-19. After hours upon hours of research, zoom calls, conversations with experts and local health regulators, we had a tentative plan for safety reopening, which we implemented on May 18th for our first Summer Session of 2020. We were both hopeful and immensely grateful to be where we were.
We were also navigating in completely uncharted waters. Over the course of the summer, we could not have been more grateful for the graciousness and flexibility and patience of our staff and patrons. Safety is at the core of our primary business and we truly believe it should be encompassed in everything we do. We have implemented “Herbie’s Health Precautions,” a non-exhaustive list of the safety features and protocols we have added to keep our swimmers, staff and families as healthy as possible. And while it is not always easy or convenient or normal, we have been able to operate virtually COVID free this entire time, and for that we are extremely grateful.
We believe that swimming is one of the best activities for children during this season. The physical and emotional release in the familiar warm water environment is bringing smiles and encouragement to the young swimmers and establishing a level of requiescence to their schedules.
At Miller Swim School, we often remind ourselves that drowning knows no season, and this pandemic has been a season all of its own, one in which drownings have drastically increased. The need for swimming lessons and water safety education is at an all time high and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to safely provide these services for our local families.