Roosevelt Park Pool was nearly empty, just as Josie Bethea and Trenelle Cornish had hoped, when they tried to bring a group of kids to swim in the middle of a sweltering heat wave on July 19.
But despite only a few people in the water, the women said, they were told the pool was full for the day. The 50 free reservations available online or by phone for each 90-minute swim session had been snapped up.
“It was booked up, but there was just no one in the pool,” said Bethea, a 28-year-old Baltimore teacher. “If you’re not registered, basically, you can’t come in. Even though 50 people registered, 48 of them didn’t show up.”
Because of the coronavirus, Baltimore didn’t open its pools until mid-July. Now, swimmers are greeted by temperature checks, a health waiver and questionnaire, masked lifeguards, pool cleanings every hour, and spray-painted markers to encourage