To the editor: In response to Pamela Samash’s letter about Hamme Pool, I would like to express my appreciation to the borough Parks and Recreation staff members who have made swimming possible and safe in these crazy times.

Yes, the registration process is cumbersome, but an extremely patient and helpful Parks and Rec employee helped me navigate through the process when I called in confusion. And when I goofed on a later attempt to make a reservation, a second very helpful employee was right there on the phone to straighten me out. And now registration is easy. As for Ms. Samash’s complaint that we need to register in advance, think about how angry she would be if she showed up and there wasn’t a lane available. With pre-registration, there aren’t any wasted trips to the pool.

Keeping the locker rooms off limits except for a very quick change out of a wet suit makes perfect sense. A large group of women chatting and calling out over the sound of showers and hair dryers — not to mention hair dryers circulating whatever might be in the air — is a perfect setup for the spread of an airborne illness.

As for feeling that she is performing a striptease removing her outer clothing at poolside  I doubt many would find anything salacious or titillating about pulling off a sweatshirt and stepping out of sweatpants while wearing a swimsuit underneath. The same behavior is seen all summer long at Chena Lakes and other local swimming sites, and I can attest there isn’t an audience at the poolside.

I am grateful that Hamme Pool is available, and I am more than willing to accept that keeping it safe for all involves a few inconveniences for all — including staff who are unfailingly gracious and welcoming and who are equally — or more — inconvenienced by measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you, Parks and Recreation staff!

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