New Norm in Scuba Diving
It has been weeks since most countries have implemented some kind of a quarantine and we are still not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Here in the Philippines, particularly in Cebu, is no different.
We have neither seen our center nor our staff for almost 7 weeks now. In fact we did not wait for the Government to shut us down, we voluntarily closed our operations way ahead of everyone else in our area. Because in as much as we want to continue diving, we don’t want to be a vehicle for the virus to further spread. We think this is the most prudent thing that we can do as an operator.
While everyone is confined to their homes, we can’t help but get excited of the prospect that our reef and marine life is recovering from our absence. This is the only thing that is certain at this point!
What lies beyond the community lockdown
There is no telling how long we will be confined to our home, locality, country, and region. Nobody can tell how far away we are from a vaccine. We do not know when things go back to how it was without the fear of repeating the cycle of closing our airports, borders and localities, homes, again and again and again.
Amidst all the uncertainty, we cannot help but form our speculation on what the “New Normal” will be. In the world of dive education, the most that we can do at this point is to adapt, to be flexible, to embrace technology, and to find ways to continue to attract and deliver some components of scuba education online somehow. We need to continue providing the means to continue educating you, otherwise, we lose our reason for existing in the first place.
Some of the changes that we are doing now will become part of the “New Normal” for months to come. Maybe some of it will become more permanent.
The New Normal
Here’s what we think things will be like after the various quarantines are relaxed or totally lifted.
New Normal # 1. Physical distancing will continue to be part of how we will interact with each other, including how we deliver our courses. Therefore, we anticipate that people will go for a small class, even one to one instruction with an instructor. Briefings and workshops will be further apart than what we are used to, for sure.
New Normal # 2. Limiting and minimizing exposure will be on top of everyone’s priority. Therefore, courses will be taken online when possible, thereby reducing the number of days that one would spend in going through the practical component of the course.
New Normal # 3. Increasing need to prebook courses online will be the new norm. More and more people are embracing the convenience of booking courses online. By now, consumers realize that they are in control, they can easily find information about a company, a group or an individual, they know more about a company, a center, an instructor better now. Therefore, customers now are setting the expectations, choosing their own schedules, and looking for a business that can cater to what they want, how they want, and when they want it.
New Normal # 4. eLearning, videoconferencing, and video tutorial will surge. Technologically enabled organizations like PADI will thrive even more. This simply facilitates learning at your own pace and time without the need to travel and be physically present to get started. Brick and mortar setup will become the thing of the past as less and less people will prefer to learn by reading books, attend classroom sessions, and listen to unnecessary lectures.
Normal # 5. Fashionable face masks will be a new thing, at least for a while. We will continue to see divers wearing them when out of the water. It doesn’t only provide one the protection that we need while we are exposed to the elements (be it sun or virus), it will also give us the distinct way of expressing our personality in the future. Imagine an almost real life crab shaped face masks, or perhaps a face mask shaped like a 2nd stage regulator, or could be as simple as vibrantly colored or interestingly patterned washable fabric? It should be fun to watch!
PADI has been in the forefront of delivering eLearning to its students. It has recently expanded its eLearning courses by introducing the new IDC curriculum which delivers some of its course components via IDC eLearning. Since the dawn of the Covid-19 Pandemic, PADI has further revised its course delivery by introducing the Course Director-Led online Instructor Development Course for a limited time, as a temporary measure while lockdowns and quarantines are still in effect.
Dive Funatics is well known for using the eLearning materials for all its courses where eLearning is available. Dive Funatics also offers the Instructor Development Course IDC in the new curriculum format so if you want to learn more about how we can continue to offer you the dive courses at the confines of your homes, send us a message by using the form below.
As our way of thanking our local Covid-19 front liners, we have prepared a lot of great deals – deals that our heroes can avail after their ordeal is put to an end. These deals are specifically designed for our physicians, nurses, other medical professionals, logistics personnel, military, police personnel, and others who are selflessly putting their lives on the line during this difficult and sad time. If you are one of them, know that you deserve the reward, that you could use a pleasant experience, that you need every bit of gratitude that we can give you. May you all be well and safe despite the dangers that you are exposed to.
So what about you? How ready are you to learn scuba diving in a different and more exciting way? Our recreational and professional courses may be booked online, and will remain open for rebooking until everyone feels safe to travel and complete the practical aspect of the course. Let us know what you think.