Why Lifeguards Are Scarce This Beach Season

Lifeguards are in short supply around the country this year

because of low unemployment and Covid’s effects on training.

Pools have been left closed and beaches unguarded.

On the first week of June in Wisconsin, beachgoers on a neatly groomed Lake Michigan shore strolled past

volleyball nets on rainbow-striped poles and a waterfront cafe menu offering bratwurst, quesadillas and mojitos.

Only one thing was missing. Instead of traditional wooden

lifeguard stands, there was a cherry-red life preserver and a sign: “No lifeguard on duty. Swim at your own risk.”

Lifeguards are frustratingly scarce this year, leaving tens of thousands of the nation’s pools

closed and beaches unguarded, and the public distanced from a stalwart of the American summer.