The beautiful parks of North Brooklyn hosted groups of people eager to get outside last weekend as the state of New York implores everyone to self-quarantine in order to slow the spread of coronavirus.
This is McCarren Park in #Brooklyn #NYC
No one is socially isolating. I even had people stare & laugh at me for wearing gloves and a mask. NYC is so screwed. @NYGovCuomo please pass the Shelter in Place in NYC! #NoExcuse pic.twitter.com/gnOduYLnYh
— Kelly (@imjellyvargas) March 20, 2020
NY officially hit PAUSE on all non-essential businesses Sunday night and most businesses have complied, but crowded parks remain an issue and Governor Cuomo is asking the city for a plan to reduce crowding.
“I saw the issue myself…I want the plan today. I want the state to be able to approve the plan. It has to focus on young people and the gathering of young people,” Cuomo said at a press conference on Monday morning.
I go for daily walks at McCarren Park in Brooklyn. I witness many persons in too close contact like playing soccer. We need to work together to protect the vulnerable and keep our medical system from being overwhelmed with COVID 19 cases. https://t.co/zuXI7Vss4F
— Dave Perez (@DocDavePerez) March 22, 2020
For healthy people seeking a place to get out for a walk away from the popular destinations of McCarren and McGolrick Parks, the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance compiled a map of approximately 80 open spaces to visit in the area.
“Maybe, during this time of heighten tension over crowding and misuse, folks can give the more popular parks a break and go check out one of the lesser known spaces in our neighborhood,” NBPA writes on social media.
On Monday, Cuomo said that he could enforce a measure to reduce crowds in NYC but is waiting for the Mayor to present a plan first, as the NY Post reports: “Cuomo, who was in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park over the weekend, suggested city officials close off some streets so stir-crazy New Yorkers could stretch their legs without congregating at the parks.”
Mayo de Blasio has appealed to younger residents of NYC asking them stay indoors to protect their older family and neighbors who are most susceptible citing the fact that 35% of hospitalizations from the virus are people over the age of 70, representing more than three times their proportion of the local population.
On Sunday, NYC Parks posted a message on Instagram clarifying social distancing directives for people visiting the parks:
While solo exercise is okay, team sports (such as basketball, football, softball, and soccer), are not permitted in our parks at this time. Our parks are essential, but visitors must practice social distancing and keep six feet between themselves and others.
Our Parks Enforcement Patrol officers and NYPD will be out in the field to help enforce social distancing in the parks. We are relying on you to help keep New York safe.