San Francisco – With the guidelines for social distancing still in effect and on the brink of a weekend that is forecast to be very hot, San Francisco found a way to facilitate outdoor enjoyment by keeping its distance: a series of three-meter circles in the soil of their parks.
Check out the change at Dolores Park in San Francisco. The grass is now covered with circles designed to promote social distancing. pic.twitter.com/h3IGAJrmSA
– Brendan Weber (@BrendanNWeber) May 20, 2020RELATED
The image is most curious in Dolores Park, one of the most iconic green areas of the Californian city, in the Latin quarter of Mission, where it seems that the grass has been replaced by a gigantic patterned carpet.
Dozens of white circles drawn in chalk, three meters in diameter and two and a half meters from each other, occupy much of the park’s green space, with an impressive view of downtown San Francisco in the background.
The idea is that those who come to the park assign themselves a circle and do not abandon it, thus guaranteeing that they will never be less than two and a half meters from other visitors.
Anything you want is allowed within the circle as long as it does not involve coming into contact with the occupants of other circles (you cannot, for example, pass a ball from one circle to another), but you can sunbathe, read , stretching, juggling, smoking marijuana – legal throughout the state of California – or chatting with neighbors from other circles.
“It seems like a good idea. It is not always easy to keep your distance and this helps, it allows you to see it very clearly. And, hey, they are even pretty!”, Tells Efe Yupta Gillis, a neighbor of Mission who took advantage of the sunny Friday morning to go read to the park.
The idea is to avoid repeating scenes such as those lived on past weekends, when the San Francisco parks were filled to the top with visitors who did not respect social distancing and who led the mayor of the city, London Breed, to threaten with closing Dolores Park in early May.
In addition to Dolores Park, the city has also drawn circles on the ground for other popular green areas such as Little Marina Green, Washington Square, and Jackson Playground.
The weekend that begins this Friday is especially “dangerous” in this regard, since Monday is a holiday and the weather forecast points to very high temperatures and hot days in the city, all of which factors are expected to encourage residents to refill the parks.
The city of San Francisco, with 881,000 inhabitants, was the first major city in the United States to enact confinement measures, and epidemiological experts coincide in pointing to this decision as one of the keys to the reduced impact that the coronavirus has had within its limits: since the beginning of the health crisis, it has only registered 40 deaths and 2,320 infected by coronavirus.
The United States reached 1,590,349 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 95,495 deaths this Friday, according to an independent count by Johns Hopkins University.