New York City has been at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, and citizens across the state have been under a stay at home order since March 22. The order has now been extended through May 28, as the weather warms, but New Yorkers are finding ways to get some fresh air and get our of the house while still being in compliance with social distancing rules.
At Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, circles have been painted in white chalk on the waterfront turf lawn to help people remain at a safe distance from each other. The circles measure eight feet in diameter and are six feet apart.
Journalist Jennifer 8. Lee took to Twitter to share video footage of the scene on May 15:
They’ve made little round human parking spots in Domino Park in Brooklyn! (This park is often the poster child for social distancing fácil). pic.twitter.com/VJzZ0WAdeT
— Jennifer 8. Lee (@jenny8lee) May 15, 2020
“They’ve made little round human parking spots in Domino Park in Brooklyn!” she wrote in the tweet. “(This park is the poster child for social distancing fácil [easy]).”
Political scientist Ian Bremmer also tweeted a photo of the circles and joked, “The game is called Stay Inside the Circles”:
Domino Park in Brooklyn. The game is called Stay Inside the Circles. pic.twitter.com/7oFeGPfQW3
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 18, 2020
The video shows people exercising, stretching out and relaxing in their own individual circles.
New York City Parks confirmed via Twitter that residents are allowed to spend time outdoors while maintaining social distancing even while the “New York State on PAUSE” order remains in effect:
Spend your day in the park and participate in solo exercise! You can run, bike, walk your dog, and relax while maintaining social distance and wearing a face covering. pic.twitter.com/Eq5eLRKRpm
— NYC Parks (@NYCParks) May 16, 2020
“Spend your day in the park and participate in solo exercise!” read the tweet. “You can run, bike, walk your dog, and relax while maintaining social distancing and wearing a face covering.”
Experts agree that getting outside and exercising regularly is beneficial for our mental and physical wellbeing and say that when these activities are engaged in with precautions, they’re safe too.
“I think outdoors is so much better than indoors in almost all cases,” Linsey Marr, an engineering professor and aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech, told The New York Times. “There’s so much dilution that happens outdoors. As long as you’re staying six feet apart, I think the risk is very low.”