Post navigation

Prev: (03/20/20) | Next: (03/21/20)

On Capitol Hill, the cure for COVID-19 confinement is a spring walk in the park

Anybody cluck clucking or tut tutting the sight of Capitol Hill parks busy with walkers, bike riders, skaters, bladers, and picnic makers should save their breath.

In these COVID-19-y days, you might need it.

With the arrival of meteorological spring and singles, couples, throuples, and families penned together to ride this whole thing out, Volunteer Park was a busy place this week even with social distancing the rule during Seattle’s COVID-19 response.

UPDATE: Officials are saying to stay off the playgrounds but, yes, you can enjoy the parks:

To follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines established by Public Health—Seattle & King County and the Washington Department of Health, King County Parks and Seattle Parks and Recreations are closing sports courts, playground equipment, and other active recreation areas where it could be difficult to maintain recommended social distancing guidelines. Ballfields and playfields are open for walking and other non-team activities. The closure includes picnic shelters, basketball and tennis courts, ballfields, and other active recreation locations. Parks, natural lands, regional trails, backcountry trails, and beaches where social distancing can be maintained remain open.

Unlike the situation with the still crowded clubs and bars that were finally emptied with the state’s business restrictions, officials in even the most locked-down areas are not telling people they cannot go outside.

In California where citizens are in “shelter in place mode,” officials are allowing people “to engage in outdoor activity and recreation, provided that the individuals comply with social distancing requirements, including, without limitation, walking, hiking, running, cycling; use of scooters, roller skates, skateboards, or other personal mobility devices; or travel in a vehicle with household members to a location where it is possible to walk, hike, run or ride a bike, or operate personal mobility devices, while maintaining social distancing practices.”

In New York, they are telling people to get some air. “”It’s very important for people to get outside,” a NYC parks official said. “Parks are so beneficial because it can help reduce that stress.”

Social distancing recommendations still apply. Sunshine may or may not kill or weaken the virus. Be careful what you touch. Cover your coughs and sneezes, don’t spit. Stay home if you are feeling the least bit unwell. Walk with your friends but avoid hugs and contact. Kids should probably avoid playground equipment and, personally, CHS wouldn’t choose to lay down on plastic sports turf like the sports field in Cal Anderson without a very thick blanket — with or without an outbreak. Families and social units can still gather close. Feel free to pet the good dogs. Use your judgment — if the park you are headed to is too full, pick another way to try to spend your time outside.

We can go outside and take a walk or a ride across Capitol Hill and through its parks. With so many other sacrifices, postponements, cancellations, and losses, there are still a few gifts left to enjoy.

UPDATE: King County Executive Dow Constantine agress — for now. “We want to keep as many outlets for healthy activity and stress relief available,” Constantine said Saturday. “By all means, go for a hike. Take the family for a stroll. Ride your bike. Kick a soccer ball around with your kids.”

“But use good sense,” he added. “Avoid gatherings and team sports. Don’t crowd each other.”

CHS COVID-19

More coverage…


$5/MONTH? SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT LOCAL NEWS: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
13 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
CD James
CD James
8 months ago

Stay INSIDE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

So damn selfish seeing people treat this pandemic like a vacation! People are dying! Look at Italy!

Marco
Marco
8 months ago
Reply to  CD James

No kidding, healthy 20, 30 and 40 year olds have gotten very sick too. And recovering doesn’t mean you’re back to normal either, you can still have permeant lung damage.

Jeff
Jeff
8 months ago
Reply to  CD James

Maybe you should try going for a walk in the park. You sound like you got a lot of anxiety with all of those CAPS and exclamation marks.

CD James
CD James
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Piles of dead bodies in Italy….no walk in the park is worth people dying

Bob Knudson
Bob Knudson
8 months ago
Reply to  CD James

I think, and public health experts seem to agree, that a walk in the park (with appropriate social distancing) is very safe. To demand that everyone stay at home, all the time, is an over-reaction.

JR
JR
8 months ago
Reply to  Bob Knudson

The only counties that have brought the virus under control so far are China due to strict policies, and Korea with its massive testing to isolate out those infected. Places that are doing neither, like Italy and Washington continue to have rates go up it looks like.

Virus
Virus
8 months ago

The ‘with family members’ part seems to be the key you might want to highlight otherwise non related individuals stay 6ft apart or more. Ain’t happening up at volunteer park.

Vi@rus.com

lesley
lesley
8 months ago

We are in a new normal. While individuals and families can bike, walk, or run, we cannot allow gatherings at Seattle’s best locations including Alki, Golden Gardens, Seward, Volunteer Park or Magnuson. Every single resident should take social distancing guidelines to heart – it could save someone’s life,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan.

Idiots
Idiots
8 months ago

Should be updated again with today’s article about police telling everyone to get the hell out of the park, you idiots. They mean you can safely go for a walk PAST people, not go outside WITH people.

Park Volunteer
Park Volunteer
8 months ago

Go ahead for a brisk walk with bandana and gloves. Park was designed by Olmstead firm for public health purposes mainly.

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
8 months ago
Reply to  Park Volunteer

Neither a bandana – viruses are tiny… they’ll go right through or around that or gloves – you still need to keep your gloved hands away from your face and depending on the type of gloves, same thing applies as does to bandanas, will likely keep you any safer than going without them – just *stay far enough away from other people*…. if you find it impossible to do that, the place you are at is already too crowded, go elsewhere.

If the bulk of people cannot figure this out, we will be put under a shelter in place order…

Ryan Packer
Ryan Packer
8 months ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

Homemade masks are better than nothing, particularly since they prevent you from touching your face. Read a scientific study, please!

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
8 months ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

Read yourself bud…. I understand what I am talking about. Touching your eyes is still a problem…. taking off said mask to eat, use the phone etc. contaminates everything and most people not familiarized with safe procedures make many usage mistakes, not to mention they simply *DO NOT FILTER VIRUSES*. Homemade masks just make people feel protected when they aren’t and lead to more risky behaviors. Don’t give people stupid advice – keep your distance from other people if you don’t want to get sick… Only wear a surgical style mask if *you* are sick and absolutely cannot stay inside -like you need to go the ER…. – they are effective at keeping you from aerosolizing as much virus as you would otherwise.

The surgical mask is a bad fit for risk reduction
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4868614/

Does that Face Mask Protect You
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/153567601001500204

WHO – Masks Give a False Sense of Security
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/documents/advice-on-the-use-of-masks-2019-ncov.pdf