Get out, New York City. The weather’s perfect, most days, and if you follow the rules, you’re safe from COVID-19 and the coronavirus.
By David Stone
My work in public media, an essential service under New York PAUSE, allows me to go almost anywhere I like. And I have, but on Friday, May 22nd, we decided to step it up.
Going out to enjoy lunch with other New Yorkers for the first time since March, we decided to share the joy.
We hope you’ll be encouraged to get out in the fresh spring air, knowing you can be safe. And it ‘s good for you, physically and spiritually.
Don’t let that damn virus get the best of you.
Get out, New York City: Friday in Madison Square Park
Madison Square Park‘s been a favorite spot since our first days living in the city. But we haven’t seen it since winter.
Like other parks around town, New York hastened spring by painting distancing circles on the meadow. Good guidance for good health.
And our neighbors respected each other, staying inside the circles, wearing masks at roughly a 90% rate.
Takeout pizza in hand, we walked into the park…
On one of the first shirtsleeve days of spring, we found we weren’t the only New Yorkers eager to edge back toward normal.
Anyone living here knows that, while we may be impatient with tourist congestion, New Yorkers are considerate and polite.
Sure, we have our exceptions, but when push comes to shove, it usually doesn’t.
Getting out, New Yorkers were nice to each other. Almost always.
So, although 90% of those in the park wore masks and socially distanced, full disclosure: there were exceptions.
One guy in shorts, earbuds firmly in place, repeatedly circled the park, spitting out cellphone conversations. Oblivious.
After he strode past for the fourth time, I anointed him an official virus spewing machine. Stay six feet away. These guys won’t do it on their own.
And one more thing to avoid: the occasional beggar. Without a mask, of course. It seems like there are more, but that might be because there are fewer of us.
So, get out and improve the balance.
Conclusion: Get out, New York City.
Madison Square Park is no exception.
Circles have been drawn in parks, all over town. Great guides, but also gentle reminders.
Outsiders would be shocked at how well we’ve managed through the worst public crisis of most of our lifetimes.
Let’s keep getting better, but for now, I have to leave. The day’s goal is in sight.