For all those looking to squeeze in to an already crowded Dolores Park this spring and summer, Rec & Parks has done us the solid of painting circles on the grass to show people how far apart they need to be to maintain pandemic-resilient social distance.
The circles just appeared this morning, and photos arrived on Twitter. The painted markings will serve to make it abundantly clear when day-drinking San Franciscans are "out of line" as their picnics — presumably shared only with people with whom they share a household or "quaranteam" — spill into no-go zones.
And SF seems to have been directly inspired by New York, where Domino Park in Brooklyn just had similar circles painted last week.
As local entrepreneur and Dolores Park neighbor Joshua March writes on Twitter, "Actions like this — mitigation and support — are much more helpful than bans."
social distancing circles going up at Dolores Park this morning pic.twitter.com/oKh0Y5kLRf— Joey Parsons (@joeyparsons) May 20, 2020
Love this: SF has added circles in Dolores Park to help people keep people their social distance. Actions like this - mitigation and support - are much more useful than bans. pic.twitter.com/pE0YCymbDe— Joshua March (@joshuamarch) May 20, 2020
Park observers have been keeping tabs on crowds on social media in recent weeks, and the SFPD has been trying to (figuratively) slap some wrists here and there and dissuade picnickers from parking themselves too close.
But the park is going to continue to be too great a temptation as sunny days arrive, after weeks of long days indoors for many, and old habits die hard when it comes to this outdoor party place. This led Mayor London Breed two weeks ago to threaten to close the park — but that seems extreme as retail businesses reopen for curbside pickup, there's talk of restaurants reopening for indoor dining soon, and there is much evidence and at least one study that suggest that outdoor interactions with people are fairly low-risk.
I’m literally just passing by but why tf is Dolores park packed af smh pic.twitter.com/sov2TTVX13— Mix (@iammikedup) May 16, 2020
Me wearing a mask and social distancing as I go through Dolores park where it is super packed people just given up pretending to follow the mandatory mask order and shelter in place pic.twitter.com/QG3IJqHtP5— Oreo Crossing @ Social Distancing (@ANNETAKAMAKl) May 17, 2020
Breed threatens to close Dolores Park if people fail to socially distance https://t.co/klPviV8gqa— OT (@OTenant) May 19, 2020
Anyway, this is what life is going to look like for a while: a lot of markings on the sidewalk and on store floors telling us where to stand, etc.
Get used to it, and be glad the park isn't closed.