Don’t let beautiful weather get your guard down on a deadly virus.
On Saturday, April 11, huge crowds gathered at Belmont Plateau to enjoy the beautiful weather at one of the most popular hangouts in Fairmount Park. And signs of social distancing were… nowhere. It was a sea of cars, kids, dogs, couples – just your typical sunny weekend at the Plateau, except we’re were all supposed to be staying home.
When Councilman Curtis Jones caught reports of what was happening, he put his foot down. First, he called the cops and PPA, and told them to immediately disperse large gatherings there.
Then he posted a urgent video to his Facebook page:
I understand human beings want to be with each other, it’s in our nature. But when you deal with COVID-19, and this virus – to violate social distancing rules is suicidal. And it becomes homicidal when you take it home to your loved ones, your auntie, uncle, grandparent.
We have to be disciplined to let the virus pass over us. One of the things I know is, the weather is breaking. We want to get outside. We’ve been penned up. But we should not break our resolve to stay apart. To love your family right now means keeping your distance.
The next day, the City closed Belmont Plateau and announced it’s off-limits for social gatherings until COVID restrictions lift. Jones has vowed to continue to make sure the site remains inaccessible. Anyone who see large groups of people gathering in public spaces – the Plateau or any other place – should call 311 or 911 to report.
FYI: Governor Tom Wolf just announced he’s lengthening Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order through May 8th (previously set to expire April 30th).
Feels on Wheels
Need to get outside for a burst of sunshine and nature, while keeping your distance? A bicycle is one of the best ways to get your fix, and break free from the crowds on Kelly Drive & the Schuylkill River Trail. We recommend it highly, and so does Curtis Jones (added responsibility points for the face mask!)
Possible good news on the way – after getting MLK shut down to cars so people can spread out while outdoors, local activists and city council members are pushing the Kenney administration to close down the outer lanes of the Parkway for the same reason. More elbow room for all please Mr. Mayor!
More From the Councilman’s Facebook page:
Free COVID-19 testing! Wednesday April 22nd 10am – 4pm at Pinn Memorial Baptist Church 2241 N. 54th Street (map). Available for anyone who is suffering symptoms — cough, sneeze, sore throat, shortness of breath, fever, loss of smell, loss of taste, diarrhea or weakness — or has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus in the past 14 days. Keep updated on future testing sites/opportunities.