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City councilmember wants parks closed so NYers have to practice social distancing

Posted at 11:19 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 23:30:46-04

BROOKLYN — A city councilmember had strong words for New Yorkers Thursday who appear to be limited in their concern about the coronavirus.

Justin Brannan, who represents parts of Brooklyn, including Bay Ridge, tweeted this afternoon: "Over the past few days, the parks in my district have been mobbed. People clearly aren't taking this thing seriously. It is time to close all NYC parks and playgrounds. I'd rather my constituents be pissed at me and alive!!!!!"

Our PIX11 crew spotted plenty of people enjoying the great outdoors in Bay Ridge Thursday afternoon. Kids on scooters, adults on rollerblades and bikes, families out for a walk. The sun out, a light breeze is blowing and the calendar says March 26 — but it's not any ordinary Spring day.

"I witnessed people out and about," said Brannan. "There's a global pandemic."

COVID-19 is penetrating our city and one of the few ways to stop its spread it to practice social distancing or simply, just stay home as much as possible. Even with media attention on the soaring number of cases, and fatalities, Brannan fears New Yorkers are still not taking it seriously.

This week, the NYPD began rolling out a recorded public service announcement, played on loudspeaker from their patrol vehicles.

City officials also ordered the removal of hoops at some parks department basketball courts, in an attempt to curb the close-contact sport.

"This is a matter of life or death," said Brannan.