April 11, 2020 6:15 AM
By the Editorial Board / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Despite the ongoing debate over whether wearing a mask in public will help stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, one thing is clear: The only sure way to beat this deadly pandemic is to maintain social distancing.
And while the urge to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather is encouraged as a way to combat the monotony of long periods indoors, the need to keep our distance remains imperative.
That’s why the city of Pittsburgh made the right decision to keep parks open but temporarily close city playgrounds, basketball courts and overlooks.
A warm weekend recently brought hundreds to city parks to enjoy walking, hiking and running, a welcome respite from a couple of weeks of stay-at-home orders and dreary weather. But it also brought an alarming lack of adherence to the oft-issued reminder to keep your distance.
Some parents allowed children to use playground equipment that could potentially have been used by someone infected with the COVID-19 virus. Young people were gathered on the basketball courts, eager for some physical activity, but in far too close proximity to one another.
As much as everyone would like to believe that warmer weather will kill off the virus and allow life to return to some sense of normalcy, there is no scientific or medical evidence to support that hope.
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy wants park users to get out and enjoy the trails and open spaces, but maintain physical safe distancing of 6 feet at all times.
It’s a reasonable request and small price to pay in the battle to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. Get outside when you can, enjoy the parks and your neighborhood, walk, run or bike to engage in some physical activity. Just maintain your distance to keep yourself, family and friends safe.