PROSPECT HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN — Crowding up in Prospect Park during the coronavirus outbreak is arrogant, insensitive and a mistake. And that's just what Gov. Andrew Cuomo had to say about it.
Twitter users have trained their ire on Prospect Park goers who don't practice social distancing since the governor told the city to come up with a plan on park density.
good day to everybody but the people who think social distancing means hanging out with all their friends in prospect park
— goobers (@goobidyscoop) March 26, 2020
Every time I go for a run in Prospect Park, I try really hard to keep my distance. But I’m afraid one day some child named Atticus wearing baby Blundstones is gonna roll up in his scooter and cough in my face.
— Nhu-Y Ngo (@nhuyngo) March 26, 2020
The criticism comes amid a statewide "stay-at-home" order and other restrictive measures limiting contact between New Yorkers to slow the coronavirus' spread. Cuomo over the weekend saw crowds at city parks and used a photo of Prospect Park's farmers market emblazoned a red "MISTAKE" to make his point.
"It's insensitive, it's arrogant, it's self-destructive, it's disrespectful to other people and it has to stop and it has to stop now," he said. "This is not a joke and I am not kidding."
It appears the city heard his warning.
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You can still use @NYCParks to get some exercise and fresh air but you HAVE to continue to socially distance. Stay 6 feet away from anyone not in your immediate family. Group BBQs and organized sports are no longer permitted. pic.twitter.com/Q5c2fyLSN8
— City of New York (@nycgov) March 26, 2020
Mayor Bill de Blasio told park goers to stay 6 feet from people who aren't in their families in parks and shut down organized sports and barbecues. City employees also hung signs up on park fences about the rules. And police officers have been piping social distancing warnings over loudspeakers.
"Please help us keep you safe," the warnings stated.
But the crowds at Prospect Park and other parks may have started the ball rolling on more sweeping measures.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams on Wednesday called for the city to close parks. And Brooklyn Council Member Justin Brannan on Thursday tweeted that wrote parks in his district covering Bay Ridge and other southwest Brooklyn neighborhoods were mobbed.
People aren't taking the situation seriously and the city should close parks, he wrote.
"I'd rather my constituents be pissed at me and alive!!!!!" he wrote on Twitter.