Close The Bellingham Parks…NOW!

Friday afternoon, as I drive by the skateboard park at Civic Field, there are several dozen youths and a few adults (parents?) congregated in small groups while some of the youths skateboard. Absolutely no social distancing. Sunday, at Bloedel Donovan park, about a dozen young men are engaged in two volleyball games. Those not involved sit around and chat. No social distancing. The Bellingham Parks Department has reported that crews are circulating to clean equipment in the parks. But tell me what happens ten minutes after a crew does the cleaning? Parents arrive with the kids and then another family arrives. Kids play on the now presumably contaminated equipment, a vector for transmission, before everyone goes home to continue the spread. All it takes is one child, a silent carrier.

The Herald reports that the city will be posting signs to “encourage” the following:

”▪ Not using parks or trails if you are feeling ill

Washing your hands regularly

Sharing the trail and warning other trail-users when you’re near

Observing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guideline of 6 feet at all times

Keeping pets on a leash to minimize contact

The signs also say that restrooms and other frequently touched areas, such as the playground areas, will be sanitized regularly.”

We all know about signs. Like the ones all over town that tell you to keep your dog on a leash. How has that been working for you? Been to Lake Padden lately? What about the signs on the sidewalk downtown that indicate bikes are prohibited? That is working well, too.

Ferndale authorities shut down their parks. Are they in possession of secret information not available to Bellingham? I don’t think so. COVID-19 transmission information is readily available. Luckily, this week brings rain which may attenuate the danger posed by using the parks. Let’s use this opportunity to shut down this timebomb. Why take any chances at all?

This is a life or death situation. We must act like it is.

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

Comments by Readers

Robert Bystrom

Mar 23, 2020

Thanks,Dick. If you think that being in the park presents a risk for you, then don’t go there.  Let everyone choose when and where they show up publicly.  People having fun in the park pose no threat to folks who stay away.

Parents banned from hugging and kissing their children.  People banned from smiling that exposes teeth and gums.  Voting rights granted only to the vaccinated.  There exists a perspective from which all these actions make sense.

 

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Dick Conoboy

Mar 24, 2020

Robert,

I think you misunderstand the basic concept.  The idea is for everyone to avoid vectors of this disease.  Children touch the equipment and then touch themselve, parents or siblings.  That spreads infection.  If any of these contacts produce a child or a parent with an infection then that person (say Dad going to work) can then pass the infection to co-workers.  So you are right that I will not be swinging on the monkey bars.  Nobody should.

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Jeffrey Bodé

Mar 24, 2020

If that sign is actually posted, it makes no sense.  There is no evidence that “contact” with a dog will transmit the covid-19 virus:  https://cvmbs.source.colostate.edu/no-evidence-that-covid-19-can-be-contracted-from-pets/

 

 

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Dick Conoboy

Mar 24, 2020

Jeffrey,

The sign has been overtaken by events.

 

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Jeffrey Bodé

Mar 24, 2020

 Dick,

Thanks for the link but it goes to a “404: page not found”.  This one may work:

https://www.cob.org/news/Pages/features/City-Closes-Playgrounds-Sports-Fields-Bike-Parks-and-Skate-Park.aspx

Overtaken by events, perhaps, but apparently still posted.

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Dick Conoboy

Mar 24, 2020

 Try the link again.

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Tim Paxton

Mar 26, 2020

The City needs to provide hand washing stations on every street corner.   After closing all the bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and now all the Park Bathrooms, we can expect an explosion in predictable fecal covid contamination.

Whatcom Creek behind City hall is a great place for all the campers to go and poop away.   The dried fecal covid flakes will float over to City Hall and Police Station parking lots and air intakes. Smart move! 

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Ryan Knowlton

Mar 26, 2020

I pass by the skate park going to work and back, and it’s now ribboned off with closed signs posted. Prior to that, there were 30+ people there using it so it had to happen. The recent death of a teen in California with Covid-19 should also be a huge wake-up call to the young, it can still kill you. 

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Dick Conoboy

Mar 26, 2020

We got these playgrounds closed but now the Herald is promoting street gatherings.  Click here.

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