My office has been getting a lot of questions from constituents about what is safe and not safe to do within the boundaries of the current social distancing guidelines and the stay-at-home order. While I’m not a public health expert, I want to echo what public health experts, as well as leaders like our Mayor and Governor, have been saying to the public.
The bottom line: staying home is always better, if you can do it.
The more you stay home, the less chance you’ll have of infecting people or getting infected yourself. Stay home for the people who can’t: nurses and doctors, grocery store workers and pharmacy technicians, custodial staff and other frontline workers.
I know this is a tough pill to swallow, because getting outside is pretty crucial for most people’s mental health (mine included). And while it’s ok to take walks in less crowded areas of your neighborhood where you can remain six feet apart from anyone you pass, it’s best to avoid going to crowded parks, beaches and other public places.
As Mayor Breed tweeted the other day:
“This is not the time to be hanging out at the park. This is not the time to be visiting friends.
You can go outside for essential needs or to get some quick exercise, but then you need to return home.
Simply put, go outside as little as possible.
Stay home. Save lives.”
Due to increased crowds at beaches and parks last weekend, Governor Newsom has closed parking lots at state parks, beaches and other recreational areas. Local governments are also closing some of these areas to ensure they don’t crowd.
What should you avoid?
If your friend or family member (someone you do not live with) invites you over — even if it’s for a small dinner, movie night or a picnic — say no, and explain why. We need to hold each other accountable to stop the spread of the virus. They may not be as well informed about social distancing guidelines.
If you don’t live with someone, you should not be seeing them socially or otherwise. If you must see someone, you need to maintain six feet of distance between you.
If you want to go for a hike, find less crowded trails. And if you are hiking and people are coming towards you on a trail, give them ample space to pass you. Same goes for a walk to the beach or the park.
Commercial areas are generally more crowded, so avoid them if possible and take walks in residential areas that are quieter.
If you can walk, bike or drive an individual vehicle somewhere, you should do that instead of taking a taxi or Uber/Lyft or taking transit.
Grocery stores are pharmacies are some of the busiest places one can encounter right now. Try to do large, comprehensive grocery shops so you are not frequenting stores. And if you are immunocompromised, elderly, or showing any symptoms of COVID-19, do not go to the store if at all possible. Have someone help you — get delivery, call a friend or family, or call our office (415–557–1300) and we can help connect you to services.
What can you do?
Exercise indoors whenever possible! Online yoga, core and body weight classes and very easy to find, and there are many free options.
It’s ok to leave your home for groceries or to get some exercise. But be careful and mindful of other people. Try to stay in your neighborhood if you can.
If you want to go hiking or for a bike ride, try to find the least crowded areas and trails. It’s important to turn around if a place you thought would be empty is crowded.
Hang out with your friends and family — the ones who you don’t live with — virtually. FaceTime them, do Zoom calls…Maybe even become pen pals. There are great ways to connect for times when you can’t in person. I know this is the hardest part for so many. It’s certainly been tough on me.
Tip, tip, tip! Tip delivery workers generously. They are doing important and risky work.
I know this is a hard time, and these guidelines are tough. But it’s also been inspiring to see how people are taking this seriously, staying inside, and helping flatten the curve. Thank you!