In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, New Yorkers are still seeking the great outdoors – but at a safe distance from each other to prevent others from potentially contracting coronavirus.
Despite all businesses being closed on the Coney Island Boardwalk, residents still strolled the breezy beaches on March 21, getting fresh air, but keeping a mostly safe distance from other visitors. People walked their dogs, and even camped out on the sand, taking advantage of the cool temperatures and sun to get out of their homes. Some people wore masks to protect themselves and others.
The main point of transmission of coronavirus between people is contact with infected bodily fluids such as saliva, health officials have said. Residents are being asked to keep social distancing of six feet or more apart to prevent spread of the virus – but officials have said it is “unlikely spread in open air.”
“The virus can only transmit when bodily fluid, such as through a sneeze, cough or spit, is transferred from a person who has the virus, directly into another person,” Mayor Bill de Blasio stated in a recent news release. “Disease detectives have determined that the virus does not survive for more than two or three minutes in open air.”
One woman named Ella, 53, walked on the beach at about West 10th Street where she talked on her cell phone to her 24-year-old daughter. She said her daughter was concerned about her contracting the virus, but she felt safe on the beach.
“I just had to get out of the house – I’m a little ADD (attention deficit disorder) and I just can’t sit at home,” she said from a safe distance. “My daughter is worried I’m going to get the virus, but I’m making sure to stay far enough away from people. The beach is just so beautiful and calming.”
Others just strolled along the boardwalk, while keeping a respectable distance.
“I just got to get out of my apartment – I’m going to go crazy if I have to stay there,” said Jane Milburn, a resident of Brighton Beach. “I hear it is okay to be out in the open air. It’s just the close proximity that we have to avoid – yea, social distancing.”
Some people were out riding bicycles, while others were running along the beach. Most people minded their own business and avoided approaching anyone.
“This coronavirus keeps you locked into your home – real cabin fever – I can’t do that for too long,” said one young woman sitting on the beach. “The beach is the best thing for getting out.”