Some parks are starting to reopen across San Diego County and plans of opening beaches and other public spaces are in the works. It’s a difficult decision local leaders are faced with and the community’s reaction to these changes is just as conflicting. Some people are pushing to get the economy rolling, while others fear it’s too soon.
There was a sense of normalcy at Bird Park on Upas Street Wednesday. It marked the second day since it reopened. Many people were enjoying picnics, bike rides, and playing games on the grass.
“If you socially distance outside, it should be just as good as socially distancing in the Walmart or Costco,” said Jason Hopson, who was visiting Bird Park.
Another park-goer, Olga Lyssanova agreed.
“If people are spread out far enough and keep their distance, I think it’s going to be ok,” Lyssanova said, “It’s perfect. Something to do, otherwise you’re just walking the streets."
Meantime, in Coronado beaches remain closed. People expressed mixed emotions about the closures.
“I don’t know what the difference between walking on this pathway and walking on the beach is, so it would be nice (if beaches reopened),” said one passerby.
But others, like Steve Trubow, feel strongly against reopening beaches.
“When you open the beach and it increases population density then you increase the risk to public health,” Trubow argued.
Trubow shared the same concern over reopening businesses and others agreed with him.
“I don’t know if it’s time yet. I’d probably wait myself,” Lyssanova said. And Hopson said he is willing to wait longer before restaurants reopen but is worried business owners may not be able to recover from their losses.
“I am concerned a lot of the restaurants might shut down as a result,” said Hopson.
Gabriel Ferguson, the owner of Sunnyboy Biscuit Company in Hillcrest, said he was concerned to open his restaurant during a pandemic.
“We didn’t plan to open as a take-out concept,” said Ferguson. The restaurant opened a day before table-service was banned in San Diego county. He said he’s ready to serve dine-in customers whenever the county deems it safe.
“I think we do have to get on with life and try to get back to some sense of normal, the sooner the better, while we’re respecting people’s health and safety,” said Ferguson.