Wednesday, July 1, 2020
It’s Parks and Recreation Month. Arlington County just opened the playgrounds, and kids are filtering back slowly. What to do first? A small boy races to the sandpile with the drippy faucet at Chestnut Hills Park which he hasn’t seen for over three months. A blond ponytail and her sister climb aboard the school bus and negotiate over who will be driver.
“Stay with your friend,” a mother calls out to enforce the social distancing rules released with the opening of Arlington parks on June 26. Masks are encouraged as well as six feet of social distancing between family member groups. If the playground gets too crowded, parents are urged to wait their turn.
Things are different. No sharing of water bottles and no food is allowed. No eating or chewing gum. Although restrooms are cleaned daily in the local parks, playgrounds are never cleaned, so those using the playground are advised to bring their own cleaning supplies. And wash your hands before and after the playground and no face touching.
Still the children’s shrieks carry down the block. So glad to be out at last.