Coronavirus closes Pocatello Playgrounds

As cases continue to rise, the cities of Chubbuck and Pocatello have temporarily closed all playgrounds.

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Brenden Jensen

Brooklyn’s Playground, located at O.K. Ward Park, is left empty among fears of spreading the Coronavirus.

Brenden Jensen, Reporter

With over 1400 confirmed cases in Idaho, measures have been taken within the state to try and slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Shortly after Idaho’s Governor, Brad Little, announced a statewide stay-at-home order, the cities of Chubbuck and Pocatello announced they would be temporarily closing all the parks in an effort to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

My father, Odell Jensen, believes that this was the best decision that they could have made given the circumstances. “If children have less things to do at the park or the playground, they are more likely to stay at home, rather than gathering at the park in large groups”, says Jensen. The less people we can have out at parks, the less people will gather, and the closer we could be to flattening the curve and slowing the growth of the ongoing pandemic.

Despite the ongoing fear and worry, Jensen remains optimistic and hopeful that this will be gone, or at least lessened, in the coming months. There has been no work on when the parks will reopen, so for now it continues to remain unknown. Jensen states, “I believe they can reopen in June, possibly at the beginning of the month.” Although, without any words from officials, and given the cases are still rising dramatically, no promise can be made that all parks can open up again by June.

Once the parks are allowed to open back up again, whether that’s within a span of weeks, or months, nothing will be the same, nothing will be as it once was. Of course, in the beginning, restrictions may have to be put in place. Said restrictions could be things such as sanitation measures, or limits as to how many can use the playground at one time. Jensen believes that upon reopening, “many people will be excited to go back into the playgrounds again, excited to leave their homes.” Jensen also acknowledges that some may be weary about returning, and may want to stay at home until they know it is safe to go out, without having to worry about their children getting sick from use of the local playgrounds.

Jensen believes that we should follow the advice of our local and national health officials, in which we must stay at home if we are feeling sick. Not only that, but we should all stay at home during this time in order to prevent the spread of the virus, and to work to slow the spread.

One thing we’ll learn from what we’re going through now is that any time we have any cold or flu symptoms is that unless we are going to something important that can’t wait, if at all possible, to stay at home”, says Jensen. He believes that by doing so will help to make sure that everything is a little safer, not only for us individually, but for everyone else that’s around us.

This isn’t going to be something that will go away overnight, or within a week span, but we will get through it. We all must work together, taking all steps necessary, to help slow the spread, and make this as quick of a process as possible.