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It would be a shame to close Santa Barbara beaches and parks as those who are self-isolating need the outdoors and exercise to care for body and spirit during these challenging times. A better solution would be to station a Park Ranger in each location.
Each evening, having sequestered myself indoors all day, I have attempted solitary walks at the Douglas Preserve and have been dismayed and disgusted by the groups of (mostly young people, obviously not families) partying, sharing beer bottles, high-fiving, and hugging one another. This disregard for the health of others and specifically the more vulnerable among us, is shocking. More astounding, however, is the absence of any official to gently nudge them away from such recklessness in the interests of our community.
This is the only way to stop the spread of the virus. And while the headlines affirm this over and over again, our Park Rangers are heartbreakingly absent.
Where is the city of Santa Barbara in this important component of prevention? I have routinely left messages for the Park Ranger — no one ever answers or returns my calls.
A simple solution is to let folks be outdoors, respectfully keeping social distance, no more than two people at a time (or two parents with young children). The absence of vigilance on the part of the only ones who can help, our Park Rangers, is nothing short of negligence and, by default, potential murder.