open parks

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By RACHEL MORENO*

Has the rate of people affected by Covid-19 been falling, really? Has it been dropping enough? Why does the medical profession disagree with this conclusion, which they still think is premature and inconclusive?

Declaring that the average growth rate of Covid-19 has been falling in São Paulo, Mayor Bruno Covas (PSDB) announced the opening of parks in the state capital.

Has the rate of people affected by Covid-19 been falling, really? Has it been dropping enough? Why does the medical profession disagree with this conclusion, which they still think is premature and inconclusive?

But, regardless of the numbers and the controversy, the city hall of the capital announced the release of 70 of the more than 100 municipal parks, and the state government also released the gradual reopening of nine of the 16 state parks.

But … do you know what the days and times are?

Well, they will be open from Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 16 pm.

Weekends are still banned.

That determination contemplates... who, really? The workers? The sportsmen? The ones who want to go for a run or walk before going to work?

They also say that “the venues will have a limit of 40% of the total capacity, with entry control and mandatory mask wearing. Joint activities will be prohibited and drinking fountains, playgrounds and spaces for collective sports remain prohibited.”

The City Hall, as well as the Secretariat for the Green and the Environment decided in this way, and did not even hear or consult the Management Councils of the Parks.

The Permanent Green Forum, Squares, Parks and Green Areas, delivered a manifesto on 08/07/2020, regarding the reopening procedures and protocols. But this body of social participation was also trampled by the decision to reopen and present protocols drawn up unilaterally (Public Power), on 09/07/2020.

a concrete example

Parque da Chácara do Jockey is also authorized to reopen.

But the Park Management Council (made up of representatives of associations, users, residents and institutions in the surrounding region) – in addition to not having been consulted – considers that the park lacks minimum conditions for proper functioning, even before the pandemic.

Thus, the Council expressed its disagreement with the reopening of the Chácara do Jockey Park to the Secretariat for the Green and the Environment and to the City Hall. It is not necessary to present any other argument, it is enough to mention the serious situation da health caused by the Coronavirus. It is not the right time to attract people to coexistence and social approach.

As if the circumstances of extreme vulnerability to Covid-19 on the part of the collective spaces were not enough, the precarious conditions in which the Chácara do Jockey Park is found are also identified, in terms of maintenance, janitorial and adequate infrastructure for a decent reception .

It is important that we remember the total neglect of the current municipal administration with the set of parks and green areas in the city. The “policy” proposed by this municipal government for these public areas has already been chosen – it is their privatization. The “old trick” of scrapping, associated with underfunding, which makes a public good, belonging to the population of São Paulo, available for exploitative “bids” for these green areas.

We also see the fact that repairs and maintenance work on the physical structure were not carried out, which were already known to the Verde secretariat and whose failure to carry out further compromises the safety of users, employees and security guards.

– the practices allowed would be: running, walking and cycling;

– isolate: arenas, playground, drinking fountains, courts and fields, game tables;

– sports advice (personal) and gatherings are not allowed: picnics, parties, games…

– Opening hours of the parks: Monday to Friday from 10 am to 16 pm;

– administrative staff will work from 13/07, from Monday to Friday, that is, they will have weekends off;

– must arrive before 10 am and keep the park in conditions of use, following the protocol;

– must guide third parties regarding compliance with the protocol;

– mandatory use of mask, social distancing;

– it is imperative that administrators are circulating around the park, guiding citizens and employees;

– every day the administrators, with the parks open, will make reports on occurrences in the parks, number of visitors, incidents…

– Toilets must be completely washed every 2 hours on average: doorknobs, taps, toilets…

– 1 security guard per gate counting residents;

There are few restrooms available, there is a lack of drinking fountains, among other things, in addition to their maintenance.

With the reopening, in addition to the lack of hygiene conditions in the only bathroom that will be made available, access to the drinking fountains will be prohibited.

Lack of hand basins with soap and water; etc.

There is a lack of conditions for permanent cleaning of spaces for collective use, bathrooms, drinking fountains, spraying bleach on sidewalks, disinfection of environments (minimum sanitary rules)

A previous campaign is missing, via the media and other means, to ensure that users are aware of the conditions to which they will have to submit, an X-ray of these spaces, so that potential visitors have information to be able to choose between going or not being exposed.

There is a lack of training and personnel to monitor users.

PROTOCOL: In particular, it is understood as relevant and essential, that it is up to SVMA and the City Hall to warn and alert the population in general, and visitors in particular, that the opening and permanence of the park open will depend on a progressive drop in rates of infected and deaths from Covid, strict adherence to the rules, medical advice and health criteria and social distancing advocated by the WHO is absolutely necessary.

Another “rare jewel” of pseudo-scientific and sanitary procedure: the City of São Paulo established a limit of 40% of visitors to public parks. Magic number!

For Parque da Chácara do Jockey, they established a visitor capacity (absurd!) of 3.588 people…!

in the state

On Saturday, Governor João Doria announced that nine of the 16 state parks located in the capital will also be open, from Monday to Friday. The Zoo, Zoo Safari and Botanical Garden will be open from Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 16 pm; and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9 am to 16 pm, with a restriction of 50% of tickets.

The attitudes of the mayor and the governor can be compared to the negligence of the federal government. In addition to not offering basic information for the population to protect themselves.

And, after a few days, Governor Dória now proposes the eighth quarantine in the State, from July 27 to August 10, due to the pandemic.

The capital will not reopen theaters and cinemas, decrees Dória.

He also canceled the March for Jesus, as well as the LGBTQ+ Parade (which should have taken place in June and which would have been rescheduled for November). And finally, he also announced the postponement of the 2021 Carnival, to probably the end of May or the beginning of July of next year.

But, regarding the parks, he said nothing, although the frequency – judging by the Parque da Chácara do Jockey – is increasing daily, despite the precariousness and opening hours.

* Rachel Moreno is a psychologist and feminist activist. Author, among other books, of The image of women in the media (Popular expression).

 

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