I’ve posted on this topic previously (see: Photo Friday: The Case for Open Streets, Washington, DC USA) because I am in favor of safe, successful physical distancing policies, and effective, clear communication on how to do that.
Unfortunately, earlier in our city’s efforts, community colleagues may have overreacted, perhaps in states of anxiety. Signs like the below actually reduce a person’s self-efficacy by instilling fear vs promoting tools and empowerment. This is well studied in the public health and medical literature.
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A home-made sign on one of our public parks has been bothering me ever since it was posted, so I decided to remove and edit it digitally, because I can. I understand fear and anger are an early part of grief. We can help by practicing kindness and using information to empower, to assist people in not being angry at themselves or fellow humans. We can also edit unhealthy signs and post healthy ones (with assistance, thank you @alanthompson269). See next post for these examples. Many studies show this approach is most effective. We have the tools to stay safe and alive. Any questions, feel free to message me. ❤️ #DC #instaDC #FactsOverFear #Science #Empowerment #SonyAlpha #Sunset #Shaw
I agree with our Mayor who said the following in regard to opening our nation’s capital:
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to not just reopen our city, but to build a more equitable DC.@MayorBowser, April 23, 2020
In Washington, DC, there has been a consistent call for safer streets. Now could be an incredible opportunity to realize that vision.
To help people practice social distancing and stay six feet apart, DC will expand some sidewalks in wards throughout the District near essential businesses such as grocery stores, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday.