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  • Los Angeles Times: Mar 24, 2020

    A letter to the editor by PI’s Manal Aboelata ran in this week’s LA Times, calling for safe management of parks and other outdoor recreation, rather than closures and criminalization of use: “My teenage sons, like other Los Angeles Unified School District students, are stuck at home. They don’t just want to go for a walk. They should be able to go to one of our local parks to exercise. (“No, seriously. Stay home,” editorial, March 23). But I’m scared about their safety now that golf courses and basketball and tennis courts are off-limits. I fear that the health protection and police powers of the state are set to converge in a way that will be especially dangerous for boys and men of color — the people most likely to be over-policed in our public spaces. The benefits of regular physical activity are real and long-lasting. Does the risk of illness and death from COVID-19 for the general population outweigh the benefits of exercise, nature contact and fresh air? A singles match of tennis easily meets “social distancing” recommendations. Can’t we find ways to manage recreation facilities without outlawing their use? Parks are public health.”

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