After one of the most bizarre and frankly heartbreaking springs many of us have ever experienced, we all walk into summer with great uncertainty and unrest. Many of the world’s places of play remain closed, questions of equality loom large, and we are left wondering ‘what’s next’?
The COVID-19 global crisis has not gone away with case numbers rising even in the hot temperatures. According to the CDC, the rise is partly due to increased testing and reporting, and also from rapid community spread. With more data comes greater ability to react quickly and meet the needs of those infected. With more cases caused by community spread comes sustained closures.
Even with cases on the rise in certain areas, the general consensus is that we have flattened the curve in the US making reopening play and recreation areas possible. Recently, Voice of Play released a comprehensive list of suggestions for parents and play professionals to safely get back on the playground. Some of these suggestions include:
- wear a mask for all ages 2 and up
- use hand sanitizer
- stay home if you are sick
- ensure that playground equipment is safety standard compliant
- find out if playground equipment is being cleaned and sanitized
- continue to practice social distancing
Another suggestion is to stay informed by visiting your local and state government websites regularly to stay up to date on changes in your state and local community and follow their guidelines. We will also continue to share information, tips, and suggestions provided by a wide array of contributors and playground professionals.
Voice of Play’s suggestions can be found at https://voiceofplay.org/covid-19-resources/
Photo courtesy of Joann M. Robertson
As if the virus hadn’t caused enough world-wide disruption, racial tension and repressed inequality are boiling over into the streets. The horrible death of George Floyd while being taken into police custody has sparked a month of peaceful protest and violent riots exposing the pain and suffering felt by many Americans.
While it feels wrong to offer up my views on things I have very little understanding or experience in, I am witnessing division deepening, even amongst friends. More division seems to be the opposite desired outcome of the protests. A quote often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, "we must all hang together, or ... we shall all hang separately,” illustrates the life or death importance of unity.
We may not yet live in a colorblind world where, in the famous words of Martin Luther King Jr., children will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, we do live in a land founded on the idea that all men are created equal. The Bible says in Matthew 18:3 that “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Perhaps the answers we seek reside in the innocence of childhood and the unity of play.
For our summer issue, we continue our commitment to play by bringing you a collection of articles that show you how to create an environment that encourages learning through play, how to maintain your play spaces, and guide your purchase of seating for sports spectators.
Follow us as we continue to bring you important play and playground information.