MONROEVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) — In many places, there was an uncomfortable silence on Tuesday.
The parking lot of the Monroeville Mall looked like tumbleweeds would come dancing across at any second.
It is just not supposed to be this way on a Tuesday in March.
By sharp contrast, not far away, you would never know anything was different based on the customers going and coming from the Giant Eagle and Target stores.
In downtown Pittsburgh, the streets were empty with only a few people bracing against the early spring wind whipping through the canyons of concrete and steel.
Rod Gaston scoffed at Governor Tom Wolf’s order for most people to stay home.
“It’s not going to stop me, still going to make my money and take care of my family. Corona ain’t gonna stop nothing,” Gaston said.
Joe Richard had to come into town for medical treatment.
“What I see everybody’s doing their part so I don’t have a concern,” Richard said. “It’s being treated the best it can so I live with it.”
Quite a few people ventured out onto the trails and paths of North Park.
There was plenty of elbow room, which is in sharp contrast to the sea of humanity that hit the park on Sunday.
Incoming Allegheny County Health Dept Director Dr. Debra Bogen said in a statement to KDKA:
“Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running is absolutely encouraged during this time. The goal is to maintain a physical distance from others at least six feet.”
In addition to plenty of social distancing, county crews were also spraying down all the playground equipment.
Madison Unverzagt is a nurse and came to the park to relieve some anxiety.
“I feel like we don’t have the protective equipment. We should cause of the shortages an everything,” Unverzagt said.
Unverzagt says she’s been just going from home to the hospital for days and needed to get out.
The urge to get out and enjoy the parks isn’t possible right now in Ross Township.
“We’ve closed them indefinitely,” said Ross Twp Commission Chairman Stephen Korbel. “We had a lot of examples of folks congregating in our parks over the weekend and not necessarily adhering to social distancing. So we’re taking all the steps we can to help bend or flatten the curve here in Ross Township.”
Ross Township isn’t alone. The City of Pittsburgh closed its playgrounds on Monday and Upper St Clair has closed its rec center until April 13.
The Allegheny County Parks remain open to provide an outlet to those who need a break and just have to get out of their homes.