Runners, walkers, and joggers pass the Cotton Bowl as they weave through Fair Park as part of the Hypnotic Donut Dash in January. Chris McGathey

Coronavirus

With Parks Closed, Some Reminders for Dallas Joggers

Public health and public safety both dictate you be aware of your surroundings.

All 397 Dallas parks will be closed this Easter Weekend. So delay your planned egg hunt until probably September. But decision also will push joggers and walkers onto the streets and trails, and there are some things you need to keep in your head. Let’s start with public health.

I’ll direct you to a Belgian study, detailed in The Brussels Times, which notes that “outdoor activities require stricter social distancing.” Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology and KU Leuven University developed some simulations to figure out whether outside exercisers are actually at a higher risk for being exposed to the coronavirus.

They found what they called a “slipstream,” “something similar to a vacuum or drag effect which occurred when the regular airflow was disturbed by someone who was in motion.” Basically, it’s telling you not to walk or run directly behind someone. If you come across a person on a sidewalk, at least stagger how you’re running. You’re more likely to avoid microscopic respiratory droplets if you’re not directly in the other person’s path.

This, obviously, is super pertinent on the trails, which will remain open this weekend. But if you come across walkers or joggers on your daily run, just head across the street. The other issue is safety. I’ll direct you to the Park Cities, which last month saw three pedestrians robbed. “We’ve not had an offense like this reported to us in a long time,” said Lt. Lance Koppa, with Highland Park DPS.

The first happened on March 26 in the 3700 block of Armstrong Avenue. A woman was walking when the suspect approached from behind, grabbed her cell phone, and darted into a four-door, gold Chevrolet sedan. Video from a nearby house showed the woman being struck by the getaway car and falling to the ground. Four minutes later, a similar offense occurred at Haynie and Golf in University Park.

Fast forward three days. An identical snatch and grab happened around 3:30 p.m. at Armstrong and Edmonson. The suspect’s vehicle matched the description from the prior attack.

It’s a reminder to be aware of your surroundings. Parks are closed. Neighborhoods are not. Just be aware of what’s around you, and stay away from others.

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