San Diego Balboa Park: A Ghost Town

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Balboa Park Museum Entrance

San Diego is living with a stay at home in order to try to control the virus. But as working media, we knew that some of this needed documentation. One of the things that the City of San Diego added over the course of last week was the closure of parks, trails and other public spaces. Why? When we went to Balboa Park today, we were told exactly why. Mayor Kevin Faulconer was also specific on this on Monday.

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San Diego Natural History Museum, behind tape

First off, we went into the park through a control point. We are working media, we were able to do so because we have an active press pass. It was important to document the park in ways that outside of a pandemic you would never see. This is partly due to its historic nature. But also, there are some people out there who apparently have not gotten the memo. The parks are closed.

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A person coming out of the park with her dog.

What we also saw is that some people are still entering the premises though trails, and other places, that are not guarded. Yes, this takes personnel. We also witnessed Park Rangers turning people away at major parking lots. Moreover, we were told to park on Park Avenue, which was also pretty empty. We did, as we have no problem following instructions, and getting what we needed, and then go home.

In time I expect to see people who do what this woman is doing getting tickets. In Europe, rules are far stricter than they are in San Diego, but they are also deeper into the pandemic. So what about the San Diego Zoo? As you may have guessed, it’s closed.

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San Diego Zoo entrance from Park Avenue
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San Diego Zoo parking lot

The parking lot is as empty as it ever has been. When it will open, is a good question. What is also the case is that at this point we all need to be responsible. We went out, got the photos, came home, washed hands.

We took enough photos that I will be able to show you parts of the city in the coming days. We visited downtown, as well as Little Italy, and yes one of our malls. All of these are empty. It is important for all of us to do our part. It is important to stay at home.

We also saw some people still not getting the message. If you need to go out, observe six feet between each of you. It is essential. The Ranger thanked us for putting this out, why this photo essay is the first one. We also stood at a good ten feet from each other. Why? It is what we all need to do.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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