When Playgrounds are closed
It took the Berlin senate and Neukölln district a while to decide whether or not and/or when to close the playgrounds. In a densely populated city like Berlin, where most families live in apartments with no garden or courtyard for collective use (where usually, the trash bins play), playgrounds are quite an important, if not holy thing. Maybe that’s why it took Berlin so long to make up its mind about closing them or not, even though it was clear that closing kindergardens would move all the caretakers and kids out to the playgrounds – social distancing = impossible. The whole crisis is making aparent, what our societies are lacking: next to cuts to government spending for health care all over the world, there is a lack of common space. Now that most other places, where people might spend their time (such as fitness centres, bars, shops, etc.) are closed, parks, forests, and other recreational areas are the only spaces in Berlin where people can legally spend time outside (if exercising or going for a walk). There was a moment Berlin was considering closing them down as well, but fortunately they didn’t, possibly aware of the importance of physical exercise and exposure to some daylight in order to stay healthy in mind and body. And with the playgrounds closed, there is no other way for families to get their children to play outside (moving, of course). But I am speaking from a privileged position, really, as people around the world have much smaller spaces to share and are not allowed to go outside at all.