People crowding Memphis parks reminded to maintain social distancing

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Mid-South is in the middle of a public health crisis, but you wouldn’t know it looking at Tom Lee Park in Memphis on Thursday.

People were everywhere, and that forced park officials to turn into the social distancing police. The Safer at Home order is in effect but it allows people to go to parks to get out and exercise.

Park officials urged people to spread out as much as possible, and they limited how many cars could be in the parking lot at one time. It was all in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“People have been pretty good,” park official Helen Hope said. “People are very receptive. A lot of them say I appreciate that.”

But there wasn’t much distance between a group of basketball players at Morris Park, and health officials would call that a technical foul.

 “This is our love,” one player said.

“Be safe! Corona safe!” said the Rona Defender.

That’s why an unusual superhero stepped in to help. You may have seen him on social media. He calls himself the “Rona Defender”. 

“Kind of sort of [like Superman], but a true American superhero,” Rona Defender said.

He squirted players’ hands with sanitizer and sprayed the ball with Lysol.

He knows those guys shouldn’t have been playing like that but he said, “People are gonna do it, and if they’re going to do it I might as well try to help.”

He also used his superpowers to make people smile and laugh during a tough time.

“It’s not the end of the world. We’ll get through this together,” he said, “Be safe! Corona safe!”

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