WESTFIELD, NJ — It has been nearly two weeks since authorities first warned of the need for social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The combination of closed schools, businesses shut down and repeated warnings from the authorities to stay inside prompted many members of the public to stay indoors. But with temperatures in the high 60s Friday, many people took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy local parks.

Resident Tony Borg had been stuck at home, along with his wife and two teenage daughters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“My wife and I have been working from home, but we’ve been managing. They kick me out every two hours,” Borg, 57, said in jest. “Apparently, I can be a little annoying.”

Borg works as an internal auditor and is also a youth football coach in Westfield. His wife, Melissa, who works for an investment bank, is also working from home. She found the park to be a pleasant relief.

“It’s nice to see other people, even though it’s at a distance,” said Melissa Borg, 51. “It definitely lifts your spirits.”

Public parks in Westfield are among those to remain open, although with the caveat that people practice social distancing, keep a 6-foot distance from one another and not use playgrounds. Playgrounds town-wide remain closed to enforce social distancing. The bathrooms in the parks also are closed as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But nothing prohibited a group of friends from going for a run Friday.

Rob Brown, a sophomore at Ryder University, is home in Westfield and could be found finishing up a jog with a handful of friends.

“It’s the only time I’m allowed out,” Brown said. “It’s the best way to do it: just get some exercise, hang out with some of my friends, nothing really beats it.”

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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