An Ice-Skating Rink and Christmas Village Amid a Pandemic Shutdown?
As COVID-19 cases rise, the ice skating rink outside Philadelphia City Hall will open while other businesses stay shut down.
Apparently ice skating is an essential business. One cannot let the holidays go by without slipping into some white leather boots fitted with a silver blade to glide on the ice, and most likely fall.
At Dilworth Park in Center City, Philadelphia, the annual ice skating rink remains open despite the city's new city-wide closure of indoor dining, gyms, and non-essential business.
The rink is sponsored by the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute — one of the city’s leading institutes of medicine.
It will also appear in 2020 alongside the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, more popularly known as the Christmas Village.
As businesses close and business as usual carries on for the ice rink and holiday market, some Philadelphians like Conrad Benner, founder of the Streets Dept. street art blog, questioned how the latter could still go on.
— Conrad Benner (@StreetsDept) November 24, 2020
As Benner wrote, the pandemic we are living through in 2020 is the first we’ve experienced in over 100 years. Amid the holidays, it is no surprise people gather, shop, and the risk of exposure increases.
People are also being told by government and health officials to limit their gatherings at home for the holidays to prevent the spread, yet Philadelphia is still hosting two of its biggest Winter attractions.
It’s also not like people are listening. Estimates still put about 2 million Americans in transit ahead of Thanksgiving in spite of the COVID-19 spike.
At the Christmas Village and ice rink there are safety measures in place such as limiting capacity, mask and social distancing guidelines, both still feel like things that should not be happening amid the spike in cases.
The holiday market is open from Nov. 21 until Jan. 1, while the ice rink will remain open until Feb. 28.
No matter where one stands on COVID-19, everyone wants to get back to life as usual and enjoy some of the normal activities we accustomed to, but at what cost?
It seems like an attempt to keep the local economy moving ever so slightly, especially at a time that has been rough for people around the globe. However, it is definitely a risk, and something the city should take into account no matter the price they were paid for installation.