Mayor London Breed talks to Sister Roma at Dolores Park on Sept. 4, 2020. Photo by Julian Mark

Mayor London Breed and other city officials took turns giving light-hearted lectures on mask-wearing and social distancing to a throng of reporters gathered Friday afternoon at Dolores Park’s “Gay Beach.”  

“Let’s be honest. We know most people come here to pick somebody up,” Breed told reporters, who were packed like cattle on the corner of 20th and Church. “We know it’s lonely during covid — we’re trying to find a man or woman or anybody else that’s willin’ to hang out with us in our little circles that we create.”  

“This has become that place,” Breed added, referring to the park where only a few denizens had gathered on Friday afternoon, but would be likely to swell by the evening and through the Labor Day weekend and potentially transform into dance parties and dating circles (read: coronavirus breeding grounds — although city officials have yet to officially link any cases to Dolores Park). 

As has been her mantra over the last six months, the mayor stressed the notion of “sacrifice,” the importance of mask-wearing and social distancing among park visitors — and all San Franciscans and their guests during a long, sunny weekend — despite the inconvenience. She said that, by hanging out with friends and family outside your household, “you’re part of the problem.” 

She warned that spikes in cases have typically occurred following weekends with high turnouts in the city’s parks. At present, San Francisco’s covid-19 reproductive rate hovers around 0.94, which means transmission is not dangerously high — but that could change quickly. 

Assisting Breed in her friendly lecture were Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Mandelman said that the Sisters were instrumental in spreading the message about safe sex during San Francisco’s AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, “not in a finger-wagging, shaming kind of way — but in a way that made people understand that we’re all connected, and the decisions that I make impact you.” 

“We know that we’ve all been pent up — we want to get out,” said Sister Roma, who wore a bejeweled and sparkling face mask. “We know that we’re going to see people come out.” 

“So the Sisters would like to gently remind you that masks are fabulous and we encourage you to protect yourself and others,” Sister Roma said. 

After a brief press conference, Sister Roma, Mayor Breed — dressed in a bright red dress and shoes — and Madelman walked through the park to hand out masks and provide photo ops to the scattered groups of denizens at the sparsely populated park. 

As Sister Roma put on gloves to pass out masks in the park, she placed a massive blue-gemmed ring over the glove, satisfied she could make both work out. She noted: “Never sacrifice glamour for masks and gloves.”

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Julian Mark

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. Seriously, why is this person Mayor of San Francisco? She is woefully incompetent, she is destroying our city while she poses as a “leader” in time of crisis.

    Six months we have been forced to shelter in place because this fool has no clue on how to manage covid community spread in our high risk communities. Her public health “expert” Colfax should be held fully accountable for the abysmal testing in our city, his complete lack of a plan in helping the Latino community manage Covid that In turn would allow the city to open back up in a safe manner.

    Shame on Breed and Colfax. They are destroying our city, our livelihoods and our health. GET RID OF THEM NOW.

  2. It didn’t take much figuring to figure this type of virus would spread quickest in The Mission.
    The 24th Street BART pop-up testing site was just “a study”.
    The fire is burning hot in The Mission. Send the fire trucks there.
    These are the people who are essential to The City’s economy.
    The cornerstone of manual/menial labor is based on the exploitation of recent immigrants for their willingness to do hard work cheap and not cause any waves.
    At the least there should be testing stations 24/7 at 16th and 24th.
    And accommodations (physical/financial) for quarantining positive and symptomatic Mission folks.
    Even if testing and contact tracing is not currently at its most efficient – it would show The City is serious about stopping the thing in The Mission NOW to the benefit of the entire city.

  3. The Chinatown neighborhood of high density housing and low income workers is managing the virus well….and commenters want to blame the Mayor’s city wide policies for the virus numbers in the Mission?

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