'It's no laughing matter' COVID-19 survivor urges people to stay home after seeing weekend crowds in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Tonight sparks are again flying between those who are choosing to go to area parks and those choosing to stay home. Here in the Bay Area visits to the ICU departments have not risen and the amount of daily deaths is low compared to other parts of the state but doctors say this is not a time to celebrate.

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"They're playing with fire really!" says Doris Bloch who is a COVID-19 survivor from San Francisco.

She is referring to the crowds of people seen in San Francisco's Great Meadow Park at Fort Mason on Saturday and the crowds at Dolores Park on Sunday. Lots of people were out and about instead of staying at home.

"This is also my mental health and I'm trying to stay sane during all of this," says Jess Nicole of San Francisco.

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Don't tell that to Bloch who says she still can't go on a long walk.

"It's no laughing matter, I was even on oxygen and I was one of the lucky ones because I was only in the hospital for 5 days," Bloch said.

County statistics show that ICU hospital visits have not risen in the Bay Area and deaths here are lower when compared to other areas of the state. But Dr. Jahan Fahimi, medical director of UCSF's Emergency Department, says not so fast.

"We are in the midst of potentially dodging a huge surge here in the Bay Area and now is really not the time to take a victory lap," Fahimi said.

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Ask park goers in San Francisco about that and they'll tell you that they need to get out for their own health and don't have a yard or roof like some people.

"When you're out here you can try to stay six feet apart but at the same time, we've been in quarantine for weeks and weeks and weeks and it is hard," one park-goer said.

Doris Bloch says as hard as it might be she's hopeful that people still choose to take this seriously.

"I hope for everybody not to have to get COVID-19, not to have to go through it," Bloch said. "Wear your mask!"

Dr. Fahimi tells us that they are starting to see people become lax when it comes to taking precautions like social distancing around their family members and friends. He said this is concerning because when you go from being around maybe one or two other people to 6 to 10 it puts you at a much greater risk of getting the virus.

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