PHOTOS: Let Us Show You How To Hang Out With Others — At A Distance

Social distancing

Some patrons of Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte, NC exercise while social distancing.

By Billy Ball, Grant Baldwin

May 11, 2020

Despite the coronavirus, attendees at Charlotte’s sprawling Freedom Park and Romare Bearden Park ventured out, but still kept their distance.

In North Carolina, people are re-emerging from their homes. But that doesn’t mean social distancing goes out the window.

We sent Cardinal & Pine contributing photographer Grant Baldwin to Charlotte’s Freedom Park and Romare Bearden Park, two of the largest parks in North Carolina’s largest city, to find out how people are weathering the distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The state entered Phase 1 of lifting restrictions Friday, evidence that, at least for now, North Carolina has managed the pandemic better than most. 

Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration is expected to revisit those orders in the coming days and weeks, but in the meantime, NC continues to maintain relatively strict rules for gatherings. 

Stay tuned to Cardinal & Pine for updates. In the meantime, scroll below for Baldwin’s photo essay.

Patrons of Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC gather in groups of 2-5 and observe rigid social distancing from other social clusters of similar size.
Laid off electrical/construction worker Axel Joel Camargo, seen here jumping over a sign encouraging park patrons to use social distancing, spends his time skateboarding in Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte, NC.
Javon Jeter (left) and Hania (right) find that hammocks help them to create space between themselves and other patrons of Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC.
Some patrons of Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC choose to have no interaction at all with other park goers.
Two patrons of Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC talk while sitting on a park bench.
Tyriana (right), a student at a local private school, works on school work she received online with the help of her father Paris (right) while observing social distancing from other groups at Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC.
Sign at entrance to Freedom Park in Charlotte, NC encouraging park goers to observe social distancing.
Charlotteans in Romare Bearden park in uptown gather in slightly larger groups than other parks, many consisting of 2-8 individuals, however these groups kept social distance from each other while enjoying the afternoon warmth of an otherwise cool day.


  • Billy Ball

    Billy Ball is Cardinal & Pine's senior community editor. He’s covered local, state and national politics, government, education, criminal justice, the environment and immigration in North Carolina for almost two decades, winning state, regional and national awards for his reporting and commentary.

  • Grant Baldwin
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