New Yorkers Use Hazmat Suits to Get Their Pickup Hoops Fix Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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The sun was shining brightly on Saturday in Upstate New York, a perfect day for some basketball in the park if a deadly pandemic wasn’t ripping across the globe. Seven friends in Poughkeepsie, about 80 miles north of Manhattan, had a solution, though. 

They put on cover-alls, face masks, gloves and shoe coverings, and hit their local park for some three-on-three action. 

“Since the NBA and NCAA seasons aren’t going on,” one of the players, 25-year-old Tre Mayo, told the Poughkeepsie Journal, “we just really missed basketball.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, a video went viral of players shooting hoops on California’s Venice Beach, amid a stay at home order issued by the state’s governor. Mayo and his buddies took precautions, but not without consequences. The added protection hampered the players during the game, causing their feet to slip and restricting their movement. 

“Vision was the biggest challenge,” Akiem Clarke told the Journal. “The hood definitely affects vision when going up for a jump shot or playing defense. My shots were terrible due to this.”

A local photographer even stopped by to document the surreal game of pickup. 

But because this is the social media age, safety wasn’t the real reason the guys bought the suits. They did it for content. 

They told the Journal that they got the gear to make videos on TikTok. 

Even if it was for a joke, the suits are still protective, although some of the photos taken by photographer Garth C. Mason show the players ditching their masks at times. If you’re really serious about stopping the spread of the virus, keep those masks on next time to keep your mouth and face covered.