Some New York residents walking outside over the weekend witnessed a particularly harrowing sight as a drone flew over them and urged them to “maintain social distancing.”
As BizPac Review reports, the drone was accompanied by a speaker that advised individuals who were exercising at a park to keep at least six feet from one another.
“This is the Anti-COVID-19 volunteer drone task force,” a voice echoed as the drone flew above residents, evidenced in video footage posted by CBS News.
“Please maintain a social distance of at least six feet. Again, please maintain social distancing,” it echoed overhead the people. “Please help stop the spread of this virus. Reduce the death toll and save lives. For your own safety and your families’ safety please maintain social distancing.”
“Thank you for your cooperation. We are all in this together,” the message concluded.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 5, 2020
It is unclear if the owner of the drone was acting on any official directive by state or local officials. According to the report, however, California may look to implement a drone-advisory system.
BizPac Review adds:
The surreal scene seemed to be straight out of a science fiction movie but, as CBS News noted, the volunteer drone was being used to target New York residents still out of their homes in the state that makes up nearly half of coronavirus deaths in the country.
With over 123,000 confirmed cases and over 4,000 deaths, New York remains the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 3,000 of the fatalities coming from New York City alone.
Many social media reactions to the footage of the drone remarked that New York is following Beijing, referring to efforts by the Chinese government to tell citizens to wear masks while outside using drones. A video shared in a tweet by Global Times in January showed how people were essentially being watched and warned by the Communist government.
A report last month indicated that a police department in southern California was considering new ways to use drones such as adding speakers and possibly night vision cameras.
Chinese officials in rural areas are creatively using #drones to make sure local residents don‘t gather together without wearing masks during the nationwide battle against the #coronavirus. https://t.co/e6khcWvUrx pic.twitter.com/td7u1ZZ4Kz
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 31, 2020