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Saints coach Sean Payton shares no-nonsense strategy for social distancing

Sean Payton, Saints

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been attempting to promote public awareness and enhance a sense of caution among the general public with respect to the coronavirus pandemic.

Payton, who was recently cleared by doctors after testing positive for the illness last week, said “shelter in place” and social distancing mandates are necessary. He also showed some frustration with respect to some of the “behavior” from people in New Orleans, via John Sigler of USA TODAY:

“Listen, it makes complete sense,” Payton said when asked about the strict travel restrictions and shelter-in-place recommendations from local governments. “And look, we try asking nicely, and we try saying, ‘Hey look, this is the deal.’ And then you still see behavior that makes you upset.”

The popular rule has been to maintain six feet of clear space between people and those around them, to which Payton offered a helpful reminder: “Just picture it as everyone’s got a hand grenade on them. How about that? Alright, so stay away from everybody. The state has issued — our state right now, and a lot of it has to do with Mardi Gras, but our state right now, the numbers aren’t good.”

The Saints coach fully understands why the spread of the illness is so concerning.

Payton first began to feel symptoms at the beginning of last week, and he tested positive just a few days later. Although he had a full recovery, Payton likely understands not everyone in New Orleans or the rest of the country is as fortunate as he is when it comes to the availability of testing.

Naturally, Payton’s first-hand experience has lent him some perspective on the matter.