WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- Changes made all across western Mass are discouraging interactions and encouraging social distancing.

Wayne Perry, who works in West Springfield, told Western Mass News that he's been noticing the changes around him. He said while these COVID-19 restrictions are difficult, they're worth it.

"Getting cooped up, it can make people stir-crazy, but it's important especially for young people to keep their distance like no partying, avoid playing basketball. It'll be a few weeks, it'll stink but at least we won't be spreading it,” Perry said.

West Springfield resident Nouredine Eievhiou said they had to stop a good game of 5-on-5.

[Did they come and interrupt the game?]

“Yeah like we just started and people were shooting, we just started running back and forth and next thing you know dude pulls up in the yellow trucks. Middle of the game I was like ‘yo,’" he said.

Eievhiou said these changes are really starting to hit him.

“It's kind of scary. It's like taking a step back. It's like, whoa, this is really going down."

The basketball hoops are down, and people are encouraged to stay inside, but the mayor says further social distancing efforts are on the table.

"If we do find there to be more issues, like we closed the parks, we zip-tied the hoops, well that became a problem because they were cutting the zip ties, so we just took the hoops down. So we're trying to kind of play into what needs to be done. If there are people that are going to be gathered then we'll have to patrol at a higher intensity than we are now,” said Mayor William Reichlet.

Further measures include parking areas beginning to be closed off.

Reichelt said with kids physically out of school and new changes brought to the table, parents are left in a state of confusion.

“We have gotten a ton of questions. The questions we're getting now really is what are we going to do? Am I the homeschooler now? Or what's going to be happening," he said.

Reichelt said a remote learning plan is already in place for residents of West Springfield. He said while there's only so much they can do, he and the emergency management team are continuing to meet virtually every day to discuss further plans.

Copyright 2020.  Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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