Costumes, Candy, Corona, oh my!

Canceling a favored tradition, such as Halloween, is premature when there are many ways in which Trick-or-Treaters can be kept safe.

Eleanor Peterson

Every year on October 31st, children swarm the streets in costumes, going door to door begging for candy. While a strange tradition, it is one that is valued by many. Children look forward to the one day a year where they can be whatever they want.

     Though this year, they might not get that. Due to the rise in Covid cases this fall, many officials have been considering placing restrictions on Halloween activities or even canceling it all together. While it is understandable to jump to that conclusion, it is an unnecessary precaution.

     According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles County public health officials originally put a ban on trick-or-treating back in September. They have since relaxed the restrictions, but still strongly recommend against door to door trick-or-treating. Gatherings such as carnivals and haunted houses are still not permitted.

     The Oregon Health Authority, OHA, is also warning against traditional trick-or-treating. More information about their recommendations and guidelines can be found here.

     The worry is that with hundreds of kids swarming the streets, it may be difficult to maintain distance, but there are many ways for kids to stay safe.

     For starters, trick-or-treating is an outdoor activity. So far there has been no discouragement for meeting up with friends outside. It is easy to keep a distance, being that there is so much space. Halloween is also the one day a year kids were expected to wear a mask pre-pandemic. Even for kids, whose costume doesn’t include a mask, they are a simple addition. And for people handing out candy who may be worried about coming in contact with lots of kids, it is easy enough to leave a bowl of candy on your doorstep. 

     It is understandable for people to consider canceling Halloween considering all that is going on, but it is simply an unnecessary precaution. If we take to the streets Halloween night using the same precautions as we do at work or the grocery store, we should be at no greater risk. 

     It is also important to keep a sense of normalcy in these chaotic times. Children already spend most of their time in front of a computer screen. Give us one night to return to the world before Covid.