Through wary times and an inclement season, Halloween has unexpectedly become a part of a very controversial debate. Aside from the usual parental fears that their kids won’t be able to sleep at night after a sugar rush or a horror movie scare, parents now have to worry about the COVID-19 virus and the many dangers that come with it. How can we ease these fears or prevent a potential spike amidst this pandemic? Easy. Don’t trick-or-treat.
Trick-or-treating has been a long-cherished tradition, where kids enjoy Halloween festivities and dress up in their favorite costumes while spending the night gallivanting away and indulging in an excess amount of sugar. But as we know, this year’s conditions are in no way traditional as we have experienced an unprecedented amount of COVID-19 cases. Though I am a strong lover of candy and sugar-induced comas, the reason why we’re in this place to begin with is because people couldn’t follow the rules. Even though towns have been implementing regulations for the upcoming holiday, the question still stands: Will people abide by them?
I wish I could have faith in each individual family to properly distribute candy, while having masks on and social distancing, but unfortunately with Illinois’ current statistics, facts have gone beyond blind hope. According to centralillinoisproud.com, hospitalizations have increased by 40% in the last month. Illinois is in the top five states with the highest percentage increase with an average of 4,456 new cases a day. Kids should be able to get the best out of their childhood and this beloved holiday, but keeping the community safe should be the first priority. By all means, go out and buy your kids bags of candy, have them trick-or-treat at every door inside the house, make costumes, carve pumpkins, decorate, watch scary movies and play games; nothing is stopping this year from being exceptionally different and creative for your family.
This is a time for communities and families to truly take a step back and come together to create a unique and individualized experience, while ensuring the health of those around them. There’s no reason to say a kid can’t preserve his or her emotional and physical well-being by enjoying a parent-made Halloween indoors (not to mention it’s freezing outside). At this point in the year, with the highest COVID-19 spike we’ve seen, I ask that you keep your child home for the safety of those around them. I can’t imagine that every house will have separated candy for you to choose from, without contaminating others. I can’t imagine sanitary equipment will be used in between every trick-or-treater. And I definitely can’t imagine a trick-or-treating Halloween that results in anything but a spike in COVID-19 cases. Halloween is meant to be a fun, creative holiday. Who’s to say we can’t do it safely at home?