Given the year that 2020 has been, it’s not a bad thing to have a little distraction. However, unprecedented times bring up a question: are our holidays going to be ruined? With spooky season in full swing, costumes and candy have made their return to flooding little kids’ minds, but this year is different. Recently we have started to see another wave of COVID-19 cases and deaths surge throughout the state. As a result, some towns have elected to cancel trick-or-treating. I am all for the safety of the public; however, if done properly with the correct PPE and socially distanced restrictions, trick-or-treating could be more beneficial than harmful.
Since the middle of March almost all sense of normalcy has been lost in everyone’s daily lives. Adults are home from work and kids aren’t able to attend school fully. Adjusting to these scenarios is difficult for anyone, especially kids. Kids thrive off of socialization, imagination and communication—all of which are naturally incorporated into the festivities of Halloween. If done respectfully and responsibly, I don’t see why trick-or-treating should be canceled.
Physical health is by all means a priority; however, that does not mean you should invalidate mental health. I don’t say this as an argument to discredit COVID-19 but rather to advocate for the importance of emotional health; I feel there needs to be a healthy balance of both emotional and physical health. This is the time for a community to band together and get creative with allowing kids to return to some sort of normalcy.
I worked as a daycare summer camp counselor, and kids are honestly less picky about wearing masks than some grown adults. If kids were given the option to go trick-or-treating if they wore a mask, I have no doubt the majority would obey the restriction. Additionally, trick-or-treating doesn’t have to be knocking on doors and meeting with others. Families could leave a bowl out for kids to grab a piece of candy or could throw them into their buckets from an appropriate distance. Adults could even go as far as to come up with some sort of invention or contraption to get candy to the kids. It’s not only a merriment for the kids, but for everyone in the community.
If there is one thing that has been stressed the most this year with the pandemic, it is that we as a nation must learn to adapt. Ultimately life is going to throw obstacles at you, and you have to take them and make something livable out of it. The cancelation of Halloween and trick-or-treating is not an immediate catastrophe; however, there could be more joy in the world, especially now. It comes down to the fact that the direct cancellation of trick-or-treating has more negatives than positives. If trick-or-treaters and families agree to follow set guidelines, trick-or-treating should occur at the parent’s discretion. Halloween is meant as a day to dress up and pretend to be something else for a little bit. This is a tradition needed now more than ever.