With Halloween coming up soon and the COVID-19 pandemic in full force, there is simply no reason that children should be allowed to go out and celebrate Halloween as done in past years.
Throughout our lives, Halloween has evolved from little kids dressing up and going trick-or-treating with their parents to teenagers dressing up and going to Halloween parties that can have hundreds of people. This year, in the midst of a global pandemic, nobody should be allowed to celebrate Halloween, as they have in previous years, in order to keep everyone safe.
As people are trick-or-treating, they grab handfuls of candy from the same bowl as everyone else and touch all of the said candy before they pick the one they want for themselves. In some cases, it has been proven that COVID-19 can be spread through the touching of items or surfaces that an infected person has been in contact with.
People who are asymptomatic could accidentally spread the virus to other trick-or-treaters that they come in contact with. The person who hands out the candy, the kids receiving the candy or even the parents of the kids who had a piece of candy are now at risk solely because there could have been someone who was irresponsible enough to go out trick-or-treating knowing they may or may not have the disease.
At this point, everybody should know the struggles of wearing a face mask everywhere they go in public. “They itch,” “they do not fit correctly” and “they make it harder to breathe” are just some of the daily excuses people make to justify not wearing a mask. How should we expect people of all ages to wear masks during the entirety of Halloween activities when they can’t wear one on a day-to-day basis?
Since the bulk of Halloween activities take place outside, people may choose not to adorn a face-covering because they are not packed tightly in an enclosed space. However, when trick-or-treaters go door-to-door to ask for candy, they come in contact with new people who may have the virus.
The face mask is required to be worn anywhere in public and heavily enforced at other events, such as social gatherings in most states. While the CDC has reiterated time and time again how important it is to wear a mask to fight the spread of the virus, some people still refuse to wear one.
Social distancing has been enforced throughout the course of the pandemic. We know from past experiences how excited kids of all ages act on Halloween. Little kids tend to be happy to dress up as their favorite superhero or princess, older kids are excited to compare the amount of candy they got with their friends and teenagers are looking forward to either hanging out with their friends or going to a Halloween party with a ridiculous amount of people. Social distancing is something that is nearly impossible to do with millions of people around the country on the day of Halloween.
Regardless of what teenagers are doing on Halloween, they will most likely not be wearing a mask or maintaining an appropriate distance from one another. If there are many attendees at a Halloween event, there is an increased risk of a person or multiple people catching the virus and spreading it to anyone who comes in contact with them.
Younger kids usually go trick-or-treating with kids from other families, while their parents walk closely behind them. This will be exposing both families to each other and it can lead to higher chances the virus is spread.
Older kids will sometimes go trick-or-treating without their parents, but instead with a group of friends. They are all being exposed to one another and if one of them has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, then it may spread to all the kids, and in turn to their families.
The spread of COVID-19 can increase much quicker if nobody changes what they are doing on Halloween. This can lead our country back to where we were at the beginning of the pandemic.
There are still many things we do not know about the virus, but we do know that being mindful about what you are touching, wearing a mask and staying socially distant from others are lowering the number of cases.
Traditional celebrations and activities are simply not possible on a holiday like Halloween.