Halloween Must be Different During COVID

September 24, 2020 – For many parents and their kids, the best part of Halloween is dressing the kids up as monsters, princesses, or superheroes and cheating around the block. Eloise Hardesty of Marietta, GA, is no exception.

“Eloise is 4 and a half years old and has been talking about this Halloween for about 11 months,” says her father, Chris Hardesty. “She was delighted to dress as Elsa [from Disney’s Frozen] for almost a year.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 complicated Eloise’s plans. The coronavirus outbreak claimed more than 200,000 lives in the United States in 2020, and communities across the country are questioning the safety of Halloween activities like knocking on doors for candy.

Hardesty says Eloise adjusted some of her expectations. “Because so much is unusual since the start of spring, I think she will accept changes in the way we do stuff or treat. She knows she will have to wear one of the masks she uses every time she goes out.

“But I’m reluctant for her to pick up candy in the neighborhood,” Hardesty adds, saying he and his wife haven’t made a plan for Oct. 31 yet.

Halloween fans might be particularly disappointed to limit their activities this year, as October 31 falls on a Saturday, during a full moon on the night daylight saving time ends. Flipping the clocks means that this Halloween night will be one more hour.

Cheating or dealing may seem safer than some group activity that was discouraged during the coronavirus outbreak. It typically involves masks, takes place outdoors, and can allow for social distancing and non-contact interactions. But many medical experts suggest it is more risky than some parents realize.

On September 8, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health categorically banned haunted houses, big parties, and other Halloween activities, highlighting the challenges of social distancing. The next day, the ministry changed the policy to make it “not recommended”.

On September 21, the CDC updated its considerations for holiday celebrations during the pandemic. Intended to supplement local regulations and not replace them, the document designates activities as low risk, moderate risk or high risk, stressing that “many traditional Halloween activities can present a high risk of spreading viruses. . “

Higher-risk activities identified by the CDC include “traditional treats where the treats are handed out to children who go door-to-door”, as well as “the trunk or treat”, in which “the treats are handed out to from car trunks lined up in large parking lots. “

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Jothi Venkat

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