Celebrating Halloween: Pandemic Edition
By Sachin Kalahasti
Currently it is the month of October, which means that Halloween is almost here. However, there is a problem with celebrating it; the COVID-19 pandemic. With more rules implemented to limit the spread of the virus to other people, we will also see limitations that will force people to make changes to how they celebrate this year's Halloween.
Halloween is a day where people are able to go trick-or-treating with different homes around their communities filled with many spooky decorations, but this will mean a higher chance of people passing on the virus to other people. To avoid this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (also known as CDC), placed activities into three different categories: high risk, moderate risk, and low risk.
The CDC says that the higher risk activities are trick-or-treating and attending haunted houses, filled with people. This would mean these activities are not recommended and could cause a huge outbreak of COVID-19. Moderate risk activities include picking up wrapped-goodie bags with candy from groups like churches, stores or other groups. . This would allow people to safely maintain social distancing. The low risk activities are basically any parties or contests that are held virtually, since people stay safely indoors and do not need to worry about being around many people.
The CDC have also stated that if people were to go trick-or-treating, it is suggested that only around 3-4 people be in your group. The CDC suggests that if the costume has a mask, a wearer is not able to use it as a substitute for a face mask, since it will not protect from the virus, while around other people. They have also suggested that people be creative with their protective face masks and put any designs on them. This will allow people to protect each other from this disease, while having fun
Sandra Kesh, an infectious disease physician at Westmed Medical Group in Purchase, New York, informs us that it is important for parents to have “a very serious conversation with their kids that if you are going to take them trick-or-treating, the rules are followed and respected.” This is to ensure that everyone is aware and safe around others. This also means that trick-or-treaters should use hand sanitizer and avoid touching their face at all costs.
With all these guidelines in mind, safe precautions will be implemented. This will be a guarantee that people act safely during Halloween this year with the added bonus that people will be able to experience something different, during this time. If people don’t decide to take these extra steps to ensure safety with one another, there will be more spreading and the pandemic will continue to haunt us.