By Michelle Moreno Lira
This year, Halloween will look different for anyone who enjoys partaking in its festivities. While some experts recommend not participating in the traditional way, people are still encouraged to enjoy non-contact activities.
As is the norm, many look forward to Halloween as a day to dress up and go out trick-or-treating with friends or family.
Children have lost in-person classes this year and have missed out on many school activities they’d hoped for.
The cases of COVID-19 are not at the levels the CDC hopes to have. Recently, this year they’re announcing non-contact guidelines that Halloween participants should follow to avoid spreading the virus even further.
These guidelines are the best option for those who hope to enjoy this day in safety and security, especially alongside their families. Many believe Halloween will not be the same as in other years, but people will still have the opportunity to participate in activities while keeping outside contact limited.
Opting out of traditional Halloween activities will be beneficial for everyone, especially since many people have already lost their businesses and jobs due to COVID-19 closures. Traditional Halloween celebrations aren’t worth the risk of cases rising and affecting more people’s lives.
Earlier at the beginning of September, the LA County Public health officials prohibited any sort of festivities for Halloween, and according to the LA Times, they decided not to recommend certain activities, such as trick-or-treating or parties.
Many people expressed their disdain towards these restrictions and argued that since it was already an outside activity, they believed socially distant trick-or-treating is acceptable and should be allowed. While I agree that trick-or-treating could provide some normality for anyone participating, it is not wise to risk so many lives based on the need to feel normal again and spread the virus further.
Anyone who chooses to pass out candy to the public is putting themselves in danger, leaving many other candy goers vulnerable, without acknowledging it. There’s no certainty that trick-or-treaters will enforce social distancing themselves or for that matter, respect non-contact trick-or-treating guidelines.
Some guidelines set by the CDC include three types of low-risk level activities to choose from this year. One of the lower and moderate risk activities include, “a Halloween movie night with people you live with” and other activities where people are “distanced more than six feet apart,” like virtual parties.
These rules allow people to participate in indoor celebrations or events held in smaller groups with safe social distancing. Although these recommendations are set, there’s no guarantee that people will wear face masks and keep six feet apart.
The risks still stand for anyone who chooses to have gatherings (parties) or non-traditional trick-or-treating, where candy bowls are set outside for people to grab. The risk of contracting the virus is not one that people should take lightly, since COVID-19 cases are spiraling upward as many people are continually affected by it.
While some opposed these guidelines, many doctors, interviewed by the New York Times, agree that non-contact festivities are safer than going outside and celebrating the traditional way. Dr. Tista Ghosh argued that the CDC rules were “middle of the road” as a “balance [between] science with personal freedom.”
Although it is up to personal freedom to participate, the choices of others will still affect the public at large. The risk stands for anyone who unknowingly catches the virus and spreads it to multiple, if not hundreds, of people.
Yolo County has issued its own guidelines, following the CDC’s rules, and also provided different level-risk activities. Residents can decide if they want to participate or opt-out.
Opting out of in-contact and high-risk festivities doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Halloween. People can still participate on their own or maintain six feet apart, while wearing facial coverings, in small groups.
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