Find – Music is the prayer the heart sings poster, canvas
Of course we want everyone, including children, to be safe during the pandemic. We canceled school in the spring, camps in the summer, vacations, sleepovers, and more. My daughter turned 14 in June, and her friends drove by in cars, wishing her happy birthday while she waved from the lawn.
All of this I swallowed. But the ruling on Halloween from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a bridge too far.
The agency recently announced that traditional trick-or-treating, with face-to-face candy distribution, is a high-risk activity. Even modified trick-or-treating with grab-and-go goody bags was labeled a moderate risk.
But if I had to design an activity for children that might be safe during a pandemic, I’m not sure that I could do a better job than trick-or-treating. It’s outside. It can be socially distanced. The food is individually wrapped (before anyone partakes, parents can wipe the candies down while kids wash their hands). It’s the one night a year when kids will not argue at all about wearing masks.
Homeowners could easily place the candy bowl six feet from the door and admire kids’ costumes from afar. Candies could be laid out on platters and replenished, so kids don’t have to root around in a big bowl. Halloween is on a Saturday this year. Neighborhoods could commit to starting earlier so that kids aren’t all out at once. We could even stagger the hours by age.
Some people will object that teenagers and young adults will refuse to follow the rules, band together, and potentially expose one another. I would counter that they don’t need the excuse of Halloween to do that. I work for a university, and parties occur on all the other nights of the year, too.