The scary reality of Halloween during a pandemic

Adamary Lopez, Reporter

Halloween is finally here. This means that the one day out of the year where you can dress up as your favorite character and go out trick-or-treating in dark neighborhoods and knocking on stranger’s doors is right around the corner. Only, this year Halloween should look different from traditional trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and costume parties. Why? There is still a pandemic going on, regardless of if people are bored and want their kids running around in large crowds all night long, on the hunt for a king-sized candy bar.    

Kern County officials have not announced a ban on trick-or-treating this year, but even if they do not, people should not go out and celebrate Halloween how they usually do. It is vital that we prioritize the health of our communities and not an excuse to go around asking for free candy. 

Alexis Rivas

According to California’s official COVID-19 website, as of Oct. 6, Kern County is slowly transitioning into a red-tier, which will allow for certain businesses and operations to re-open. However, most schools in Kern County still work off-campus and operate solely through virtual learning. Even if the county moves into a new tier with less strict guidelines, it does not mean everything should go back to normal.

Although children are at the lowest risk of getting COVID-19, it does not mean they cannot still get the virus. As of Oct.20, there have been 3,842 cases of children between the ages of 0-17 who have been diagnosed with a case of COVID-19 in Kern County. Going trick-or-treating this year will only increase these numbers and affect our youth’s health. 

Additionally, adults of all ages are at risk of being exposed to COVID-19 this year during the holiday season. Whether you give out candy from the comfort of your front doorstep or chase your children down large neighborhoods all night long, with all the commotion of Halloween going on, the chances of being exposed to the virus will increase more than they already are.  

In a perfect world, everyone would wear a mask and maintain social distancing. However, many people still find these guidelines ridiculous when going out to the grocery store, let alone on such a socially-interactive holiday.  

Even if children and adults take precautions while trick-or-treating, there is no safe and efficient manner of regulating the activity this year. There will be strangers with unwashed hands handling candy, hundreds of germs all over neighborhood doorbells, people sneezing and coughing behind useless, plastic costume masks in the cold fall breeze. I think we can all pass on that, given the serious consequences which have come from the pandemic.  

Earlier last month, Los Angeles announced a ban on trick-or-treating this year, which has now been revised to a non-recommended operation, according to the LA Times. This may be as a result of the difficulties imposed on enforcing a trick-or-treating ban on thousands of neighborhoods, which would be nearly impossible for law enforcement to monitor in just one night. That still does not mean it should not be mandated. 

At the end of the day, everyone is free to do whatever they want. Personally, I love Halloween and all the festivities that make up the holiday. However, this year has been a difficult endeavor for all of us. Everything has been cancelled this year. What is one more thing to add to the list?  

Stay inside, watch a spooky movie, bake some ghost cookies, carve a pumpkin, mummify your loved ones with toilet paper. Whatever you do this Halloween, consider your health and wellbeing over a night of going out and putting your loved ones and others in danger.  

You matter. Act accordingly.