As Halloween nears, parents are turning over the idea of allowing their children to go trick-or-treating. A recent Harris poll suggests that 80% of participants plan on honoring Halloween tradition and traveling their neighborhoods on October 31, 2020.
Many individuals are receiving negative backlash for virtually sharing their precautions for safe trick-or-treating and several states have expressed their guidelines to ensure the safety of families for the upcoming holiday. Those living in fear of the pandemic were quick to debate the expectations and suggest that trick-or-treating be “canceled”.
Trick-or-treating has been a widespread practice since the 1930s. Every year, children in multiple communities look forward to filling up their pillowcases with goodies and roaming the streets with their friends and families. Halloween is often defended by kids for being their favorite holiday alongside Christmas.
Parents and guardians against trick-or-treating this year should think twice before breaking tradition. For 7 months, kids have endured the loss of organized sports, summer camps, school field trips, and birthday parties. Being stuck inside watching a Halloween movie with candy their parents picked up at Walmart will hardly replace the traditional experience. With the cancellation of Christmas vacations and large family gatherings, the future of 2020 is also looking quite bleak regarding holiday festivities.
Social distancing is the most prominent issue with trick-or-treating. It is almost impossible to distribute candy at a distance of two meters. The use of a tool such as tongs are recommended by state guidelines to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters and that the candy wrappers be disinfected upon arriving home. These expectations have raised concerns voiced by individuals on social media as several of the guidelines are conflicting. Obviously, a pair of kitchen tongs are not two meters long and would not be adequate for promoting social distancing. These rules have been put in place with little thought and regard to the ability to put them into practice.
It should be expected that those participating in the holiday are showing trick-or-treaters that they are doing what they can to keep them safe. Signs should be posted, and spooky decorations should be in place to show which houses are handing out candy. Masks are expected and some families are taking extra precautions, building slides to send candy down their porch railings into the hands of kids.
Parents are currently allowing their children to go to school and socialize on the playground with their friends and in the same month they are taking away Halloween. Adults are going to the grocery store and purchasing items that have been touched by hundreds of people on the same day. They are handled by the clerk without gloves, passed back to the customer without tongs who then take them home and placed in the panty without being disinfected. With the proper practices in place, trick-or-treating can be safer than a trip to Target.
Families against trick-or-treating during the pandemic are planning on making “the most” of the holiday from their homes. However, trick-or-treating is a defining part of Halloween that cannot be replaced. With the right precautions, trick-or-treating can be almost as safe as going to school or a trip to the mall.
Brooke Kruger is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]