Halloween is undoubtedly one of the most memorable holidays on the American calendar.

Few rituals are as cherished by parents as dressing up the kids in costumes and guiding them through the neighborhood for tricks-or-treats. Then there are the post-Halloween candy bowl raids to be enjoyed.

A few days ago, Los Angeles was poised to nix Halloween trick-or-treating because of the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus. The proposal was genuinely terrifying.

“Door to door trick or treating is not allowed because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors especially in neighborhoods that are popular with trick or treaters,” the new guidance reads.

Also banned this year is so-called “trunk or treating,” where children get candy and other treats from cars instead of doorsteps, as well as gatherings or parties with non-household members and live entertainment like haunted house attractions, county officials said.

“Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives,” county health officials said in a statement.

To that end, those who wish to celebrate Halloween amid the pandemic with safer alternatives can host or attend online get-togethers, costume contests or pumpkin carving parties.

The nightmare of Halloween ZOOM parties isn’t something that kids can endure. There was such an outcry that government officials are now backtracking.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday revised its Halloween guidance aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Door-to-door trick-or-treating had originally been banned “because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors especially in neighborhoods that are popular with trick or treaters,” the health department said in a news release.

Now the officials are only “recommending against it.”

The updated guidelines stop short of prohibiting kids from going door to door to collect candy. The rules were “slightly revised” and now officials are “recommending that trick-or-treating not happen this year,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer during a public briefing on the virus.

So-called “trunk-or-treating” events where kids walk from car to car in a parking lot are also not recommended.

But car parades are OK, as are drive-through haunted houses and Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters that meet health and safety standards. Parades, carnivals, indoor haunted houses and concerts are not permitted.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. My best friend and I are planning to hand out candy…in plastic bags, directly to the kids, while wearing gloves. As children are the least vulnerable group to COVID-19, there is no reason to gut another childhood experience on the altar of political pandemic panicking.

Good Housekeeping has posted other recommendations for sensible Halloween fun, including frequent hand washing. There is no need to disinfect the child’s candy before consuming it.

Don’t freak out if your child rips open a chocolate bar and pops it into their mouth while trick-or-treating. “It isn’t thought to be transmitted this way, but we always worry about the risk of touching something that’s carrying infected matter,” Dr. Kesh explains. “Try to really encourage your kids to hold off on eating candy until you get home, and make sure they wash their hands first.”

It will be interesting to see how many Dr. Antony Fauci costumes we will see this year!

 

 
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