By: PENNY MACIAS
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought a new normal to us; social distancing, masks, and staying inside. As October approaches, many parents are left with one question: Is trick-or-treating safe?
The short answer is, probably not. There are many concerns of a spike in the pandemic with all the candy grabbing around neighborhoods. Depending on where you live, there might be different rules for trick-or-treating. City officials in Los Angeles briefly banned trick-or-treating altogether earlier this month, only to reverse the decision a day later after some backlash. Like in L.A, health officials in San Francisco have not banned trick-or-treating, but say that the activity is “not advised.” Some may say sacrificing this holiday will benefit kids and help them return to school quicker. If there is a spike, it may result in a longer quarantine.
“Trick-or-treating, the type of mixing that comes in our traditional trick-or-treating festivities, is really not advised under COVID,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. Going house to house and making contact with many different people can become a risk, especially neighborhoods that get around 200 trick-or-treaters a year. It is important to check your local health officials for updates on trick-or-treating this year.
Kevin Kathrotia, M.D., COO of Millennium Neonatology who is dual-boarded in general pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine by the American Board of Pediatrics confirms that yes, he will be allowing his children to trick-or-treat this year as long as it is permitted, but “not without a lot of modifications, and a lot of coaching from us.” If you go out this Halloween, we should continue to practice proper hygiene, and wear masks.
There are many alternatives to going out and trick-or-treating, such as Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends, doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance, or having a Halloween movie night with people you live with. Just staying inside and watching movies will be almost as fun as trick-or-treating, but if you choose to go out, be sure to stay safe!