With cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant rising, the safety of Halloween in 2021 is in question.
Across the nation, news articles are published mapping out paths for trick or treaters, which is a stark difference from last year when the Center for Disease Control recommended taking the year off from door-to-door trick-or-treating to contain the spread of COVID-19. Now, when trick-or-treaters look at Halloween for 2021 king-size candy bars and stomach aches from a big candy haul await, and I think that is fine with the current state of COVID-19.
My reasoning is that Halloween, specifically trick-or-treating, is an outside event and the CDC said masks do not need to be worn outside unless in a high concentration of people. In general, trick-or-treating is done with small groups of friends. Masks are also typically common for costumes anyways. However, most Halloween masks are not designed for preventing particles from transmitting disease. Even if this is the case there are still work arounds.
One suggestion I have to be as contact-free as possible this Halloween would be to set a bowl of candy out. This is not a new thing, as it was a practice way before COVID-19 was affecting people’s lives. With Halloween still being in a gray area, in terms of giving the “all-clear” for trick-or-treating versus postponing Halloween for another year, setting out a bowl of candy would be the perfect go-between for people feeling uneasy about opening a door to new people all night. However, you do have to look out for trick-or-treaters who like to claim the whole bowl for themselves. This would be recommended because many of the groups trick or treating are young kids, and for anyone 12 and under are not recommended to get vaccinated as of right now. If there is any way for cases to get out of hand this year it would be from unvaccinated trick or treaters carrying COVID-19 and showing more symptoms than vaccinated people. However, I do not think this warrants a full cancellation of Halloween, I think if trick or treaters abide more on the safe side Halloween should be able to proceed without a hitch.
Another way to remain as safe as possible is to trick-or-treat in a more neighborhood-friendly path. This would keep the amount of new people seen to a minimum which helps to maintain a safer neighborhood bubble. However, all of these are just recommendations. Ultimately people will do what they believe is safe for them this Halloween because of the outdoor nature and minimal contact of the holiday.
I think the return of Halloween ultimately is a very good thing, it gives people something to look forward to. Just in passing, I have heard more excitement for Halloween this year than in previous years, if that was even possible. The invitations to horror movie watch parties are going up, people are buying candy, people are getting into the Halloween spirit, and it is showing.