Earlier this year, back when we were told that it would only take a couple of weeks of lockdown to stave off the effects of coronavirus, there were plenty of memes going around that threatened bodily harm to anyone who caused Halloween to get canceled.
Halloween is one of the more popular holidays here in the United States, with its appeal spanning several different generations. For adults, the holiday is spent handing out candy, decorating, and maybe even providing a scare for trick-or-treaters. Young adults often use the holiday as an excuse to party, often dressed in oddly provocative costumes or around a campfire telling ghost stories and drinking whiskey.
But the real stars of the show on Halloween are the children, who spend weeks or longer deciding on what they’ll be dressing up as, and then heading out into the neighborhood to trick-or-treat.
This year, however, the CDC may be putting the kibosh on the time-honored tradition.
New guidelines posted to the CDC website on Monday now recommend families avoid participating in traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, which the health agency has labeled a “high risk” activity.
Other high-risk activities include:
Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19
The CDC did give some suggestions as to how to have Halloween fun without the neighborhood mingling, including household-centric scavenger hunts or outdoor pumpkin carving parties.
Furthermore, the organization reiterated that Halloween masks are not suitable face coverings to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and suggested that our everyday masks be worn in conjunction with our costumes.
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