The Dangers of Trick-or-Treating

By Hanna Yamato

It is officially that time of the year again: Halloween, also known as the day where children of all ages go trick-or-treating to receive buckets of candy. This year’s holiday in particular met all the qualifications for a perfect night: it’s on a Saturday and we are even expecting a full moon.  However, with the ubiquity of the coronavirus pandemic and continuously rising cases, should parents allow their eager children and teenagers who crave old-fashioned fun to experience the traditional trick-or-treating this Halloween?

The first utmost step to deciding whether or not one or their child should go trick-or-treating this year is assessing their own personal and community risk. While states like California and Texas have cases that are fluctuating in thousands, other states like New York and Idaho have slowly come around to a somewhat stable number of cases. However, just because the number of cases in a state remains stable, it does not necessarily mean that it is 100% safe to go trick-or-treating. Even if a child were to come home afterwards feeling just fine, they can still be a carrier of the virus. This makes certain situations complicated if the child was to have a senior family member that is immunocompromised in any way.

There are multiple other factors that pose as risks as well. Many trick-or-treating traditions often involve face-to-face contact with many people. Even touching a bucket of candy, a wrapper, or the doorbell button poses a potential risk for contracting the virus. If you are still planning to give out treats, the safest option would be to make goodie bags filled with candy and to line it up for families to grab at the edge of your yard or driveway. However, you would have to make sure to wash your hands and sanitize your workplace thoroughly before making these goodie bags to prevent additional bacteria transmission. 

With that said, all of the potential risk factors narrow down to the simple question of whether or not you are willing to risk getting infected with coronavirus. Although it is utterly upsetting that many of us cannot experience the traditional jollification of trick-or-treating, there are many other safer alternatives. These include: watching scary movies with your family, baking scrumptious Halloween-themed treats, making jack-o-lanterns, virtual costume parties/parades, or even buying a giant bag of candy just for yourself! Of course I understand how much people wish to go trick-or-treating with their friends, but for the sake of your own safety and those around you, please follow safety precautions and CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. It is still possible to have a sensational spooky season while staying safe!