Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Halloween: The pitfalls and the pendulums

| September 25, 2020 1:00 AM

Nobody loves Halloween more than the creatures lurking in the Coeur d’Alene Press newsroom. It’s not even October yet, and whispered conversations about what will happen with a pandemic-riddled night of trick-or-treating already have crept up.

Thus it was with bone-chilling terror that we read a recent press release regarding Halloween recommendations from an esteemed Mayo Clinic-trained physician — one who is looking at Halloween not just as a potential health bomb, but with an eye toward keeping her three children happy.

Dr. Bita Nasseri shared the following insights and recommendations about Oct. 31:

• Keeping children and chaperones six feet apart is very difficult during trick-or-treating through neighborhoods. The concept of keeping your crowd in a bubble or a pod is completely jeopardized by exposure to larger groups from your neighborhood.

• Ideally you don’t want person-to-person handling of Halloween candies. Even if there is a way to automatically dispense candies or use a candy machine, there's always a risk of exposure to candy wraps that can host unwanted germs for up to 72 hours. If you're celebrating Halloween with your pod, assign a parent to hand out candies and traffic control using gloves.

October is well into the fall cold and flu season. Not only do we not want the spread of COVID, we also don’t want the spread of the flu and cross reactivity of signs and symptoms.

• Let’s keep it simple and clean this year. Protect yourself and your family and therefore protect others. Make it fun and build candy trick or treating stations throughout your home. Express your love of the holiday by recreating the experience of trick-or-treating within your close circle.

From a host of sources, medically speaking, tricks-or-treats up and down neighborhood streets is probably not a wise idea this year. The free loot that kids eagerly anticipate the other 364 days might just have to remain beyond their grasp.

If ever kids needed some fun and controlled adventure, it’s now. Adults, too. Between the pandemic and the political toxins that seep deeply into society every four years, a put-your-mask-on and let-your-hair-down event couldn’t be more timely.

Of course, it’s up to every adult and every family to decide what’s best for them. But we share this editorial in hopes that you and your kids can start to plan a way that will provide Halloween’s benefits without its potential pitfalls. Otherwise, we adults are going to be eating even more unhealthy candy bars than usual.