Should Halloween Be Cancelled Due to COVID-19?

Halloween is one of the most popular days of the year across the United States, and a strong economic backbone during the month of October. While children, teens, and even some adults find so much joy in dressing up in assorted costumes and collecting candy from door to door, this year it would be safer for these traditions to come to a temporary halt. “All Hallow’s Eve” has the potential to create COVID-19 hotspots across the entire country. It would be a sacrifice for all Americans participating this year by endangering themselves and others due to this virus. While costume, candy, and decoration purchases bring in a lot of important money that some parts of the economy relies on, it is simply not worth jeopardizing public health during these unprecedented times.

Many people want to continue participating in Halloween this year because they believe that certain traditions should not be cancelled because of the virus. Other people want to prioritize the economic importance of the popular holiday and the amount of money that Halloween sales bring in during the month of October. According to a study by Investopedia, Americans spent nearly $9 billion on combined Halloween sales in 2019. This year, as discovered by The Balance, Halloween Sales are predicted to drop by about 8.3% this year. Many prioritize the economic benefits of this holiday over the consumers who are avid to celebrate it. It is believed by these people that Halloween is too important for the economy to keep children inside without costumes or trick-or-treating. Not only is this exploiting small children for the sake of wealth and profit, it is also suggesting that we should jeopardize public health and safety to keep money flowing in the US. Out of any holiday celebrated in our country, we should especially shy away from this one in particular. 

According to a poll conducted across people in our area of all ages, it shows that most people will be staying inside or hosting small parties instead of trick or treating or attending big Halloween bashes like the years before. Trick or treating is especially popular with small children, yet it is unsafe during these times, considering that everyone is touching the same bowl of candy at each house and small children aren’t always the most responsible with hygiene. Children are sometimes reluctant to wash their hands, refrain from touching their faces, or covering their mouths when they cough or sneeze. 

When asked why they’re not going out for Halloween, one person who attends a nearby school answered, “I think Halloween this year is a big risk. I understand hanging out with a small group.” Another local said they’re “going to a small outside party just to have a sense of normalcy and fun.” It is safe and recommended by the CDC to not host gatherings of more than ten people, and it is blatantly irresponsible to step outside of these guidelines. 

Outside of the United States, other countries are cancelling their Halloween festivities as well. Amelia Coates, from Montreal, Canada, says that “In Montreal right now, we’re in what they call a ‘red zone’, meaning that there are too many positive cases. All restaurants are closed and grades 10-11 are hybrid.” She adds that “They’re debating cancelling Halloween this year for the first time in, like, forever.” 

Understandably, it can be difficult to even temporarily cancel activities that so many people look forward to every year. However, there are fun and worthwhile alternatives to big Halloween parties and traditional trick-or-treating. Some of these include carving pumpkins in a small group, having virtual costume contests, having a Halloween movie night with your household, and filling your household with plenty of spooky decorations! While traditional activities may have to come to a pause this year, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate.

During these uncertain and chaotic times, it’s best to bring most activities for the holidays to a pause for now. Staying safe and either alone or in small groups is the best way to celebrate this Halloween. If we’re all responsible and we listen to what we are told to do during a global pandemic with no cure or timeline, we can all get through this together.

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