Normally, the arrival of October brings a rush of joy for kids in expectation of strolling door to door with their friends and saying “trick-or-treat,” the scare from many costumes and decorations, and the sweet taste of candy on a spooky October night. Now, rather than feeling a rush of joy, kids are questioning the reality of this year’s Halloween activities.
Based on a survey issued by ApartmentGuide, 46% of Americans will not leave candy out for trick-or-treaters this Halloween, 34% plan to proceed with usual Halloween traditions and go trick-or-treating, and 16% plan on adjusting their Halloween plans in hopes of staying safe.
Tenafly has always been in the spirit during Halloween, holding costume parades, hanging frightening decorations around town, and leaving out candy for kids to gather while trick-or-treating. However, given this year’s circumstances, the acts of walking around crowded areas, going from door to door, and searching for a favorite candy generate a high risk for the spread of COVID-19. Tenafly has adapted and proposed a plan that ensures kids’ safety while simultaneously guaranteeing a fun, enjoyable Halloween.
Although the standard trick-or-treating method will not be in effect, Tenafly is offering families several alternatives on the matter. Tenafly Mayor Mark Zinna’s priority is to keep the town safe during this unfavorable, questionable time. He recommends that Tenafly residents “stay with their own individual family” and social distance. Zinna will also “convince people to stay in their own neighborhoods of a block or two, and keep it limited.” Furthermore, Tenafly is considering leaving candy out in several public places around town. The plan is to have various tables spread out with candy, and families can go to these places and pick up candy “without having to come into contact with people at their residences.”
If trick-or-treating is so restricted, how will families maintain their Halloween spirit? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several safer alternatives able to keep celebrants excited during such a festive and interactive holiday. These include pumpkin decorating, Halloween scavenger hunts, virtual costume contests, and movie nights.
The mayor is discouraging people from hosting events that will form a crowd. Zinna said that when it comes to carving, decorating pumpkins, and participating in autumnal activities, “Individual families and their friends are going to have to take it upon themselves to celebrate Halloween this year.”
Despite all the adjustments taking place to put Halloween activities in effect, many parents are apprehensive about allowing their children to go out this year. Many will not let their children out trick-or-treating because a major risk exists in allowing children to expose themselves to so many people. Especially with the current rise in COVID-19 cases, it is certainly not the most ideal situation to be in for anyone.
COVID-19 has impacted our lives in many shapes and forms, and the arrival of Halloween highlights the unpredictability of these times.