Trick or Treating: Yay or Nay?

By Allegra Jooss

Everyone loves trick or treating. It’s a time when you can test your imagination and for one night, become anything your heart desires. But was this even an option since COVID-19 has taken hold of all our lives? Should young children have been given the chance  to expose themselves to such a devastating virus for a mere few hours of fun? Or should we have instead, perhaps, inserted regulations such as having your mask on while trick or treating, and perhaps only one child per house at a time. I set out to find what the students of Byram Hills believed was the right course of action for this year’s trick or treating plan. 

I decided to get the perspective of my peers on my question: “Do you think it’s safe for students to go trick or treating this year considering the pandemic?” Freshman Valentina Marino says yes. Val and her family adore Halloween, and her dad is always sure to put up fantastic, jaw dropping decorations each year. Val commented, “I think it’s insane that people are afraid to trick or treat, we have masks on right? And I’m sure that houses will sanitize everything before giving candy to the kids. Trick or treating has always been a safety hazard in the first place.” In the past, some parents have felt uneasy about letting their kids go door to door asking and receiving candy, and there has always been a level of danger for kids to be in such close proximity to each other because of how easy it makes any virus to spread. Of course, the pandemic brings the already present danger to a higher level. 

Freshman Rebecca DiPietro remarked, “I don’t necessarily think that going out and ringing people’s doorbells is safe, because it’s very contact oriented; you touch a lot of things. You’re touching the bowl of candy, you’re touching the doorbell. But I think that it would be ok if a table was out and there were goody bags instead of reaching into a bowl of candy. And of course, you would always have to wear a mask when trick or treating.” DiPietro and Marino had very similar perspectives on my question. They both were all in for trick or treating this year, but at the same time believed that it would be better if there were some additional restrictions besides only having masks on. I think that DiPietro is on to something with her goody bag idea. It would bring a certain flair and pizzazz to this year’s COVID-19 friendly Halloween experience. The last person to contribute their opinion was freshman Nicolette DiSano. “I think trick or treating is probably not the safest this year, because kids are getting candy from people who could have been infected with COVID-19. Also, with the number of people in one place, one sick kid and the virus could be spread in an instant.”  

On October 20, 2020 there were 490 new COVID-19 cases according to statista.com in New York. It truly is so important for everyone to do their part in lowering the number of COVID-19 cases. The overall sense I got from the three freshmen that I interviewed was that they all have a deep fondness for Halloween and would be sad to have seen Halloween canceled completely this year. But because of our current situation, it would have been best if precautions were taken to protect the trick or treaters and everyone in our community. So whether or not you participated in trick or treating this year, just remember to continue practicing standard safety precautions necessary to keep everyone healthy.