Halloween safety faces new challenges

Sam Hewitt
Contributing Writer

Despite the ongoing pandemic and threats of regulations on Halloween night, families in Webster Groves are still decorating for the holiday. Photo by Sam Hewitt

Halloween 2020 is most likely going to pose unique challenges for trick-or-treaters. During the lockdown caused by COVID-19, it seems that Halloween celebrations may conflict with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 Despite this, the St. Louis County Health Department, which did not respond to an email inquiry, has not laid out any clear guidelines for Halloween safety in the county. However, there is some idea of how different Halloween 2020 will be different than other years in St. Louis. 

The Webster Groves Police Department Captain, Stephen Spear, has said, “It will not be unusual to see a larger presence of Officers on patrol (that night),”

On the national level, the CDC has also listed out tips for celebrating a safe Halloween, which can be found here. This list classifies traditional trick-or-treating as a “higher risk activity” and recommends that the general public doesn’t take part in it. 

Some alternatives listed are parents setting up Easter-style scavenger hunts for a replacement for trick-or-treating, as well as “one-way trick-or-treating,” where individual goodie bags are lined up outside of a house for children to grab, while others maintain their social distancing.

There is no tangible evidence yet that the amount of candy purchased or the amount of trick-or-treaters will change, but it is understandable given the current state of the pandemic that some parents and children may choose not to take part in traditional trick-or-treating. This will make it difficult for both parents who don’t buy candy and wish to avoid trick-or-treaters for their own safety and children taking part in trick-or-treating when houses won’t be offering any candy for them.

However, St. Louis is erring on the side of caution, with several civic and faith groups cancelling their “trunk-or-treating” activities, and one Webster family reportedly already working on their goodie bag line for children to use. A possible reason for this is that Webster families don’t want to risk even a small COVID-19 outbreak while the school district is beginning its reopening plan. While it is absolutely not a risk worth taking, it may come at an expense of children’s happiness throughout the town.


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