Image courtesy of Getty Images.

By: Mary Marrero

Fall is the season characterized by pumpkin pie, color-changing leaves, cold weather and trick-or-treaters knocking on doors for their yearly dose of candy. However, one can never be too careful when planning their 2020 Halloween festivities, especially with the possibility of a second coronavirus wave looming. And with flu season just ahead, the feud between those in favor of “trick-or-treat” festivities and those who believe social distancing will not be enough is getting very heated.

“I’m not participating in Halloween this year since I really feel uncomfortable with the idea of having strangers coming up to my door, especially children,” said Maria Marrero, a Montgomery, N.Y., resident, “as an older woman who easily gets sick, this idea scares me and I believe Halloween should be canceled for this year.”

The CDC recommends standard social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask during all outside events with non-family members. Virtual and small gatherings with members of the same household are considered low-to-moderate risk. Conversely, an example of a high-risk situation might be traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, in which close contact – such as a child receiving candy at a neighbor’s doorstep – is inevitable. Some have even scrutinized hayrides, labelling them as “unsafe.” Regardless, CDC guidelines and the standard procedures being enforced in the area you reside in are important measures to follow in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in your community.

New York is still trying to figure out how to handle the holiday. Greenwich’s big Halloween blow-out parade is canceled, leaving many disappointed, although Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not going to reinforce a statewide ban for Halloween; instead he will leave it up to parents’ discretion, according to a report from The York Post. Cuomo implored New Yorkers to stay safe and abide by the specific health regulations for their areas.

More updates from the state regarding Halloween procedures will be released as the date gets closer. Follow CDC guidelines and keep your family safe!