Trick or treat? I’ll pass this year

By in Opinions
A pumpkin is carved to enforce the two metre distancing rules this Halloween, captured on October 25, 2020. THE SHEAF / Nicholas Saretzky

Halloween is around the corner, and it comes as no surprise that COVID-19 is still a part of the equation. This Saturday, if you choose to hand out candy or go trick or treating, be sure to follow the public health guidelines.  

It has been almost a year since the coronavirus first appeared, and in the past few months it has been extremely difficult, due to limitations on public gatherings, to celebrate cherished traditions. 

Although there are still new cases being reported daily in our province, I’m seeing more mixed feelings and attitudes towards following public health guidelines. 

When I am out in public and, among the majority of people wearing masks and physical distancing, I spot the odd person or two who are maskless and briskly passing by a group of people, muttering apologies — well, I can’t help but feel slightly peeved and anxious at the potential health risks.

As the societal attitudes towards health guidelines continue to develop, there are still guidelines that people need to consider and practice. 

Here are some guidelines from the Saskatchewan government for Halloween that you should follow this year. Along with getting some candy, please help us stay on the course to faster recovery and a world without ‘rona.

For trick or treaters:  take turns when approaching houses. Make sure you carry hand sanitizer and wear a non-medical mask with your costume. Disinfect the candy wrappers or avoid touching the candy for 72 hours before consuming. 

For those handing out candy, please also wear a non-medical mask and place tape markers every two meters between your doorway and sidewalk. Use tools like tongs to hand out candy at a distance. Only distribute store-bought treats and be sure to frequently disinfect commonly touched areas like doorbells and handrails. 

Mall and retail trick-or-treating must comply with these guidelines along with clothing and retail guidelines.

If you are organizing a Halloween attraction, be sure to apply one-way traffic to encourage physical distancing. 

If you still choose to participate in handing out treats this year, you can follow the example of a mother from South Shore who went out of her way to create a candy slide using a pipe to give candy to trick or treaters without coming into contact with them. It was designed to put the candy straight into the children’s bags — this is one way to give people the confidence that they are handing out goodies in a safe manner.

If I’m being honest, the only time I would be okay with getting candy in the middle of a pandemic is if everyone puts in this kind of effort when handing it out. 

The real question remains — should these guidelines be updated? Are they enough to ensure the safety of children and the overall safety of the public?

With new cases emerging every single day, many of which are now untraceable, it makes sense that Halloween festivities should be put on pause for this year. Alas, many people would still disagree. 

You have a right to your opinion. Just don’t be that person who disagrees with public health guidelines to the extent that you refuse to wear a mask in public. 

Read these guidelines. Abide by public health measures. Know what’s at stake.

Kristine Jones A. Del Socorro | Culture Editor

Photo: Nicholas Saretzky