Halloween is an ancient festival. People have been celebrating Halloween since the 8th century. However, due to coronavirus-pandemics, the Halloween festival this year will be different than the previous Halloweens. Health officers officially recommend against trick-or-treating due to COVID-19.
Halloween And COVID-19
Halloween is celebrated each year on 31st October. Usually, people light bonfires, wear costumes, and play trick or treating. Furthermore, other activities consisting of carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes, and eating treats become the traditional way of celebrating Halloween.
ALSO READ: COVID-19 Leads To Digital Health Passports
However, due to pandemics, many countries have imposed curfews and lockdowns. Although now governments are uplifting lockdown, people still need to follow precautionary measures. Furthermore, the risk of a second wave of the COVID-19 is high as the winter approaches. Thus, governments suggest people celebrate Halloween in some different way, without social gatherings.
The risk of spreading COVID-19 rises as people interact in large social gatherings. The number of cases reported after the uplifting of the lockdown is high. More than 200000 new-cases of COVID-19 appeared in Canada after the uplifting of curfew.
The government has forbidden incidental travel, vocational trips, day trips, cross-border shopping to control the spread of the virus. Four areas of Ontario reported maximum cases. Ottawa, Toronto, Peel and the York Region are under Stage 2 restrictions. Moreover, the rate of transmission in these areas is higher than the average rates.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health
Dr. David Williams is the chief medical officer of health in Ontario. He has been effective in this position since 16th February 2016. William received his BSc., MD, and Masters in Community Health and Epidemiology degrees from the University of Toronto. Furthermore, he graduated for the fourth time from the University of Toronto with a degree in Fellowships in Community Medicine/Public Health and Preventive Medicine (FRCPS).
Dr. David Williams suggests people celebrate Halloween but with alternative ways so that no health issues arise. Furthermore, he said that people must celebrate the festival with their loved ones in their homes. They can decorate their houses, do pumpkin carving, and Halloween-themed dressing up activities. Moreover, people can share scary stories, watch scary movies, and play an Easter-esque candy hunt with family members.
Due to the rising second-wave of COVID-19, it is the need of the hour to not travel outside one’s neighborhood. Furthermore, David suggests people contact their public health units for information regarding Halloween restrictions or advice.
Trick or Treating
Trick-or-treating is a traditional way of enjoying the Halloween festival. In many countries, children, teenagers, and even adults enjoy trick-or-treating on October 31st evening. Treat is usually candy or money. Furthermore, those who travel from house-to-house asking for treats with the phrase ‘trick or treat’ receives treat. Moreover, people need to either give some gifts or perform some action to prank their family members.
However, COVID-19 spreads through man-to-man contact in social gatherings. Thus, government officials are officially recommending to avoid Trick-or-Treating. Dr. Vera Etches is a health medical officer in Ottawa.
According to Dr. Vera, people must find an alternative to trick-or-treating. Furthermore, conduct Halloween activities within the home. Dr. William suggests that people outside the Stage 2 restriction area can give treats to children while practicing precautionary measures.
ALSO READ: Healthy Lifestyle Helps In Fighting COVID-19
Moreover, when giving a treat, the individual must use a face mask, washing hands often keep surroundings sanitized. Furthermore, use disinfectants to clean corridors. Meanwhile, give candy or money for trick-or-treating to children, use tongs or a similar tool to avoid direct contact. Lisa MacLeod is the Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Minister.
According to Lisa, dance classes can continue in the modified stage 2 regions. The finalization of the decision occurs after discussion with the chief medical officer of health and the province’s health ministry. Furthermore, the participants must be at a distance of two meters apart.