To Trick-Or-Treat or not to Trick-Or-Treat?

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Photo courtesy North ELA Teacher, Mrs. Brooks

Elizabeth Jeon, Contributor

On October 12, 2020, the Appleton Safety and Licensing Committee considered canceling trick-or-treating hours because of the soaring increase in COVID cases. There have been almost 4,000 COVID cases and fifty deaths per day in Wisconsin. This would lead to an immense risk for people to get COVID-19 if they trick-or-treated. The Committee took a vote, which ended in a result of 3 to 2, meaning that the proposal was denied. Consequently, children and adults can trick or treat with safety precautions. The Appleton Health Department provided safety precautions to decrease the risk of spreading the virus, which included, “High-risk people (age 60 and older or those with underlying health conditions) should not participate this year and leave their porch light off. If you are sick at any age, you should not participate. Trick-or-treaters should stay with their household members and not join with other households. Participants should wear face masks, social distance and use hand sanitizer frequently. Candy shouldn’t be handed out but rather offered in ready-to-grab goody bags or spread out on a table for children to grab and go.”

I’ve asked teachers, students from Appleton North High School, and students from other cities about their opinions and what they’ll be doing for this Halloween. Here are some of their responses: 

Noctiluca: How do you feel about this situation?

“I think it’s a good idea to cancel trick or treating because currently, the number of COVID cases in Wisconsin has increased a lot. The weather is also starting to get colder, which will help COVID spread easily. If the Appleton Committee lets people go out and trick or treat, the number of cases will rise to a higher number. It is not safe for people to go out and celebrate this holiday.” -Isabella Jeon

“I feel that Halloween shouldn’t be canceled because it’s a fun holiday enjoyed by everyone, but it should be canceled. Unfortunately, due to many people being irresponsible, others can’t do the things they want to do. COVID-19 could have potentially been over by now but no one cares and that’s the problem. Everyone thinks it won’t affect them but it could affect other people that they care about and they could lose a friend.” – Anonymous

“Honestly, trick-or-treating being canceled is a great disappointment. Every year since I can’t even remember how long ago, I’ve gone out and dressed up with my friends to trick or treat. The thrill of anticipating what candy you’re going to get is very exhilarating and also seeing peoples’ costumes obviously. Although it is quite tiring after raiding countless neighborhoods of candy, it definitely is worth it and a ton of fun. Even though I will miss trick-or-treating a ton this year because I personally will not do it, I think it is totally reasonable to cancel it because of our current pandemic situation. To me, it is definitely worthwhile to not run the risk of spreading more disease and causing further death and delay of normalcy. If everyone were to go trick-or-treating, there is no telling how much the virus will be spread.” -Caroline Jia

“I think we should trick or treat, but wear masks.” – Anonymous

Noctiluca: What is your city or area planning on doing for Halloween during this pandemic?

Photo courtesy North ELA Teacher, Mrs. Brooks

Neenah, WI:  “All I know is that it’s our choice in my community whether we want to or not.” (Neenah, WI)

Allouez, WI: “I think Allouez is making trick-or-treaters wear a mask. They seem to not care if we go out to trick-or-treat in a pandemic.”

San Jose, California: “I think our city is hosting a ton of different events. Because of this, people are more likely to have smaller house parties. But definitely no trick-or-treating.” 

New Jersey:  “I don’t know. There aren’t any regulations I know of issued by the government at least.” 

Are you handing out candy and/or are you letting your kids go out to trick or treat?

“I’ve got a 3rd grader.  We have decided not to go trick or treating this year.  However, we are going to have a candy chute and distribute treats thru a PVC pipe. My son is going to dress up like a plague doctor and scare people.  He doesn’t really care about candy but LOVES to dress up and play the part. As you can see below, one year for Halloween he was the captain of the Titanic.” – North ELA Teacher, Heidi Brooks

Instead, we are having a small family gathering where my kids will be giving candy to only their cousins and only their cousins will be giving candy to them. We will also have a pumpkin carving contest and playing Halloween games, but again we’re keeping it small and keeping it to only family instead of going from house-to-house or allowing anyone to come to our house.” – North Science Teacher, Nicholas Kiekhaefer 

“We will leave a bowl of candy out at our house and go trick or treating around our neighborhood using safety precautions.” –North P.E. Teacher,  Crystal Rivers