On September 8 the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued guidelines for Halloween. No trick or treating (since revised to a recommendation). No trunk or treating. No parties or festivals. No gathering other than immediate family. Basically, they canceled Halloween!
The rationale is clear – keeping people away from each other keeps the COVID-19 in check. But Halloween isn’t about rationale. It is about kids and candy and dressing up. So what do kids think about this turn of events? There is one way to find out, so we asked.
The five-year-old is more concerned with the candy. He likes dressing up, but as long as he gets candy he doesn’t really care about Trick or Treating.
Our 10-year-old girl took a very serious approach to the whole thing, knowing that it is connected to the virus. “It is sad. I like to Trick or Treat. I think it would be easy to social distance. People could leave candy on their porch.” So what about the idea of having car parades? She liked the idea but “how would the kids get the candy?” What if parents hid candy like they hide Easter eggs? Not really a favorite idea. “It might be fun, but if other people touched the candy first? You’d be touching candy other people touched.”
The seven-year-old girl was so excited to be interviewed. When asked how she felt about the county guidelines, she said “that is just so sad.” Is it about the dressing up or the candy? “Yeah, I like the candy. Honestly, sometimes the costume is really uncomfortable.” She didn’t really like the idea of a car parade, but was fine with the idea of people leaving a bowl of candy on the porch to socially distance as long as she could disinfect the candy wrappers when she got home. She likes the idea of a candy hunt in the back yard like at Easter. “Maybe we could make up a game” she said.
The second boy, who is also five, is just as happy staying home, as long as he gets candy.
If kids get their way, the candy makers have no reason to worry. They will all consider not trick or treating as long as they still get candy. Their parents may not be happy with that answer, but the kids will be. And isn’t Halloween about them?
Laura Levinsky is a life-long resident of the Valley and a frequent contributor to the Valley News Group.