Trick-or-treating will go on

Emily Pasley, Lamp wrtier

It appears the words “Trick or Treat” will be echoing throughout the night on Oct. 31 this year, contrary to many people’s fears that the tradition would be sidelined by COVID-19. However, many parents of potential trick-or-treaters are still unsure about the safety of Halloween-related activities during this “new normal.”

“If the kids wear their masks and stay in their group, then I don’t see any issue with normal trick-or-treating,” said Tracy Pasley, mother of 10-year-old Anna Pasley.

The Pasley’s neighborhood, Hunting Meadows in Springfield, plans to do trick-or-treating with residents asked to provide goodie bags on the doorstep.

Most parents in the neighborhood shared a similar mindset to Pasley, although some did not agree.

“I see these kids take their masks off the second no one is looking,” said Grace Chunes, mother of 7-year-old Peyton. “It just won’t work. I know it won’t, at least with my kids”.

The vast majority of parents said if their kids wear a mask and sanitize between each house, then they think everything will be fine. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disagrees.

According to the CDC website, traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating is considered a high-risk activity, and families are encouraged not to participate. Their website suggests leaving out individually wrapped “goodie bags” for children to grab from a distance as a safer alternative.

The activities director for Hunting Meadows, Linda Willinski, said, “The official plan is to leave out goodie bags on everyone’s doorstep, just so the kids can run up and grab one.”

Willinski did share her uncertainty that residents will follow the rules but remained confident in the majority.

Although the regular tradition of trick-or-treating probably won’t be the same this year, many interesting and creative solutions to this issue have been brought forth. Everyone is encouraged to stay safe, wear their mask, and socially distance themselves from others not in their household. They should also remember to carry flashlights and glow sticks so that motorists can see the little ghouls and goblins as they cross streets.

The city of Springfield set the Halloween trick-or-treating hours as 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.