Virus risk haunts Halloween customs


LOS ANGELES—Forget the princess outfit, the Batman suit, or the Donald Trump mask.

The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on Halloween celebrations in the United States this year with health officials encouraging Americans to avoid heading out for a candy-fueled evening and to instead stay home and hold virtual parties.


“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that advised against crowded indoor costume parties or sending kids trick-or-treating.

“Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming” is also off-limits, the agency said.


Socially distanced parades

Instead, Americans are being encouraged to carve pumpkins at home or with friends and neighbors outdoors while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Virtual Halloween costume contests are also encouraged.

For those who can’t fathom ignoring one of the most popular US holidays of the year—during which kids go door-to-door to receive treats—the CDC said “one-way trick-or-treating” or socially distanced parades present a moderate risk.

It said goodie bags could be prepared in advance and placed, for example, at the end of a driveway for children to grab.

Balancing safety, fun

The CDC guidelines come as states across the country are grappling with how to balance health safety and fun during the annual celebration.

“Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with nonhousehold members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives,” the Los Angeles County Health Department said.

The county initially banned trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities but quickly walked back on that decision to change the wording to “not recommended.”


For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.

What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next



<!– Please implement on Entertainment only, remove the twitter handle after the byline in #byline_share

Follow @FMangosingINQ on Twitter


Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Back To Top