(Happy?) Halloween!

September still has a week to go.

But we’re already a month into Starbucks’ pumpkin latte season. A pop-up Halloween store popped up weeks ago in Compo Shopping Center.

Halloween preparations are already in full swing.

Yet this is 2020 — the year in which the world falls apart, each day’s news is worse than the one before, and every activity we rely upon has changed.

Wait — does that include Halloween?!

Social media is filled with parents (okay, mothers) asking: “What’s happening with Halloween? Is it still on?”

A reader emailed yesterday, asking if Governor Lamont has canceled it. (He has plenty of powers. Controlling Halloween is not, I don’t think, one of them.)

But questions about the spooky night are valid.

In these days of hybrid school, social distancing and frequent hand washing, is sending children out in packs a good idea? If people were concerned about the spread of COVID at Compo Beach — and they were — what happens when hordes of kids converge on the narrow, candy-packed streets near Soundview? And speaking of candy: Should youngsters really be collecting all that stuff that was already handled by so many people?

On the other hand, the whole idea of Halloween is to wear a mask. What’s the harm in wearing another (coronavirus) mask underneath a plastic one of a princess, vampire or Donald Trump? Halloween is an outdoor activity — and plenty of boys and girls are playing plenty of youth sports every day, after school. Consider this too: Kids have lost so much already. Do we really want to take away Halloween?!

Beats me. I sure don’t know. I don’t have a kid, and it’s been decades since I trick-or-treated. (Or participated in mischief. Click here for the spectacularly embarrassing story of how I tossed my own parents’ mailbox into a pond.)

I’m pretty sure there won’t be the annual downtown Halloween parade. That event seems spooked: It’s been canceled frequently in recent years by bad weather.

But a town-sponsored gathering is different from a grassroots community one. This is a free country*, and we are free to not only have Halloween or not, but to argue passionately about it.

A scene from the 2010 Halloween parade.

So the “06880” Comments section is open. Do you think kids should go trick-or-treating this year? Will you stock up on goodies, or turn off the lights? Are there creative alternatives to Halloween? How will you talk to your children about families that have a different position than yours?

Click “Comments” below. As always, please use full, real names.

And remember: There is still a month to go. In COVID time, that’s like 500 years.

*For now, anyway

A house at Compo Beach (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

11 responses to “(Happy?) Halloween!

  1. The little witch is Lila Greifenberger and the little princess is Chloe Gordon. 10 years really do fly by!!

  2. Werner Liepolt

    CDC has some explicit cautions—
    “Higher risk activities
    “Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

    “Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
    “Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
    “Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
    “Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
    “Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
    “Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
    “Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19”

    I would think the Westport-Weston Health District would weigh in on this topic.

  3. Common sense would dictate trick or treating or Halloween parties should be canceled. It will just spread the virus and cannot be done safely, period. Remember folks, the virus can spread more than 6 feet and the masks most people have are 1) not effective to protect the wearer nor others, 2) not being worn properly.

  4. Arline Gertzoff

    Halloween falls on a Saturday night .I fully realize parents can keep young children at home.People who wish to can leave their light on with a pail with plastic bagged candy and help yourself /When empty turn your light off.Total banning will leave the door open for more mischief ,pranks and vandalism especially on a Saturday night.The police dept cannot patrol every street in town.Large gatherings indoors and outdoors should of course be discouraged.If people can walk about for sidewalk sales and outdoor dining modified masks and social distance inc some type of Trick or Treating can be permitted.

  5. I realize this blog skews to an older commentator crowd, but c’mon folks, what’s next? Banning smiling in Westport? Perhaps there’s a solution similar to what Arline has suggested?

    • Werner Liepolt

      As an “older commentator “ I just canceled a $12000 month long winter rental in Florida due to DeSantis’ throwing Florida open to all. If I don’t feel safe…
      200000 dead is a catastrophic number. A failure of our federal government that far exceeds anything in our past and anything we should have expected.
      How much more failure must we endured?

  6. Bill Strittmatter

    In case folks haven’t already heard, our Governor apparently has declared that Halloween is a go this year.