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.
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