IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

A Pandemic Halloween

Is it 'Trick or Treat' or is it 'Get sick or give me the candy!'

Most of us who grew up here in the United States will remember going out on Halloween to do door-to-door trick or treating. My daughter's first costume at age 14 months was a pillowcase with holes cut out for her eyes. My son is allergic to nuts, so back when I could eat five pounds of candy and lose three pounds of weight, I'd go through his loot and get all the good stuff for myself.

This pandemic has disrupted many things — weddings, birthdays, anniversaries — and next up is Halloween. I've already read about some cities banning the trick or treat tradition this year. As former VP Biden is fond of saying, "The fact of the matter is" this tradition puts people, young and old, in close proximity to others and handling objects being passed between people — not a good thing in a pandemic.

My wife and I are "discussing" (some might say arguing about) how to handle this. No, not what costume to wear (although I could go as Uncle Fester — I've got that nailed!). Rather, how we might provide candy, bags of which I purchased a couple of months ago. I'm for putting a basket on the front porch with candy in it and a sign, "Please take just one — Happy Halloween." My less trusting wife is more a fan of turning off all the lights in the house off so we don't look like we are home. Plus, some little bugger will take all the candy! 

If I were a betting man, I think the tradition will be cancelled for 2020 — the safest thing to do for kids and the older folks who don't need to be close to those infected little buggers ... I mean children!

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.