For everyone with kids looking forward to Halloween next month here’s some bad news. The CDC just came out with guidelines strongly recommending no normal Halloween, no normal trick-or-treating this year.

They break down their advice into low risk, moderate risk and high risk activities for the spread of COVID-19, the virus that has already killed over 200,000 people in the United States.

High risk includes:
• 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

In other words, cancel Halloween. It’s not explicit, but that’s my inference. Governors like Phil Murphy will see this and start considering an executive order. I’ve already written about how I take the virus seriously yet I’m not in favor of canceling Halloween when children have already given up so much this year. And so far Murphy has said when asked that Halloween was not being canceled. But this could be the kind of thing that changes his mind.

So what kind of Halloween does the CDC think kids should have instead?

Moderate risk activities include:
• Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard
• Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
• Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

But what they’d most prefer to see is Low Risk activities, which include:
• Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
• Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
• Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
• Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

So no trick-or-treating. That’s what the CDC wants for kids to keep them safe. I do get it, but we also need to keep them sane.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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