This is sobering. With all the talk of a second wave coming of COVID-19 the writing appeared to be on the proverbial wall in Toms River. The annual Halloween parade which has always been a big event there has just been canceled.

How huge is it every year? It is said the be second only to Greenwich Village’s Halloween celebration in NYC. In other words, second biggest in the United States. Canceled.

It’s sponsored each year by Toms River Fire Company No. 1. They broke the bad news with the following statement.

“The Toms River Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 has decided for the safety of the community and all first responders involved, due to the ongoing pandemic, to cancel this years Halloween Parade. This pandemic has struck all aspects of normalcy. Even though the curve has straightened out a little bit, the risk is still at a high with the magnitude of people that crowd in the downtown area. We feel this is the best decision."

Now you can imagine what the local reaction might be. According to a story in the Asbury Park Press, the only other time this parade was canceled was during Superstorm Sandy and The Great Depression. So this is bound to rub a lot of people the wrong way. Especially those in Toms River who would follow Donald Trump and his COVID-19 denial right over a cliff. Those who have used words like hoax about the virus or unconstitutional about the mask rules will no doubt be furious.

Their anger is misplaced. This move is the correct one. By October, many experts believe we will be in a bad second wave. Why do anything to push our luck and make things worse? If you're going to look for just one example from history why this cancellation was the right move, look no further than what happened with another parades back when Spanish flu was tearing through the United States.

The advice to cancel the Liberty Loan parade on Sept. 28, 1918, in Philadelphia went ignored. It was a celebration of promoting bonds to pay for the Allied cause in Europe at the time. The parade went on as planned despite the pandemic, and thousands more people became infected. Philadelphia paid a high price. Their city morgue, which could hold 36 bodies, was inundated with hundreds of Spanish flu victims. Nearly 12,000 people died in a city that had to completely quarantine.

At least someone has learned from history.

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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