An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
GIVEN THAT HALLOWEEN has never been everyone’s favorite night of the year, it’s a little strange that so many people are determined to hang on to it despite COVID-19.
As Dr. Bonnie Henry was shutting down bars for a second time and possibly putting quite a few bar owners out of business due to fears of spreading the virus, she was also offering re-assurances that “absolutely” we can celebrate Halloween.
It will be a little different, that’s all, she said, suggesting that, for example, we could leave bowls of treats at the end of our driveways instead of handing them out at the door. She’ll need to think through the wisdom of having our costumed little ankle biters rummaging through treats that have already been touched by who knows how many celebrants before them.
Not to mention it’s questionable how well an honour system would work. The answer is, likely not well at all.
It’s swell that she appreciates the fun factor of Halloween and doesn’t want to disappoint the little gaffers who love filling pillow cases full of unhealthy junk food treats but, of all the things to keep during this pandemic, Halloween hardly seems more important than the risks of spreading the virus.
A lot of other jurisdictions have already come to that conclusion, and are, at the least, banning trick or treating. Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Doug Ford are among those fretting about it. Alberta health authorities are still pondering the risks.
At the best of times, Halloween is the target of efforts to do away with it for reasons of vandalism, religion or what have you. Those humbug types are perennially ignored.
But this year, as we’re caught up in a pandemic that gives every indication of a robust resurgence, surely we can give it a pass, stay home and watch Halloween movies on TV instead.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.