EDITORIAL – Surely, we can sacrifice trick or treating this year

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

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 opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9052 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Surely, we can sacrifice trick or treating this year

  1. Beverley Campbell // September 15, 2020 at 1:30 PM // Reply

    It would be genuinely absurd to let children go trick or treating, if they must (and there are many who think this is a good thing to do yet yell bloody murder about their children being sent to school) make one central gowned up and fully masked person (or two) where those wishing to participate can leave their candy offerings, get a group of distanced people to bag them an assortment and on halloween let the dressed up kids in ONE AT A TIME, to pick up their bag. Adults outside to make sure there is no close lining up going on. enter by one door, leave by another, thanks and good-bye.
    I could organize it in Ashcroft, I’m very good at that.

  2. You are showing your age Mel. In this year of changes so much has been taken away from children and now you want to take away their second favourite time of year. Surely steps can be taken to mitigate the risks to bring a little joy into children’s lives. Ban Halloween!!?? Bah humbug!

    • Mel Rothenburger // September 15, 2020 at 9:37 AM // Reply

      I’m not an anti-Halloweener. I’m suggesting there are risks right now and we could suspend it for one year. Age? I haven’t forgotten the fun of Halloween when I was trick-or-treat age.

    • I don’t understand, how can you mitigate the risks for both the home owner and the children? For the children, there is no guarantee that the people handing out candy are wearing masks and are healthy and for the home owner, how can you be sure that you don’t open the door to kids harboring the virus and being kids, shouting “Trick or Treat”? Its a risk that I think should be an individual choice, but should you choose to not participate this year you should not be looked on as taking the joy away from anyone but rather as protecting both yourself and others.

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