When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, America failed to rise to the occasion. Over six months in, schools are still struggling to figure out how to educate students without contributing to the continual spread of the virus, parents are still grappling with the balance of working from home and taking care of their kids, and our economy is still suffering. With our president downplaying the severity of the pandemic and many Americans choosing their personal liberty to not wear a mask over the health and safety of their fellow citizens, it should come as no surprise that Halloween, a usual bright spot for family fun each fall, is pretty much canceled. And not just in the Twitter sense of the word.
Earlier this week, Los Angeles County announced that Halloween gatherings with non-household members will be banned this year. Other events and celebrations associated with that time of year, including carnivals, festivals, and haunted houses, will also be banned. L.A. County's department of public health is also recommending that residents refrain from trick or treating and "trunk or treating" since it's difficult to properly social distance while participating in those activities.
L.A. County isn't the only area to start thinking about how to handle Halloween events in the year 2020. Eater points out that both Dover, Delaware and Oskaloosa, Iowa have already canceled trick or treating events. San Francisco officials also told Eater that trick or treating would be "strongly discouraged" this year. This week, it was announced that the annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in New York City is canceled due to COVID-19 concerns as well. Other areas like San Diego County are waiting to receive Halloween guidelines from the CDC before announcing official recommendations or bans, but they're surely coming.
Initially, Los Angeles County's public health department announced an out-right ban on trick or treating but walked it back less than a day later due to backlash from community members. But given how America has handled limiting the spread of COVID-19 compared to other nations around the world, we should know by now that we cannot be trusted to celebrate Halloween responsibly without restrictions. Hell, some of us can't even be trusted to celebrate a wedding without contributing to the spread of the virus or announce the forthcoming birth of a child without starting a wildfire. This year, again and again, America has proven that we can't have nice things, and sadly, Halloween should be included in that list.