As October comes to an end, and a possible second wave rears its ugly head, talks of trick or treating looms over towns on Long Island.
The potential cancellation of children’s beloved holiday, Halloween, is the talk of the town for parents on Long Island. Government officials like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, set the record straight, go at your own risk.
“If you want to go for a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I’m not gonna tell you you can’t take your child to the neighborhood,” said Cuomo. “I’m not going to do that. I’ll give you my advice and guidance and then you will make a decision about what you do that night.”
There has been a 1.1% increase in COVID-19 cases on Long Island and 1.32% uptick statewide. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also recommended families stray away from going door to door this year, categorizing it as a high risk activity. Regardless, Cuomo decided not to cancel Halloween this year and has allowed families to trick or treat. Although he is not encouraging participation, he will allow it and release guidelines if people choose to do so.
“I don’t think Halloween should be cancelled because there’s a way to make it happen if you put forth the effort from the houses willing to participate and the trick or treaters,” said Stephanie Melo, a mother from Medford. “Following the number of cases, I think we’re okay to celebrate safely following all the guidelines. Kids have been allowed to return to school, to sit in a classroom with other kids so what is the harm to be outdoors and safely receive some wrapped candy?”
Parents seem to be reluctant to take away this holiday from their children, regardless of the pandemic. Alternatives like Halloween scavenger hunts, drive-thru trick or treating or just carving jack-o-lanterns, are some options residents could still participate in. But many believe that safety precautions can still be met here for trick-or-treaters on Long Island.
“We will be wearing masks, bringing Purell, and I may even have the kids wear gloves,” said Christine Bradley-Hart, a mother of four from Setauket. “We typically go back to our house with those we trick or treat with and have pizza or homemade soup in the crockpot but we’re not doing that this year.”
In order to keep parents’ minds at ease, Legislator William Gaylor of district six created an initiative to signal which houses are safe to go to. The Purple Pumpkin Project encourages residents to put up a photo of a purple pumpkin in their windows to let trick-or-treaters know safety precautions are being met. This includes wearing a mask when you open the door and handing out individually wrapped candies.
Copies of the purple pumpkin sign can be found on Gaylor’s website.