Jevon Li / Staff reporter
Over the weekend of October 30, British Columbia experienced 499 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths. With the continuous growth of cases every day, a lot of people are thinking of not going out to celebrate on Halloween.
“The province is also seeing transmission happen within family groups and small clusters, with larger clusters happening in essential workplaces,” said Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer.
According to CBC and Vancouver Is Awesome, many transmissions are from teens because they don’t know how to safely distance themselves from each other and they gather in groups. The police is working on shutting down large social gatherings, like parties and family reunions. Other than that, workplace is a high-risk place of contracting COVID-19. On Sunday, Fraser Health declared new outbreaks of COVID-19 at a meat processing facility in Surrey, B.C., and at two long-term care homes. As there are way too many people in the same place working at the same time, if one person has it, the chance of other people there catching it is very high. The government has decided to enhance cleaning and control measures to make sure every equipment is properly sanitized before the next person uses it.
TheTyee News has a different view on the whole situation. As schools have been restarted since September, the number of cases doesn’t really increase that much, and it’s slowly getting controlled. Government is also starting to give kids and teens test for COVID, to make sure they don’t spread it to others.
“Testing for kids aged five to twelve has increased fourfold and doubled among 13 to 19 year-olds. But only an average seven in 1,000 tests are positive,” Henry reported.
The government believes that if everyone at school would keep their masks on and safely distance themselves from each other, it should be put under control really soon.
As for Halloween, most parents are not encouraging their kids to go out and only stay in their neighbourhood because they want their kids to be safe and at the same time enjoy the most out of Halloween.
“When I look at the concept of Halloween, I can’t see why it’s not possible to do safely. Unless there’s a ban on trick-or-treating, we’ll do it, but I have to plan in case we don’t,” said Jodie Katz, a Toronto mother of two.
According to CBC and Global News, many people are debating on whether trick or treating is a safe move for kids to do on Halloween.
“The outdoor element helps mitigate risk,” said Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious diseases physician at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga. Sumon says that the door-to-door visiting “takes all of 30 seconds,” but the fewer close contacts a person has, the better.
Though trick or treating is considered a safe activity for kids to do, some parents still disagree with it because there’s still going to be contact with other people that might have COVID. Some of them only want their kids to celebrate their Halloween night in the house or backyard, as this is the safest thing for them to do right now in such pandemic.
According to CBC news kids, they think that Halloween shouldn’t be cancelled because it is a once-a-year activity and kids can finally feel normal for a night. Kids should still go out and trick or treat under certain conditions like wearing a mask all the time, distancing yourself from others and constantly sanitizing your hands. They believe that if everyone follows the rules and be considerate, cases of Covid wouldn’t increase that much on Halloween.
If everybody goes out on Halloween, increase of cases of COVID-19 is definitely inevitable. They also advise people to do lower-risk activities on Halloween night like carving pumpkins, watching movies and holding candy scavenger hunts. In fact, most of the provinces have cancelled Halloween because of the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases. In BC, the government advice people to stay safe even if they choose to go out.