Daniel Jee & John Jo / Staff editor
Since July 2021, the BC government has been in phase three of the COVID restart plan, which makes Halloween activities such as trick-or-treating possible.
Still, there are continuing concerns due to the delta variant in the population although the number of new COVID cases has not been rising.
The general opinion in the Gleneagle student community is that the current situation is still unsafe to have normal pre-COVID Halloween celebrations or trick-or-treating activities.
Some have suggested that they are comfortable with small gatherings because many of the eligible population in BC have been vaccinated.
“I think it is not safe because when we celebrate Halloween, we mostly meet people, and it will be dangerous. Our safety is more important than Halloween,” said David Jee, grade 9. “But if people must go for a party or whatever, they should gather in a small group at least.”
Others suggested that because so many people are vaccinated, it will be safe to have larger gatherings due to herd immunity.
Many people are excited about the prospect of being able to spend this holiday with friends.
“In my opinion, it is safe because people wear masks, and are aware of COVID-19. So, I will celebrate it with my nephew this year,” said Jordyn McDonogh, Career Life Education instructor of Gleneagle Secondary school.
Just last year, at the height of the pandemic, the CDC announced that trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities were high-risk, as noted in a 2020 article in the Washington Post, as there would be large amounts of uncontrolled contact.
However, this year experts have said that trick-or-treating should be a safe activity, as most people remain outdoors.
“I expect the government to put restrictions on parties for adults, like having bars or places like that close earlier, or have a limit of the number of people allowed inside,” said Mark Robinson, a grade 10 Gleneagle Secondary school student.
There have been suggestions of some modifications, such as leaving candy outside or handing out treats with as limited contact as possible.
Nonetheless, medical professionals such as Dr. Bonnie Henry recommend that activities be kept outdoors, as indoor activities have been assessed as high risk and caution is advised.
Currently, the government has no restrictions on private gatherings, and no restrictions on indoor organized gatherings, though proof of vaccination is required.
People have struggled with not being able to meet friends and family due to limits on gatherings during the pandemic, especially in the holiday season. Now that the province has been phasing back into near-normal activity, it seems that many people are looking forward to group activities.
Because each situation is different, families and individuals and should consider the risks for themselves when making decisions on this year’s Halloween activities.