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The only thing scarier than Halloween parties is the rising rates of COVID-19 cases

Halloween is right around the corner and in preparation for this spooky holiday, people are trying to find ways to celebrate it amid a pandemic. There has been lots of discussion regarding what Halloween festivities will be safe to do — which makes sense because we have been hearing mixed messages.

If you live in York Region, Peel or Ottawa, medical professionals and the Ontario government have strongly recommended avoiding physical trick-or-treating this year. People who live outside of a region with modified Stage 2 restrictions are permitted to go trick-or-treating, as cases in these areas are still considered low. Although Hamilton is still in Stage 3 and is not considered to be a COVID-19 hotspot, it’s still a good idea to put those trick-or-treat bags away and opt for a quarantine-safe activity.

Although Hamilton is still in Stage 3 and is not considered to be a COVID-19 hotspot, it’s still a good idea to put those trick-or-treat bags away and opt for a quarantine-safe activity.

We have been at home since March and I know that it can be hard to be in isolation for that long — even more so if you live alone. You may want to go celebrate Halloween with a couple of your friends or go to a costume party, but doing so will only prolong the time we have to stay in quarantine.

It’s important to note that reports of COVID-19 cases are delayed. The trend of increased COVID-19 cases that Ontario is seeing — we are hitting record numbers that are just short of 1000 — are reported cases.

Since there is a delay between contracting the infection, experiencing symptoms, getting a test and receiving the test results, CBC News states that these numbers indicate the number of new cases from a couple of weeks earlier.

If these reports are from a couple of weeks ago, we should be cautious in saying that these reports reflect the number of COVID-19 infections today. The trend in new infections may be even higher right now.

If these reports are from a couple of weeks ago, we should be cautious in saying that these reports reflect the number of COVID-19 infections today.

Yes, COVID-19 has found to have a low risk of transmission through surfaces such as candy and interaction with different households will likely be short, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Some doctors have said that activities like trick-or-treating are relatively low risk and I believe them. I do. But why partake in a low-risk activity when you can participate in a virtual event that has no risk at all?

In addition, certain initiatives have permitted people to celebrate Halloween at home. An initiative called Pumpkin Prowl has offered to deliver candy to families who live in Hamilton, Waterdown or Stoney Creek. This way, children can remain at home and prevent any risk of transmission.

Students should consider avoiding Halloween gatherings that are outside their household, too. I haven’t heard of any Halloween parties happening, but please stay clear from them if they do occur. If you do choose to have a small gathering of friends, try to stay outside or wear masks if you’re inside to minimize your risk.

If you aren’t physically gathering with your friends, there are still things you can do this Halloween. Consider opting for a COVID-safe activity by checking out our article about how to celebrate Halloween at home.

I am not an infectious disease specialist and don’t have a medical degree and at the end of the day — you don’t have to listen to me. But this pandemic has been going on for a long time and I don’t know about you, but I’d like it to be over sooner rather than later. If that means skipping out on Halloween parties or get-togethers for one year, then it’s worth it.

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