For some kids, including mine, it’s the best day of the year – yes, even better than Christmas. But this year, Halloween, which many children celebrate by going trick-or-treating and getting amped up on sugar while wearing a costume, is in jeopardy, thanks to social distancing.
While there’s not yet been any official guidelines about how to handle October 31, there’s been fierce speculation the government may reintroduce a second national lockdown due to a rising number of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
Halloween festivals in Scotland, including Paisley and Fife, have already been cancelled, and Nicola Sturgeon said while she didn’t want to be the person telling children they “can’t go guising” (trick-or-treating), she warned that if it becomes necessary, “it’s better than allowing children to be at risk”.
In the case of a national lockdown, trick-or-treating and other Halloween-based activities outside your home are unlikely to go ahead. Or, if you’re in an area where there’s a local lockdown, trick-or-treating probably won’t be a goer either – although it may depend on restrictions put in place in your area.
But without a lockdown, could it be possible? Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine and expert in infectious diseases based at the University of East Anglia, says the issue isn’t necessarily to do with children – because children don’t really suffer severely from Covid-19 – but in knocking on the doors of vulnerable or elderly people.
“The chances of transmitting an infection during a typical Halloween encounter is quite low, but the chances of transmission to vulnerable people who’ve been shielding is a concern,” he says. “A lot of elderly people get nervous about Halloween anyway, and with the stress of the pandemic, you could be causing...