Free-Range Kids

Congress Would Like the CDC To Ruin Halloween

"We are writing to ask you to update your Halloween safety guidance to include considerations related to COVID-19."

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On the one holiday of the year it's traditional to wear masks, Congress is nonetheless asking the CDC for coronavirus guidelines.

A bi-partisan group of 30 lawmakers wonder what protocols the little ghosts, goblins, and vampires should adhere to when—and if—they trick or treat. As The Hill reports:

"We are writing to ask you to update your Halloween safety guidance to include considerations related to COVID-19 so that Americans across the country know how to celebrate the Halloween season safely this year," the members, including Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), wrote to Redfield last week.

They want to know if kids should attend parties, or package treats for each other, or even participate in some kind of drive-by trick or treating.

"With the appropriate guidance from the CDC, Americans can celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October in ways that prioritize community safety and adhere to rigorous socially distancing requirements," the members wrote.

By the time you're prioritizing "rigorous" anything, you're generally not talking about a super-fun event. If I were to venture a guess, I'd bet that the CDC will recommend that this year, kids celebrate on Zoom with all the joy their parents have experienced in staff meetings these past six months.

Maybe the agency could recommend some new games, like, "Who can suck their mask in the farthest?" Or "Green scream!" where kids compete to see who can create the scariest green screen background (or who can wear enough green paint to blend in except for their eyes and mouth—kind of a cool idea). "Pin the tracer on the virus-infected contact" is another game the scientists might recommend, but apparently this is too hard even for grownups to play.

Halloween was actually ripe for some re-imagining. In recent years it has morphed from the traditional kids-have-the-run-of-the-neighborhood night into an orgy of infantilization, whereby adults walk or even drive their kids house to house, stunting any kind of independence and bravery that might have taken root on this one thrilling night.

This year, they have the perfect excuse to stay home, lock the doors and simply load the kids up with candy (or  in some households, fresh broccoli florets and kombucha). Boo. Hoo.

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