#ANSWERED: Sweetwater County Says Let the Kids Trick-Or-Treat

#ANSWERED: Sweetwater County Says Let the Kids Trick-Or-Treat

A young boy reaches for a piece of candy during SweetwaterNOW's Spooktacular event in 2019. SweetwaterNOW photo by Kaylee Hughes

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidances last week for celebrating Halloween, we at SweetwaterNOW asked you to #TELLUS what your plans for celebrating the holiday are amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

As part of its recommendations for celebrating Halloween this year, the CDC advised against traditional trick-or-treating where kids go door to door for candy. Instead, they suggested alternative activities, and for people to set candy out at the end of a driveway or the edge of a yard rather than at the front door.

The recommendations got us wondering what your plans are for Halloween, so SweetwaterNOW sent out a poll for you to take to let us know. Over 880 of you responded, and here’s what you said:

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Out of 881 responders, 600 people said they have kids who they consider to be “trick-or-treating age”, while 281 said they did not.

Of those who said they do have kids of trick-or-treating age, 90 percent said they will allow their children to participate in traditional trick-or-treating, despite CDC recommendations.

The other 10 percent said they will not be allowing their children to go trick-or-treating.

Additionally, of 880 responders, 77 percent said they will be handing out candy. The other 23 percent said they do not plan to hand out candy this year.

Many responders stressed the importance of letting children gain back some sense of normality.

Let’s let the kids have some kind of normalcy.

Of those handing out candy, 88.3 percent of people said they will be handing out candy at their door, while 11.7 percent said they will be following CDC recommendations, by placing it at the end of their driveway or yard, for example.

While some responders plan to hand out candy without the use of masks, others said they will wear masks and gloves when handing out candy. Others said they plan to put the candy bowl six feet from the door.

According to poll results, 39.4 percent of people who are not participating in trick-or-treating this year do not have alternative plans to celebrate, and 37.6 percent of people plan to decorate and carve pumpkins as an alternative plan. Over 16.5 percent of people plan to have a Halloween-themed movie night, and the remaining 6.4 percent plan to do scavenger hunts, look at Halloween decorations, or have a virtual Halloween costume contest.

Your Opinions

Of the 326 people who left comments, the general consensus was: Let the kids trick-or-treat. With the pandemic taking so much from them already, responders overwhelmingly believed Halloween should not be another thing taken from the kids.

Some of the comments included:

I feel like these children have lost enough things this year. Halloween should not have to be one of them. they need things to look forward to and some semblance of normal.

“Let kids be kids and if people are afraid of exposure, then let them be the ones to stay home or keep their porch light of on Halloween night.”

Many respondents noted that if adults can go to bars, the grocery store, or pick up food at a drive-thru, kids should be able to trick-or-treat.

“People handing out candy can wear gloves and masks, it’s really no different to me than our grocery store employees working.”

Others said they believed the CDC recommendation to leave candy in a bowl at the end of the driveway is more unsanitary than handing it out at the door.

“I think it’d be extremely unsanitary to have a bucket at the end of your driveway because your kid is going to dig their hand into a bucket that multiple other kids’ hands have already been in.”

A few people said compromises need to be found this year to ensure the safety of our community.

“I’m happy to put candy at the end of the drive after washing my hands, and wave to families from my front door. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable middle ground.”

We all need to stay safe and find alternative ways to celebrate this year.

“Might do both options for handing candy out.”

However you choose to celebrate this year, stay safe, and have a very happy and spooky Halloween! 🎃