Halloween with a Vengeance

I could not believe how many kids were out trick-or-treating in our neighborhood this year. Or how many households were handing out candy. There were more kids even than a normal Halloween, through fewer houses active than usual.

We weren’t even sure of our plans as late as Sunday afternoon. We’d carved pumpkins on Saturday, we’d put the skeleton in the big hole in the floor (not that anyone but us could see it), but we weren’t sure whether we’d be taking the kid trick-or-treating, or whether anyone would be knocking on our door.

Toward the end of the afternoon we set up a table on the front lawn with our jack-o-lanterns and two trays of goodies (one candy, one party favors as an allergy-friendly alternative). We put on masks as a precaution, and took turns taking the kid trick-or-treating.

We ran out of candy.

We ran out of toys.

There were so many groups of kids, some as big as a dozen, and they kept coming for several hours after sunset.

I figure it’s probably a reaction to last year’s locked-down holiday.

Covid-19 hasn’t gone away. The pandemic isn’t anywhere near over. But cases in Los Angeles County have been trending downward from a peak way back in August, and our area has around 80% vaccination coverage among those 12 and up. Schools have gone back to in-person instruction, with masks indoors, distancing guidelines, and quarantine rules for students and staff who are exposed. The elementary schools even brought back their Halloween parade, though they split it by age group and only allowed staff and students onsite to reduce crowding.

The coronavirus isn’t gone. It’s still a constant presence. But for the moment, it feels more manageable than this time last year. At least here.

So people handed out candy, and kids went trick-or-treating, and parents went along with them. Maybe a third were wearing masks.

But we’re getting tested later this week, just in case. Outdoors or not, it was still a crowd.

Update: We didn’t catch Covid from trick-or-treating! (or from the plumbers for that matter)