The Plans for Halloween

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Trick or treating will not be the same this year due to Covid-19 risks.

As Halloween approaches, pressure is increasing on local officials to decide the fate of events for this time of year.  While COVID-19 is still in action, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the decision on whether or not fall activities should take place in the town of Berlin, Ocean City, and Ocean Pines. The real concern is if people will abide by the rules put into place.

Worcester County Health Department Public Officer, Travis Brown says, “Trick or treating is probably not recommended right now.” With the crowded streets, hands in candy bowls, and going to multiple different doors, contracting the virus could be a huge risk. Many agree with Officer Brown’s statement, and realize where it can be unsafe and not worth risking during this pandemic.

The Mayor of the town of Berlin, Gee Williams, chimes in and said, “We think it’s not appropriate or safe for lots of children to be out on Halloween night.” With Williams having a huge part in the say of what will happen, the town made the decision to, “…not host or sponsor any events in the town of Berlin.”  Mayor Brown added, “We are encouraging our citizens to turn off their porch or front door lights if they are not accepting trick or treaters.” Although trick or treating is not encouraged, it also was not stated as cancelled or not allowed.

Mayor Williams and many other officials are discouraging Halloween and the events that come with it, however, Ocean City is still hosting a Drive In Disguise & Trunk or Treat. In this event, participants dress their vehicle and decorate it, and ride down the boardwalk during the parade. This event takes place Oct. 26. No restrictions were mentioned by the town of Ocean City, but it is assumed that masks and social distancing will be practiced during this event.

In Ocean Pines, the Chamber of Commerce announces that there will be a Halloween themed parade that will take place on Oct. 31. The chamber encourages vehicles to decorate their cars and participate in the event. They are also hosting Trunk or Treat at White Horse Park on Oct. 31. COVID-19 regulations and restrictions are said to be followed during these events.

Oktoberfest is also an event that is said to be happening at Stephen Decatur Park, where there will be food and retailers also participating. With officials finding fall events unnecessary during this crisis, groups are still organizing events on their own.

Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Health and UC Davis Children’s hospital says, “I just don’t see how it’s feasible to do this safely.” Although regulations are said to be practiced at events, it is not believed that this will stop the virus from being spread. He continues to say, “While masks help mitigate spread, they don’t eliminate risk.

Hopefully, those who choose to participate in these events will take the proper precautions to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.