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With 200,000 Virus Death Toll, CDC Recommends Against Trick-or-Treating

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With 200,000 Virus Death Toll, CDC Recommends Against Trick-or-Treating

2020-09-23 17:14:42

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Kids trick-or-treating (Image source: Public domain)

There was a time when it was suggested that the United States may have between 100,000 and 240,00 deaths. It was unfathomable. Donald Trump said they were doing well fighting it off, and it would probably be under 100,000, as if that were a good thing,

The death toll has now reached 200,000, as reported by John Hopkins University, and this is after journalist Bob Woodward's book, "Rage," was released detailing his private conversations with the president. This showed Trump knew all along it was a deadly virus that was spread easily. Meanwhile, in public, even after the release of the book, Trump is still downplaying how dire the situation is.

The U.S has more coronavirus deaths and cases than any other country. There are 6.8 million people who have contracted COVID-19 since January. Globally, 31 million cases have been counted and over 966,000 deaths.

California and New York were hit hard by the coronavirus with their large, dense communities struggling to prevent it from spiraling out of control. New York has had more than 33,000 deaths, and California has had less than half that with over 15,000.

Some schools have returned to in-person classrooms while others remain in virtual classrooms. Children are not the hardest hit by COVID-19, yet children have died from the virus, and they're also capable of passing it to adults, such as their teachers, janitors, administrators, etc.

"Clearly, the colleges and universities are bringing in a substantial number of cases, but I think we're also seeing an ever-growing issue on pandemic fatigue," said infectious disease expert and epidemiologist Dr. Michael Ostholm.

"We see more and more locations throughout the country. People are basically dismissing the risks of being in group settings. Weddings, funerals, recreational events, concerts are starting to happen more."

Ostholm also noted they are "seeing pressure to open up restaurants and bars. We're seeing an increasing number of outbreaks associated with bars and restaurants in the country. I think people just decided, it's really not that big of a deal, it's over with, and I think we'll pay for it this fall."

This brings up what is going to happen with the upcoming Halloween holiday. It's one that brings children and adults to celebrate. While there has been less and less actual door-to-door trick-or-treating as of late, COVID-19 may be the final death knell for the longstanding Halloween activity.

The CDC released a number of guidelines for what is safe and not safe during Halloween. It should go without saying that if you have been exposed to the virus or have the virus, you should not participate in any Halloween activity. You should not be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters either.

Primary among the high-risk activities, however, that should be avoided is traditional trick-or-treating with children going door to door. Similarly, "trunk-or-treat" events should be avoided as well, along with crowded indoor costume parties, indoor haunted houses, hayrides and tractor rides with people not in your household, using alcohol or drugs, and traveling to a rural fall festival if you live in an area with community virus spread.

Activities that are considered moderate risk include trick-or-treating with goodie bags set out to keep a social distance; a small, outdoor, socially-distanced costumed party; open-air haunted houses while wearing masks and social distancing; visiting pumpkin patches and orchards with social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizer; and a socially-distanced outdoor movie night.

Low-risk, safer activities include carving pumpkins with members of your household or socially distancing and doing it outside with others, a socially-distanced scavenger hunt outdoors with friends or family or indoors with members of your household, a virtual costume contest, and a movie night with people from your household. 

With all that said, there is no doubt this will lead to a rise in cases, as there will be people who decide to ignore the risks.

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