America’s Children Can Dream of Halloween Again
I’ve spent a good percentage of this pandemic wondering how we would all look back on it someday, when we’ve survived it, if we’ve survived. What will be the habits that last? How will we commemorate it? What are the artifacts that remind us of it? What images will conjure up this unprecedented time in our lives, and in American history?
On that last front, I often think of last Halloween. Last Halloween, we were of course still right in the thick of the pandemic: Before vaccines, and also before the huge Christmas/New Years surge. People were still being extremely careful. (Except for those who never were, obviously.) But I, like a millions of other parents, still wanted my children to have a Halloween. Halloween is a massive night for any kid, an excuse to dress up as something cool, to see all sorts of strange sights and to ingest a metric ton of candy without your parents making you stop. Depriving my children of Halloween, during a year when they had been deprived of so much, felt cruel. I wanted to give them a Halloween, at least.
So people improvised. Kids wore masks under their masks. Houses left their candy out on the sidewalk rather than on their front door. Some people went Trick-or-Treating hours earlier, or even at lunchtime. But my favorite adjustment was the house on our main block that actually jerry-rigged a system of chutes and tunnels that they could place candy in from the front door, shot through to the kids on the street. It was a pandemic modification of the best part of Halloween. It was great, and the kids loved it. This house wasn’t the only house that did it: Here’s a great one from The Boston Globe:
That’s a pandemic relic/artifact if I’ve ever seen one. That one sums up Halloween 2020 perfectly.
But this year: This year we might just get Halloween back.
The big news this morning was that Pfizer announced that, next week, it will present data to the FDA that shows that its vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5–12. This, with FDA emergency…