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Fall into the season with care

One of the understandable concerns of our pandemic-infested lives is how to regain any sense of normalcy, especially where holidays are concerned. If you are an individual or organization planning events, it bears repeating that extra precautions are required in order to accommodate people safely.

Last week, we reported the U.S. Centers for Disease Control points out that trick-or-treating, crowded indoor costume parties and fall festivals are “among the riskiest Halloween activities for spreading COVID-19.” Trunk-or-treating — going from car to car in a parking lot — doesn’t get a pass, and don’t think that a costume mask is a healthy substitute for a cloth covering.

The CDC might seem like a killjoy, but the agency is just doing its work in advising how to eliminate or at least minimize the risk of infection.

Perhaps some of you are wondering if your locality might be relatively safer to participate in some kind of holiday-related fun. If so, visit www.Halloween2020.org, created by the Halloween and Costume Association. There you can see how your county or city is doing risk-wise with the virus. Localities are color-coded based on a seven-day rolling average of new cases per capita. Green or yellow could mean that trick-or-treating is feasible, especially if safety measures are established. Orange or red? Perhaps it’s best to come up with at-home activities.

As we understand it, the Town of Windsor does not have a sanctioned activity for the holiday, so there haven’t been any party cancellations. We do know that Franklin and Smithfield won’t hold their annual wingdings, though the former plans to distribute candies and activities to the first 200 households that sign up by a set date. Suffolk has come up with a drive-through plan, which we think is also clever.

The Town of Boykins in neighboring Southampton County decided last month to host a Pumpkin Festival today, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The organizers have reportedly spent “hours and hours” to create as safe an event as possible by following all CDC guidelines regarding distancing, hand-washing stations, traffic pattern for walking, etc.

We commend those localities and organizations that are striving to create happy memories in spite of the tough times. But don’t hesitate to alter or cancel plans if there’s suddenly strong reasons for the sake of prevention and people.