• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Trick-or-treating in Covid Times

    October 30th, 2020
    covid-19, kids  [html]
    Somerville has asked its residents not to trick-or-treat:
    Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and the Somerville Board of Health announced Halloween guidance and related updates today. They strongly urge all community members to forgo trick-or-treating in favor of lower-risk activities as defined by the Centers for Disease Control such as at-home activities and holiday crafts.
       —somervillema.gov
    They link to MA and CDC guidelines.

    I have generally supported Somerville's cautious approach, closing more quickly and opening more slowly than surrounding towns, keeping schools remote until we can make sure we have sufficient ventilation, organizing outdoor enrichment activities for students, etc. But I don't understand how any town that allows indoor dining can categorize trick-or-treating as impermissibly high risk?

    At this stage in the pandemic, we know that transmission primarily happens through shared air, and outdoor activities are far safer than indoor ones. Especially indoor ones where people are, as in restaurants, generally unmasked and talking. Traditional trick-or-treating, where everyone rings the same doorbells, frequents centralized trick-or-treating corridors, gets quite close to each other, and reaches into the same bowls of candy, I agree is risky. The core experience of trick-or-treating, however, is walking around outside in costumes, going to neighbors' houses, and collecting candy. This can be done with very low risk:

    • Houses that want to participate should plan socially distanced distribution. Participation is even more optional than usual.
    • Trick-or-treat within walking distance of your house.
    • Don't go anywhere where you won't be able to social distance.
    • Set expectations with your kids about this being more of a search than usual, and clarify there will be less candy.
    • Only acquire candy if you're able to do it while keeping distance.
    • Wear a face mask, not just a Halloween mask.
    • Wait to eat until you're home.

    Our fall and winter holidays and traditions are full of gathering indoors with food and song. Trick-or-treating is a rare exception, and we should make the most of it.

    I'm planning to take the kids out tomorrow night, and I think if we're thoughtful about what we need to do differently it won't be any more risky than our usual evening walks around the neighborhood.

    Comment via: facebook, lesswrong

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Pulses (Hoisted from Comments)

    Robert Jackel asked me an excellent question in comments: what is a pulse? I’ve talked about timed transfers a lot in the last almost 10 years of this blog, but I never wrote a precise definition. This is a critical tool for every public transportation op…

    via Pedestrian Observations February 23, 2021

    Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part III: The Cult of the Badass

    This is the third and final part of a discussion (I, IIa, IIb) discussion of the notion that there is a ‘universal warrior’ – a transcendent sameness about either the experience of war or ‘warrior values’ which might provide some sort of useful blueprint …

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry February 19, 2021

    The Troubling Ethics of Writing (A Speech from Ancient Sumer)

    (Translated from a transcript of an ancient Sumerian speech by Uruk's most well-respected Scriptological Ethicist) Writing is a profoundly dangerous technology: Access to writing was initially, and still remains, uneven. What's worse, the rich are m…

    via BLOG - Cullen O'Keefe February 15, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact