Truth be told, there was no stopping trick-or-treating this year, pandemic be damned. After all, Halloween isn't some government-sponsored event; families are free to walk down sidewalks and visit private homes. Who was going to stop them? No one, of course. Trying would have been ludicrous.
So, kids and their parents will be out for several hours on Saturday, Oct. 31, trying to capture some normal-year fun during what has been anything but a normal year.
COVID-19, as the local case numbers have shown for the past couple of months, has not gone away. It hasn't even slowed down. If anything, the rate at which new cases are being added in Brookfield and Riverside is slightly higher, even if the sheer number of cases is not overwhelming.
If the past week – with the COVID circus playing out inside the White House as the nation's prime example of irresponsibility – has taught us anything, is that the virus remains an ever-present threat. It is foolhardy to think that this extremely contagious and dangerous disease simply can be packaged as a political issue.
People continue to get sick and die from COVID-19. This is a public health issue, not a political one.
So, getting back to Halloween: Kids and parents, enjoy trick-or-treating, but please make sure you are taking precautions to maintain physical distance from others. Don't bunch up at front doors, on sidewalks and in gangways. Homeowners, please wear face coverings at all times and, better yet, devise a safer way to distribute treats, whether that's a table on the front lawn or driveway with treats spaced about on top of it or some other non-touch treat-delivery device.
While we're on the subject, kudos to the parks and rec departments in North Riverside, Brookfield and Riverside for coming up with fun, family-friendly and safe community events and alternatives to trick-or-treating.
Whether it's the drive-thru haunted house in Riverside, the drive-thru trick-or-treat at Veterans Park in North Riverside or the "Thriller"-themed parade in Brookfield, the parks and rec folks in these villages continue to make lemonade out of this lemon of a pandemic. Their efforts throughout this thing have been inspiring.