Beloved Halloween attractions during COVID-19

In the midst of a global pandemic, the major question that we ask ourselves every day is: is it too soon to reopen the world? As Halloween approaches, is it too soon to open haunted houses, spooky trails and other attractions for the public given the current global health crisis? While it is important to satisfy our need for social interaction during the pandemic, we must keep in mind that public health is our number one concern, which means that those who participate in fall festivities should strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines. 

Is it too soon to open these sorts of attractions? 

Given the amount of time that our country and the rest of the world have been shut down due to COVID-19, it is not too soon to open these attractions, as long as people are willing to do what it takes to stop transmitting the disease. As time has passed, and with social distancing guidelines, vaccine rollouts and strict sanitation measures in place, we can hope that our society has a better understanding of how to stop the spread of this virus.

Since many people who are most at risk have been vaccinated, and others are now receiving the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that continue to be rolled out, there is no need to shut down businesses, schools, work environments, governments or attractions. However, if people wish to attend public or private events, they should be mandated to vaccinate. The concern with unvaccinated individuals remains widespread, especially when it comes to how strategies can be formed and implemented to provide medical care in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Should more regulations be in place?

More regulations should be put in place to ensure that people are being held accountable for their participation in close-contact events. Controlling the spread of infectious disease, especially during a pandemic, is critical to maintaining public health. Upon entering the attractions, people should be mandated to have a negative COVID-19 test. The test could be rapid or antigen, but will need to be presented at time of entry into the event. If individuals are unwilling to get tested and provide the documented proof, then they are not fully aware of COVID-19 infection risks, or have good reason to not be admitted into the event.

What are the reasons that the attractions should be kept open? 

Reasons to keep the attractions open include morale and sanity. Most people could agree that working or going to school from home during the pandemic was fun in the beginning, but what has been the long term damage from it all? After speaking with a few of my family members, some agreed that it was great in the beginning; however, after time passed, it began to feel like solitary confinement. When our daily routines began to closely mirror scenes from the movie “Groundhog Day” (1993), the fun slowly came to an end for those used to stimulating environments. According to Federica Coppola, a neuroscience researcher at Columbia University, if a person is not surrounded by other people, there can be a disruption in how quickly a person thinks or processes information. Interpersonal skills begin to decline, and in some cases, neurological effects could occur. These effects may manifest as a lack of spatial awareness or dexterity, resulting in an individual dropping things they are carrying or experiencing a loss of balance.

Although COVID-19 has kept the world from doing as much as we are used to during this spooky season, Halloween festivities should still continue with safety precautions. If you’re into scary Halloween action, you can visit the North Carolina Halloween events calendar, provided by North Carolina Haunted Houses, and pick your poison: