Halloween could be abolished, for all I care. I dislike the feel of cheap, polyester costumes, the look of tacky, plastic decorations, and the taste of artificial sugar. I could also do without our dummy of a dog unraveling into futile hysteria every time a kid walks past our house.
And yet, this year, I find I must rise to the holiday’s defense. Canceling Halloween because of the COVID-19 pandemic is unnecessary and perhaps even counterproductive, the opposite of the harm reduction approach we should be pursuing. It could unintentionally make the pandemic worse by providing excuse for riskier behavior later in the holiday season.