As we approach the fall, one thing that's probably been on everyone's mind is "how are we celebrating Halloween in Quebec this year?" Six months into the pandemic with no end in sight, questions are starting to emerge about just how the holiday — which usually includes parties and exchanges with strangers — will go down this year. On Wednesday, National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda said that officials are considering it.

Dr. Arruda cheekily mentioned that the government will assemble the best "scientific committee" to evaluate whether or not Halloween is a go this year. 

"If there is a Halloween, it will have to be a special Halloween, different."

"Perhaps we'll have some virtual Halloweens but a Halloween where everyone is walking around and visiting other people's homes... that concerns me." 

He mentioned that while there are concerns, strategies will be developed according to how the situation progresses. 

"Maybe we'll have a new strategy to celebrate Halloween without exposing people," said Dr. Arruda. 

With a laugh, he concluded by saying that even though he knows people are going to wear masks, Halloween masks aren't approved by public health.

On its face, Halloween presents problems in the COVID era.

Trick-or-treating, of course, requires people to visit strangers' homes to receive candy — not to mention all the candy sharing that happens at the end of the night. 

Government and public health officials have already outlined a plan for a potential second wave and, in the last few weeks of summer, Quebec has seen how a single gathering can produce dozens of COVID-19 cases.

There has also been an increase in cases in regions across the province after what Premier Legault called a "general relaxation" of discipline.

 

How Halloween will factor into all of this is unclear. And the closer it gets to October, the more pressed officials will be to come up with an appropriate plan of action. 

Depending on what the plan is, we might all have to dress up as doctors and nurses with our face masks on this Halloween. 

But really, isn't that one of the best ways to honour our hard-working health care workers? 

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