Halloween is back, according to the nation’s top infectious-disease expert. NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci weighed in on the upcoming costume- and candy-centric holiday during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, encouraging American families to “go out there and enjoy Halloween.”
In the same interview, Fauci highlighted how COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to trend down nationally, while warning that it was premature to “declare victory in many respects.” Asked what his guidance for parents was about trick-or-treating this year, Fauci said he thought “you can get out there” and “particularly if you’re vaccinated.”
“This is a time that children love,” Fauci said after highlighting how trick-or-treating is done outdoors. “It’s a very important part of the year for children.”
“If you’re not vaccinated, again, think about it — that you will add an extra degree of protection to yourself and your children and your family and your community … but go out there and enjoy Halloween, as well as the other holidays that will be coming up,” Fauci advised. (A week ago, he said it was “too soon to tell” whether Americans should avoid larger family gatherings this coming Christmas.)
Fauci’s All Hallows’ Eve advice echoes what CDC director Rochelle Walensky had to say on the matter during a Face the Nation interview late last month. Asked if it was safe for kids to hit the sidewalks on Halloween, Walensky responded that “if you’re able to be outdoors, absolutely.”
“Limit crowds,” she continued. “I wouldn’t necessarily go to a crowded- crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups.”
A year ago, trick-or-treating and the celebration of Halloween were largely curtailed by the pandemic. The CDC did not recommend trick-or-treating, suggesting virtual or socially distant activities instead.
But while trick-or-treating may be back this month, costumes and Halloween decorations have become hard to find in many stores around the country. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the ongoing supply-chain problems plaguing the U.S. and world have left store shelves empty of many Halloween-themed products.