A lot of us have been wondering about the status of Halloween this year. Earlier this summer I was already seeing memes from some of my friends getting preemptively mad about the possibility of the pandemic ruining Halloween parties, haunted houses, hayrides, apple and pumpkin picking, and trick-or-treating.

Governor Murphy was asked about the idea of New Jersey putting out a rule similar to the one that was just announced for Los Angeles. LA County released a statement saying "door-to-door trick-or-treating is not allowed", but just yesterday softened their stance to "not recommended." Governor Murphy told NJ.com:

As far as this moment in time, Halloween’s still on in New Jersey. Obviously, it’s not gonna be a normal Halloween. We’re gonna have to do things very carefully. I’m sure we’re gonna have protocols that we’ll come to. And God willing, the virus stays under control.

So there you have it! As of the writing of this article, your kids will be able to trick-or-treat, and you'll be able to hand out candy. Who knows what kind of "protocols" will be announced over the next month or so, but it looks like Halloween is still a go.

I'll be honest, I'm surprised at that ruling. I definitely expected a blanket rule saying trick-or-treating would not be allowed...and I would not have totally disagreed. After months of being told to stay six feet apart, to wash our hands after touching anything, to wash our groceries after bringing them home...to turn around and say "go walk up to a stranger's house and take a candy bar" seems sketchy. I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more people sitting on their porch with a big bucket of candy and a sign saying 'take one', and a lot of parents running those Twix and Milky Way wrappers under the sink before the kids are allowed to touch anything.

We've seen Halloween changes before, back in 2012. Governor Christie postponed trick-or-treating a few days until November 5th, citing the damage from Superstorm Sandy as a continued threat to public safety. I didn't have kids in 2012, and I lived in an apartment complex that was not a big destination for trick-or-treaters, so it didn't really impact me back then.

Now, with one daughter turning 4 years old in a few months, and another turning 5 months right before Halloween, it would be much more impactful if things got cancelled. My wife and I are big Halloween fans, and I've been proud that my daughter will randomly ask to watch "Jack and Sally" on Disney Plus now and then. She's been excited to pick out a costume, and if we went through all of it to only wear it for pictures, it would have been a big let-down.

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