Thursday, October 22, 2020

Coronavirus Briefing: What Occurred As we speak


Halloween in America appears to be like additional terrifying this 12 months.

Coronavirus circumstances are surging across the country for the third time, and the variety of recorded circumstances within the U.S. simply hit eight million. Seventeen states have added extra circumstances previously week than in some other week of the pandemic.

So is it protected to trick-or-treat? Is it protected to have fun Halloween in any respect?

Public well being specialists have warned that going door-to-door for sweet may result in a spike in circumstances. A number of states, together with California and Massachusetts, have discouraged trick-or-treating however haven’t issued an outright ban.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention issued Halloween safety guidelines that classify conventional trick-or-treating as a high-risk exercise, together with indoor haunted homes and crowded costume events. For safer options, the company suggests holding costume contests through Zoom, sweet scavenger hunts within the residence or yard and internet hosting scary film nights.

Nonetheless, specialists say that there are ways to salvage trick-or-treating, or at least to reduce the considerable risks.

In case you’re planning to go out, keep away from giant teams and indoor gatherings, and use a face overlaying (your costume’s masks doesn’t depend). Convey hand sanitizer, and whereas specialists say you in all probability don’t have to sanitize each sweet wrapper, you need to be sure palms are clear earlier than they contact any sweets.

Dr. Aaron E. Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana College Faculty of Drugs, suggests in an Opinion article that householders place a sweet bowl six ft from the door, or on a platter, so kids don’t do an excessive amount of rummaging. Neighborhoods, he provides, can decide to beginning earlier so that everybody isn’t all out without delay, and even stagger the hours by age teams.

It’s essential to keep in mind that Halloween means loads to kids, particularly throughout a 12 months during which they will not be attending college in individual or have had their day by day routines upended to the virus.

“I feel utterly taking away Halloween could possibly be detrimental to among the psychological well being points that youngsters are going through proper now,” stated Dr. Tista Ghosh, an epidemiologist at Grand Rounds, a digital well being care firm in San Francisco. She added that it’s finest to “stability the chance of no matter exercise they’re doing with psychological well being dangers as properly, and search for methods to attenuate threat slightly than cut back threat to zero as a result of that’s simply not attainable.”

If trick-or-treating isn’t your factor, listed here are just a few different methods to have fun the spooky season.


The controversy surrounding using face masks within the U.S. is way from settled. On Thursday evening, in a city hall-style occasion, President Trump swung between two sides the controversy in a matter of minutes, initially supporting masks, but then quickly backtracking.

“On the masks, you have got two tales,” Mr. Trump stated, claiming falsely that most individuals who put on masks usually tend to contract the virus.

That is hardly the primary time People have pushed again in opposition to guidelines that are supposed to hold them protected. Our colleague Christine Hauser discovered a telling analogy from the 1980s: the war over seatbelts.

A legislator in New Hampshire referred to as them constricting. A Michigan man stated seatbelts tousled his look. A sailor in Massachusetts argued the federal government had no proper to pressure him to put on one.

Sound acquainted?

Seatbelt skirmishes spilled into capitals, legislative halls and on radio reveals. The contours of the controversy — and the stability between particular person and public pursuits — have additionally performed out in different issues of well being and security, like vaccinations and helmet legal guidelines.


Here’s a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states.



I acquired locked down within the Central African Republic within the Congo Basin rainforest with my boyfriend and his mom. By no means did I think about I might be taking good care of rescued pangolins. Having such an intimate expertise with a wild animal has modified me eternally and has turned a tough time into one thing extremely significant. To maintain it gentle, we play a day by day Trevor Noah clip after dinner for a great chortle.

— Alessandra Sikand, Djomo

Tell us the way you’re coping with the pandemic. Send us a response here, and we could characteristic it in an upcoming e-newsletter.

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