Fredericton — New Brunswickers have been waiting for word from the province on whether children can trick-or-treat despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Some municipalities have jumped the gun and banned trick-or-treating this year, but most areas have been biding their time in anticipation of an announcement from the provincial government.
That announcement finally arrived this morning.
“We’re not cancelling Halloween…calm down, people!” cried Bruce Macfarlane, communications director for the Department of Health. “We’re just limiting it to the drive-thrus the parents would be visiting anyway, to cut down risk. No, there won’t be candy, but there will be donuts, coffee, muffins — all the treats kids love. And no, it won’t be free. You have to pay for the items as usual, but everyone is permitted to dress in scary costumes while you roll up to the window!”
The reaction to the plan has been mixed.
“Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, with a full moon to boot!” said parent Dave Ballard. “It should be a big blowout, an all-out scare-fest. My kids don’t want Timbits…they want the big pop cans and chocolate bars. Am I supposed to drive through Tims, get them a chocolate glazed, and then just go home? What are we gonna do the rest of the evening?
“It’s trick-or-treat, not trick-or-double-double!”
Some more lame parents see this as an opportunity to hover like never before.
“Even before the pandemic, I always hated Halloween, so this is a blessing,” said Amy McNab. “Trick-or-treating is dangerous — what if they get a razorblade in their Snickers? What if a stranger lures them inside? What if they get lost wandering through neighbourhoods in the dark? What if the dentist bill is through the roof next month?
“No, this is great. I can put the kids in the minivan, buckle them in, and go to a well-lit Tim Hortons, order something halfway healthy, and have them in bed by 8. Thank you, provincial government!”
McNab, who for obvious reasons has not been invited to any adult Halloween parties, claims her kids are likewise enthusiastic. However, our reporter spoke with her 12-year-old daughter Olivia, whose plans are foiled by the Tim Hortons version of Halloween.
“This was the first year I was gonna be able to go trick-or-treating with friends without Mom following right behind me! Now all we’re doing is getting a bran muffin and watching that boring Charlie Brown movie…why? Why would they do this to us?!”
Macfarlane says that if all goes according to plan and there is no spike in coronavirus cases, next year’s Halloween festivities may be expanded to include Burger King and MacDonald’s drive-thrus as well.