doug ford halloween

Doug Ford says Halloween behaviour will determine Christmas restrictions

Halloween may not be cancelled outright in Ontario for 2020, but those of us living in Stage 2 hot spots (like Toronto) are asked to avoid interacting with anyone outside of our own households.

This means no trick-or-treating for kids, no private house parties for grownups, and absolutely no big annual IRL costume bashes — not even outdoors.

The penalty for failing to comply with these public health reccomendations and, in some cases, government orders? I mean, aside from potentially killing someone by spreading the COVID-19 virus?

A sad holiday season.

"My friends, we need to work together this halloween to protect Christmas and the holiday season," said Premier Doug Ford during a media briefing at Queen's Park on Monday, just hours after his chief medical officer of health issued his official advice for the spooky holiday.

"If you live in a hotspot in Toronto, Ottawa, York, or Peel, we would strongly recommend avoiding door to door trick-or-treating this year and finding other, safer ways to celebrate with your household."

Ford acknowledged that, while the move likely won't be popular among children who want free candy, "we just can't have hundreds of kids showing up at your door if you live in a hot spot, especially in apartment buildings."

When asked about his comments regarding Christmas, and what we could expect in terms of health restrictions this December, Ford was unable to answer on account of the fact that he's not a psychic.

"I wish I had a crystal ball," he said. "What are we, about 65 days away from Christmas?... Let's reverse back, 60 days where were we at: We were seeing the numbers drop, we were getting below 100, trying to get life back to normal and all of the sudden it just came back."

The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed proven unpredictable, but public health officials maintain that the best way to get infection rates down is to maintain appropriate physical distancing, wash your hands regularly, stay home if you're sick and wear a mask whenever possible.

"My friends, we all know that this isn't going to be a regular Halloween," said Ford, who stressed that the problem isn't unique to Toronto, and that jurisdicitons all over the world are being forced to make similar decisions.

Is a Christmas with family members work sacrificing a traditional Halloween? Opinions will differ, but one thing's for sure, according to Ford: "The steps we take now will determine what the holiday season looks like this year."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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