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US Covid throws scare into Halloween plans

22:31  22 september  2020
22:31  22 september  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

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What happens when the scariest thing on Halloween isn’t ghouls, witches or zombies, but the prospect of Will COVID -19 cancel Halloween ? By Lauren Zumbach and Doug George. We looked at a million possibilities. But we couldn’t ask our actors to come out and scare potentially thousands of

This is the disgusting moment a man is filmed inside a pub spitting all over a table, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which can be transmitted by droplets of the disease.

The coronavirus has put a new scare into Halloween.

a group of people wearing costumes © Provided by NBC News

As millions of U.S. children pick out their costumes and gear up for the annual candy-fueled fright-fest, parents are being warned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to let their little Harry Potters and Wonder Women take part in “traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door.”

“Attending crowded costume parties held indoors” and “going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming” are also on the CDC’s list of high-risk activities as millions of children gear up for Halloween on Oct. 31.

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Halloween 2019: How to throw a scary , horror-themed party. More On: halloween . No chick or treat: Peeps maker halts production due to COVID -19. “We’re all New Yorkers and adults here, let’s just really get into Halloween and make it like the West Village parade in your house,” Goldstein says.

“Blanket Covid policy interventions likely have large costs, because any adverse effects impact the Asked what would be an acceptable level of Covid deaths under this scenario Instead, the dangers for everyone had been talked up, making people with low risk factors more scared than they should be.

Instead, the government agency is encouraging parents to stay home with the kids and carve pumpkins or hold a “virtual Halloween costume contest.”

In some places, they may not have an alternative.

Los Angeles has already banned trick-or-treating this year. Citing the coronavirus, the county Department of Health also put the kibosh on Halloween parties and carnivals and announced that haunted houses were also off-limits this year.

"Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated (do) not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives," guidance posted on the agency's website states.

There will also be no trick-or-treating this year in smaller cities like Springfield, Massachusetts.

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I plan on doing the same this year, safely, of course. I wasn't allowed to celebrate Halloween growing up for dumb religious reasons, so I was so glad to have my first house and trick or treaters. We do Post Halloween instead where my dad goes to everyone's house to deliver candy the day after.

“We are dealing with a pandemic here," said Mayor Domenic Sarno, who called the decision to cancel it a “no brainer.” “Why in the hell would you want to put your child and yourself in harm’s way? It makes no sense whatsoever.”

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he doesn’t intend to ban trick-or-treating, but he plans on giving parents some guidance to ponder before they take their kids out.

"If you want to go for a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I'm not going to tell you you can't take your child to the neighborhood. I'm not going to do that," Cuomo said. "I'll give you my advice and guidance, and then you will make a decision what you do that night."

Meanwhile, the Halloween & Costume Association has teamed up with the Harvard Global Health Institute to create a color-coded map that shows the Covid-19 risk by county to help parents decide how to celebrate Halloween.

“Families and policy-makers need clear and consistent information when it comes to COVID-19 risks to inform decision-making, including how to participate safely in the upcoming Halloween holiday and trick-or-treating activities associated with it,” said Dr. Ingrid Katz of the Harvard Global Health Institute said in a statement. “Through our interactive COVID risk level map, we hope to provide parents a reliable source to help them celebrate the Halloween holiday in the most safe, fun way possible according to the risk level in their community.”

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Putting the numbers into perspective, a total of 221 people in Australia have died from Covid -19 so far this year. In 2019, 1,146 people died on the roads, that evens out to around three deaths a day and makes driving statistically five times more fatal than coronavirus.

Instead, COVID -19 is most likely transmitted via droplets, which are often spread on surfaces and people's hands. As Karen Fleming, Ph.D., a professor in biophysics at Johns Hopkins University explained in a detailed Twitter thread, COVID -19 is "an ‘enveloped’ virus, which means that it has an

Currently the highest risk counties are mostly in the Southern and Sun Belt states that started lifting stay-at-home orders at the urging of President Donald Trump in May just as Covid-19 was cresting; and in North and South Dakota, which have seen a surge in new cases since August when some 400,000 bikers rumbled into the South Dakota town of Sturgis for a 10-day bash where there was virtually no mask-wearing or social distancing.

Halloween is a big moneymaker in Salem, Massachusetts, which was once in the business of burning witches and now welcomes half-a-million visitors every October to partake in other, mostly family-friendly, activities. But it, too, has had to reckon with the pandemic.

“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic still presenting a significant public health and safety threat this year, many of the official events and activities that constitute Haunted Happenings will be either cancelled or scaled back,” the city announced last month.

Then there’s the Kohl Children’s Museum in suburban Chicago, which is trying to raise funds to keep going while providing kids with a safe way to trick-or-treat. It’s setting up 11 tents on their two-acre property on Oct, 24 and 25 where the children can take part in a “not-so-scary” hunt for Halloween ghosts.

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The latest COVID -19 updates from Canadian officials, health experts and politicians. For the latest on COVID -19, we encourage our readers to consult online resources like Canada’s public health website, World Health Organization, as well as our own Yahoo Canada homepage.

Planning Help. ATIA continues to provide important and timely information regarding COVID -19 to ensure safe and reliable Alaska residents traveling back to home communities in rural Alaska will now have the option of testing at the airport sites to prevent bringing the virus into our small communities.

The U.S. leads the world with 201,130 coronavirus deaths and nearly 7 million infections, according to the latest NBC News figures. It also accounts for over a fifth of the nearly 1 million deaths reported worldwide and over a fifth of the 31.4 million confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 dashboard.

While most of the pandemic fatalities have been either the elderly or infirm, the average age of the Covid-19 victims has been trending downward. Although it remains rare that children ages 18 and under die of the virus (107 according to the latest CDC figures), they pose a danger to adults as potential disease carriers, public health experts have said.

Also, as children have returned to the classroom and resumed sports and other activities, the rate at which they are getting infected and hospitalized has been going up, the CDC reported.

More than 587,000 children in the U.S. have been infected with the virus since the pandemic started, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Trump was either unaware of –- or chose to ignore -- this troubling trend Monday when on a campaign stop in Ohio he declared that the coronavirus poses little threat to young people and “affects virtually nobody.”

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“It affects elderly people,” Trump said. “Elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects.”

But young people flocking to bars were behind the surge in new cases that hit Ohio this summer after Gov. Mike DeWine began reopening the state. And in recent weeks and hundreds of students at Ohio State University and the other big schools have contracted the virus, forcing authorities to clamp down hard on big parties and Greek activity where the schools’ safety regulations have been ignored.

Prior to this, DeWine and his former health director, Dr. Amy Acton, had been able to limit the pandemic damage in Ohio by imposing strict stay-at-home orders that ran counter to what Trump was advising and which sparked a revolt by local Republican lawmakers. DeWine is also a Republican.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, declared a new public health emergency because of a recent surge in Covid-19 cases among young people. The state now ranks third in the country for new cases per capita after North and South Dakota, according to NBC News numbers.

In other coronavirus developments:

  • Three NFL coaches— Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos, and Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers — were each hit with $100,000 fines for failing to wear masks during Sunday’s games. Their teams were also slapped with $250,000 fines. The fines came a week after Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, sent a strongly worded memo to all 32 teams reminding them that “all individuals with bench area access [including coaches and members of the club medical staff] to wear face coverings at all times.” Just recently Carroll boasted that the Seahawks had not reported a single positive Covid-19 case.
  • Across the pond, a major soccer match was called off Tuesday night when the host team reported that several of its players had tested positive for the coronavirus. Tottenham Hotspur was supposed to take on Leyton Orient in East London in the third round of the Carabao Cup, which is a tournament that includes clubs from four levels of English soccer. At least 15 Leyton players and staffers tested positive, ESPN reported.
  • The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases staffer caught spreading Covid-19 disinformation -– and trashing his boss, Dr. Anthony Fauci –- on a right wing website is stepping down. William B. Crews, a public affairs specialist, was unmasked by The Daily Beast as “streiff,” who wrote articles that called the pandemic a “massive fraud,” directly contradicted NIAID’s recommendations for containing the plague, and called Fauci a "mask nazi," and worse.

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