What’s scarier than Halloween? For costumed kids, is it not having the chance to “haunt” their neighborhoods in search of candies and other treats? Or families adorning their residences in pumpkins spiderwebs watched over by ghosts and goblins?
It appears that there are fewer decorated homes and apartments in the City of San Fernando than one has seen in previous years. And residents are turning more toward taking their kids to organized events at churches and schools, for health and safety reasons, instead of them knocking on neighborhood doors and holding bags while hollering out “Trick-or-Treat!”
Elizabeth Cabrera can relate. She has lived in the same complex in San Fernando for 30 years, and has always treasured Halloween.
But because of the pandemic, there is a lack of Halloween spirit in her neighborhood, Cabrera said. What was once a community that passionately decorated for the holiday is now gone, with only a few houses on the block dawning their Halloween tricks.
A smile emerges as she thinks about what Halloween was like in the years before the pandemic. Cabrera said she used to buy 100-pounds of candy, and by 8 p.m. her candy bowl was almost empty.
Now she wonders how much longer the pandemic will continue to affect her community.
“Era una alegria para que viniera halloween para los niños,” (“It was a joy for Halloween to come for the children,”), Cabrera said.
One block away, the Valdez family’s Halloween decorations stand tall, including a skeleton measuring 12-feet. John Valdez, who was out running errands, is the mastermind for the stand-out decorations, said wife Antonette.
Last year, Valdez gave trick-or-treaters candy through a tube, for safety. But this year will be a little different, his wife said.
The Valdez family will set up a table and hand out candy from their driveway — while practicing social distancing.