Volume 95, Issue 33

Wednesday, October 31, 2001
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Don't be too spooked this Halloween

Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Board 2001-2002

Don't be too spooked this Halloween

It's Halloween again, but this time – thanks to the events of Sept. 11 – it arrives with a real-life dose of terror.

Many of us are withdrawing in fear from our normal activities. Mass e-mails warning people to avoid shopping malls on Halloween night and parents who will not let their children trick or treat are warning signs of a society acting overly cautious about what should be a fun time of year.

Without playing down the possibility of terrorism, is it really worth living in fear, here in London, Ontario?

Every significant incident following the attacks on Washington and New York have occurred in major U.S. centres, usually at well-known, important institutions like Capitol Hill as well as a variety of media outlets and postal sorting centres.

The idea of terrorists drugging kids' Halloween candy with anthrax or other dangerous substances seems unlikely, especially in London. Chances are, if another attack is to occur, it will be larger than infiltrating the white-powder coating of certain Halloween candies.

Of course, parents are always going to advise caution for trick or treaters – wait at the end of the block before crossing, never cross the street alone, don't open candy before your parents examine it – but an increased fear at this time of year, as a result of what is happening in the world, is not justified.

Think back to when you were a kid – Halloween meant fun and free candy. Considerable effort had to be put into figuring out what costume was going to look better than all your friends and it was always important to convince your parents buying that extra accessory would add the perfect touch.

Then there was planning the best route that would get you knocking on the most doors possible in order to gather the most candy. Finally, there was the excitement of coming home, sorting and comparing all your candy with your siblings and making trades to even out the stash.

All things considered, how can we tell a child there is no Halloween this year; that their world is too dangerous to dress-up and walk around the neighbourhood collecting candy?

For university students, Halloween still offers a chance to act like a child. We are still in our youth and, hopefully, have some innocence left in our lives. An innocence that has been affected by recent events, but one that can still be seen in times like these as we relive our childhood.

If we retreat in fear and apprehension from events as innocent and "normal" as Halloween, the terrotists who so heinously attacked America will ultimately have won.

Relax, keep your perspective and have fun. (And don't forget to brush your teeth after all that candy).

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