What Halloween looked like during the 1918 flu pandemic

This Halloween will kick off a 2020 holiday season like no other seen in the last century due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country faced a similar landscape in 1918, as Halloween coincided with a second wave of the Spanish flu pandemic, according to History.com

At the time, Halloween was less child-focused and did not involve trick-or-treating. Instead, adults would often dress up and attend private parties or celebrate in the street. Young people would often spend Halloween night pulling pranks or vandalizing homes. 

Most cities banned or dissuaded people from participating in these activities to limit the spread of the virus and to be "respectful of those who might be sick or have lost loved ones," Katie Foss, PhD, a professor of media studies at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, told History.com.

In Spokane, Wash., police were instructed to confiscate Halloween masks, as people would often take turns wearing them, which could pose an infection risk, according to J. Alex Navarro, PhD, assistant director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

In late September, the CDC issued COVID-19 safety recommendations for the upcoming holiday season, which includes a breakdown of low-, moderate- and high-risk activities for Halloween.

View the full article here.

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