Our Views: Staying Safe on Halloween Takes on New Meaning This Year


It’s not unusual around Halloween to hear messages like, “Have fun, but stay safe.”

In past years, that message would encourage kids to stay in safe neighborhoods while trick-or-treating, to carry a flashlight and to go out in a group.

It would encourage drivers to watch out for little ghouls and goblins (and a Captain America or three) straying off the sidewalks and remind parents to check Halloween candy just in case. 

It would remind older Halloween party-goers to never drink and drive. A friend’s couch is much better than a night in jail. 

All of those warnings still apply. We hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween tonight. But this year, of course, there are more warnings. Little Batmen and Batgirls will likely be wearing two masks this year — superheroes work to keep their communities safe from evil villains and deadly viruses alike, right? 

Cases of COVID-19 are hitting new highs around the country, and Lewis County has seen eight of its 12 COVID-19 attributed deaths this month. In the midst of this ongoing pandemic, public health officials are still advising that wearing a cloth mask over your mouth and nose and maintaining social distancing when possible are the best ways to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities from this little-understood and potentially deadly virus. 

In response, groups around the community have staged COVID-19 friendly events this year.

Toledo Elementary’s first-ever “Candy Crawl” is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Toledo Elementary School this afternoon. Hosted by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, the event will operate like any “trunk-or-treat” event, but with booths instead of cars doling out candy to costumed kids. 

In Chehalis, Trunks With Treats is scheduled for 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Museum at 100 SW Veterans Way, Chehalis. Drive through trick or treat takes place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and walk-through trick or treating starts at 6 p.m. The event is organized in conjunction with Cruise Centralia and the Lewis County Quarter Milers.

Other Halloween events are listed in our community calendar on page B3 and chronline.com. 


Don’t Be Scared Away From the Ballot Box

And don’t get too distracted by your Halloween sugar high to forget to fill out your ballot. At the beginning of this week, nearly 50 percent of registered voters had already turned in their ballot to the Lewis County Auditor’s Office. 

Ballots must be postmarked by election day, Nov. 3, or must be in an official ballot box by 8 p.m. that day.

Though questions about the reliability of mail-in ballots have been raised on a national level, for Washington, it’s business as usual. Still, the Lewis County Auditor’s Office has been working to dispel myths and concerns about the security of ballot boxes and mail in voting itself. For more information on that, see our past coverage at chronline.com.

Lewis County voters have the responsibility this year to elect two county commissioners, responsible for everything from local roads to funding law enforcement, courts, responding to flooding issues and other emergencies, and public health. Voters will also choose their representatives to the state Legislature as well as their Congressional representatives. The presidential election aside, this is an important election. Don’t forget to make your voice heard. 

For more information on voting, ballot box locations or the election in general, go to lewiscountywa.gov/offices/auditor/.