The moon looks just right as we approach Halloween: Hanging in the night sky bright as an illuminated pearl, occasionally veiled by clouds or fog, gradually swelling on its way to blue fullness — which, as it happens, will fall squarely on Oct. 31.

This Halloween was supposed to be awesome. It falls on a Saturday, great for trick-or-treaters but also the bars and clubs, and the costumed partygoers who won’t have to call in sick to work the next day. It lands on Daylight Savings day, which means that we get an extra hour of darkness on the spookiest night of the year. And then there’s that full, blue moon, which was supposed to reign over the holiday like a maestro before an orchestra.

The moon will still be there, of course, but most everything else is off the table. Trick-or-treating is a terrible idea during a global pandemic: groups of children stopping at every house in the neighborhood to receive by hand a single item from each. Of course, many will do it anyway, so we’ll have some candy on hand just in case.

And while I’m positive that the Halloween bar scene will be as vibrant as generous interpretations of state guidelines will allow, no one will ever convince me that it’s safe to go out partying unless your costume is a hazmat suit.

Still, is this not the most terrifying Halloween in ages? We’re struggling against the weight of a global pandemic that keeps rebounding despite our, frankly, meager efforts. And sure: COVID-19 might not kill you. But it might!

Every day, more of us are getting sick. More of us are out of work. More of us face uncertainty in the coming months, which for adults is a lot scarier than a monster under the bed. We’ve just witnessed a spectacular abuse of power as a new Supreme Court justice was sworn in under the dark of night, just eight days before Election Day.

And then the specter of the election itself looms, a ghost in the attic readying its chains to make mayhem.

So, Halloween itself is basically canceled. And I’m still scared as hell.

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