CHICAGO (CBS) — With a record-breaking number of coronavirus cases in Illinois on Saturday, people were trying to stay safe while trick-or-treating and otherwise celebrating this Halloween.
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, kids hit the street to trick-or-treat like any other year in Hyde Park. Unlike last year, they didn’t have a snowstorm to deal with – the weather was quite pleasant. But COVID-19 made everything more complicated.
Face masks were a matching accessory on the kids as they walked through the neighborhood. Parents brought them the spooks and scares in a safe way.
“I just run ahead. I put our own candy and I put the bowl and then they take the candy,” said parent Maria Lobkis, “and we’re off to the next house.”
“We knew there weren’t going to be a lot of people, but you know, there are some houses giving out candy,” said Max Bobrovskey.
Alicen Buder set up a candy zip line.
“So we’ve actually been doing it for a few years now and we feel like we’ve been preparing for coronavirus for a while without even knowing it,” she said.
This year, the crowds on Ridgewood Court in Hyde Park were smaller than in the past.
“I’d say like 60 kids come by,” Buder said.
Most of the people in Hyde Park took to busy 53rd Street to hang out. In previous years, 53rd Street has been a trouble spot where police lined each block.
But this Halloween, it was a ghost town of sorts as darkness fell streets with bars and restaurants.
Some customers in the West Loop came out earlier, but left. Others braved the cold air and dined outside.
The empty seats were a scary sight for restaurant owners as record COVID-19 cases prompted restrictions, and forced managers to keep the indoors clear.
Now, there is fear of what lies ahead.
“There’s tomorrow, you know, high of 36, supposed to be windy,” said Haymarket Pub & Brewery Manager Davis Baldwin. “We have to keep the windows open, so, you know, how do you adapt to the weather that’s coming?”
But for kids, their parents hoped Halloween would bring some escape from the reality of a somewhat scary year.
“I didn’t want our kids to miss out on this holiday because it’s one of our favorites,” Lobkis said.
As the winds picked up late Saturday, fewer and fewer people were seen outside. But police were going to be out late into the night in Hyde Park and around Chicago.