This Halloween had many people around the world concerned for their safety. From parents concerned over their kids’ safety due to the rise in fentanyl poisoning from candy to multiple shootings and deadly incidents in South Korea, Florida and more.
Fentanyl has grown to be one of the deadliest drugs our country has encountered, killing over 90,000 people in the last year. People are now bringing it into the US and transporting it throughout the country disguised as candy like Skittles and Whoppers. Recently, at the Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), a person was caught trying to smuggle 12,000 pills stored in candy boxes to try and pass it through security. This may explain why many parents and school administrations were concerned about what children may be eating this Halloween. Schools even took extra precautions this year not allowing anyone to bring candy that could be mistaken as rainbow fentanyl.
Many believe it is sad we have now grown to have this concern on a day that is meant to be fun for children. Valerie Padilla (who works in the attendance office) shares how she was concerned for many children and students this halloween.
“I am grateful my kids are at an age where they really do not eat too much candy. But, I was very worried about kids in general this Halloween. I love Halloween, and I am sad that there were drug concerns this year.” says Padilla
Not only were many people concerned with what they ate, but also where they were going. As per year tradition many wanted to celebrate the spooky weekend by going out with family and friends to fun parties, but for some this fun day turned into an absolute nightmare. In Covina, California on the Sunday before Halloween, two people were killed and two were left injured after being shot by the gunman who attended the party. At midnight the gunman was seen talking to two other partygoers in which the conversation became an argument that resulted in the gunman pulling out a gun and injuring people. The authorities have been able to identify the gunman as 19 year old Joel Daniel Garcia. Not only did a deadly shooting occur in California but also in Florida. This shooting occurred in Thonotosassa, Florida where a Halloween party lasted through the night up until 2 am and on. Police dispatchers received multiple calls and upon the police arrival they found a man who was shot and a teen girl who had passed away as she was trying to get away from the area. The shooting happened due to an argument between two other partygoers that resulted in this awful shooting. Police Are still on the lookout for the gunman.
Kayla Verduzco (12) shares how she stayed safe this Halloween, but did feel concerned for her safety at one point going out and having fun at parties.
“At one point, yes I did feel concerned for my safety. you don’t know what could happen when there’s so many people around.” shares Verduzco, “I made sure to take my own car when going to these parties. I didn’t want to have to depend on someone else to take me home.”
Moreover, not only was there danger in the US over this Halloween weekend, but also in Seoul, South Korea. In the narrow streets of Itaewon, many were there celebrating Halloween for the cheap drinks, knock off goods, fun and more. Participantswent in the early afternoon knowing there may be a lot of people due to it being a festive holiday and huge crowds started entering the streets towards nightfall causing heavy traffic leading to a stampede in an alleyway behind the Hamilton Hotel. By 7:41 PM crowds started to form and by 10:08 PM everyone was just shoving their way through. Such aggressive behavior soon led to people stuck in the crowds getting stampeded on and piling on one another. This resulted in the death of more than 150 people and 82 injured. However, many who were walking through this alleyway were somehow still unaware of what was going on.
Jocelyn Orellana (who resides in South Korea) shares how her and her community stayed safe and felt after this awful tragedy.
“I think starting the night I knew how crowded it would be since this was the first Halloween celebration without any COVID restrictions. To be safe I made sure to be alert of all my surroundings and stayed with my group of friends.” Orellana shares. “ South Korea has a reputation of being a safe country so for this tragedy to happen so suddenly, it was shocking. I wasn’t in Itaewon but I could have been and it’s scary to think about. I mourn with everyone affected. Everyone deserved to get home safe that night.”
Even with so much tragedy happening this Halloween weekend many families across the globe were still able to have fun and stay safe. Thankfully some were still able to celebrate in peace. Let us hope that by next year we can all have a little less concern for our Halloween weekend.