According to local reports, this so-called “Halloween Quarantine” will be in effect Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Children who violate the curfew orders will be arrested and their parents will face finds of up to $1,000.
“It would be silly for us to pretend Ebola is not a huge threat to New Jerseyans. We are smarter than that; hence, the Halloween Quarantine,” Christie told the New York Times. “This has been a very hard decision. Trust me, the holiday when strangers hand you candy for free is near and dear to my heart.
“But I’m running for president in 2016, and I need to put political distance between myself and Barack Obama in order to win over Republican primary voters. Does this make medical sense? No. Does this unfairly punish children? Yes. But let’s look at what’s really important here: my political career.”
Halloween Patrols will reportedly monitor neighborhoods to ensure kids stay inside. Patrol Officer Pete Sakes told the Jersey Times, “We will arrest any kid on the street begging for candy. Parents will be fined for every brat we catch. We’ll be holding the kids at local precincts until parents show up with the cash. We now also accept Bitcoin.”
The Kids Aren’t Alright
Christie is already under fire for his strict Ebola quarantine policy, which forces medical workers returning from treating Ebola patients in Africa to be locked away for 21 days upon their return. Most medical experts say the policy is counterproductive because it discourages doctors from traveling to Africa to fight the disease at its source.
The Obama White House has called on Christie to reverse his stance, a move the governor has so far resisted. Kaci Hicox, a nurse who has been quarantined against her will, has described New Jersey’s stance as a “knee-jerk reaction by politicians.”
The “Halloween Quarantine” has every appearance of being a similar reaction. Although the Ebola virus only spreads though close bodily contact, the state somehow concluded that having kids go door to door posed a health risk of spreading the deadly ebola virus.
Upon hearing the news, protests immediately broke out to oppose the governor’s anti-trick-or-treat Halloween Quarantine. A rally in West Orange, N.J., claimed over 1,000 children attended to oppose Christie.
Reporters at the event said one kid yelled “He’s the Grinch of Halloween!” Another kid yelled, “He wants all the candy for himself!”
Chants broke out of “Ebola sucks, candy rocks” and “We want treats, not your smelly feet.”
Mary Young told the NJ Patch, “I had to explain to my kids that the government won’t let us celebrate Halloween. The youngest asked if it was because of the devil. I told him no, it’s because of politics. Jimmy is only 6 and has learned to hate politics.”
The Young family will instead travel to their relatives in Pennsylvania to conduct the families trick or treating. “I can’t believe we have to travel to a different state to have the kids get some candy. I know people drive to different states to buy alcohol on Sundays but for candy? This is America.”
The family will return home Sunday when they plan on trick-or-treating, after the quarantine is lifted. “What’s Governor Christie going to do next? Make every day Halloween?”
In a press conference, Christie responded to concerns with his trademark bluntness: “Look, I have the right to quarantine anyone I want at any time I want. The kids can trick or treat next year. That’s if Ebola doesn’t take them out first.”