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Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

By the numbers: Parents of trick-or-treat-aged children are actually less worried that trick-or-treating poses a large or moderate risk to their community (45%) than adults overall (58%).

  • “Parents, that’s a risk they’re willing to run because of the importance of Halloween,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.
  • "Acceptance doesn’t mean you’ve overcome a problem," but “we’re at acceptance level. People have learned to mitigate the risk and live with the virus. This is our new reality.”

Be smart: The implications go beyond duct-taping a homemade candy chute to your stair railing to dispense Reese's Pieces this year, or putting a surgical mask over a Wonder Woman mask for added safety.

  • It extends to U.S. voters who intend to load up on PPE and wait in line to cast their ballots in person.
  • It extends to Americans experimenting with how to safely reunite with family and friends.
  • Out latest polling suggests there's less concern about spread from Halloween, which is primarily celebrated outdoors, than with the coming winter holidays that typically involve large indoor family gatherings.

Between the lines: As with virtually every other measure of pandemic fears, Halloween has a partisan divide: 75% of Democrats, 52% of independents and 34% of Republicans say it's risky this year.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Oct. 23-26, 2020, by Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,079 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

Ex-CDC director Tom Frieden on the next COVID-19 vaccines

Americans fortunate enough to receive COVID vaccines now, outside of clinical trials, are getting shots made by either Pfizer or Moderna. But newly released data from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson suggests that more vaccines could be on the way, with J&J's requiring a single dose.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the news and why it matters with Tom Frieden, former head of the CDC, as COVID-19 variants spread globally.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.