Pastel colored baskets filled with Easter grass, chocolates and other goods from the spring holiday. This is a familiar sight to the children of Maine on Easter morning. It is also a sight that children may not see this year.
“He’s concerned about infection rates,” a source close to the Easter Bunny said. The state is currently seeing a heightened number of COVID-19 infections. Fears of illness are deterring the iconic figure from his annual appearance. “He doesn’t think it’s a good idea to house hop when a contagious virus is running rampant. He wants to make kids happy, but doesn’t want to get them sick.”
It is also unknown how a virus like this could affect the holiday symbol. Given his unique nature, no research can be done on the matter. Whether he would serve as a carrier for the virus or can get sick himself is an unanswerable question. It’s also a question that the Easter Bunny does not seem set on finding an answer for, given his precautions.
“Other holiday icons that are humanoid have gotten sick shortly after their holidays. He probably took that as a sign to lay low this year,” the source said. “It’s a way for him to protect Easters in the future.”
The absence of the Easter Bunny this year would have effects outside of children not receiving candy baskets. Commonplace Easter egg hunts arranged by the famous rabbit are also likely to be canceled. COVID-19 isn’t the only obstacle to the annual hunt. Potential snowfall in April can also throw a wrench into the bunny’s plans. The Easter Bunny’s painted eggs don’t play well with the snow. They either blend in or their pigment bleeds into the snow, taking the hunt out of egg hunt.
“If he can’t host a hunt outside because of the snow, he won’t host one inside because of the virus,” the source said.
COVID-19 cases are rising across the country. So these effects are likely to spread outside of Maine.
Unsurprisingly, this news has gotten mixed reactions from children and parents alike in the state.
“I wouldn’t want the Easter Bunny to get sick. I understand why he wouldn’t want to go out like that,” Anya, an 8-year-old from Blaine, said. Other children echoed that sentiment, sad over the potential loss of chocolate but not wanting an important figure to possibly get sick. The division of opinions largely fell across age lines. Children accepted the change, while parents were more skeptical.
“If I have to go to work each day, the Easter Bunny should be able to handle one day,” Charles Oakes, Anya’s father, said. His wife nodded, agreeing with the sentiment.
With these choices from the Easter Bunny, the holidays this year will continue to look different from usual. A newly formed “normal,” a chocolate-less and egg-less normal.