BOO! It’s Covid! The spookiest thing about Halloween this year may in fact be the potential transmission of Covid-19. And while the general public isn’t particularly concerned for the health of the children trick-or-treating, as it relates to the coronavirus, it’s important that guidelines be set and rules enforced so that we can protect the elderly and vulnerable these children will likely come in contact with. Keep in mind though, children have had a rough year, (to say the least,) and despite the recommendations outlined below, it’s important that kids have fun and experience some sense of holiday normalcy, if only to reduce their anxiety surrounding the current state of affairs and to assure them that we can all still have a great time while protecting others.
As it turns out, many Halloween costumes (kind of) comply with Covid regulations! I’m talking about those that include masks and gloves. However, please note that surgical grade masks should still be worn under the costume masks, and for anyone who’s get-up does not include a mask, a regular mask should be worn as well. And while it’s unclear to what extent touching objects can spread Covid-19, hey! Why not wear those gloves?? It’ll create a touchless experience that may make others feel more comfortable!
Alright! This is a biggie; where to begin??? There are SO many ways in which this simple act can turn into a corona-fest! The crowds at the doorsteps, the hand-to-hand candy distribution, or even the big bowls of candy on the stoop that hundreds of little hands dig into… But there are ways around this, in which you can stay safe and healthy and still give all those trick-or-treaters the fun and treats they deserve.
If you are a parent taking your child around this weekend, be conscious of the crowds on the block. Stay 6 feet away from the next family, and only allow your child to approach a house if there is no other family at the door. Hopefully your neighbors will take a cue from you and everyone will respectfully wait for the family before them to go on their merry way.
If you are the treat giver there are options… Either you can place a small table in front of your house and lay out each individual candy so that each child only has to touch what they are taking, or if you’d really like to be original, there are those who plan to go so far as to build chutes out of PVC pipes, which would come from the front window of their homes, and through which they can send down individual candies straight into the basket of the trick-or-treaters. If you manage that, I have a feeling you may have to do it forever as it seems infinitely more fun than any other method of candy distribution I’ve seen yet:)
Finally, be sure to only give out individually wrapped candies. As I mentioned previously, while it’s unclear whether there’s significant transmission from touch, better to be safe than sorry and quickly wipe down all the candy wrappers once you get home.
Unfortunately, having a block party or getting together with friends is a no-no this year. However, there are so many activities you can do indoors with your very own family that’ll make this Halloween just as fun as last year’s.
1. Movie night is always fun! Pick the scariest kid-friendly movie you know and settle down with some popcorn and drinks.
2. Virtual costume parties are certainly an option. Get together with friends or family on any online video chat service to show off costumes and even play games!
3. Pumpkin carving is another safe idea provided that the parents do the actual carving once the kids draw the faces. You can then roast the pumpkin seeds and perhaps enjoy them with your movie or virtual costume party!
4. If your family is into scavenger hunts you can create one in your very own yard or inside your house. You can also give your child a list a Halloween themed objects to look for while going trick-or-treating!
As you can see, Halloween will go on!!! It may not be the same as you remember it from year to year, but it can still be loads of fun and most importantly SAFE! Your local nurse does not want to see you or any of your loved ones come in for corona related complications so let’s each do our part and hopefully next year, (or I should say by Thanksgiving!) we’ll all be back to regular programming!