Celebrating Halloween in a COVID-19 World

If it weren’t for the coronavirus, 2020 would make for the perfect Halloween. The holiday falls on a Saturday, and it’s a full moon, more specifically a “blue moon,” an event that only happens once every couple of years. But to no surprise, Halloween will look much different this year. With coronavirus cases on the rise in some parts of the country, and social distancing still in effect, many people are thinking of their health and the health of others, while still trying to celebrate. The CDC is discouraging traditional trick-or-treating amidst the pandemic, stating that is it is high risk because of the close proximity to others.

Here are some Halloween ideas to keep the holiday spooky, while still staying safe, complete with wearing masks, sanitizing often, and practicing social distancing.

Make Trick-or-Treat a Grab-and-Go Event

Door-to-door trick-or-treating might instead be table-to-table this year. Try to limit candy to individually wrapped treat bags. This reduces the number of people who would typically touch items in a communal bowl. If possible, place treats on a table in your driveway or yard to avoid crowds at your front door. If you’re looking forward to seeing all the costumes go by, grab a chair, and sit in your driveway, garage, yard, or porch and maintain at least six feet of distance from the treat table. You can even try placing a few mini pumpkins or other decorations six feet apart to signal a line and keep trick-or-treaters distanced while waiting for treats.

Focus on Time with Family and Friends

Even if you decide to stay home for Halloween, there are plenty of ways to make it fun and engaging for all involved. You might try dressing up and hiding candy or other treats around the house or yard to create your scavenger hunt. There are also virtual gatherings to keep the Halloween spirit alive, where you and friends can host online costume or pumpkin carving contests. But since we have all grown accustom to wearing sweatpants and staying in, a Halloween movie marathon with household members is always a fun and safe choice to close out the spooky season.

General Considerations

This year, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Regardless of how you celebrate Halloween, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  1. Wear a cloth face covering. Make sure the face covering fits snugly over your nose and mouth.

  2. Avoid confined spaces. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities. If participating in an outdoor event is not possible, and you choose to attend an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, and fully enclosed indoor spaces. Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and practical based on the weather.

  3. Avoid close contact with people outside of your household. Stay at least six feet away from all other people who are not apart of your household.

  4. Wash or sanitize your hands often. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  5. Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Even though Halloween may look and feel much different this year, it’s still a night that many look forward to. With a few “alterations”, we can all stay safe and enjoy this Spooktacular holiday. Happy Halloween!

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