Halloween in a Pandemic – Low-Risk and High-Risk Activities
Its nearly the end of October, so you know what that means… Halloween is here! This holiday is celebrated all across the country and being that we are in the midst of a pandemic, how do we celebrate this holiday in the safest way possible? The CDC has released an article explaining how to stay safe this Halloween as well as some activities that are okay to participate in and others that are not. They also include some fun alternative to the traditional Halloween festivities.
Below you will find a shortlist of activities that the CDC claims are LOW-risk activities:
- Carving and or decorating pumpkins with members of your household: If you choose to decorate with non-household members, be sure to remain a safe distance and preferably do this activity outdoors.
- Have a virtual Halloween costume contest with friends and family: Invite family and friends to dress up in the spookiest, funniest, or cutest costume they can think of; then jump on a video call and see who comes up with the most clever one.
- Have a Halloween movie night with your household members: Make some popcorn, bring some candy, and bundle up on the couch with your loved ones and enjoy a spooky movie.
- Spend a few days decorating your home with the members living in it: Dig up some of your Halloween decorations and spread them throughout your home to get into the spooky spirit.
- Host your own family Halloween candy hunt: Hide some candy around your home and gather your family members. Tell them you hide some candy around and what they find is theirs to keep and eat. This is a fun activity that the children can do that will make it hard to miss trick-or-treating.
Below you will find a short life of activities that the CDC claims are MODERATE risk activities:
- Visiting pumpkin patches and or orchards: Even though these actives are most likely outdoors, these places are full of people and many of them do not wear masks. So if you do decide to attend a patch or orchard, wear your masks and remain the six foot distance.
- Attending an outdoor costume party: As we stated previously, even though you are outdoors, it is important to keep your mask on and remain the six feet. You can make it easier to wear a mask by incorporating it into your costume; you can find plenty of different color and styles of masks to compliment your costume.
Below you will find a short life of activities that the CDC claims are HIGH risk activities:
- Participating in traditional trick or treating: This is where children go door to door and are handed candy.
- Participating in a trunk-or-treat: This is where children visit a designated parking lot and travel from car to car to receive candy.
- Attending a crowded Halloween costume party: Indoor costume parties are extremely high risk, masks or no masks. If the party is crowded enough, the six foot distance in nearly impossible to maintain.
- Going and walking through a haunted house: Even though it may seem okay, people are screaming and touching nearly everything throughout these houses, whether they realize it or not. These haunted houses are not the safest place to find yourself.
- Traveling on a tractor or hayride with non-household members: Despite being outside and maybe wearing the masks, you can not maintain the six foot distance on these vehicles.
Now if you do decide to participate in the traditional trick-or-treating or the trunk-or-treat there certain precautions you and your family should be taking. Some of these precautions are universal, COVID or not, others are more tailored to the pandemic.
- When approaching houses, please be sure to wear a mask and keep distance from the other trick-or-treaters.
- When returning from a house, please apply hand sanitizer before approaching the next home. By doing this you will protect you and your child, but also the other household.
- When the night is over and you have gathered all of your candy, it is advised to have the candy sit on the counter for 48-72 hours before consumption. This will assure that any virus on its surface will be killed and not transferred. (Tip: visit the store and buy a bag of candy that the children can consume right away, while they wait the desired 48-72 hour period)
- Disclaimer*: it is not necessary to individually sanitize each piece of candy, as long as the children and you wash your hands and allow the candy to sit for at least two days, you will be in the clear.
Now while this may be a little hard to digest, as we are used to spending Halloween in the streets trick-or-treating, this is an adjustment that we have to make. Even if you decide to go about this holiday like normal, be sure to take the necessary precautions by wearing our masks and keeping six feet. By practicing these little things, we can assure not only our safety by the safety of others as well. With this knowledge, lets have a happy, safe, and spooky Halloween!