The time of COVID-19 is virtually unprecedented in the United States. The dangerous virus has changed practically every corner of our lives, right down to how we celebrate the holidays like Halloween. With the spookiest night of the year right around the corner, you are probably wondering if your children will be able to enjoy it or not.
Although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is clearly problematic, it has not 100% canceled Halloween. With the right precautions and foresight, you can enjoy the spooky season responsibly and with minimal risk of exposure.
Trick-or-Treating During COVID Times
The cornerstone of Halloween for most families is to go trick-or-treating around the block or complex with the little ones who want to get candy and show off their costumes. The good news is that you might still be able to trick-or-treat safely in 2020 if you follow a few steps.
Before trick-or-treating, know and follow this plan:
- Check local rules: Many municipalities and counties are not allowing trick-or-treating this year due to the inherently higher risk of spreading the virus as people travel from door-to-door. You should call your local city hall for information about trick-or-treating limitations this year. If you live in a housing complex or anywhere with an HOA, then you should also call the administrators of that group for further information.
- Wear protective gear: You need to wear protective gear while outside your home, including when trick-or-treating. Halloween masks are not rated to prevent the spread of the virus through airborne pathogens, though. Your child still needs to wear a face mask, preferably a medically approved face mask, under any Halloween mask they wear. An easy solution is to integrate the protective mask into the costume without the need for another mask, such as using it as the face covering for a superhero outfit. Children without gloves as part of their costume should also wear gloves of some sort.
- Maintain a safe distance: The six-foot distancing rule that has applied throughout quarantine lockdown procedures still applies while trick-or-treating. Give other families on the sidewalk plenty of space when you pass each other. This rule also means you should try to only accept candy at a safe distance, i.e. picking some from a bowl left on a porch with the homeowner sitting six feet away. It might not be as fun as having someone toss a handful of candy right into a pillowcase, but it is much safer.
- Sterilize all candy: The last step to follow is the sterilization of all candy your child gets while trick-or-treating. You should wash down a portion of the candy immediately and let them eat from that pile in the following days. Meanwhile, the remaining portion should be set aside until three or four days later, which should be long enough for any traces of the virus on wrappers to expire and become inert. Of course, to be completely thorough in your safety steps, you can wash all candies, regardless of when they will be eaten.
No Trick-or-Treating? No Problem
The absence of trick-or-treating this year does not need to be the end of your Halloween fun. There are still plenty of ways for you to enjoy the scary season with your family!
One of the most fun and interactive Halloween special events you can do is to make frightfully fun treats with your family. Look up recipes for delicious witch’s brew stew, spider-shaped cookies, ghost marshmallow bites, vampire fruit punch, and more. Depending on the recipe, there will probably be steps that your children can participate in with adult supervision, like rolling dough for werewolf croissants.
You might also want to host a virtual scary movie night with a film selected based on everyone’s age and interests. Using a video conferencing app, you can invite friends and family from across the country to watch a movie together without actually being in the same home. There are also apps that let you screenshare with others, so everyone is sure to be on the same frame of the movie.Of course, there are many other virus-safe ways to enjoy Halloween this year in the time of COVID-19. We hope this list has inspired you, though. From all of us at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. in New Hampshire, we wish you the most fun and safest Halloween yet!