In what seemed like a perfect matching of holiday and day, Halloween 2020 falls on a Saturday. However, since the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic, what many consider their favorite holiday is now turned upside down. From alterations to trick-or-treating to limitations on haunted houses and other common holiday activities, Halloween will look a little different this year for the safety and well-being of everyone. But, just because things will look a little different this year does not mean that the holiday is ruined by any means. The CDC has recently released some guidance and recommendations to celebrate while staying safe. So, what do they suggest?
Because of the public health crisis, many areas are taking preemptive precautions and cancelling trick-or-treating this Halloween. But, if your area still allows trick-or-treating this year, there are some simple steps to take, both if you go out to get candy or if you stay home to pass it out, to help protect yourself and those around you. When distributing candy, avoid direct contact with the trick-or-treaters. Also be sure to wash your hands before and after distributing treats, and it would be a good idea to wear a mask while doing this. It is a good idea to distribute treats outside, and if possible, it might be an even better idea to create a station with individually-wrapped treats or goodie bags for children to take, limiting direct contact as much as possible.
As trick-or-treaters and their guardians, similar precautions should be taken. Bringing hand sanitizer with at least a 60% alcohol content, though it does not replace the benefits of washing your hands with soap and water, is a great alternative while you are out. Use it after touching shared objects or coming into contact with other people. You should also make every effort possible to remain at least six feet away from anyone who does not live with you and you regularly interact with. Masks are already a common part of many Halloween costumes, so find ways to utilize a cloth mask into your attire, unless the costume wearer is under two years old or will have difficulty breathing defined by medical standards. Remember, though, that a costume mask, like a plastic full-face character mask, is not a suitable replacement for a cloth mask. Do not wear these kinds of masks with cloth masks, because that may make breathing more difficult. Once you get home, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially before you eat any of the treats you may have received.
Just because your area has cancelled trick-or-treating due to the public health crisis does not mean that Halloween is ruined. There are countless fun and creative ways that you can make this unusual edition of the holiday enjoyable. Decorating your house is a key part of keeping the festive spirit going. Carve pumpkins, both with members of your household or with friends and neighbors. But, if you choose to do this with those who do not live with you, make sure you do this outside and at a distance! Do a little research on outdoor Halloween-themed activities, such as haunted forest or corn maze events. Just make sure that they are following proper mitigation protocols, and while you are there, follow proper hygiene and social distancing practices. On Halloween, make your own home event with members of your household, whether it be a Halloween candy scavenger hunt or a Halloween movie night. If you want to celebrate with friends and neighbors, consider an outdoor costume contest or movie night that allows everyone to celebrate together while keeping a safe distance.
With a magical mix of creativity and adjustment, this Halloween can be memorable for more than just being the Halloween during the pandemic. The important thing to remember when planning whatever celebration you will have is to follow the guidance to protect you and others from the virus. After that, put on your thinking caps and you certainly will find ways to keep the spooky spirit in the holiday.
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Content source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)