“Why did the chicken cross the road?”
“Because the chicken behind him didn’t know how to social distance.”
Jokes like these are the kind we’re expecting this Halloween. Although we know this year will be different, there are still plenty of fun ways to safely celebrate the spooky season.
But, first here are some answers to the questions you’ve all been asking. Is it safe to go trick or treating? Should I just leave out a bowl of candy? Or should we skip Halloween altogether? While we know this Halloween is going to be unique for all families, here are the facts…
Medical professionals are urging people to find alternatives to Trick or Treating in communities where infection rates are high. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that a city’s positivity rate be under 5% for at least 2 weeks before the process of returning to normal begins. St. Louis’s positivity rate is currently at 8.4%, with a 10.7% value for Missouri. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that the data can change fast, but if the positivity rate is still above 5% come October 31st, celebrating from your house will be the safest option for everyone.
Let’s say that by the spookiest night of the year, the positivity rate has dropped below 5%- ideally for at least two weeks prior to Halloween. If your family has decided that Trick or Treating is a good option, here are some steps you can take to protect yourselves and your neighbors:
Wear a mask at all times during your Halloween outing. That fun-size Snickers might be calling your name from the top of your candy bag, but it’s best to wait until you are home to take off your mask and indulge instead of taking the risk of someone walking by you when your face is exposed. Worried about a costume-face mask clash? Check out our guide to Covid costumes for some fun ideas on how to incorporate a mask into your costume!
Avoid Trick or Treating with a group of people. A group of friends always makes knocking on strangers’ doors to ask for candy more fun, but this year, consider Trick or Treating separately and then going through your candy together over Zoom or FaceTime. Medical professionals warn that a group Trick or Treating outing is the most likely place to pick up coronavirus on Halloween.
If you do happen to run into a friend while Trick or Treating, resist the urge to trade your wand for their sword, even for a minute. Covid particles can live on objects for anywhere from a few hours to a few days- including on costume props.
Once you pick a candy, stick to it. We all know the disappointment of grabbing a not-so-delicious candy from the bowl only to find our favorite sweet hiding underneath, but this year, the inferior candy will have to do. Digging through the bowl not only exposes you to more germs, but also spreads your germs to the entire contents of the bowl. If you are planning on handing out candy, consider having individually wrapped packages with a few pieces of candy that you can pass out.
No matter how you decide to celebrate Halloween, remember that it is okay not to go Trick or Treating this year. It is okay to refrain from handing out candy. If you feel comfortable going out in public, the local numbers are down, and you are prepared to take the proper precautions to protect yourself and others, you can consider celebrating Halloween in the traditional way. But, if you would prefer to hold off on Trick or Treating until next year, there are plenty of other ways you can get in the Halloween spirit from the safety of your home.
So what can you do? Even for folks at higher risk that have decided to take a year off from the outdoor festivities, there is something for you! For younger children, in-home trick-or-treating might be the perfect solution. Decorate the inside of your house to show off your spirit, and allow each member of the family their own room to give out candy. This way kids can still experience going door to door, telling jokes, and of course the candy!
Although we believe you’re never too old to trick-or-treat, we understand that it may not be the right option for every family. Perhaps you would prefer to have a scary movie marathon, with popcorn and candy. Or maybe a monster mash dance party.
Depending on how creative and crafty you’re willing to be, your mask can really add some flare to your costume. Here are some costumes, with a built in mask:
You’re sure to be safe from COVID-19 on an expedition to the moon! An astronaut’s mask covers your entire face, but is transparent, allowing everyone to still be able see your face.
Perhaps you prefer to make wishes come true. As a genie, you can easily wrap a folded scarf around your nose and mouth to go perfectly with those harem pants!
Or maybe you are a ninja who’s identity must be concealed. You’ll surely be safe sneaking around with your face covered.
If you’re following the hidden identity route, every superhero needs a good mask, and if they don’t already have one, make one to match their super suit!
Lastly, if you’re looking to rob a train this Halloween as a bandit or a cowboy, consider using a bandana to make sure you don’t get caught, while still protecting others from Covid.