Halloween and COVID

2020 has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year (Kudos if you got the reference). Between social distancing restrictions, virtual schooling, and cancelled activities, our children are struggling to adapt and cope with daily life (adults too). I, personally, am hoping to give my kiddo a piece of pre-COVID fun this Halloween. After all, wearing a mask is on theme for this holiday! This year the full moon lands square on October 31st and I am crossing my fingers that the rain scheduled to come Friday actually comes on Friday, leaving Saturday a little warmer than the rest of the week, dry, and eerily partly cloudy.

Just like last year, we plan on going to an orchard to pick apples during the day (some places require an appointment). Just like last year, we plan on carving a pumpkin and roasting the seeds. Just like last year, we will take a walk through our neighborhood admiring everyone else’s decorations. Just like last year, we are making our own costumes (white iron-on fusing turns ordinary blue pajamas into Cat Boy)! New to this year, we are coordinating with our neighbors to be out seeing each others costumes from a distance at the same time! Just like last year, we’ll come home to hot cider and chili. Just like last year, we will make and decorate sugar cookies. New to this year, I am pulling out my gingerbread house loaf pans early; we will bakes small cakes and decorate them Halloween-style! New to this year, we will video call our cousins to share our costumes and creations. Just like last year, we will end the night on the couch together with a Halloween themed Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood show.

Unlike last year, we will not be trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. I know this seems like a safe activity, but all the health officials agree, door-to-door trick-or-treating is a higher risk activity especially if it resembles trick-or-treating of years past. I will however be following the CDC’s guidelines for setting up a safer trick-or-treating station at the end of my driveway for those families and children out trying to re-capture some normalcy this Halloween. As a nurse, I feel an obligation to take as few risks as possible and by creating a COVID compliant station, I’m hoping to support my neighbors in maintaining as much safety as they can too. It seems silly to be talking so seriously about the risks and logistics of handing out candy to children, but this year everything carries weight and I hope my neighbors are taking COVID precautions this seriously too. Here is a detailed 10 point strategy for COVID safe trick-or-treating.

-If you’re a pumpkin patch family, here is a list of area pumpkin patches so you can find all the website links easily and make a COVID-safe Halloween activity plan.

-Some folks are doing scavenger hunts instead of trick-or-treating.

-If you have made a plan for COVID safe trick-or-treating, remember to stay safe on the streets, and this year, avoid the big grab-bowls of candy. Try to stop only at places where there are individual goodie-bags and keep a safe distance from others.

Finally, check out our Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest and VOTE for your favorite!