Celebrating Halloween during a pandemic

Residents find creative and safe ways to celebrate the October holiday

A chill is in the air, the leaves are turning orange, and the nights are getting longer and darker. Gone are the long warm days and the balmy nights of summer. It’s autumn, and with autumn comes Halloween! This Halloween, people are being extra creative to ensure a fun, safe, and COVID-19-free night.

One of the biggest challenges this year will be ensuring there is adequate physical distancing and reducing the likelihood of virus transfer on surfaces. Although virus transfer from surfaces has been found to be rare, it is still best to be cautious. 

Directly handing out candy at the door doesn’t allow for two metres of space between people to ensure safety, and setting out a bowl for a bunch of tiny hands to rummage through doesn’t solve the surface transfer concern. Have no fear! Some area residents have come up with fun and unique ways to ensure Halloween stays fun and safe.

Nadine Riopel plans to use string and tape to attach pre-made bags of treats to a bush just outside her front door. 

“I’m picturing the bush festooned with candies that the kids can come and ‘pick’ as if it were fruit. We’ve got a battery-powered light that we can put in the bush to light it from beneath.” Riopel says she also plans to add some other decorations to the bush. “You could do something similar on a fence (especially a chain link fence).”

Another resident has decided on using a candy chute. Using a long, angled tube—cardboard, plastic, whatever you have—she plans to pass candies down the tube to the waiting Trick-or-Treaters. The tube can be decorated to fit in with your other Halloween decor. 

Riopel also suggests parents only approach houses that appear to have a good COVID-safe setup, bring sanitizer and use it often, and avoid ringing doorbells or knocking on doors. Don’t let anyone have any candy until you get home and quarantine the candy for a time to ensure the virus is no longer on the packaging. 

“I’d personally be comfortable overnight, but I’m no expert so do your own research in terms of length of time.”

For the older crowd, or those who would normally be at Halloween parties, a virtual party through an online video chat program could be the perfect idea. Each invitee could set up their camera and a screen in their home. Dress up, decorate your house, grab your favourite drinks and snacks, turn on your favourite music, and interact with your friends through the screen. 

Beyond being safe from the virus, a virtual party means you don’t need to worry about after party clean up come Nov. 1, or the cost of a ride to and from the party. There’s no waiting in line for the restroom, no one to jostle you and cause your drink to spill, and no having to yell to be heard over the sound of music. 

No matter how you decide to participate in Halloween, this year will be a truly unique experience for everyone. Keep it fun and keep it safe.


Featured Image: Local residents are exploring ways to celebrate Halloween safely. | Ulrich Dregler from Pixabay

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