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How To Have a Safe, Nearly Back-to-Normal Halloween

Written by Ariana Crisafulli

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Posted on October 29 2021

 

All over the country, kids are bouncing around the house with the news… Halloween this year is a go! Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on CNN's State of the Union to utter the magical words… "You can go out there and enjoy it!"


However, the words did not come without some caveats, seeing as the pandemic has yet to draw its last breath. Doctors are recommending that we still practice safe distancing and sanitizing while we trick-or-treat. The good news is that the virus is less likely to spread outdoors in the open air, so trick-or-treating is actually an ideal holiday activity in many ways. There is plenty of fresh air outdoors and it's generally pretty easy to socially distance outside. Plus, certain mask types can easily become essential accessories to Halloween costumes. Keep in mind that it is not recommended that you replace Covid masks with Hallween masks, and neither is it recommended that you or your child cover your Covid mask with a Halloween mask, as this might be unsafe. However, if your child wants to be a nurse or doctor for Halloween, a surgical mask is the perfect accoutrement. Or, it's super cute and easy to dress up as an animal and wear a Covid mask with the nose and mouth of that animal printed on it.


As far as trick-or-treating goes, medical professionals are saying it's okay to hand out candy. However, they recommend that candy be tossed into bags so that there is only one hand, rather than many, touching the candy. If you are handing out candy, be sure to drop candy directly into children's trick-or-treat bags rather than in their hands to avoid direct contact. If you are taking your kids trick-or-treating, or if they are old enough to go trick-or-treating on their own, make sure they know to tell the adults handing out candy to toss it in their bags. 


It also doesn't hurt to carry hand sanitizer around with you as you go from house to house. Or, if you are the one doing the candy handing out, always make sure your hands are clean. To be extra neighborly, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer by your front door for the neighbors to use.


This may be a tough one, but if you can also convince your kids not to eat any candy before they get home, you can also make sure that everyone has clean hands before they start gobbling up their hard-won candy. You can also go through their bag to make sure that none of the packaging is ripped. The good news is that the virus does not live on surfaces for very long, so there is no need to wipe down any of the candy before eating it. However, if you want to stay on the safer side, keeping the candy out of reach until the next day is the best bet. If there was any live virus on the candy packaging when it was collected, by the next day it should be weakened or dead.


This year, according to medical professionals, even Halloween parties are not entirely off the menu. However, the same rules apply: wear masks, keep hands washed and/or sanitized, avoid direct contact. It is also recommended, especially among the unvaccinated, that parties remain outdoors and as socially distanced as possible. You can still have a fun Halloween party with socially distanced activities like a costume party where each person presents their costume individually. Or, maybe have a pumpkin carving contest, remaining in separate carving stations and then filing around the stations to view each masterpiece.


To sum up:

  • Keep activities outside
  • Remain socially distanced
  • Reduce contact by tossing candy directly into trick-or-treat bags
  • Wear masks
  • To stay on the safer side, do not eat the candy until the next day
  • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer

While this year we may not be entirely returned to normal, we can still have a safe, fun, nearly back-to-normal Halloween! Happy Halloween everybody!