COVID-19 has indeed written off many things in 2020, holidays among them. Churches closed for Easter, the local Fourth of July fireworks canceled. Even the aptly named Labor Day had many folks inside trapped within their homes. Halloween was meant to be just another COVID-19 cancellation…….or is it? If there’s one holiday that doesn’t go down easy, it’s Halloween. Its origins are steeped in ancient Druid magic, and like many iconic horror slashers, it’s always waiting to come back from the beyond! Wanting to join in the fight to help save Halloween from the wretches of COVID-19? Your friends here at FrightFind have gotten with some veterans of the holiday (and a doctor or two) to make sure All Hallow’s Eve stays a safe one!
Do Your Research
The biggest pro tip to staying safe on Halloween during COVID-19 is to first know and respect your local trick or treating zones. Do a quick circle of the block or neighborhoods to see firstly if anyone is even receptive to Halloween. If one of your goto neighborhoods are famous for elaborate horror displays in the front yard and they have them set up this year, chances are they’ll participate. On the other hand, if some areas have no displays, signage, or even a pumpkin out front, they most likely will be unwelcoming of anyone on Halloween. How to find safer and more participatory neighborhoods? Local areas of your city or town will have circulating community newspapers and social media pages that tout such events taking place. But above all with planning this out, check with your local health department to know which parts of town may have quarantine restrictions.
What if you live in a rural area or an isolated part of town? One of the best and most solid trick or treating events can be found at your local church’s “trunk or treat”. For anyone unfamiliar, a surprisingly large amount of churches hold these events on Halloween out in their parking lots. You pull up, and pop open your truck with bucketed selections of candy ready to be picked out by all the little Spider-Mans and Mulans that come through. In these scenarios, the lots are clean, well lit, and perfect for social distancing! Reach out to the churches online in your area and read their bulletins. Trunk or treat is the best way to get all that candy in a safe and responsible manner. The best part? Some even hire out small carnival attractions that boast games, prizes, and even more treats!
Staying in this year? No problem there either during the pandemic. If having anyone over, CDC recommendations are to make it an outdoor Halloween party with plenty of distancing. One popular trend that’s emerged are people hanging white linen sheets in their backyard and plugging in a digital projector; instant backyard drive-in movie theatre screen where you can play such classics as Evil Dead or Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Many physicians and board of health members agree, if anyone at any time feels ill or displays any signs of COVID symptoms, do not hesitate in asking them to leave or distance themselves from you and your guests. But make sure to politely screen anyone coming into your home for a Halloween party and kindly remind them to maintain a minimum space of six feet between them and other guests.
Trick or Treating
Just looking to hand out treats? Pre-packaged candy is the way to go (sorry apples). Of all things, try wearing a pair of monster or creature gloves when handing out any treats. A popular and fun art project is having kids create their own monster-themed treat bags on a stick. Got an old pool skimmer lying around? Trim it out, secure the bottom and give it a ghoulish theme! So when approaching for treats just extend it out and wait for the candy to drop! One of the better methods for treaters is to employ the oversized Halloween treat bag rather than a little plastic bucket. Not only can you catch air treats tossed safely from a distance off someone’s porch, but bags are deeper than buckets so automatically more candy!
Got bad aim? Set up a spooky front yard Halloween themed card table to create fun distance between you and any treaters. Sanitize frequently and think about setting up a mini sanitizer station. Free disposable masks and hand sanitizer to calm anyone’s fears. Don’t forget plenty of lighting so everyone can see your set up in the dark! In a large neighborhood? Then ask your fellow neighbors to think about setting up a reverse trick or treat line. Have the kids dress up and stay home in the driveway or front yard and have neighbors walking the street asking or tossing, treats to the kids. A safe and effective way to see everyone involved.
Masks may be polarizing to some, but Halloween is the one night of the year where it is perfectly acceptable to wear that Michael Myers or Jason mask and have people vehemently approve! But above all, be smart, and be safe this Halloween!