Halloween Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Written by Bernie Carr

As Halloween approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot how it will be different this year. 2020 has already brought its how set of real life horrors, including illness, death and destruction. Will Halloween festivities be a thing of the past? I hope not. I think everyone can still safely enjoy Halloween but like with everything else this year, just a bit different from years past. Let’s look at safety considerations.

High risk traditional activities

In a lot of ways, Halloween will not be the same because many traditional events can expose you and your family to the risk of COVID-19. Some activities include:

  • Packed costume parties.
  • Leaving a bowl of candy outside your doorstep when unwashed hands can spread germs to others.
  • Bobbing for apples.
  • Indoor haunted houses when you wander around with a crowd in closed quarters.

But there are still many more ways to celebrate.

Trick or treat

Is trick or treat cancelled this year? In some areas, yes. Each city has its own guidelines. Also, if you live in an area where COVID-19 continues to spread, you may want to reconsider traditional trick or treating. The CDC shows a map that shows risk levels by county.

Think about all the normal steps kids take while going door to door: touching potentially contaminated doorbells, door knobs and being exposed to people whom you have no idea about their health status.

If you are planning to distribute treats yourself, consider leaving store bought candy in goodie bags at the end of your driveway or yard where kids can just grab them at a safe distance.

Lower risk alternatives

Safer haunted houses

In our area, there are safer “haunted house” tours which are held outdoors, where the attendees either walk or ride a golf cart. The monsters stay at least six feet distance. The zombies all wear cloth masks, and so do the guests.

Pumpkin patch

Some nearby farms offer a pumpkin patch outdoors which also have pumpkin picking and carving activities.

Here are a few other lower risk activities:

Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them

Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends

Decorating your house, apartment, or living space

Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance

Having a virtual Halloween costume contest

Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with

Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Source: the cdc

What about masks?

Traditional Halloween costumes include masks, but keep in mind these do not protect against the coronavirus.

Wearing a COVID-19 safe mask over a costume mask is NOT an option according to the CDC, since that makes it hard to breathe. Instead, opt for a Halloween patterned safe mask that has two or more layers of breathable cloth that covers the mouth and nose, which has no gaps around the face.

Overall security

Besides conducting activities that are as safe as possible for COVID-19 prevention, you’ll also need to pay attention to security. Halloween events may invite undesirable elements to your neighborhood, in search of victims. As with all holidays, I recommend keeping your own security in mind:

  • Don’t over-share. Avoid tweeting or announcing on social media that you are planning to be out of your home during Halloween.
  • Protect your pets. Keep pets a safe distance from visitors.
  • Don’t let kids answer the door – Teach kids to call an adult when the doorbell rings.
  • Alarm system – If you have an apartment alarm system, don’t forget to arm it. Or use a doorbell system that shows you who is approaching your front door.

Don’t let the new normal restrict you from having fun. With a little creativity everyone can have a good time. What are you doing differently this year for Halloween? Please share in the comments below.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.

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