Like many holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween is going to look a bit different this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently released its guidelines for the upcoming fall and winter holidays, which you can read in full by clicking here. Some of the most important points to remember include:
- Follow your state and/or local health and safety laws, rules, and regulations—such as wearing a mask in according with your state or town/county’s rules, for example, or limiting gatherings to no more than the number of people your area allows.
- In-person holiday gatherings pose a risk. However, celebrating with members of your own household, or virtually with others outside your household, pose the lowest risks.
- Indoor gatherings are considered riskier than outdoor gatherings, especially if the indoor area doesn’t have adequate ventilation.
- Common sense rules apply—the more people you have at a gathering, and the longer the gathering lasts, and if you are around people who are not adhering to proper mask-wearing and social-distancing guidelines, the riskier the gathering is.
While the focus should be on safety and protecting yourself and others from coronavirus, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Here are some ideas to make Halloween a fun and safe holiday for you and your family.
Ideas for you and your household
Have a family party. Make themed snacks, play spooky music, and play a game or watch a family-friendly movie.
Plan a movie night. Whether you prefer scary or less scary movies, there are many Halloween movies to choose from that can please everyone in your household. Or make it a movie marathon and watch several!
Make a Halloween craft together. There are so many ideas—carving a pumpkin or decorating a craft pumpkin, decorating a small Halloween tree, making jewelry, or even coloring in a spooky coloring book!
Make a special Halloween meal. Try some of these festive, healthy recipes!
Ideas to celebrate with others outside your household
Hold a virtual costume parade. Create a private Facebook group for it and invite your friends and family! Have them add their pictures to the group to be part of the “parade.”
Have a Zoom Halloween party. Put on your costume and video chat with your friends!
Hold a Netflix party. The group can choose a movie to watch together, in their own homes.
Do a Halloween recipe exchange. Set up a private Facebook group or a group board on Pinterest and encourage friends and family to share or pin their favorite spooky recipes for others to make and enjoy.
Send Halloween cards. Sending mail is a fun way to send some holiday cheer and let others know you’re thinking of them! Buy some Halloween cards and some stickers to decorate the envelopes with, and send them to far-away friends and loved ones! You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this—your local dollar store is likely to have plenty of cards and stickers to choose from.
What about trick-or-treating?
First, find out what your state and local laws require regarding trick-or-treating. In some areas, it may be canceled. In other areas, it may be allowed, but you should take extra safety precautions. The CDC recommends:
- If you are giving out candy, avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. Consider setting up a station outside your door with individually packaged treats for kids to take.
- If you are dressing up for Halloween, incorporate a cloth mask into your costume. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Do not put a costume mask over a cloth mask, as this could make breathing more difficult.
- If you/your kids are trick-or-treating, bring hand sanitizer for you/your kids to use after each instance of touching objects or touching other people. You/your kids should wash hands with soap and water when you get home—do this before eating any treats.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from people who do not live with you.
- Wear a cloth mask.
From all of us at Health Advocate, we hope you and your family have a fun and safe Halloween!