This year, there are new fears and concerns for celebrating Halloween and none of them include ghosts! According to Dr. Beth Thielen, a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota medical school and John Jost who operates the city of Anoka’s annual Halloween celebration which has many changes this year. They are sharing their ideas and suggestions to navigate through this celebration while dealing with the pandemic.
Re-check Your Expectations
There are many traditional Halloween practices such as trick-or-treat and coming in contact with many other people face to face. This year, in order to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 there are aspects of Halloween that must be changed.
Dr. Thielen said do not think about this in a perspective of what you cannot do, but flip that thinking around. She added there are ways we can be smart and creative and incorporate tie-ins into behaviors to keep us safe.
First off, prepare your children for what to expect when it comes to your family’s plans to get ahead of possible holiday disappointments. You must make sure everyone is on the same page and expect fun to be different from what everyone might think of as traditional.
Create Low-Risk Alternatives When Handling Candy
Children, by instinct, want to search through a huge basket of candy looking for their favorite treats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends not using a common container for handing out treats this year.
The CDC suggests becoming engaged in festivities at a safe distance by placing grab-and-go bags of goodies at the end of your driveway or on the sidewalk for trick-or-treaters to pick up on their way passing by.
Other options that are low-risk might include carving a pumpkin, decorating your home, or having a Halloween movie night with members of your family household.
For further information about Halloween activities and the various levels of risk they might carry, please visit CDC’s Halloween guidelines.
Take Your Celebrations Outside
Gathering inside can increase the risks of exposure to COVID-19 because it’s difficult for people to practice social distancing in confined areas.
By taking the activities outside, you will have a safer environment for everyone and the opportunity to get some fresh air before colder weather sets in. Keep in mind, even if you move your activities outside, don’t forget to practice the basics of COVID-19 prevention including wearing a mask, social distancing, and keeping your group small.
According to Dr. Thielen, you still need to know there are transmissions outdoors as well when people congregated too close to each other.
Be Sure To Wear A Mask & We Don’t Mean A Halloween Mask
The most prominent step to prevent COVID-19 is wearing a mask. Although it might be tempting to replace the mask with a Halloween mask, you shouldn’t. Dr. Thielen said it is important to wear a mask that has become ever-present in the COVID-19 era. You must have a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
Do not wear a Halloween mask that leaves areas open for droplets to get out.
It does not have to be boring. This might be a great time to be creative by designing your own mask Create your cloth mask to ensure your face and nose are covered.
If you do not know how to create a mask that is COVID-19 appropriate, here is a video on YouTube to get some ideas.
Refrain From Screaming
No joke! The coronavirus is passed by respiratory droplets which include talking, singing, and screaming! Talking, singing, and yelling will generate infectious droplets.
Even if you become scared try to avoid screaming. A great idea might be too, form a scavenger hunt for the kids in your home. Hide candy throughout your yard and use stickers to color-code the candy for both little and big kids. Stickers can ensure little kids will have a chance to compete against the bigger kids.