Social distancing and Halloween Trunk-or-Treating – This year Halloween figures to look different than it has in years past. Thanks to the COVID-19 virus, certain Halloween traditions may not be possible. That control makes trunk-or-treating ideal for a socially distant Halloween, and the following are some ways parents can pull off such an event in a way that’s safe and fun.
Social distancing and Halloween Trunk-or-Treating
Halloween is a unique day each year when people gather together for parties, parades and of course, trick-or-treating. October 31 is a day that most children eagerly await each year because it means an opportunity to don a costume and come home with bags full of sweet treats.
This year Halloween figures to look different than it has in years past. Homes may have carved pumpkins on the doorstep and paper ghosts blowing on tree branches. And horror movies will no doubt dominate streaming service top 10 lists. But thanks to the COVID-19 virus, certain Halloween traditions may not be possible.
Depending on regulations in your city or town, parties, trick-or-treating and school functions (if school is in session) may be canceled or significantly modified. Since COVID-19 is so easily spread, health officials have long touted the need for social distancing. And while masks in public have long since become the norm, Halloween masks may not be sufficient.
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The coronavirus already has scared off some Halloween attractions. Universal Orlando, Disney World and Disneyland have canceled mainstream Halloween events for this year. Plus, a recent Harris poll on Halloween found that, of the 1,970 adults polled, nearly three out of four people have no plans to take their children trick-or-treating.
So what is the public to do in the wake of the risks of going out for Halloween?
· Maintain social distancing if trick-or-treating is allowed. This could mean staggering times to go on the search for candy and avoiding homes where trick-or-treaters have already lined up.
· Consider small gatherings that enable youngsters to exchange candy with a limited group of friends or neighbors.
· Head to the mall or nearby stores in costume and get candy from retailers where it may be easier to maintain distance.
· Wear your mask or special face coverings when trick-or-treating. Consider building a costume around the masks so it fits with the Halloween theme.
· Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer when water and soap is unavailable. Limit the number of houses you visit to reduce your risk of infection.
· Ask family or friends to send digital treats, such as gift cards or certificates. Many restaurants may offer voucher programs for coupons for free ice creams at their locations, and while these may not be traditional Halloween goodies, ice cream is still sure to please youngsters.
· Consider car parades instead of traditional trick-or-treating.
· Host the event in a big parking lot where it’s easy to stay socially distant. Trunk-or-treats can take place in suburban neighborhoods, but that might make it difficult for participating kids and their parents to stay six feet apart from other families. If possible, arrange to host the event in a large, empty parking lot so kids can walk from one car to the other without compromising social distancing regulations. Make sure cars are at least six feet apart, and ideally even further apart so families can comfortably maintain their distance from one another.
· Limit participants. Organizers should limit the number of participants so everyone involved can safely stay six feet apart. If the event is in your neighborhood, residents can organize separate events on a street-by-street basis so kids only visit trunks on their streets. If the event will be in a large parking lot, encourage parents to sign up early and let them know only a limited number of cars will be allowed to park in the lot and participate in the event.
· Create an age-specific schedule. An age-specific schedule can help participants have fun and reduce their exposure to other people. Halloween 2020 is on a Saturday, so trunk-or-treat organizers can stagger the times kids are out and about throughout the day. For example, kids between the ages of three and five can trunk-or-treat from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., while those between the ages of six and 10 can trunk-or-treat from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and so on.
· Encourage all participants to wear masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that masks can slow the spread of COVID-19 by protecting Halloween celebrants from people who have the virus but are asymptomatic. Masks also can reduce the likelihood that asymptomatic people unknowingly spread the virus to others. Traditional Halloween masks typically have holes for people’s noses, mouths and eyes, so they won’t be effective in the fight against COVID-19. Parents and youngsters participating in trunk-or-treat events should wear masks that cover their noses and their mouths and fit snugly against the sides of their faces.
Despite the COVID-19 virus, Halloween enthusiasts can find ways to be safe and have fun this year.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 that began in the winter of 2019-20 forced governments across the globe to issue social distancing mandates designed to stop the spread of the virus. Such mandates included restrictions on the size of gatherings, and those restrictions remain in place in many places across the globe.
Halloween celebrations are social by nature, so celebrants will have to get creative if they want to show off their costumes and cash in on candy in 2020. While Halloween 2020 will likely include some type of foray into uncharted territory, one relatively recent Halloween tradition seems tailor-made for a socially distant Halloween.
Trunk-or-treating is a popular Halloween tradition in suburbs and rural areas where homeowners’ nearest neighbors may be not be within comfortable walking distance. During trunk-or-treat celebrations, kids still get to walk around, show off their costumes and go home with candy, but they do so in a more controlled setting. That control makes trunk-or-treating ideal for a socially distant Halloween, and the following are some ways parents can pull off such an event in a way that’s safe and fun.
Halloween 2020 may be different, but there are still safe, fun ways to celebrate this beloved holiday.
What are your plans for this year with Halloween, Trick-or-Treating, Trunk-or-Treating, etc. Feel free to share in the comments below.
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