Halloween in 2020: How Different Should It Be?

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a wrench in many holiday plans throughout the year and Halloween is no different. Many of the typical traditions practiced on the last day of October will have to be adjusted to keep social distancing in mind. How different should Halloween be this year? How can you celebrate while staying safe and healthy?

In general, if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 (loss of smell/taste, fever, sore throat, coughing, etc.) you should stay quarantined and not participate in holiday gatherings or handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. That said, here are some alternative ways to celebrating Halloween this year.

Trick-or-Treating
Trick-or-treating is arguably the most recognizable facet of the holiday, but it is not very social distance friendly. One idea is to forego traditional trick-or-treating and have your kids do a scavenger hunt for candy within and around your household. They can even still wear costumes in this alternative. Encourage your kids’ friends to participate as well and use video-calling services so they can show off their costumes to each other safely and at a distance.

Again, traditional trick-or-treating is not encouraged but there are CDC approved workarounds, though they come at moderate risk. Talk with your neighbors and start a trick-or-treating block party where kids only go one way down the street at safe trick-or-treating distances. Each house can leave out small goodie bags for the kids to grab. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after you prepare these bags.

Costumes
If you still wish to go out with a costume, make sure to wear a mask. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth one. You or your child should also not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask as this can make it harder to breathe.

Shop early for your child’s Halloween costume to take it home and properly sanitize it before hanging it up and letting it sit until the holiday. When you are at the store looking at costumes, do not try anything on as you never know who might have tried it on before you and can spread not just germs but lice as well. Check out our blog on Halloween Costumes for more on costume selection and safety tips.

Pumpkin Patches, Haunted Houses, and Everything In-Between
First and foremost, indoor haunted houses are high-risk due to cramped, packed spaces and a lot of screaming which can spread germs far. Outdoor haunted attractions and pumpkin patches fair better but are still a moderate risk. Look for the attractions that have a one-way route setup to keep crowds apart and flowing. Of course, practice social distancing and wear a mask the whole time you are there. Bring hand sanitizer and if you are going to be taking home a pumpkin, examine it as much as possible with your eyes before sanitizing your hands to pick it up and take it with you.

With both COVID-19 and flu season, halloween will be different this year and we encourage you to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19. Halloween will be back again even if this year is different and not as fun as the holiday usually is.

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