If you’ve been contemplating which costume to get your kiddo for Halloween, you might want to put a pause on your purchase. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are now advising against traditional trick-or-treating, no matter what state you live in. Thankfully, though the CDC’s Halloween guidelines do allow for some hauntingly good fun, but you’ll need to be creative.
As if kids didn’t have it hard enough this year, what with the sudden halt of in-school instruction in the spring, and not being able to see friends and family as they normally would, now it seems that Halloween is also more of a trick…and less of a treat. Sensing that Halloween might become a super spreader event, the CDC’s Halloween guidelines urge beloved traditions (like trick or treating) to be curtailed this year. “Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween,” says the CDC on its official site.
Activities that you can do on All Hallow’s Eve are listed on the CDC’s website in order of low, medium, and high-risk. And as you can imagine, traditional trick-or-treating ranks right up there as the highest-risk activity you and your kiddos can participate in on Halloween, no matter where you reside. Sadly, substitutes likes trunk-or-treat (in which you open your trunk and hand out treats from your car), is also a big no-no, as is going to an indoor costume party, or even going on a haunted hayride.
While it might seem like COVID-19 is cancelling Halloween, it really isn’t. With some creativity, you can come up with ways to still celebrate the spooktacular holiday—and have fun, too. For example, the CDC cites carving and decorating pumpkins, decorating your house for Halloween, or even doing a howlingly fun scavenger hunt can all be great ways to stay in the spirit of the holiday — and still stay safe, especially if your area is affected by the virus. (And if you test positive or believe that you might have been exposed to the virus, you should stay home and skip Halloween-oriented activities like trick-or-treating or handing out candy to kids.)
But let’s say that you live in a community where the case numbers are low. If all of your neighbors are on board with the idea, the CDC suggests: “participating in a one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).” Of course, if you’re the one prepping the party bags, you should make sure that your hands are super clean by washing them for at least 20 seconds before and after making the bags, the CDC advises. You can even have an outdoor Halloween movie night, but if your sibling is going to howl their head off during a scary scene, just make sure that there’s more than six feet of distance between people, since respiratory droplets can travel farther than six feet when someone is screaming.
Although Halloween 2020 might be very different from past holidays, there’s still plenty of reasons (and ways!) to celebrate. So dress up in your creepiest costumes, get the candy ready, and have fun together as a family. You never know — you might create new traditions that you’ll cherish for years to come.