As Fox 5 Atlanta reported back in August, this year when Oct. 31 rolls around, “The scariest thing for some towns could be losing Halloween.” It’s hard to even think about the possibility that trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, and haunted houses might be canceled this year, but at this point in the pandemic, it’s worth considering.
Disney World, Disneyland, and Universal Studios Hollywood all canceled their annual Halloween parties over the summer, but a survey by The Harris Poll shows that most families are still committed to celebrating. The survey found that 74% of millennial moms and young parents feel Halloween is more important than ever this year, and 80% of the general public can’t imagine the holiday without trick-or-treating.
Experts like infectious disease specialist Dr. Sandra Kesh advise against trick-or-treating in areas with “ongoing community spread” or where there are still COVID-19 movement restrictions in place. That said, trick-or-treating is less risky than indoor activities like haunted houses or parties.
“In areas where the community prevalence is lower, I think it’s okay to plan to trick-or-treat, but it’s going to be a different experience than it was last year,” Kesh told Good Housekeeping.
If you plan to go trick-or-treating, Kesh suggests keeping your group limited to three or four kids who have mastered social distancing. It’s also smart to keep away from other people as much as possible, wear a mask, sanitize your hands regularly, and avoid touching surfaces like doors. Kesh says there’s no need to sanitize your candy, but you might want to scrub down your own door knob and doorbell when the night’s over. While you’re out, prepare to see a lot more candy bowls, as those at high risk are unlikely to answer their doorbells this year.
If you or someone in your family is at high risk of catching COVID-19, you may want to avoid trick-or-treating altogether. Instead, try getting in the Halloween spirit with a spooky movie marathon (TownAndCountryMag.com has a great list of flicks), a Halloween treat bake-off (check FoodNetwork.com for recipes), or bedroom-to-bedroom trick-or-treating for the little ones.