Staying Safe in a Strange Halloween

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Halloween is supposed to be fun-scary, not existential-scary.

Man, if I was a kid, I would be absolutely furious right now. Halloween almost never seems to fall on a weekend, so you can never stay out as late as you want because there’s still school in the morning. And then the one time, the one time, this sweetest of holidays falls on a Saturday, we’re in the middle of a gosh dang pandemic. Life is just kind of pointlessly cruel like that sometimes. Nevertheless, it takes more than existential fear of disease to ruin one of the major candy holidays, so here’s some advice to make sure you can still have something resembling a proper Halloween celebration.

Obviously, the safest course of action for your family is to do something at home. If you want something low-key and low-effort, just have a scary/spooky movie marathon and put a big bowl of candy on the table. If your kids want to show off costumes, you can organize a virtual costume contest with your friends’ families over Zoom. Or, if your family’s the creative type, you can go all-out on a big Halloween house display. Granted, you might not get any eyes in person, but it’ll be super Instagram-able.

If you absolutely have to go out trick-or-treating, first of all, you do so at your own risk. I’m not just talking health, I’m talking boredom. There’s a distinct possibility that many houses that would normally give out candy will be closed for business this year, so it may be harder to find one. When you go out, remember to keep yourself and your kids six feet away from other trick-or-treaters. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer around give everyone a little squirt after every house. Most importantly, everyone’s gotta wear a mask, even if they’re already wearing a costume mask. Costume masks don’t provide the same protection as proper face masks, so make sure every costume has a face mask either under it or incorporated into it.

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It’s gonna be weird and kind of uncomfortable, but it’ll still be perfectly possible to have a happy Halloween this year. As for you young adults out there, don’t forget: leftover candy at the supermarket gets discounted the day after Halloween, and there’s probably gonna be a lot of leftovers this year. I know this is a health site and I shouldn’t be encouraging you to bulk-buy chocolate, but come on. Discount candy. It’s Halloween, live a little.