Halloween in a Pandemic
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Health and Wellness

Halloween in a Pandemic

What events are at high risk during the pandemic, and what you should look out for in your neighborhood.

Halloween in a Pandemic
Photo by Sašo Tušar on Unsplash

Halloween is right around the corner and according to statistics, COVID-19 is not slowing down. So what does Halloween look like for young kids and adults this year? Many cities are now coming out with safety guidelines and precautions for trick or treating or other festivities to stop the virus from spreading. Meanwhile, the CDC has also released safety guidelines to consider before risking your health and others. They ranked several activities by how risky they could be, low, moderate, and high.

Lower Risk

orange squash on table beside steel bowl Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If you are looking for something to keep your friends, kids, and family safe, these activities have been labeled as low risk. Carving or decorating a pumpkin with members of your own household, decorating pumpkins with friends or neighbors but keeping a six-foot distance. Decorating your house, having Halloween movie night with people you live with, or holding a virtual happy hour with friends. All low-risk activities include keeping a safe distance from people you don't live with, and staying away from normal trick-or-treating activities.

Moderate Risk

squash scatter on the ground Photo by Marius Ciocirlan on Unsplash

One-way trick-or-treating is when neighbors individually wrap goodie bags for kids and line them up for families to grab. The CDC suggests that if you are putting together goodie bags, that you wash your hands and cover your mouth when putting them together, however this activity moderately risky. Having a small group event is also considered a moderate risk. It's suggested to keep a 6-foot distance if you are and stay outside. A costume mask, however, is not considered a protective mask, furthermore, costume masks can make it difficult to breathe. Outdoor haunted forests, or trails are a moderate risk if people can remain 6 feet apart, and if screaming will take place, the further distance, the better. Pumpkin patches are also considered moderate risk, it's encouraged to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer before touching or picking pumpkins and maintain social distancing.

High Risk

children in different costume standing inside room Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

Avoiding the following activities will prevent you from getting sick and it will protect others from getting the virus. Traditional trick-or-treating is very risky, especially if kids are going from door to door taking candy. Going to any crowded place is also very risky, which includes, parties indoors, going to a haunted house where people will be crowding and screaming, going on a hayride with strangers, or traveling to go to a fall festival.

Other Safety Measures to Keep in Mind

While many of the pandemic guidelines will be strictly enforced across the United States, Halloween is known for having an uptick in car accidents and pedestrian accidents due to celebrations. this year is no different because even though people may be avoiding large gatherings, they can still have gatherings of their own that may include alcohol, leaving pedestrians and other drivers vulnerable to being involved in car accidents. If trick-or-treating is allowed in your area, make sure that you are being extremely careful on the road, and avoid drinking and driving. You should also report any driver that is driving recklessly or driving erratically. According to statistics, children are two times more likely to be struck by a vehicle on Halloween, and nearly 4,000 Halloween related injuries are reported every year in the United States.

According to the National Safety Coalition costume safety musts also be remembered, especially if people try to use their Halloween mask as an anti-virus mask. Costumes are not substitutes for cloth masks, keep your distance from someone who is using a costume as a mask. It's also important to remember costume fire safety, make sure your costumes and wigs are fire-resistant. Finally, make sure to wear reflective gear on a costume if you or your children are out walking in the dark.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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