As Halloween quickly approaches, parents and caregivers have begun to worry about the safety of trick-or-treating this year as the pandemic is still very much with us. As with almost all things in 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has some bad news to share with you.
The CDC put out a statement that said traditional door-to-door collection of candy is a high-risk activity this year. And, we should take that seriously as over 6 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been reported along with a devastating death toll of over 200,000.
Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating is classified as a high-risk activity by the CDC.
The CDC cautions that costume masks do not offer the same protections as a cloth mask with multiple layers that fully covers both your mouth and nose. Additionally, if you were planning on throwing a Halloween party or hosting a large Día de los Muertos gathering, you should probably cancel those as they increase the risk of exposure to the virus.
“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC said on its website. “There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween.”
Just because those traditional activities are discouraged does not mean you can’t come up with creative ways to celebrate.
The CDC listed low and moderate-risk ideas for having a fun yet safe Halloween this year. They recommend having a Halloween scavenger hunt in which children “admire Halloween decorations at a distance,” “attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart. They suggest “having a Halloween movie night with people you live with” as one of the safest activities.
It’s not perfect and your kids will probably be devastated, but it’s absolutely the right thing to do.
Other risky activities for Halloween include “trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots,” attending indoor costume parties, going to an indoor haunted house, and going on group hayrides.
Clearly, if there’s a group involved, it’s going to increase the risk factor.
It’s a bummer to read this, we know. Our kids have missed out on so much this year from in-class school to birthday celebrations to team sports and other afterschool activities. It’s been a lot. But, kids are smart and they will understand the reason for the changes this year (if not at first, eventually).
As parents and just people, we’ve learned so much more about this virus and the way it spreads. We now know the best ways to protect ourselves, the ones we love, and our neighbors and communities. We imagine you expected to see this coming, but the CDC putting it in writing makes it official.
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The CDC also suggests that if you decide to participate in high-risk activities and develop COVID-related symptoms (coughing, fever, loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing) or if you test positive for COVID-19, “immediately contact the host and others that attended the event or celebration that you attended. They may need to inform other attendees about their possible exposure to the virus.”
Don’t put yourself and others at risk. If there’s any chance of us to get back to any form of normalcy, we all have to do our part which means following the guidelines from scientists. Dr. Anthony Fauci said that Americans should prepare to “hunker down to get through this fall and winter,” in a panel discussion with doctors from Harvard Medical School Sept. 10. That means Halloween. Listen to Fauci and do the right thing, you’re kids will understand just ply them with candy (or other delicious treats) at home.