Halloween is known by many as a joyous occasion filled with sugary candy, parties, and costumes. However, this year traditions will look a little different as they shift to include social distance guidelines and procedures. In light of the current events, Many Americans are left scratching their heads, wondering how they will navigate celebrating with friends and family in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The CDC advises families to skip many Halloween traditions involving other people this year as large groups may increase cases. The CDC issued an official set of guidelines on its website. The guidelines include suggestions for alternative Halloween activities such as carving or decorating pumpkins with household members and friends outside where everyone can social distance and participating in a trick-or-treating event where goodie bags are lined up where children can grab them without approaching the house to maintain social distancing. The CDC provides three lists of activities categorized as low, moderate, and high-risk activities. Higher risk activities include attending social events with large groups and parties that have attendees from various geographical locations.
While Halloween may look different this year, this is not the first time Halloween celebrations have been in jeopardy. During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, many cities banned Halloween celebrations as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of the flu. In addition to preventing the spread of the flu virus, the bans were some cities’ way to honor and respect those who died from the sickness.
Due to the restrictions placed during the 1918 Halloween season, people found alternative ways to celebrate. Reportedly, Halloween was less child-oriented then than it is currently. During the flu pandemic, adults and young adults participated in celebrations such as dressing up in costumes and hosting or attending celebrations with one another in the street. Young people, however, sadly and horrifically spent the night pulling pranks, vandalizing property, and reportedly placing fake bodies stuffed with various things, on multiple sets of train tracks.
This year, many parents are trying to figure out how to celebrate with their children while being safe. With several celebratory events and festivities transitioning to virtual methods, Healthy Children, an organization of American pediatricians that provide resources to children’s health, safety, and well-being, compiled a list of alternative Halloween celebrations for families. Among the items on the list, the organization suggests parents have virtual Halloween parties, make sure that COVID masks are a piece of their child’s costume, have a spooky-themed movie night, and spend quality time with the whole family by making Halloween snacks.
If your family or friend group chooses to do anything for Halloween this year, make sure to use wisdom to make safe and healthy choices that will benefit everyone as the world tries to beat COVID-19.