Halloween is nearly upon us — after Thanksgiving, of course — but several parents are turning to social media to see if neighbours will be handing candy out to trick-or-treaters this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, British Columbia’s top doc said the little ghosts, ghouls and witches can still practice the spooky season tradition, but things will “look different.”
“I really think we need to think about small groups, outside,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said in September.
She suggested keeping the candy transactions at the end of the driveway instead of at doorsteps and to prepackage treats instead of having a communal pot that kids rummage through.
Meanwhile, people have channelled their creative side to come up with possible solutions to ensure everyone is safe while enjoying the holiday.
Andrew Beattie, of Ohio, shared a post of a homemade candy chute. The six-foot cardboard shipping tube attached to a handrail allows for hands-free delivery of sweets to trick-or-treaters.
His post, shared on Facebook Sept. 12, has gone viral and was covered by multiple media outlets in the United States and Canada.
On Monday, Oct. 5, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control released guidelines for families hoping to trick-or-treat on Halloween.
The CDC said children must take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including sticking to their neighbourhood, using hand sanitizer before and after snacking and wearing a non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Health officials warned against wearing a second, costume mask on top of the non-medical face covering.
The CDC said homes hoping to hand out candy to costumed critters should use tongs, place the candy on a tray and avoid using a shared bowl.
People handing out treats are also asked to wear a non-medical mask and stay outside for better ventilation, this will also keep kids from touching the doorbell.
Halloween decoration aficionados are urged to avoid using smoke machines or anything else that could cause coughing.
Those self-isolating or are quarantined are told to keep the lights off and trick-or-treaters are asked to avoid houses that have their lights off.
The CDC said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread when people eat food prepared by others. However, frequent hand-washing and not cooking or attending gatherings when experiencing symptoms is key to reducing the spread of the virus.