Halloween and COVID-19: How to Stay Safe

Simone Schwartz

With Halloween just around the corner, many people are wondering what are the best ways to keep the holiday alive while simultaneously taking necessary precautions for COVID-19. As the holiday approaches, people are definitely getting creative with COVID-friendly activities. From making masks a part of costumes, to celebrating virtually, there are many unique ways to have an enjoyable time this year despite the limitations of the pandemic. Although Halloween will feel a lot different this year, there are still many great ways to have fun.

One way to still enjoy the holiday is through virtual celebrations & parties. Small gatherings outside with social distancing are permitted, but it’s highly recommended that these gatherings are not indoors. Virtual gatherings, however, get rid of any risk of infection/infecting others, while at the same time allowing you to celebrate with your friends and family!

There are many creative activities to do while social distancing on Halloween. Some unique examples include pumpkin carving and decorating, a virtual costume contest, a Halloween movie night, and even decorating your apartment, house, or living space. 

If you plan on going trick-or-treating, there are still ways to keep you and those around you safe. Many neighborhoods are setting up designated times to pick up individually wrapped goody bags to avoid direct contact of picking out candy from different houses like normal. It is suggested to not participate in large gatherings and maintain social distancing when participating. In addition, if you are assembling goody bags, it is highly recommended to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after putting them together. This activity of trick-or-treating while social distancing is labeled as “Moderate Risk” by the CDC. Another great alternative to traditional trick-or-treating is having a Halloween scavenger hunt search in your home rather than going from door-to-door.

 Furthermore, a creative way to keep Halloween alive during the pandemic is to make masks a part of the costume. According to the CDC, it’s not recommended to use a costume mask since they don’t offer the same protection as cloth or surgical masks, but rather a Halloween themed cloth face mask or something similar. 

Some activities that are higher risk that are recommended to avoid are participating in traditional trick-or-treating where you go from door-to-door and are handed treats directly to you, going to indoor gatherings such as parties, and participating in activities such as haunted houses where people will most likely be screaming, which could increase likelihood of transmission of the virus.

All in all, there’s no doubt that Halloween this year will be distinct from those in the past, but that doesn’t mean that opportunities to celebrate have to be limited. We just have to take necessary precautions to ensure that we and those around us are safe due to the pandemic.