Not a typical Halloween: Options for COVID-safer autumn tradition

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions in “normal life” in the United States, and that includes Halloween.

With just over a month to go until Oct. 31, major fall festivals and hayrides were canceled long ago, when it was clear that having lots of people in a confined area wasn’t possible because of public health restrictions.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines break down low, medium and higher risk activities.

And, frankly, kids are worried they won’t get enough candy.

Obviously, having a large number of children at your door on Halloween night isn’t a good idea this year.

Health officials suggest if you want to hand out candy, set up a folding table outdoors. Space out the treats on the table, so several people don’t have to reach into the same bowl or pile of candy. Then, keep disinfecting the table.

While bustling fall festivals won’t happen this year, a glance at social media will make clear families are heading to pick-your-own pumpkin patches and orchards, to get a dose of autumn.

The CDC and Virginia Health Department guidelines rate patches as moderate risk, “where wearing masks is encouraged and enforced, and people are able to maintain at least six feet of physical distance.”

The lowest risk activities include having a virtual Halloween costume contest, or carving and decorating pumpkins, outdoors, with family and friends.

And if your kids are still worried about getting enough candy, would it be so horrible to buy them their own little bags this year?

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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