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What Will Halloween Look Like in the Midst of a Pandemic?

What Will Halloween Look Like in the Midst of a Pandemic?

What Will Halloween Look Like in the Midst of a Pandemic?

By Dr. Susy Yusung

Halloween is just around the corner and your kids may be asking about things like costumes, trick or treating and celebrations this year. But in the middle of a pandemic, what will Halloween look like?

A day traditionally filled with costumes and candy certainly needs to be celebrated differently in 2020, as many of the activities surrounding Halloween are the perfect opportunity for germ transmission.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released guidelines for celebrating safely. The recommendations categorize festivities into lower, moderate and higher risk and offer alternatives to many traditional Halloween activities. Here’s a look at some of the festivities and suggestions.

Lower-Risk Activities

  • Pumpkin carving or watching movies with family members at home
  • Decorating your house, apartment or living space
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Participating in a Halloween scavenger hunt

Moderate Risk Activities

  • Individually wrapping goodie bags to line up outside for trick or treaters
  • Having an outdoor costume parade with physical distancing in place
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family and friends

Higher-Risk Activities

  • Participating in traditional trick or treating
  • Attending indoor costume parties
  • Going to an indoor haunted house
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars in large parking lots

The CDC advises wearing a mask at all times when around others not in your own household and stresses a costume mask is not a substitute for a protective cloth mask.

Each family needs to weigh the risks and benefits of any Halloween-related activities that children or adults are participating in during the pandemic. Wearing a protective mask, washing and sanitizing hands, along with physical distancing are a must regardless of the activity.

The risk of door-to-door trick-or-treating is high for both children and homeowners this year. As parents, we’re going to have to get more creative with our celebrations and keep our families and community safe.

You can read the full CDC guidelines here, which offer creative opportunities to celebrate the season.

Dr. Yusung is a board certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology. She practices at Torrance Memorial Physician Network Pediatrics Manhattan Beach, 855 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Ste. 103, Manhattan Beach. She can be reached at (310) 939-7850.