2020 marches on as the year of weird. In the fourth quarter of what will go down in the record books as one of the strangest years ever, you might be wondering what surprises are waiting in the wings. We don’t have all the answers, but we can help you prepare for the next event, Halloween.
Initially, Los Angeles officials placed an outright ban on Halloween. The decision was met with outrage on the part of its residents and resulted in a relaxing of the guidelines that came out the following day. LA County still discourages residents from participating in Halloween activities this year, but they now offer guidance on engaging safely and responsibly. The LA Department of Public Health, who issued the order, still bans (both indoor and outdoor) large gatherings, public events, haunted houses, and fall festivals. Other staples, such as Disneyland’s Oogie Boogie Bash, Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, and annual Knotts Berry Farm events were canceled. Trick-or-treating is permitted, though, as well as car parades and drive-in theaters.
So, what’s the big deal? According to the Dept. of Public Health, it is difficult to maintain social distancing while trick-or-treating, especially on porches and especially where multiple people handle food and candy. California is still recovering from the second wave of positive cases and doesn’t want to see an increase as the cold and flu season launch into full swing. While they discourage Halloween activities, the Dept. of Health created guidelines for those who want to participate at some level. As it turns out, there are a lot of creative alternatives.
Instead of viewing this list as things that are “permitted,” we present it to you as a list of creative ways to celebrate Halloween!
Virtual Parties and Celebrations
Host a virtual party with a costume contest, pumpkin carving, and virtual games!
Decorate your car and join a car parade as you and your competitor’s drive-by socially-distanced judges who declare a winner. Create a Halloween-version of a Christmas drive-through display where people can appreciate Halloween decorations from their cars. Find a drive-up trick-or-treating event where you can collect a bag of goodies and stay in your vehicle.
Drive-ins complying with state regulations can host fun Halloween events and scary movie marathons for attendees.
Decorate Your House
Go all out this year. Why not? Many people have invested in home improvement projects since spending more time at home. It seems appropriate to go above and beyond and decorate your home/yard in the most spooky festive way.
What Do the Experts Say?
The LA County Department of Public Health consists of experts. If you want more evidence, though, a bipartisan panel of congress people asked the Center for Disease Control to issue guidance, as well, and they did. This list is handy because it takes risk-tolerance into effect in deciding how to celebrate. Halloween isn’t one-size-fits-all, and neither is the way people celebrate it.
If you are COVID-19-positive or have COVID-exposure, you should not participate. If that’s not the case, you can choose your risk-tolerance level from the CDC guidelines here.
Activities for those with a low-risk tolerance:
- At-home activities, including pumpkin carving, house decorating, and in-home movie nights.
- You’ve been boo’d activity where you leave a Halloween item on a neighbor’s porch and invite them to pay it forward.
- Have a monster-themed baking extravaganza where you make all types of ghoulish goodness.
Activities for those with a Moderate-risk tolerance:
- Careful trick-or-treating where you pick up a sealed goodie bag left at the end of a driveway or on a porch while maintaining social distancing.
- Have an outdoor costume parade and contest while abiding by the guidelines for a small versus large gathering.
- Watch a Halloween movie on an outdoor screen with a couple of neighbors while maintaining social distance.
Activities for those with a Higher-risk tolerance:
- Traditional trick-or-treating
People are all over the board with their thoughts about Halloween and COVID. Where do you stand? What are your plans? Regardless of how you and your family decide to celebrate, please be safe and stay healthy.
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