How to enjoy a socially distanced Halloween

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Aidan Brophy

With Halloween fast approaching, and no end to social distancing regulations in sight, trick or treaters and festive homeowners alike have begun preparing for socially distanced Halloween night.

How will candy be distributed? In the before times, rummaging around in a candy bowl in hopes that someone had missed one last king-sized bar at the bottom was commonplace. Now, that may no longer be the case.

The CDC has put out some official recommendations regarding safely celebrating Halloween (as well as upcoming Day of the Dead and Thanksgiving celebrations), warning of the risks of conventional trick or treating , haunted houses, costume parties, and hayrides.

The CDC does provide some safer alternatives to commonplace Halloween festivities. Of course, pumpkin carving, decorating, and horror movie marathons are low-risk activities. Traditionally higher risk activities, such as parties and costume contests, are recommended to be held virtually, as with other holiday celebrations. For younger children, scavenger hunts with a Halloween theme are apparently a suitable substitute for trick or treating.

Want to grab your candy hands free and at a distance? Use a litter-grabbing tool or one of those plastic robot claws that you got at Toys R Us when you were 5! Need six feet of personal space? Bring back the inflatable fat-suit trend.”

As for the search for candy itself, the CDC advises against both trick or treating and trunk or treating. You don’t need to throw away the bowl with the motion-activated singing skeleton just yet. It is recommended that houses leave prepackaged bags of candy out for trick-or-treaters to grab and go instead.

However, if you are a fan of DIY projects, you can get creative with it. Households across the country have utilized ziplines and pulley systems to deliver candy and drinks to trick-or-treaters from the safety of their front porch. Other possible delivery systems include modified t-shirt guns, tubes, slingshots, and maybe even catapults or trebuchets, though some methods will deliver the candy more intact than others.

If you still want to get into the spirit of the holiday by dressing up, appropriate costumes can also be used to hand out candy the traditional way, if you’re willing to put the effort in. DIY skills can also be useful here. I myself am in the process of using an air-soft gas mask, a chemical-resistant suit, a fog machine, a battery pack, and a pressurized pesticide sprayer to make a hazmat suit costume that wouldn’t look out of place in Chernobyl.

The costume possibilities are nearly endless. Incorporating an appropriate mask into a costume can be fairly simple. I predict that there will be quite a lot of doctors, nurses, and zombies roaming the streets come Halloween night.

Other safety measures can be added into existing costumes as well. Want to grab your candy hands free and at a distance? Use a litter-grabbing tool or one of those plastic robot claws that you got at Toys R Us when you were 5! Need 6 feet of personal space? Bring back the inflatable fat-suit trend, or order one of those coronavirus costumes from Amazon! The only limit is your imagination.

A lot of things have been different this year, and things will continue to be different until this is over. Halloween is no exception, but there are a lot of ways to make the best of a bad situation.