Trick-or-treating in a pandemic?

How many of us have been back and forth with that over the past week? These poor kids have been through quarantine, missed birthday parties and much-loved family vacations this year, but do we put them through the risk of Halloween? 

For those of us who’ve decided to brave the cold and potential cold symptoms to give their kids a bit of Halloween joy this year, here are a few tips:

1)    Sanitizer. Bring it with you! Douse the kids in it each time you go to a house. As potent as the stuff can be, it can make all the difference when it comes to carting germs between houses and spreading the COVID risk around the neighbourhood.

2)    Lights out- don’t approach! If one of your neighbours doesn’t have so much as a pumpkin on their lawn, don’t let your kids climb the step and ask for candy. They’re obviously not participating this year. 

3)    Look for signs! Some people have chosen not to miss out on the fun of decorating their houses for the spooky season, but that doesn’t mean they want people coming up to their door. Watch for and read any signs that your neighbours might have left out to indicate their decision not to hand out candy this year. 

4)    Keep your distance! In years past it has been no problem to crowd around a person’s door in multiple trick-or-treating groups to ask for candy. This year is clearly not the year for that. So, if you see a group already at someone’s door, just wait for them to clear the area before walking up with the bags out.

5)    Masks! If possible, masks are a great idea. Despite the pandemic, it is likely there will be enough people out and about for you to consider masking up and increasing your chances of staying safe. So, for the parents with glasses this might be a good night to dust off the old contact lenses to prevent an all-night mask-fog. Halloween night is an important night to be alert and have 100% of your vision.

6)    Don’t let the kids eat the candy as soon as they get home! Keep it in a fabric bag and put it in the garage for a few days to kill any germs that might be on them. Also, toss those costumes into the wash straight away and give those kids a bath. 

But who is handing out candy in the pandemic, and how do they do so safely? There won’t be so many of us doing it this year, but for those who are, here are just a few options for doing so safely:

1)    Keep a bowl of candy beside a container of hand sanitizer 6 feet from your door and sit (bundled up of course) on your step with a bug of hot coffee (and maybe some baileys) to watch the kids in their costumes. This way you can enjoy the night safely without all the risk. 

2)    When the night is over, if you’ve chosen to leave out a bowl of candy, just remember to throw away any of the leftover candy… and maybe the bowl.

3)    Wear a mask, gloves and use BBQ tongs. If you’d rather not sit on the step all night, this would be a great way to keep some distance and ensure there is no contact between the candy and the children at the door. 

4)    There are lots of creative things that you can do to launch the candy at kids who come to your place- but please remember not to shoot or throw anything at them. That could create a whole new issue of injury that would unnecessarily add stress to an already stressful night. Also, and I think maybe this is an obvious one, but if you dislike kids enough to want to knock them onto their butts with a potato launcher, maybe you should reconsider participating in the trick-or-treating part of Halloween.

5)    Don’t invite anyone in to check out your annual haunted house. Please, just don’t. There is really no way to social distance with something like that, and some people will either not feel like they can say no because of all the trouble you obviously went to, or they won’t bother to say no because they want to have fun. Either way, it is a great way to spread COVID, so please, just don’t.

6)    If you’re going to hand out candy but you don’t want to sit on the step, try to sit close to the door or to listen closely for those kids who are only going to yell and not knock or ring any bells. It will be a long night for them if they aren’t allowed to knock on doors, but no one hears their tiny voices yell “trick or treat!”

This is going to a strange Halloween, but there are lots of things we can do to stay safe and to respect one another. Let’s try to do our best to be kind, and to be considerate of each other’s comfort level during this global pandemic. 

Happy Halloween!

Posted by Corey Sylvester on


Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.