Halloween is a big deal. Halloween in a pandemic is an even bigger deal, adding in a variety of elements that we should consider in order to have a good time and stay safe. While we have the experience of last year’s Halloween for reference, this year, things are a bit different.
Here’s what experts are recommending for this year’s festivities and for you and your family’s safety:
Trick or Treating Is a Go
“I think that, particularly if you’re vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s State Of The Union. When it comes to children, things are pretty straightforward: if they’re over the age of 5 and vaccinated, they’re well protected and should go trick or treating if they want to. If they’re under the age of 5 and can’t be vaccinated, it’s still pretty safe if you’re doing it with a limited group and are going trick or treating outdoors. A lot of families will be setting up candy stations outdoors, limiting contact between others, and this is clearly the safest way to go.
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“I’d encourage parents not to enter other people’s apartment buildings, and instead, look for activities in a neighboring park or other primarily outdoor settings,” Dr. Leana Wen explained to CNN.
Parties Are a More Complicated Subject
“I wouldn’t necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups,” Rochelle Wolesnky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CBS’ Face The Nation.
Dr. Mona Amin spoke to the Today Show and said that indoor parties are a reasonable option depending on the positivity rates of your area. If they’re under 5%, then an indoor party is relatively safe. When it comes to other types of gatherings and living in a place with more COVID-19 cases than the 5% she talked about, it’s best to stick to family and friends who are vaccinated. Kids who’ve yet to be vaccinated could also wear face masks as parts of their costumes.
Prepare for Haunted Houses and Other Indoor Venues
All of these popular Halloween activities come with some risks, which increases depending on community COVID-19 rates, the size of the gathering, and whether or not it’s indoors or outdoors. The best combo here for staying safe is knowing the transmission rate for your area and wearing a mask indoors when surrounded by strangers. It all depends on you and the amount of risk you’re comfortable with.