Staying Safe This Halloween

Gracie Westphal, Reporter

Now that we are coming close to the end of the year, people are looking forward to the holiday season in hopes of regaining some normalcy, but, the CDC and multiple local governments have warned against celebrating Halloween like past years.

 

The CDC’s Website outlines three categories of activities that people can choose to take part in this year: lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk. The webpage offers alternative options to celebrate Halloween in a safe and responsible way during the pandemic.

 

Many of the low-risk activities listed in the document restrict people to their homes, such as carving and decorating pumpkins, decorating homes, and having a movie night. They also list a couple more innovative ideas, like having a Halloween scavenger hunt or doing a virtual Halloween costume contest.

 

The moderate risk section lists, not just activity ideas, but also safety guidelines for those who choose to participate in some of them. 

 

For example, if you are attending an outdoor costume party, the CDC warns that “a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.” 

 

They also state that it is dangerous to wear a costume mask over a cloth mask due to respiratory concerns. Some of their other health tips include greater distancing if screaming is likely to occur, and, if preparing goodie bags, to wash your hands both before and after creating them.

 

Lastly, some of the higher risk activities outlined in the document are traditional trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating, hayrides/tractor rides with non-family members, crowded parties, haunted houses, and attending a festival that is not in your community. 

 

The CDC also acknowledges using alcohol or drugs is especially hazardous this Halloween because it “can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.”

 

While it can be unsatisfying to have to change up traditions, the safety of communities is more important than a haunted house. So, whether you decide to trick or treat like normal, scare yourself half to death watching “The Exorcist”, or stay home and try some new family activities, you can still have a very Happy Halloween!

If you would like to learn more about the CDC’s guidelines for holidays this year, you can visit their website.