Celebrating Halloween During a Pandemic

Hi Everyone! This week we have Halloween coming up and its one of my favorite times of the year. I love everything about it from the costumes, the colors like orange and black, the beautiful use of makeup that I see so many people excel at, and I know for myself the best part is the scary movies! I love a good scare because for me its a fun rush but for others it might be a bit too intense and that is why there are more relaxing options like eating some delicious candy. 2020 has been full of major changes that have required all of us to make adjustments to our daily living from lockdowns, to long distance learning/work, and having to wear masks to keep everyone around us as safe as possible. Halloween is generally known here in the United States as a time to take our kids trick r’ treating, go to parties in costumes, and staying up later as usual to celebrate the holiday.

This year just like we had to make adjustments to our daily living routines we are also going to have to make adjustments to how we celebrate Halloween to make it as safe as possible for ourselves and everyone around us. We here at Blu Alliance have gathered some tips, and ideas on how to celebrate Halloween as safely as possible which can be found down below.

The CDC recommends these guidelines, and ideas on how to celebrate Halloween in as safe a way as possible. The CDC did this by categorizing three levels of risk designated Lower, Moderate, and High.

Lower risk activities
These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
Moderate risk activities
  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
  • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
  • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
  • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
  • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
  • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
Higher risk activities
Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

The CDC has also stated if you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

CNN

CNN has also come up with a great list of 31 ways to Celebrate Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. The list includes such amazing creative ways from how to deliver candy to trick r’ treaters the includes social distancing (surprise you make a cardboard slide!), pumpkin designing/smashing activities, scary movie marathons, and so much more!

1. Plan the outfit. Design the most 2020/pandemic-appropriate costume: health careprofessionals, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Karen,” Zoom zombies, Black Panther in honor of the late Chadwick Boseman and the vaccine that might halt the spread of Covid-19 are sure to be popular.

2. Cover your face in style. Order cute or creepy Halloween-themed face coverings to wear during your socially distant activities. Keep it real: As the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us, costume masks are not a suitable substitute for protective cloth face coverings.

3. Stay in costume. Dress up throughout the entire week leading up to Halloween, whether you are running errands, walking the dog or joining a Zoom meeting.

4. Stage a family photo shoot. Pick a family costume theme, take some porch portraits and wait for the likes to pour in on Instagram, or mail out a batch of Halloween cards instead of holiday greetings. I’m digging the party animals.

Pumpkins and decor

@CNN

5. Organize a neighborhood decorating contest. My city is giving out awards for Horror House, Top Pumpkin Display and Ghouls Choice, with the winners receiving a custom sign with bragging rights for their yard or entryway. Make a map with participating homes so community members can visit.

6. Bring the decor indoors. Redecorate inside for the month. Turn an old plastic dollhouse into a haunted one, decorate a Halloween tree or hang floating candles a la Harry Potter. My husband’s crafty aunt made the most adorable “Hiss” and “Hearse” orange and black throw pillows.

7. Do a pumpkin carving challenge. Invite friends to throw in a few dollars to enter and use the money to buy gift cards or candy prizes. Share the photos with friends and family and let them pick first, second and third place.I thought I’d make this Cookie Monster pumpkin, but then again, these other carving ideas are adorable (get a load of the Swiss cheese holes and mice in #8)! There are just so many creative ways to take your carvings to the next level.Be sure to seal your masterpiece to prevent it from rotting. Also, if you sprinkle cinnamon inside the lid, your pumpkin apparently will smell like a pie when you light a candle.

8. Paint your pumpkins. You won’t have any pumpkin guts to clean up with one of these beautiful designs. And don’t you love the ice cream cone?

Blood and guts

@CNN

9. Haunt your house. Make some horrifying DIY Halloween props that will make your loved ones question your sanity. It’s pretty easy to make your own bathroom murder scene. Only look at these examples if you’re prepared to be seriously disturbed. Don’t forget to put a skeleton on the toilet!

10. Host a creepy feast. You could serve feet loafhot dog mummies, a pumpkin puking guacamole and berry eye ball punch, finished off with a strawberry cheesecake brain.

11. Disfigure yourself (with makeup). Watch a gruesome makeup tutorial and try it yourself. Special effects makeup artist Glam and Gore has some amazing how-to videos for zombie faces, mangled princesses and more (not appropriate for children or sensitive souls).

12. Play “Doll in the Hall.” Instead of “Elf in the Shelf” in December, take a creepy porcelain doll and secretly move it around the house to freak out your kids. (This is not recommendedfor kids who are scared of the dark.) Alternatively, I’m loving this creepy doll mobile.

13. Throw a horror movie night. “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “The Exorcist” and “Don’t Look Now” are good thrillers to start with. For something closer to home, there is this year’s Covid-19 horror movie, “Host,” about friends who accidentally summon an angry demon during their weekly Zoom call.

*Personally what I will be doing this Halloween 😀

Trick or treat

@CNN

14. Make a candy slide. Be the savior of trick-or-treating by making a socially distant, touch-free candy delivery system like this 6-foot candy chute an Ohio dad created from a cardboard shipping tube or this awesome candy zip line by Michigan woodworker Matt Thompson. The Wicked Makers have a tutorial to make a PVC-pipe candy slide.

15. Do in-home trick-or-treating. Decorate each room, dim the lights and give out a different type of candy at each doorway. Midnight Syndicate‘s spooky “Halloween Music” album makes for an ideal soundtrack.

16. Go reverse trick-or-treating. Surprise your neighbors with homemade or hand-picked treats. The Booing ritual, where you sneak a bag of treats and instructions on your neighbor’s door and encourage them to repeat the game for two other families, has been on the rise for years.

17. Make a candy graveyard. Set up tombstones in the yard, scatter fake bones and consider procuring a fog machine for extra effect. Scatter the treats on the grass or put prizes inside Halloween-themed eggs and hide them for children to find.

18. Put treats on the driveway. Make little candy bags and line your driveway, walkway or front yard for children to take. Set up chairs outside to greet trick-or-treaters and enjoy their costumes from a distance.

Food and drinks

@CNN

19. Cook an orange-and-black dinnerYou could make roasted carrots with balsamic glaze, butternut squash soup with dark rye bread, or orange peppers carved to look like jack-o’-lanterns and stuffed with black rice.

20. Halloween baking night. Will I make the banana mummies or the stuffed candy corn cake? Probably both. There are just so many great recipes …

21. Craft a spooky cocktail. Check out the guys at Drinks Made Easy for recipes like the Pumpkin Old Fashioned (made with bourbon, maple syrup and pumpkin puree) and The Smoking Skull for you grown-up ghouls.

22. Make Halloween Chex mix. My go-to recipe has a decadent coating of brown sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Save a little for yourself and put the rest into baggies to give your favorite neighbors.

23. Conduct a candy taste test. You could use the limited-edition treats only sold this time of year, like Reese’s white chocolate pumpkins, Haribo S’Witches’ Brew gummies and Cadbury Screme Eggs.

Let us entertain you

24. Listen to a spooky podcast. Dive into all things horror and supernatural with the “Spooked” series from “Snap Judgment,” “Enter the Abyss,” “The Last Podcast on the Left” and “Scared to Death.”

25. Halloween movie night. Order skeleton pajamas for your family and for the younger set. You can’t go wrong with classics such as “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “Halloweentown,” “Spookley the Square Pumpkin,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” or “Hocus Pocus.”For older audiences, the original “Halloween” and all of its sequels, “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” and the “Scary Movie” franchise all feature Halloween story lines. Or you could go with an ’80s theme and do a marathon of “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Pet Sematary” and “The Shining.”

26. Curl up with a book. You could check out a Halloween children’s classic such as “Room on the Broom,” “Big Pumpkin,” “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything,” and these others. I love reading “Pumpkin Jack” — a nice circle-of-life story, in pumpkin terms — and “The Biggest Pumpkin Ever,” about two mice who realize they’re tending the same pumpkin and work together to win a competition.

27. Learn about Halloween’s origins. This is a nice video explainer. “The Halloween Tree,” based on Ray Bradbury’s 1972 novel, takes place on Halloween night and is all about the myths and traditions surrounding the holiday.

28. Celebrate Halloween on Animal Crossing. Thanks to Nintendo’s fall update, players can grow pumpkins, stock up on candy, buy Halloween costumes and learn DIY projects from neighbors. And there is a whole evening of fun planned October 31 after 5 p.m.

Outdoor fun

@CNN

29. Ride bikes in costume. Have the family dress up in coordinating outfits and ride around the neighborhood, looking at decorations.

30. Make a backyard bonfire. Enjoy Halloween s’mores (use chocolate graham crackers and Halloween candy), drink hot cider and play the classic doughnuts on a string game.

31. Pumpkin patch stomp game. Lay down a vine of tied-together orange balloon “pumpkins” filled with candies and stickers and let the kids go crazy stomping on them. Country Living has lots of other fun DIY Halloween games.

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