As of Wednesday, we are exactly 45 days away from Halloween. Stores have had costumes for sale for weeks now, but how will trick-or-treating happen during a pandemic?
The good news is there's no shortage of costumes with masks and even if your costume doesn't inherently have a mask, it's 2020, so you just adapt. A traditional Batman costume might become "COVID Batman", which kind of works since the guy playing Batman nowadays came down with COVID-19 earlier this month.
Masks and costumes involving masks aside, can kids go door-to-door, coming in close contact with dozens and dozens of strangers in one night? Can Halloween happen during a pandemic?
I asked Dr. Bob Lutz that question on Wednesday.
"I've been called the Grinch and the Grinch who stole Christmas, imagine what it would looks like if I'm Dr. Lutz, the health officer who stole Halloween! I'd get more than toilet papered," Dr. Lutz joked. "I think we have to look at somehow making it happen. I think it's like everything else, you mitigate as much risk as possible."
"Mitigating risk"? I think we can do that. I have a few ideas.
1.) The Trubisky.
- This tactic for handing out candy involves setting up a sign 6 feet or more away from your door. Social distancing is important. The sign reads "Stand here and yell 'trick-or-treat'. When you hear the kids yell, while wearing gloves and a mask, simply throw some candy to them. I call this method "The Trubisky" because you don't actually want to hit children with candy. That's bad. So throw it like Chicago Bears Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky does: Completely off-target.
Side Note: Loyal Bears fan Dan Kleckner was quick to remind me that my beloved Eagles lost their season opener to a team that doesn't even have a name and Carson Wentz threw two picks. Fair enough, Dan. But you guys have Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles on your bench and pick Mitch over him? Come on! Go birds!
The problem with 'The Trubisky" is it can create a feeding frenzy of costumed kids chasing after candy and fighting like sharks. Not good.
2.) The Candy Slide.
This on is fun. Take your kids slide from the backyard, a PVC pipe, or see if your local bank will let you borrow their tube system for a night, then sit on your roof and when the children holler "Trick-or-Treat" below, toss some candy down the slide! It's added fun as the children try to catch the candy in their bucket or pillowcases!
3.) The Honor System.
Then there's the honor system. Place a bucket six feet away from your door and then watch the children very carefully as they each take one piece of candy. Probably a good idea to set out a giant bottle of hand sanitizer, too. It's not as much work as the other suggestions, not as much fun and sometimes kids cry when you tell them to only take one (as I found out mine did), but if you want to go minimal this year, consider this.
If you have other ideas, please send me a message on my Facebook page. I'd love to hear them because we're all probably going to need to get creative this year, because regardless of how it looks Dr. Lutz says as of right now, Halloween is on!
"It'll happen. I do believe it will happen," Dr. Lutz said. "I do think there will be recommendations on how to trick-or-treat safely undoubtedly coming out, so stay tuned for that. The holidays aren't going to be taken away because of COVID, but things may look a little different."
And hey, maybe the smoke will be gone by then, too!