From Costumes to Candy: A Safe Halloween in Columbia
A Safe Halloween in Columbia
There’s no doubt that socially-distanced trick-or-treating is a challenge. Collecting candy has traditionally required our kids to be in close contact with neighbors. Creative costumes haven’t had to take face coverings into account. Scares usually happen in close proximity to one another. I mean, how frightening is a “boo” from six feet away?
That said, this is our reality. But Halloween could be a chance to briefly escape it, even while following health guidelines.👻👻👻
Howard County Halloween Guidelines
- Avoid large gatherings, parties, and events.
- Door-to-door trick-or-treating is not encouraged.
- If you area trick-or-treating, it should be done in household groups, keeping physical distance between other groups and using flashlights or glow sticks for visibility. Homes are encouraged to leave treats outside.
- Face coverings should be worn at all times (more below on this topic).
- Trick-or-treaters should wash hands or use sanitizer between homes and after touching surfaces/objects.
We know it’s a bummer, but many of you may have already considered or embraced the possibility of not going door-to-door this year. The Howard County Health Department recommends only venturing out to pumpkin patches and hayrides (i.e. – outdoor fall activities) in small groups. Indoor haunted houses and other places where physical distancing and other mitigation strategies are difficult should be restricted.
CDC Costume Recommendations
The CDC does have some guidance on families who plan to go trick-or-treating this year. Specifically, the national experts want us to think about is making a mask part of their spooky attire. That does not mean that a costume mask suffices. Instead, the CDC encourages us to find creative ways to incorporate a cloth face covering into costumes. You should not layer one mask over another.
You can see some fun examples in the graphic below (notice the six feet of distance in between kids and their chaperones):
Here are five other fun, timely, safety-conscious costumes that incorporate masks:
- Roll of TP – Dress in all white and wear a white mask. What a commodity 🤣
- Flamingo – Attach a beak on your mask, dress in all pink and add some feathers if you’re feeling fancy.
- Healthcare hero – Add a mask and cape to a doctor/nurse get-up and voilà!
- Disco ball – Embrace the sequined mask and deck out in sparkles from head to toe.
- Shark – Paint some scary teeth on your mask and sport a full “smile.” Add a fin, and you’re set.
The CDC also has suggestions for alternative Halloween activities that are low risk for you and your family.
Most of the great annual traditions here in Columbia will see some changes this year due to COVID-19.
The Village of King’s Contrivance is holding its Halloween event on Zoom this year. There’s still a pumpkin carving/decorating contest and a magic show on Halloween. You can find all of those details on the village website or by clicking the fliers below.