This year in Las Vegas Halloween should have been epic.
With the state holiday Nevada Day, which celebrates the state’s admission to the Union in 1864, on Friday Oct. 30, followed by Halloween, this year on a Saturday. Not to mention, there is a full moon on Halloween, for the icing on the spooky cake.
But this year things will look different as the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus. Trick or treating at stranger’s houses (or just even your neighbors) is full of scary risks now that you will pick up something other than candy in your bag.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that families gather all the facts first, including community levels of COVID-19, the location and duration of the gathering, the number of people in attendance and whether people will be wearing masks (not of the ghoulish kind) and social distancing.
The CDC lists traditional trick-or-treating, where treats are handing to children who go door to door as a high-risk activity. Trunk-or-treats, popular in Las Vegas, where treats are handing out from trunks of cars also is deemed a high-risk activity.
Also on the risky list? Attending a costume party indoors, going to an indoor haunted house and participating in hayrides with people who are not in your household.
So how can you celebrate Halloween safely? Here are some ideas from MountainView employees and the CDC website:
- 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 at your home where children are given lists of Halloween-themed items to look for.
- What about a Halloween Hunt? Reuse those Easter Eggs (or pick out and use the fall-colored ones) – fill them with candy and hide them around the house or backyard!
- Take a walk to admire the Halloween decorations.
- Host a virtual Halloween costume contest.
- Plan a Halloween movie night with people you live with – and eat all the candy you would have given out yourself.
- Wear that costume all day! Trick or treat at your own house – change of costume each time required, of course!
- Bake! We know banana bread was all the range this spring – try your hand at making pumpkin bread instead!
If you are still determined to hand out treats to the neighborhood kids, the CDC recommends preparing goodie bags, then line them up in your drive way for kids to “grab and go.” If you go this route, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing any treat bags.
Alternatively, you could “Boo!” your neighbors, leaving treat bags of individually wrapped goodies or crafts for them on their porch. Again – make sure to wash your hands prior to preparing any gifts.
Remember – using alcohol or drugs at any time can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors.
Halloween is a fun time for us here at MountainView Hospital, and we hope you’ll join us in finding new creative ways to celebrate AND remain safe during this year’s spookiest weekend!