At this time of year even the busiest professional is besieged with “Please can I wear this fairy costume without a coat and go trick-or-treating without you?” Not, of course, from their clients, but from their own family. Covid statistics for children have been climbing and many aren’t sure what is safe for their children. Some of the usual activities to keep kids safe in our city aren’t a good choice this year. Pre-covid our local universities hosted safe trick-or-treat events in the dorms. Not this year. Following the guidance of the CDC and other authorities any activities for kids will be outside. Local mall activities have been restricted to a short trick-or-treat window and will keep everyone a safe distance apart. The experts seem to agree, however, that keeping kids outside and making sure you check their treats should provide the fun and safety we remember from our own childhood. Picture the treat-or-treat scenes in E.T.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Sunday encouraged families to celebrate Halloween and other holidays amid the Covid-19 pandemic, though still urged “prevention strategies. “ She continued, addressing other upcoming holidays:
It’s critically important that we gather, that we be together with family and friends during these holidays,” she said, “and we have the prevention strategies that we know work to be safe for those holidays. So what I would say is get yourself vaccinated before you gather; it will absolutely be safer if you’re vaccinated. Any activity that is outdoors is safer than it is if it’s indoors. And if you are gathering multiple households, make sure as many people are vaccinated as possible so you can protect the people who are vulnerable, who might not yet be vaccinated.
Three easy tips from Dr. Anthony Faucci:
- Mask up! Not the masks we usually see at Halloween that often restrict vision, but the regular kind we now expect. Kids younger than 12 are still at risk and unvaccinated. The mask is a front-line protection.
- Keep hands clean! The risk of infection from candy wrappers has proved to be low, but clean hands are still the way to go.
- Stay outdoors! There is much less risk of infection!
A couple more good sense reminders:
Go with your kids. If they are over 12 and they are vaccinated and really, really can’t stand going with mom or dad, they should be OK as long as they understand not to go in anyone’s home or car.
Avoid parties, events, and trick-or-treating indoors. If you live in an area of single-family homes, town homes, or the like, your kids should be fine going door-to-door. Of course, younger kids need you to go with them, and be sure they stay outside. Interaction among kids outdoors should not be a threat.
Enjoy Halloween. Be safe.