by Riley Sandoval ‘22
Halloween falls on a Saturday and a full blue moon this year. Although trick or treating is not off of the table completely, the perfect Halloween will have to be celebrated a little differently. Montgomery County officials are recommending that families find new approaches for this Halloween to stay safe.
Traditional ways of celebrating pose the risk of spreading Covid-19 as they do not allow for proper social distancing and would expose people to others outside of their households. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) outlined what activities have a low, moderate, or high risk, with door to door trick or treating being high risk. Some other high risk activities to avoid include trunk or treating, crowded indoor costume parties, crowded indoor haunted houses, and hayrides with people outside of one’s own household. Due to County Executive Marc Elrich’s executive order, which was effective starting on August 8, activities with more than 50 people are not permitted in Montgomery County unless they are granted a letter of approval for the event. This means that large events, festivals, and haunted houses without approval are cancelled, even if they are held outdoors.
While Halloween will not be the same this year, there are still many ways to celebrate and have fun while staying safe. Montgomery County officials as well as the CDC offered some alternatives to trick or treating. Some of the CDC’s recommendations are for families to trick or treat in a scavenger hunt style in and around their homes instead of going door to door. They also recommended doing a scavenger hunt for a list of Halloween-themed items and decorations around their neighborhood while keeping a distance.
Montgomery County recommended families stay festive by decorating their homes and yards with halloween decorations. Families can do car parades in which participants remain in their cars dressed up in costumes and decorate their cars to drive by socially distanced judges. They also recommended having a Halloween movie night at home or a drive-in theater while complying with guidelines. Another option is to carve pumpkins with people in your household or with friends outside and socially distanced. Friends can participate in online parties and contests such as costume or pumpkin carving contests.
Halloween can still be a treat despite the presence of Covid-19. Please remember to be cautious, wash your hands, wear a mask, and practice social distancing to stay safe this Halloween.