Trick or Treat Pandemic


Steven Depolo

Labeled for reuse by Creative Commons. Trick or treaters go door to door in Halloween costume.

 The sun isn’t fully set and the crisp smell of autumn flowed through the air, as leafs blow across the sidewalk you got ready for Halloween night.

The question many people are asking this year is:  Should we let kids go trick or treating this Halloween? Outdoor activities are said to be safer then indoor ones but going door to door collecting candy can be high risk.

State officials encourage trick or treaters to find alternative ways to celebrate Halloween this year.

According to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment web guidelines,”It’s important to follow best practices to help prevent the virus from spreading. Wear a mask that fully covers your nose and mouth, wash your hands frequently, and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from people outside your household. Avoid crowds. Be mindful that using alcohol and drugs can cloud judgement and increase riskier behaviors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are ways to minimize the risk of catching or spreading the virus while having fun on Halloween.”

Air Academy teachers with young children have different responses to celebrating Halloween this year

“This is really a challenging decision for me,”said Beth Carlson, Spanish and English teacher. “Right now, our plan is to NOT go trick or treating.  Instead, we are going to have ourselves a little family Halloween party – bob for apples, make spooky treats, watch a spooky movie, and then “trick or treat” to our different relatives’ houses in town.  We’re leaning towards this option for a couple of reasons.  First, my parents live with us right now, and I don’t want to expose them to germs that would be more likely to impact their lives than mine.  Second, the local governments just came out with advice that recommends that you don’t trick or treat in neighborhoods that aren’t yours.  We just moved to Black Forest and we were planning to go into Briargate to trick or treat, but we feel like we shouldn’t so we can respect local guidelines.

Carlson is still deciding, though.

“I’m still on the fence.  I think we would be able to maintain social distance AND wear masks AND quarantine the candy, so… the verdict is still out,” she said. “I do think that it should be up to families to decide whether or not they are a) going to have candy to offer and b) if they will allow their kids to go out.  I don’t think this is something that the government should decide.

“I also think that it would be nice if communities could come together to figure out safe ways to have kids participate in Halloween, kind of like how the city had the balloon festival spread out all over town or fireworks for the fourth around town.  There have to be some fun ways communities could plan for a fun Halloween, even if it didn’t mean passing out and sharing candy.

Science teacher Elizabeth Schlichter will be letting her kids trick or treat this October.

“I think there is minimal risk with this activity,”she said. “This is an outside activity and at least where we go, there is not huge groups of people near each other as kids are racing house to house to get candy, they do not have time to congregate.  Of course, I will make them wash their hands before they eat anything.”

For those who are looking for other ways to celebrate Halloween, check out this activity page.