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24 Sep 2017

Toronto

By Gracie Carroll

Halloween Is Back On! Here’s How You Can Safely Celebrate Post-Pandemic

By Carmela Valencia

It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . for ghosts-and-ghouls-lovers. Now that restrictions are more lenient, trick-or-treating and small gatherings are permitted and the Halloween festivities are back in action! Definitely a good news for everyone who likes to celebrate the occasion. However, just because most of us have been vaccinated doesn’t mean the virus is nonexistent. We’re free to do our Halloween festivities so long as we practice some precautions — especially for the sake of the children who will partake in the holiday activities. Whether you’re hosting a post-pandemic Halloween party, going to one, or chaperoning your kids to trick-or-treat, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

Here are some tips and reminders to safely celebrate Halloween this year, post-pandemic lockdowns.

Move the Party Outdoors

According to public health officials, indoor gatherings pose a greater risk of the spread of the virus. But the outdoor risk is “substantially lower . . . because the air people breathe out dilutes so quickly outside.” And hey, hosting an outdoor Halloween gathering is the perfect excuse to show off the outdoor redecorations you’ve done during the lockdown!

If your gathering can’t be moved outdoors, make sure to improve the ventilation and open your windows and doors, as well as run your heater or air conditioner and air purifiers.

Keep a Small Guest List

If you’re hosting this year’s Halloween party, make sure that you’re following the protocols placed. Having an intimate number of people at your gathering is much safer than throwing a really big bash. But just to remind you, there should be no more than 25 people in indoor gatherings, while outdoor gatherings can’t exceed 100.

No to Buffets

We’ll want to lessen the possibility of transmission as much as we can; we won’t be able to do that if we’re serving food buffet-style. We can opt for a sit-down dinner/lunch/whathaveyou, which is much safer and more hygienic, with pre-served dishes. If a buffet line can’t be helped, consider assigning one to two persons (completely sanitized and with a mask on) to serve the food instead.

Face Mask Optional?

Well, this depends. For gatherings, as long as everyone’s fully vaccinated and comfortable with it, you can opt out of wearing a mask (unless, of course, it’s part of your costume). If, however, there are guests who are not or are only partially vaccinated, wearing a face mask and keeping a physical distance is advised.

For kids trick-or-treating, and parents chaperoning, Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s top doctor, advises to wear a face mask (although not a costume mask). He also advised against crowding in doorsteps and shouting too loudly to avoid aerosolized contamination.

Keep Sanitized

Whether you’re hosting or going to a party, or trick-or-treating, it’s important to sanitize often. Make sure that you always have your sanitizer in your person; disinfect your hands every time you put on and take off your mask, whenever you touch something, and especially before you eat. It’s also advisable to clean and disinfect your handrails, doorbells, and door handles often for the sake of your guests, yourself, and trick-or-treaters.

Avoid Using a Single Container for Treats

Speaking of our young trick-or-treaters, let’s be mindful of their safety, too. Since we’re erring on the side of caution and lessening chances of transmission, it would be best not to put treats in one single container (like how we usually did pre-COVID).

Be creative with handing out your treats. You can greet them by your porch so they don’t have to ring your doorbell; you can even use tongs or sticks to hand the candies out. If you want to go one step beyond, prepare pre-packed individual treats and arrange them by your front door for the little ones to easily and safely grab.

Opt for Outdoor Attractions

If you’re not hosting or don’t have any post-pandemic party to go to, invite some friends or family members to visit some Halloween attractions! Horror houses and mazes, like Legends of Horror and Horror Hallways, are now available for booking.

xo

@EDITSEVEN

(Story by Assistant Editor, Carmela Valencia)

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