Lots of ways to celebrate the autumn holiday to stay safe during pandemic

Halloween: Origins, Meaning & Traditions - HISTORY


Editorial is the opinion of Morgan Hill Life

Halloween, unfortunately, will be celebrated very differently this year due to the public health considerations of the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are ways to find fun in the annual festival of ghouls and goblins and things that go bump in the night.

The annual Safe Night in downtown Morgan Hill has been cancelled because of Santa Clara County public health guidelines. Parties are also high-risk contributors to infection, so officials ask residents to avoid the mixing of people who don’t live in the same home, an activity that introduces more opportunities for the virus to pass from one person to another.

The county’s Public Health Department officials offer guidance on how to celebrate Halloween Oct. 31 — as well as Día de Los Muertos Nov. 2 — safely and prevent spreading COVID-19 among your friends and neighbors.

 

Low Risk Activities

  • Celebrate Halloween traditions like carving pumpkins or a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in your home.

  • Visit an outdoor pumpkin patch, while wearing a mask and maintaining distance from others.

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins outside, at least six feet apart while wearing masks, with a very small group of neighbors or friends.

  • Have fun with a virtual costume contest.

  • Dress up your house, apartment, living space, yard or car with Halloween decoration or decorating homes with images and objects to honor deceased loved ones.

  • Prepare traditional family recipes with members of your household.

  • Play music in your home your deceased loved ones enjoyed for Día de Los Muertos.

  • Make and decorate masks or build an altar for the deceased.

  • Participate in vehicle-based gatherings that comply with state and local guidance like drive-in movies and drive-through attractions, or car/bike parades where participants do not leave their vehicles.

  • Avoid driving in areas where there are many pedestrians.

  • Spectators should watch from their homes or yards and not gather with people they do not live with.


Moderate Risk Activities

  • Participate in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to physically distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.

  • Ensure everyone is wearing an appropriate face covering and maintaining a physical distance from others.

  • Everyone participating should bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently. They should also wash their hands immediately after coming home.

  • Candy shouldn’t be eaten while outside the home because that would require both removing the face mask and touching wrappers.

  • Having a very small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade or movie night where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart and are wearing masks. Fewer people with more distance is safer.

  • Enjoying themed outdoor dining that complies with state and local guidance or takeout.


The county health officials encourage residents to avoid high risk activities such as:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door. (Although this activity is outdoors, it is higher risk because it brings multiple people from different households together.)

  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19. Doing so can bring COVID-19 into the area and threaten the residents’ lives.

  • If trick-or-treating is occurring in your neighborhood and you are at home and do not want to be disturbed, post a sign or turn off your porch light.

Avoid high-risk activities such as attending a crowded party held indoors or outdoors. Large gatherings, even if they are outdoors, create an environment for spreading COVID-19 and are associated with many cases throughout the Bay Area.

Halloween and Día de Los Muertos are meant to be fun celebrations for families and friends. This year take part in safe ways to enjoy the holidays while preventing the likelihood that you and loved ones will sadly join the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

Morgan Hill Life Editorial
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