Halloween from a Distance

How families are taking charge of trick or treating to stay safe

Reese Pedersen, Staff Reporter
Originally published November 24th, 2020

Cartoon by Sam Rainville

Cartoon by Sam Rainville

Halloween is an important part of childhood. Spending months picking out the perfect costume in hopes that no one else has the same idea as you, trick or treating past your bedtime while on a sugar high, only to have your parents eat some of your candy once you fall asleep. Halloween is also a night of fear, and this year the fear is for real.

How do they tell their kids they can’t trick or treat the same way this year? Crowded porches and people reaching into a candy bowl put families at high risk for spreading and catching COVID-19. COVID-19 has become much scarier for parents, and it’s not the trick they had in mind.

Working at a hardware store, I have had a few people come in and ask for my help to figure out some solutions to create a more socially distanced form of trick or treating. Some customers bought 10 feet of PVC pipe to slide candy down into kid’s baskets. Pulley systems have also been rigged so kids can grab the candy off a clip. 

Some other alternatives have been an easter egg hunt with candy, or trick or treating at friends’ houses only. For those who choose to go trick or treating normally, they went to houses that left bowls of candy out, or went up to the porches in pairs.

I reached out to some neighborhood kids over the phone, whose parents wished for their names to be anonymous, and asked how they felt about Halloween this year.“ I wish it was back to normal so I could see my friends’ costumes and get lots of candy,” one said.

Others talked about how they were disappointed about how the Whittier Elementary Fall Carnival was canceled, as they looked forward to dressing up and playing games with friends. “The carnival was one of my favorite parts of the school year and I hope it happens next year. “ one said. 

Others shared with me about how they miss school and seeing their friends, and were hoping that Halloween would be like normal. They were disappointed when it was not.

While other states prepare for Halloween like normal and are able to attend school, Washington state, and Seattle have different guidelines. Public Schools in Seattle are online, and students are unable to see each other.  

This pandemic has changed a lot of things, and while trick or treating may not seem like a big issue to some, just remember how excited you were to go, and how sad you would be to lose it at a young age.