Pirates, princesses, clowns, ghosts, and pumpkins, to prepare because this year public health experts have given the green light to “trick or treat”, since, they say, it is a low-risk outdoor celebration. Of course, there is a precautionary guide to follow to ensure that the only discomfort you may feel is from eating too much candy.
The first recommendation: get vaccinated. You will always add a unique and irreplaceable layer of protection.
“This is a good time to reflect on how important it is to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a White House advisor for COVID when asked about Halloween at a interview on CNN.
“It is an extra degree of protection for you and your children,” added Fauci.
Of course, going pumpkin picking at a farm or scouring the neighborhood for candy in small groups is less risky than running in hordes through a crowded haunted mansion.
Although many believe that we do not need to celebrate Halloween because we have been living the horror movie of the COVID-19 pandemic every day for 18 months, the truth is that there is a lot of anxiety with this October 31, because last year it was practically prohibited.
Therefore, to take advantage of the green light, and to transform the king into a jester and the jester, into a king. At least for a day.
The following are tips collected from public health expert opinions on how to handle Halloween this year, with the vaccines, but with the delta variant still circulating strongly in the country.
Getting vaccinated to scare the virus
Vaccinated people may be less afraid, so getting vaccinated is the best way to have a good time, and minimize worry. If a person gets vaccinated now (the week of September 12), they will have at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by Halloween night; And if the option is Johnson and Johnson, you will be fully immunized. If you are already age eligible, family members should get vaccinated.
Scary but outdoors
The risk of the coronavirus spreading outdoors is lower than indoors. So, weather permitting, it’s worth keeping the party outside for as long as possible. And remind children, especially the youngest ones, to keep a reasonable distance from their little friends.
Choosing a costume that helps with prevention
For kids and adults alike, the Halloween costume options are endless, but this time around, masks, ninjas, mummies, princesses with thick oriental veils, and bandits from the Wild West in bandanas are more welcome than ever. That is, why not choose a costume that requires a covered mouth or face? People will be protecting themselves from delta while wearing an original or traditional costume.
For those who offer sweets
A good idea so that there are not many hands in a basket is to organize small bags with candies and chocolates. That way, trick-or-treaters won’t crowd. Organizing a line if there are many children in front of the door is also a good option.
Camping in the yard or garden
If the weather permits, spending the night on the air, telling stories of suspense and fear can be fun, of course depending on the age of the child and his friends. In some parts of the country it may be possible without risk of freezing cold.
Use gel without fear
Do not forget one of the basic rules of the pandemic: wash your hands well and use disinfectant gel. The children and adults who accompanied them through the neighborhood must do so as soon as they return home.
Other useful tips
These recommendations help children to spend Halloween night, and those that follow, safer:
• Beware of excess sugar. At the end of Halloween, there may be literally a mountain of more than 100 sweets on the table. Therefore, it prevents binge eating. Make sure children don’t go trick-or-treating on an empty stomach. Make sure your kids eat a light meal or healthy snack before going out.
• Watch out for adulterated sweets. Always check children’s sweets before allowing them to eat them. Remove any items that are strangely colored or look odd, have punctures, or torn packaging. And they should never eat homemade cookies baked in another house.
• Avoid allergy triggers. Teach children with allergies to watch out for allergens on the ingredient list of any gifts they receive.
• Protect them from foodborne illness. If the party menu includes raw apples or fruits, wash them carefully under running water and scrub with a food brush before serving. Remember that unpasteurized juice or cider, in addition to raw cookie dough, can contain harmful bacteria. Refrigerate all perishable foods until serving time, and don’t leave them at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
• Modify the games of catching apples with the mouth. It is a tradition of Halloween parties, but it can expose children not only to the coronavirus, but also to other harmful bacteria. Consider alternatives like cutting apples out of craft paper, writing fun activities on them, and putting a paper clip on each one. Children can “fish” an apple with a magnet attached to a string.
Sources: CDC, Connecticut Children’s, HHS.