How The Pandemic Changed Halloween
Necessity was the mother of invention in candy delivery to the little monsters roaming our streets last night.
So we went trick-or-treating last night. The kids were dressed up as a giraffe and a unicorn. They were so cute and they loved their costumes. They loved showing off their costumes. And they really enjoyed going house to house to get candy. Lots of candy.
But a few things really changed with the pandemic. Social distancing made necessary by the pandemic inspired innovation. The old days of opening the door to give candy to little monsters are gone for most people.
The first change I noticed is the bowl. For many people, the candy bowl moved out of the house and onto the porch. Often there was a sign on the wall above the bowl to remind us of the honor system. Just take a few and leave something for the rest of us. We have a camera inside our doorbell and we might be watching. Or we can check it out later the next day. So be cool and just take a few.
That one change made it easy for me and my wife to take our kids out together. I like not having to be there to give out candy. I preferred to be with my wife and my kids together. With two parents in tow, our kids were more secure on their tour of the neighborhood.
The coolest innovation was the candy chute. Social distancing requires, well, distance. So a few of our neighbors set up a chair, a bowl, and 8 to 10 feet of PVC pipe on a good slope. Then when kids came by, they’d put their bag at the end of the pipe. The neighbor puts the candy in the pipe, the candy slides down the pipe, and thunk! into the bag. Everyone’s happy. The neighbors get to see the costumes. The kids get their candy. The chance of getting sick is significantly reduced.
Another trick I saw was a simple table with an assortment of candy for the taking. The neighbors would put a table out on their driveway and sit far back in front of their garage with their garage lights on. This way, there is social distancing, adequate lighting to see the little monsters, and the kids still get their candy.
There were still a few neighbors willing to open the door and hand out candy. Maybe they didn’t get the memo. Maybe they didn’t care. Maybe they felt safe anyway. I don’t really know. But I do know that there were only a few of them.
Many of the houses in our neighborhood did not participate, too. Their lights were off. There were no decorations. There was nothing there to see. And they were in the majority. But there was enough going on to make Halloween a great family night for our neighborhood.
There were also a few relatively new display gadgets on hand. Fog generators were out in force at a few select locations. Image projectors put their displays of ghosts and ghouls on the garage and the sides of homes. Black lights, synchronized LED lights were all there for the eye candy. Some of my neighbors really get into Halloween and it’s cool. They were pretty scary before, but my kids are older now, so they’re not so rattled by it anymore.
And this is all happening during a big surge of cases in my state and nationwide. But we did it and we’ll do it again next year. The social bonds that tie us are powerful and we need to be together. The treatment plans are better now. The death rate has become steady now. Some of us may have immunity, I don’t know. But I think we’re on the mend here. I’m glad we went out for Halloween.