Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center


Halloween is just days away! With Halloween falling on a Sunday, it may have you more excited than ever to make it a fun day! With Covid-19 holding on longer than those last few maple leaves it can also be causing a lot of confusion. If you are asking yourself how you can still have fun and stay safe, we’ve got you covered. We still have time to plan the best Covid-19 Halloween, again!

Last year just days before Halloween, Vermont Commissioner Mike Pieciak said, “Just as quickly as that trajectory went up, we can get it to go down again based on our own individual actions over the next few weeks. We certainly have control over this in Vermont. It’s in our own hands to not make that forecast a reality.” Only we know a year later that Orleans Country has really struggled with this. Here we are once again just days from Halloween and our trajectory isn’t just up, it’s skyrocketing, making us most recently the 10th county in the country when it comes to high numbers.  This means we must make it a priority this year for all our special days, to celebrate them in new and healthier ways.

Halloween is all about dressing up and being creative. How many times a year can you pretend to be someone different and let your imagination run wild? And no one looks at you funny for doing it! Dressing up might seem less fun if you are avoiding parties and crowds, but it doesn’t have to be! Let your kids get creative and still dress up. With Halloween on the weekend, you could even take time this weekend to make your costumes! Get out the markers and cardboard and go to town. Instead of the usual parties, plan something at home that’s extra fun and super safe, maybe a fashion show for costumes or a talent show! You can still show off the costume and make memories while staying safe. If you will be out and about, make that mask part of the outfit! From kitty noses on the mask to pumpkin teeth, let that mask keep you covered!

If you will miss the parties this year, don’t! Think about what you love about the parties and make it happen at home. From engaging the whole family to a solo party for one, you can still get festive. Decorate, pick out your music, snacks, lighting, etc. Zoom or facetime with friends and family and ask them to do the same! Sure, it’s not the same thing as bumping elbows while you dance it out, but at least at home you can dance like no one is watching! Other ideas: movie nights, pumpkin carving, decorating contests, etc.

We know that candy is the real reason for the Halloween season. Last year we heard of many safe and creative ways to trick-or-treat and they weren’t all that different than in years prior. Perhaps you skip the carpooling and keep your kids from passing around treats for everyone to take a bite, but that’s also a great way to stop all germs in general. Being outside and getting in a great walk is good for the soul, so trick-or-treating is pretty safe as long as you practice cross walk safety, wear something so that cars can see you, and avoid carpooling so that your germs stay with your own family. If everyone can keep a mask on, it makes it easier for the littles who can’t be vaccinated to not feel singled out, and we know masks are great options during cold and flu season anyway!

Lastly, take it outdoors. Gatherings inside can spread Covid-19 and are way more likely to ruin your Halloween. If you can spread out a tarp on the lawn for carving pumpkins, set up a bonfire for scary stories, or even make the driveway a dance floor, do it. Indoor gatherings are keeping Orleans County in the red zone and not in a good way. We need to find ways to gather safely if we are going to gather or not do it at all.  No one wants to see infection rates climb due to Halloween gatherings, so if you can, keep it outside where the spread of all illness is less likely.

Prevention is always really emphasized with all health concerns. We wear seatbelts to ride safer in cars, we wear sunscreen to stay safer in the sun, and flu shots have been shown to really impact a milder flu season.  (Your kids may feel this is more of a trick, but you can always soften the blow with a treat.)

North Country Pediatrics (121 Medical Village Drive, Newport) offers a flu shot clinic for our kids today, October 28, from 3-5 pm, as well as a second flu vaccine clinic for children, Thursday, November 11  from 3 -5 pm. This is by appointment or walk-in and all children in the community are welcome.

Now we know the many precautions that can help with Covid-19 – masks on faces, distant spaces, frequently washing hands, and most importantly, vaccinating those who can be vaccinated. It’s not about being told what to do, it’s about doing what is safest and healthiest for you and those around you.

We want to wish you all the happiest and healthiest Halloween! We hope that you celebrate but also do your best to keep all those around you healthy too. That way we aren’t right back here again next year, with a Happy Covid-19 Halloween, Again!


Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center