Alright…we are just days out from the big day of Halloween! Many of us are still wondering what is ok and what isn’t. We also aren’t sure if we should just go with the flow like past years or be more proactive due to the global pandemic and rising numbers in our area. Well, we here at The Wellness Center are asking you to do the latter. We would invite you to consider celebrating a different kind of Halloween this year. Still festive, still fun but with the health of yourself, your family and the community in mind. It’s going to feel a little weird but isn’t that what Halloween is supposed to be anyway?

Here is our suggested Hallo-weird How To’s:

Candy Hunt: Yes, we know that you are likely giving your kids and yourself candy. This is where we could encourage you to use dried fruit, granola bars and small gifts but…we digress. We think that for the greatest safety for all involved you should consider doing a candy hunt at home this year with just those in your household. This may look like an Easter Egg Hunt, where you hide treats around the house, or if the weather cooperates, outside. You may even want to pull your plastic eggs and film them. Going door to door right now means exposing yourself and those who answer the door to a potential health compromise, as our numbers are growing in the NEK. We want you to think realistically about how much you are willing to risk for candy and then consider the “at home” candy hunt.

Boo Bags. Boo bags are almost like Easter Baskets but can be as small as a party favor bag that you can leave on a loved one’s doorstep for a festive and yet no contact exchange. Take this further if you like and leave bags for the neighbors! May add a note: “You’ve Been Booed! In lieu of Trick-or-Treating, I am bringing the BOO to YOU! Stay home and stay safe! This is a super fun way to drop off treats on friends’ doors, especially now if your kids haven’t seen each other all week due to school closures. How fun to see that a friend remembered them! This is also perfect for adults too! Get creative! Stay distant!

Keep it food free. What? Celebrate with no food? Well, if you are planning to make some visits, we would encourage you to keep them outside or super distant and with no food and drinks. When we start to enjoy these, we take our masks off. We get comfortable. Next thing you know the distant group is getting closer and closer and its just brings on too much of a threat currently to people’s health. Chances are you only know what you do 100% of the time. You don’t know who else in your “circle” might be up to different activities. You don’t know how often they go to unmasked outings, encounter other people who are more at risk or don’t social distance in all circumstances. If you must make visits, keep them brief, distant and masked. Drop off treats if you like, but skip eating and drinking with those outside your household.

Mary Hoadley

Director of The Wellness Center