Last Call: Alternative trick-or-treating methods for Halloween 2020

Group of children dressed up in costumes for Halloween
Photo: Ariel Skelley (Getty Images)
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

We wrote last week about whether trick-or-treating should be canceled on Halloween this year, due to the ongoing pandemic and the government’s discouragement of public gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors. Setting aside the question of whether it should, it’s hard to know whether the holiday will proceed as normal in a year when so little else is normal. Obviously, it’s going to depend on multiple factors: whether local ordinances outright prohibit certain types of Halloween celebrations, whether individual families decide it’s worth any potential risk, and whether enough families in a given area decide to move ahead that people actually think to stock up on candy and prepare to welcome trick-or-treaters to their door.

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It’s pretty widely accepted that surfaces aren’t the point at which COVID-19 is spread. Instead, Halloween theoretically becomes a transmission risk when clusters of people are crowding the same stoops and porches and huddling together around their buckets to make valuable candy trades. And if those are the risks, then it seems easy to find workarounds and keep up everyone’s spirits with some modified traditions. Here are some clever ideas that both our readers and others across the web have proposed, plus some of our own:

  • Toss candy to approaching trick-or-treaters from your doorway so that they never have to get too close
  • Organize a “costume parade” where neighborhood kids march at safe intervals down the street as adults toss candy to them from their lawns
  • Have the kids stand in their own driveways as adults drive down the street tossing candy out of their cars at each house
  • Make a seasonally scary candy slide
  • Dress up a drone like a bedsheet ghost and have it descend upon trick-or-treaters with baggies of candy
  • Stick candy in orange and black Easter eggs and hide them around your front lawn
  • If all else fails, have a successful quarantine-o-ween by just letting kids wear their costumes at home 24/7 and feeding them elevated levels of candy for a week straight
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Any other ideas?

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

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Here’s my favorite:

- Stay home and be thankful you’re not dead from COVID-19 or wildfires or hurricanes or any of our culture’s other myriad of 2020 problems.

Suck it up, these are the times that try people’s souls. You can get by without candy and costumes for one year. Kids are resilient, they’ll be unhappy and then they’ll move on. There rest of us should learn to be like a kid in that way. Buy your kids and yourself a small amount of candy and just hang in there, behave, wear your covid-19 masks right, stay 6 feet away, and think about how nice it’ll be next year to have fun if we as a culture finally get our collective shit together enough to beat this disease without pretending we can wait for a vaccine.