Tricks of the Treats
Unconventional Halloween ushers in unconventional solutions
Anyway you dress it up, this will not be your typical Halloween.
For one, this year's falls on a blue moon (the second full moon this calendar month) — something that hasn't happened across all U.S. time zones since 1944. Secondly, the spectre of COVID-19 will undoubtedly hang over the affair — with active U.S. cases topping 3 million,there could be any number of coronavirus orbs floating invisibly in the night.
If you're driven out of your gourd by these statistics, you're not alone. Whether you'd prefer to chase the ghost of normalcy or hide away in your crypt, there are still several ways you can enjoy this Samhain. According to Jill Walls, an associate professor of early childhood, youth, and family studies at Ball State University, it could just be a matter of getting creative.
"The most important part of any holiday is spending quality time together and making memories," Walls says. "COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty for families, but I think it's possible to still have fun this Halloween season while staying safe. Parents should take time to prepare their children for some new traditions and provide reassurance about the other upcoming holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas."
These might include a spooky movie night, crafting or pumpkin carving, board games, baking, or an online costume party over Zoom or the webcam app of your choosing. If you do opt to go trick-or-treating, the Erie County Department of Health recommends masks (a convenient occasion if there ever was one), hand sanitizer, sticking together with your family and keeping your distance from others, and a thorough handwashing before enjoying pre-packaged treats only.
And, of course, contactless treatsactions are preferred this year. Wondering how that's done? Well, as it usually does, the Internet has some ideas. The most practical method is a table placed in the front yard, featuring grab-and-go bags or a fun-sized spread of some kind (no communal bowls). However, some folks have engineered some pretty clever alternatives, including candy catapults, cannons, chutes, and even drone drops. Don't say this country doesn't know jack o'lantern about innovation.
Most of Erie County will observe trick-or-treating hours from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday evening, with the exception of Elgin Borough and the City of Corry, which will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Harborcreek Township's had yet to be announced as of this writing.
Stay safe and have fun, ghouls and gals!
Matt Swanseger (firstname.lastname@example.org) plans on spending Halloween sanding his hardwood floors, but he promises not to leave any correspondences in the sawdust.