The creative solution this dad made for pandemic trick-or-treating

On September 21, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention updated their "considerations" for how to navigate the holidays in the age of the coronavirus. While most fall holidays involve social gatherings, few involve intermingling as much as Halloween. Children visit every house in the neighborhood asking for treats, and adults mingle at themed parties. In fact, "traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door" is the very first activity flagged by the CDC as a "higher risk activity."

One Cincinnati man, Andrew Beattie, rose to the challenge of innovation to allow trick-or-treating to continue during the pandemic. On Facebook, he posted a picture — seen below — of a six-foot shipping tube painted black and orange that he attached to the hand rail next to his front steps. He explains in the post that while wearing a mask and changing gloves regularly, he will send candy taken from a factory-sealed bag down the chute. "I want our youngins to be able to have some sense of normalcy and maybe a little bit of exercise in all this madness," he wrote. Since then, his idea was shared over 85,000 times.

The candy chute is the latest in a series of hacks thought up to maintain the integrity of the holiday. Delish covered another slide conceived by the YouTube channel Wicked Makers that gives step by step instructions for assembling a PVC candy slide. 

Still, we should wait

As Beattie implicitly explains, even with clever hacks, we should still be careful. For families unsure about how safe this Halloween may be, the Halloween and Costume Association has collaborated with Harvard's Global Health Institute to create a map that tracks and color-codes Covid risk levels in each county throughout the nation. In the worst-hit areas, they recommend house-bound activities, and for areas with levels of less risk, public celebrations should still adhere to the CDC's guidelines.

One particular point made by the CDC needs special emphasis: A Halloween mask doesn't substitute for the cloth masks we've been wearing. "A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn't leave gaps around the face," says the agency. Furthermore, costume masks should not be worn over fabric masks, lest they interfere with breathing. People have been creative enough to fashion safe, effective Halloween-themed face masks, such as these at Country Living

Many are waiting to see what the situation looks like closer to Halloween. Los Angeles County banned trick-or-treating outright before walking back to "not recommending" it, as CNN reports. "[Trick or treating is] just not sensible in a pandemic," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director, said. Fair enough. We can't have children clogging together and spreading the disease. So, do as Beattie if you can. If you can't, celebrate inside.