With the ongoing COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic, things will be different this Halloween. The festival of joy, going from door to door, sharing candy, and throwing fun costume parties will not be the same in the current environment where staying at home is the safest option.
For the past several years, Halloween enthusiasts worldwide were trying to make reservations in various hotels in Salem, Massachusetts, to witness the super rare occurrence of the blue moon on the night of Halloween 2020. This phenomenon will create a spine-chilling atmosphere in the town, infamous for its 1962 witch trials. However, despite the best hopes of half a million people who planned to spend their Halloween in Salem, the COVID-19 threat is still in swing and will not let the 2020 Halloween celebration happen in Salem’s historic town.
Even if you didn’t have such ambitions plans to visit Salem, you might have planned something for your neighborhood. But, much to kids’ dismay, many places are still under some degree of lockdown, which makes it not safe for children to go for trick and treating.
Halloween will Happen in 2020
Ever since its popularization in the 19th century in the US, taking part in pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, and costume contests have become an inseparable part of American identity. Even before the summer officially ends, storefronts start displaying sweets and decorations; supermarkets offer pumpkins for purchase, and custom shops are opening.
Despite coronavirus’ easily transmissible nature, the Amerian holiday is indeed happening. Prosper Insights & Analytics and the National Retail Federation study shows that about 58% of Americans are willing to celebrate Halloween in 2020. While this figure is lower than 68% last year, considering that we are in the middle of a global pandemic, these numbers look very optimistic.
How the Halloween industry is faring
If people aren’t leaving their homes, it will affect the industry that sells products for the festival. Sweet and chocolate industry Iis faring much better than any other because they have realized that people will not often shop during the Easter season. They learned from this experience and made the required changes to avoid losing much money in this festive season. Hershey’s lowered the price of some bulk offerings. These tactics paid off, and the sweets manufacturers saw a 13% increase in total Halloween sales.
However, not all Halloween industries are doing as well as the sweet industry. Without the resources to make significant adjustments to their products, it is crucial for the small businesses that people celebrate Halloween this year. The costume retailers are especially worried about the decline in sales, as a significant amount of their sales comes from foot traffic inside their stores. Luckily, NRF said that percentage of people willing to buy costumes had not decreased dramatically. Many outlets saw an opportunity in adversity and started selling new masks that perfectly fit a costume theme while simultaneously providing protection.
Most businesses adapt to changing norms in the wake of this pandemic and offer their patrons new experiences to stay afloat in these adverse times. The shared passion for the Spirit of Halloween is fueling some folks’ creativity who are coming up with new ways to make their business stand out.
Halloween’s uniquely American aspect is set to push millions to find new and exciting ways to celebrate this festival. According to NRF, people are increasingly willing to participate in virtual activities, visiting drive-thru haunted houses, carving pumpkins for home decoration, and many more fun things.
Though the COVID-19 ruined the fun for many, it has not spelled the end for Halloween celebrations in Salem. People can still enjoy socially distanced walking tours of Salem’s famous haunted sites, go to outdoor tarot-card readings, or attend virtual costume contest from their home’s safety. The Destination Salem has transformed its brochures into an app to reduce contact points. Their app can also send out public health notices to benefit the tourist and local business owners.
Trick-or-treating during pandemic
While adults can follow health guidelines, kids don’t like to adhere to the rules. Because trick and treating is the most significant event on Halloween and requires venturing outdoors, people should take some necessary precautions. Whether you will allow your kids to trick-or-treat or not, it is essential to plan how you will talk to them about it. If you decide on trick-or-treating, try following the below-mentioned safety tips.
If you decide to trick-or-treat or give out candy, you might want to set some ground rules with your children. Try to make a simple plan that kids can easily follow. For making them better understand, try writing it down, or go through the rules well before the night.
Also, incorporate some of the essential things in your plan, including:
- Continue using cloth or surgical masks. Children might try to replace these with Halloween masks, but the fabric is not sufficient to curb viral transmission.
- Avoid drawing on the masks, as some markers can contain harmful solvents that children can directly inhale.
- Avoid gathering at the doors. Try lining up to the candy the same way as stores have set up their checkout lines. With only one person at the door at a time, the risk significantly decreases.
- Health experts also suggest keeping it local and keeping it small when it comes to trick-or-treating. Meaning, the kids should stay in the local neighborhood and with other kids, they know.
- Encourage the kids to use and carry hand sanitizer because they are more likely to touch their faces while adjusting their costumes.
- Ask the kids to wash their hands thoroughly once they get home and before they start to dig into their treasure.
Though it is essential to encourage your child to be independent by letting them trick-or-treat without you, it is also necessary to make sure that they can handle themselves in this unprecedented situation. If you think they might not follow through with the safety plan, you can put on a costume and join the junior in their candy hunting adventure.
While the Halloween 2020 celebrations are not going to be the same as the previous years, the nation will hopefully be able to find some joy in this festive season. Everyone is doing their best to get through this crisis. Whether from behind a screen or in a socially-distanced holiday attraction, people find ways to be happy and enjoy Halloween.