Enjoying a social distancing Halloween

Jamie Ford, Managing Editor

In the era of Covid-19, there are few facets of our lives that remain untouched. From school to work to socializing to how we stand in line at our local pizza shop, COVID-19 has, unarguably, had a mass effect on our day-to-day activities.

A new challenge arises amidst the social distancing guidelines set in place: holidays. We haven’t seen any major cause for a nationwide spike in social gatherings since the Fourth of July, at which time the majority of public and private festivities were cancelled without question. Would people be less cautious now that months have elapsed since the restrictive Red Phase was lifted?

Fortunately, many parents of young trick-or-treaters opted for more socially-distanced celebrations. Rachelle Hafer, a Gifted Support Advisor at the Spring-Ford Senior High School, carried on with the Halloween festivities with her family, but confined it to the family’s backyard.

“We’ll have our kids dress up,” she explained, “[but] limit [the celebration] to a few of our friends with kids and put out buckets and each family will bring a bag or two of candy. We won’t be doing the traditional trick-or-treat around the streets … We’ll just hang out around our campfire.”

Taking a different approach, a Royersford family planned to continue with the trick-or-treat route mapped in their neighborhood ever since their sons, aged 5 and 7, were old enough to walk. The Hillers and their neighbors agreed to each place grab-and-go style candy bowls on their porch steps, and also to take the route a little slower to avoid having more than one family visit each stoop at once.

Whatever tactics eager trick-or-treaters and their families implemented to keep their communities safe this year, many can agree that a little creativity helped mitigate what negative impacts COVID-19 had on this year’s festivities.

“We’ve gotta wear these things, so might as well make the most of it,” says Gabrielle Marck, a Royersford mother-of-two, as she displayed her, her husband’s, and their five-year-old twins’ brightly-painted masks.

“I’m Abby Cadabby, and this is my husband the Cookie Monster,” she laughed. “The girls are Big Bird and Elmo. We picked up a couple tutus from the Dollar Store, and some plain white masks, and a couple of paints and we’re set for this year.”