We are a little over one week away from Halloween and it seems that families in Cheshire, and across the entire state for that matter, are still trying to figure out what to do.
Public health officials have warned that trick-or-treating is considered a “high risk” activity because it brings multiple strangers in close contact with one another, even if for a brief moment. As such, many officials have advised against the holiday tradition and suggested that alternatives be found.
Perusing social media reveals the many reactions to the trick-or-treating recommendations. Some have vowed that they will not allow their children to partake this year no matter what. Others have shown a desire to still participate in the tradition, and some lawn signs indicating that a particular house is “open” to trick-or-treaters began to circulate recently online.
Town officials have issued no specific edict when it comes to the holiday. Town Hall has suggested that traditional trick-or-treating be avoided this year, but has not “ordered” families to stay home—only that families follow public health recommendations.
Everyone wants to make sure life remains as normal as possible for children throughout the pandemic, but no one wants to be responsible for an outbreak occurring in town.
There are alternatives, however, and many in Cheshire are already devising ways to ensure that the holiday can still be made fun for children without sacrificing much in the way of safety.
This weekend, the Cheshire High School Best Buddies Club will be holding a Spooktacular event where children can dress up and families can drive through to collect their candy. The volunteers will be in masks and gloves, and many will be dressed in their own costumes to add to the spooky feel.
Parks and Recreation is providing activity bags for families, much in the way it did over the summer. The activities will all be Halloween-themed, and families who come to collect the bags will have a special treat as the Parks building promises to be adorned in haunted house decor.
Trunk-or-treat activities have become popular over the last several years, born in the aftermath of the 2011 October snowstorm that also made traditional trick-or-treating impossible. While some modifications would need to be made, it would seem that neighborhood trunk-or-treats could be done in a way that keeps most safe and socially distanced.
Could even the traditional trick-or-treating experience on Halloween night be made safer? It has been suggested by some that, instead of trick-or-treaters walking from one front door to the next, neighbors could leave candy in a bowl or some other container outside, where the young “ghouls and goblins” can collect their bounty without ever coming in contact with the home owner.
And if families made sure to avoid crowds of children, staying only with their families and not bunching together, while also wearing masks for precautions, the holiday, while altered, could ultimately still provide some fun for youngsters.
Hopefully, everyone can avoid turning Halloween into another fight — an all-or-nothing proposition. There are ways to still provide Cheshire’s children an exciting time this Halloween without taking unnecessary risks. Be creative and the fun will follow.