Many of us consider the holiday season our favorite time of year. At Perimeter Ortho, we enjoy the holiday season as it means more family time. So at the first sign of crisp, cool days and changing colors, our anticipation begins to build. We can’t wait to take part in our beloved holiday traditions, festivals and gatherings.
The pandemic has changed many things for us this year. Since coronavirus is known to spread through close person-to-person contact, the parties and celebrations of old create opportunities ripe for the virus to thrive: Activities like traveling house-to-house to collect candy, giving thanks over a meal with family and friends, and celebrating our beliefs with songs and large get-togethers.
A recent national representative survey found that 70% of moms are planning to celebrate Halloween with their children. And, a Harris poll found that “74% of millennial moms and young parents say that Halloween is more important than ever this year.”
Unfortunately, the traditional way of trick-or-treating is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this year. So, the physicians on the Doximity network developed guidelines to allow everyone to safely celebrate their favorite spooky holiday while minimizing the risk of being exposed to or spreading the virus.
A New Norm
Over the past year, we’ve all adjusted to a new way of life: We’ve worked from home, scheduled virtual doctor’s appointments and taught school from the kitchen table. That flexibility and willingness to do what’s best for our community will continue to serve us well over the upcoming months. Even so, it isn’t easy to accept that we may not be able to celebrate the holidays exactly as we’d like. Taking some time to wrap our minds around how we can manage everything we’re feeling will go a long way in helping us adjust.
Here are the six safety guidelines to follow as you make your Halloween plans this year
- Keep your distance: This may be an obvious safety tip but it is the most important. When we get excited, we often neglect this essential rule. This is particularly true for young children.
- Make it local, Keep it small: It’s best to stick to festivities in your neighborhood or walking distance from your home.
- Your costume mask is NOT a substitute for a cloth mask: A costume mask is nota proper substitute for a cloth mask when it comes to protecting yourself and others against the spread of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands consistently: Pack hand sanitizer for in between houses to limit the spread of germs from one house to your candy bag.
- Offer COVID-friendly candy bags: If your household plans to give out candy this year, pre-pack individual treat bags for young children to “grab-n-go” outside your door. One idea is to set up pre-packed candy bags on your fence or Halloween decorations.
- For those who are high-risk, make Halloween fun at home: Traditional Halloween activities are always fun. But if you or your children are considered high-risk for contracting COVID-19, host a safe celebration at home.
It’s important to remember that these recommendations from the CDC, public health officials, and local and state leaders aren’t meant to keep you from enjoying the holidays; they’re meant to keep us all safe.
Let’s all make a commitment to stay safe and keep others in mind as we plan out our holiday activities. Always follow guidelines from your local health department and government officials — such as the Georgia Department of Public Health Daily Status Report — and pay attention to the current COVID-19 levels in your community.
Lastly, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!