Post #832: Trick-or-Treat 2020, the Simplified Rules

Posted on October 2, 2020

Source: The Patch.

Homeowners / Candy Givers

  • DO place individual bags of candy in a location clearly visible to passers-by.
  • DO wave at trick-or-treaters from behind a window or glass storm door.
  • DON’T attempt to give out candy face-to-face.

Trick-or-Treaters and their families

  • DO go trick-or-treating with your family (only).
  • DO yell “trick-or-treat” as you take a bag of candy.
  • DO wave back at the homeowners / candy givers.
  • DO wave and say hello from a safe distance as you pass friends and neighbors.
  • DON’T approach a house unless bags of candy are clearly visible.
  • DON’T ring the doorbell or knock on the door.
  • DON’T accept candy face-to-face.

This is my proposal for a simple set of rules that allows for safe trick-or-treating during the pandemic.  Obviously, this is for families and homeowners / candy givers who choose to participate this year.

As I mentioned in my just-prior post, a lot of families are planning on trick-or-treating, pandemic or not.  Let’s take a lesson from the Grinch, and realize we can’t stop this holiday from happening.  And so, with that in mind, it’s best to have some sort of plan in place.

A new set of rules like this only works well if nearly everyone agrees on them.  People have to agree on the new normal.  That’s why it requires somebody in a position of authority to endorse something like this.  So I’m hoping some person or organization of stature here in town will adopt this, or something like it, as the preferred rules for Trick-or-Treat 2020.

It may not be obvious why the bags of candy must be clearly visible to passers-by.   Or why trick-or-treaters should not approach a house unless there are bags of candy clearly visible.  This is to avoid any awkwardness if a homeowner insists on giving out candy face-to-face, forcing a parent to refuse that offer, for safety’s sake.  That situation could clearly lead to hurt feelings all around, and the best solution is to avoid it in the first place.

And finally, the unwritten rule.  If we can all agree that this is safe, then don’t criticize your neighbor for choosing to go trick-or-treating.  Or for choosing not to go trick-or-treating.  If we can do this in a way that does not endanger the public health, then it’s a free country after all.

Ah, I probably need to say something about fomites I mean, seriously, who could possibly discuss trick-or-treat without mentioning fomites.  The thing you need to know is that CDC changed its guidance regarding fomites and COVID-19.  I’m relying on the NY Times interpretation , the gist of which is, transmission via fomites is possible, but quite rare.  See Post #766 for a full writeup of just how incredibly unlikely it is to transmit COVID-19 via some contaminated object or surface.  If you’re still worried, then let the goodies sit a day or two before being eaten.  Any coronavirus on the candy wrappers should be dead after that amount of time.

And to think, when I was a kid, all we had to worry about was razor blades in the candy.  Those were the good old days.