“I really wanted to, but it was very rainy," Schneider said. "If I knew COVID would happen, I would’ve gone anyway."
However, he said that he understands that it’s important to be safe. He said he will probably leave a bowl with candy out on his front step and spend his Halloween night doing homework.
For people with children, trick-or-treating during a pandemic is a new conundrum. On the county website, the Orange County Health Department lists Halloween activities according to their level of risk.
A few examples of high-risk activities are going door to door to trick-or-treat, handing out treats from car trunks that are lined up in large parking lots and attending indoor crowded costume parties.
Alternative activities listed as low-risk included examples such as carving pumpkins, holding scavenger hunts with members in a household and virtual activities.
Aja Kelleher, a Carrboro resident and mother to an 11-year-old daughter, said she has taken a different approach. Her family will not trick-or-treat or hand out candy, and will instead do an outdoor costume party with several other families in a “pandemic pod.”
Kelleher said her daughter is part of a “pandemic pod” with six kids, a group that only socializes with each other and is careful about who they come into contact with. They are renting a farm where the kids can do virtual school and outdoor activities with each other while staying socially distanced, and this is where the party will be held.
Attending an outdoor costume party was one of the activities the Orange County Health Department listed as moderate-risk. Other moderate-risk activities the department listed included lining up individually wrapped goodie bags at the end of your driveway for families to grab while trick-or-treating, or having an outdoor costume parade.
Kelleher said that her daughter, like many kids, finds remote learning very isolating, so the pod is a way for them to maintain a sense of normalcy.
“The kids love the idea that the space would be decorated, that they would get to wear costumes, and that there would be treats and music," Kelleher said. "And we were just like, 'Oh, it’s better that we get to celebrate than do nothing.'"
@DTHCityState | email@example.com