Handing Out Candy on Halloween in 2020? Here's How We Are Doing It Safely

YES! It's time again for that most bewitching of days. But be safe.
YES! It's time again for that most bewitching of days. But be safe. Photo by Luke Jones
You may have read that places like Los Angeles are canceling trick or treating on Halloween this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Boo, we say. We've been wearing masks every day, so why not combine them with a sweet superhero costume? And if there was ever a year when dressing as a doctor or nurse was justified, 2020 is it.

But, we admit there are concerns from parents and from those passing out candy to the kiddos and, frankly, they are justified. Everything in 2020 is so bizarre, it makes sense that the weirdest Halloween ever is on tap, but kids shouldn't suffer. They just want a sugar rush and a belly full of anything other than candy corn (fight us!) like every other year.

So, we have a few suggestions on how you might pass out your candy safely like we are this year.

Get rid of the knock.

Keeping a safe distance, mask or not, remains one of the best ways to slow the rate of infection. So, this year, set up outside instead of waiting for the doorbell. Kids can avoid getting too close and, bonus, you don't have to keep getting up to answer the door. Grab a chair and hang out in the yard, on the driveway or on the porch. You can meet your neighbors in the process and keep everyone safely apart while still admiring the costumes.

Don't hand out candy.

Instead of passing out the goods, get a large bowl and fill it with sweets. Put it on a table that is safely distanced from you and let the kids have at it. You can watch to make sure some young goblin doesn't try to dump the whole thing into his bag. And you can make it even nicer for your passing guests by putting some hand sanitizer or wipes on the table with the treats. That way, they get the grub and walk away clean. Win-win.

Individually wrapped candy only.

This should go without saying, but this is NOT the year to do your Etsy-inspired candy apples. Kids hate those anyway. They just try to spare your feelings. Whatever treats you want to pass out, they should be individually wrapped and safe for kids and, let's be honest, parents after the little ones fall asleep.

Make it fun for you too.

We enjoy the costumes. Some are clever. Some are adorable. But we also enjoy socializing. In a year where we've all been cooped up like rats, this finally gives us a reason to have a chat even if it is from 15 feet away. Plus, you can get creative with your decorations, not relying solely on jack-o-lanterns on the porch. Make a night of it and bring wine because, after all, you're the adults here.

Buy decent candy.

This is another basic rule of thumb, but it is even more important this year. The year 2020 has been stressful for everyone including kids. How do you think they will react if they reach into their bags and pull out old, hard, grandma candy? Now, imagine they just snatched a Reese's? We once committed to passing out only the peanut-butter-and-chocolate cups one Halloween. By the end of the night, little boys and ghouls were literally chanting "Ree-se's! Ree-se's!" They loved us.

It's OK to just not do it.

Maybe you are too nervous about passing out candy or you're just worn out by the thought of sanitizing things. That's completely fine. You do not have to participate in Halloween if you don't want to. Just be sure to turn off your porch lights so everyone gets the message. No one will think worse of you. But, for your own sanity, we recommend buying a big bag of Halloween candy for yourself and munching away. You gotta eat, right?
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke