An out-of-state friend of mine just posed a question to me: “What are you going to do with trick-or-treaters this year?”

I was sort of baffled by how to respond. Everything is completely different this year, isn’t it? You can’t assume that it’s easy (or possible) to do anything that you considered perfectly normal last year.

I replied, “Well, I guess I have to find out what is recommended, then decide what makes sense.”

And since Google knows everything, I let my fingers do they walking (those who remember paper phone directories know that phrase!).

I went to the CDC website. Oh my. They consider the following traditional activities to be high risk:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door-to-door.
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors.
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming.
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household.
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors.
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.

No trick or treating? Not even “trunk” style? No costume parties, haunted houses, hayrides, or festivals?
So depressing, right?

I also looked at my local county guidelines, which unsurprisingly echoed the CDC web site, but offered two fire department locations providing “safe” trick or treating.

The CDC makes the following suggestions for appropriate Halloween activities:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space.
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.

What do you think, dear reader? Are you modifying your Halloween plans? Do you have other suggestions for safe activities? I’d love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, I haven’t purchased any candy yet!

In other news, I want to thank my faithful readers for not only ordering/borrowing THE DEADLY HOURS as part of what is surely your toppling reading list, but for also attending one or more of the “stops” on our virtual tour.

Did you miss the tour? Here’s a link to one of our appearances, the one at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. Enjoy!

If you’ve read THE DEADLY HOURS and enjoyed it, I always appreciate reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, and other online sites.

Happy Fall, Ya’ll!