There might be a lot to "boo" about this Halloween season as the COVID-19 pandemic forces many traditions to be reconsidered. It's important to think and act differently this year, according to Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases expert.
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There might not be little goblins and witches knocking on doors this Halloween.
"We are discouraging participating in any activities that significantly increase your risk of transmission or exposure to the infection."
But that doesn’t mean that Halloween needs to be canceled. Skip the candy exchange. Instead, visit a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin, and then carve it with household members. Or pick apples at an orchard where social distancing is enforced.
"Have a virtual costume party, for example, instead of meeting with other people in person would be considered a low-risk way to mark the Halloween holiday," says Dr. Rajapakse.
Keep in mind that a costume mask won't protect you against COVID-19, so consider a Halloween-themed cloth mask instead.
"Wearing a cloth face covering; making sure that you're washing your hands frequently, and for 20 seconds, either using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; and really trying to adhere to that 6 feet of physical distancing will be the measures that keep you and your family as safe as possible," says Dr. Rajapakse.
For the safety of our patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a non-patient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding along with guidelines and recommendations may have changed since the original publication date.