Staying Safe During the Second Pandemic-Impacted Halloween

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every facet of daily life, it should come as no surprise that it’s had a significant effect on the way we celebrate holidays. Although the ready availability of vaccines in the U.S. has done a lot to lessen the threat of the novel coronavirus, a ridiculous number of Americans remain unvaccinated, thereby prolonging the pandemic. As such, while wanting to enjoy the steadily-approaching Halloween is certainly understandable, you’d be wise to do so with an air of caution. It’s still possible to revel in the spookiest time of year – you’ll just need to embrace some common sense precautions.

Get Your Vaccine

When it comes to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, getting vaccinated is the most effective step you can take. Unless you have a medical condition that prohibits you from receiving the COVID-19 vaccines, you have no excuse not to act responsibly and get vaccinated at your earliest possible convenience. Taking part in any Halloween festivities without being vaccinated – when three different vaccines are widely available throughout the U.S. – is the height of irresponsibility and selfishness. Even if you personally aren’t afraid of contracting COVID-19 and/or its variants (and frankly, you should be), you have no right to place the health of others at risk.

Furthermore, no one in the U.S. can use lack of accessibility as an excuse for not getting vaccinated. Unlike most things medicine-related in the United States, COVID-19 vaccines are available free of charge, so affordability won’t be an issue for anyone. In addition, vaccines are being administered at a large number of pharmacies, pop-up clinics and medical facilities, so no matter where you’re based, you shouldn’t have to look very far to find a place to get vaccinated.  

Don PPE

If you’ll be passing out candy or interacting with people outside of your immediate household in any other capacity this Halloween, take care to don a mask and other PPE. Since most children have yet to be vaccinated, anyone dealing with trick-or-treaters should wear both a protective mask and face shield. You can even incorporate PPE into your costume by dressing as a doctor, ninja, pirate or bandit. Additionally, even if PPE can’t be organically incorporated into your costume, you’ll still need to mask up.    

Purchase Decorations in Advance

One of the most effective ways to secure the best Halloween decorations is to purchase them well in advance of All Hallows’ Eve. So, if you’re looking to buy outdoor Halloween decorations, why not beat the crowds and order them weeks – or months – before the Halloween season rolls around? In addition to ensuring that you have the spookiest house on the block, this approach will help you avoid scores of potentially-unvaccinated last-minute shoppers in the immediate leadup to Halloween. 

Proceed at Your Own Pace

In light of the ready availability of vaccines, many people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, while vaccine accessibility is certainly a hopeful sign, it’s important to remember that the pandemic is not yet over. In fact, as of July 2021, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in many parts of the country. This surge in cases is due in no small part to unvaccinated individuals taking ready advantage of relaxed mask mandates and distancing guidelines. Furthermore, the dreaded Delta variant, which currently accounts for the majority of new infections, is even more dangerous than regular COVID-19 – which is already quite dangerous. 

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That being the case, don’t allow yourself to be pressured into attending Halloween parties or other holiday events that you’re not comfortable going to. If you feel that an event is unsafe due to excessive crowd size, unvaccinated attendees, lack of masking or any other reason, don’t let friends or family members trivialize your concerns. You have every right to keep yourself safe without being accused of being “ruled by fear” or “too afraid of dying to truly live.” Frankly, considering how prevalent the Delta variant has become and how many Americans remain willfully unvaccinated, large gatherings probably aren’t a good idea this Halloween.     

The ongoing threat of COVID-19 has made many of us rethink the way we approach holidays. Although festive events like Halloween traditionally involve congregation and merriment, making a full return to our pre-pandemic ways still isn’t entirely safe. Despite how easily accessible vaccines are in the U.S., an inexcusable number of us remain unvaccinated, thereby prolonging the pandemic and giving rise to new virus variants. As such, anyone celebrating Halloween in 2021 will need to exercise caution and heed the pointers discussed above.

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