This year has been somewhat scary in a number of ways, but the scariest day of any year is only a few weeks away.

Halloween is a night of fun for many, but this year comes with some extra concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a nonscientific poll posted on our Facebook asking people how they think Stillwater should celebrate Halloween suggests that there are still quite a few people who plan on neighborhood trick-or-treating.

More than 50 percent preferred traditional door-to-door, another 25 percent preferred door-to-door trick-or-treating with extra safety precautions, 11 percent said an alternative should be taken and 9 percent said they weren’t celebrating.

We need to be prepared for whatever people decide, and we don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun if we can do it safely.

The City of Stillwater, in an official response to the News Press, isn’t going to weigh in on trick-or-treating, instead recommended people follow CDC guidelines when planning their Halloween festivities. The CDC recommends alternatives for the holiday, especially avoiding things like large gatherings of people.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health lists tips such as limiting group activities to fewer than 10 people, only trick-or-treating in outdoor environments and for those who plan on handing out candy, OSDH suggests preparing individual goodie bags for people to be able to quickly grab and go.

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation also reiterated concerns over large gatherings of people and many different people touching the same surfaces.

“The CDC guidelines are rooted in the viral spread potential from children coming into repeated contact with high-touch surfaces – like bowls of candy or doorbells – as well as the lack of physical distancing that naturally occurs when trick-or-treating or attending parties,” said OMRF physician-scientist Eliza Chakravarty, M.D.

There are ways to have a fun and safe Halloween this year, but it is important to keep the risks in mind when it comes to the ever-present coronavirus. It is still present among us, but being smart about Halloween activities can allow for a safe and fun holiday.

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