I, Mark Roemer, would like to preface this blog by saying that I don’t think having a Halloween party is the best option right now.
As we all know, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in just about everything that is fun this year. Most summer activities were canceled. Concerts were postponed until a minimum of 2021. Weekend fishing trips had to be canceled due to closed National Parks. Good luck was trying to find a place to have a sit-down dinner open for a Birthday wedding anniversary. That being said, there is still a group of people bound and determined not to let the wretched year take one more holiday from them. The statistics are overwhelmingly in favor of people wanting to celebrate not only Halloween but for other holiday festivities. It seems that people have had their fill of this pandemic. Who could blame them?
Well, I know I will not convince everyone to forgo Halloween. So in place of that, I have decided that I am at least going to attempt to make your holiday celebrations a little safer. While my main focus is on Halloween right now, these same rules could be applied to any get together you have planned.
Make It A Mask Theme
I am not going to get involved in the debate of mask-wearing. Suffice it to say, there are currently to camps – mask advocates and mask critics. All I am willing to concede is that most medical experts have gone on record saying they would recommend them, especially to most vulnerable groups.
That being said, if there is any holiday that lends itself to wearing a mask, it would be Halloween. If you are lucky enough to be born before plastic masks were all but banned from Halloween, then you know masks are possible. The only reason they were removed from the norm is that you could not see very well out of them. It just wasn’t smart to have kids running up and down the street, with a mask they could barely see out of – at night no less. Fortunately for us, the masks I am talking about have nothing to obstruct your vision. So, come up with some ideas and make a mask to show off your style and creative side.
If you doubt that any of your guests will not comply with the mask requirement, you can do one of two things. First, don’t invite them in the first place. Second, have some masks on standby just in case someone “forgets” theirs at home.
I know this isn’t an option for many states up north, but it is still an option. I know many people who live in the north, and they will wear a scarf covering their nose and mouth. By having a party outside this close to winter, you can all but ensure that people will dress for the weather.
Having an outdoor party gives your guests the ability to have more space to spread out. When you are indoors, there is only so much space they can occupy. When they are outside, they can spread out and keep the virus’s potential spread to a minimum.
Stock Up on Supplies
Under normal circumstances, I would be referring to cups, plates, and cutlery. In this case, I am discussing medical supplies. You can even disguise them as a goodie bag if you feel self-conscious about handing them out to people.
Besides a goodie bag, there are countless ways you can fit this into the holiday theme. If you have a couple of dozen travel-sized hand sanitizer bottles, you could disguise them as potion bottles. All you need is a little construction paper or paint and creative imagination. Please make sure you let your guests know that it is hand sanitizer so that no one accidentally tries to consume the product, thinking it is a single serving drink.
In addition to hand sanitizer, have copious amounts of soap at each sink. Don’t give anyone an option not to wash their hands. If you have been to a few hotels over the years, I know you have likely taken the extra soap that was lying around. Put a basket of those out and inform your guests that they can toss the soap’s remainder if they are not comfortable sharing with others.
Limit the Number of Guests
There is no need to invite half the neighborhood to your party. While most outdoor venues (assuming you are holding your party outside) suggest keeping the number under twenty-five. If you are not opting to have your party outdoors, I would keep the list to no more than fifteen. If you have a tiny apartment, no more than ten people should be on your list. You don’t want to be the cause of many people getting sick to have a silly Halloween party.
On a side note, I would like to advise you to check your local laws to ensure you do not end up with a hefty fine. Many municipalities have a narc line for neighbors to call in matters of public safety.
Make It Virtual
I know we are beyond tired of Zoom platforms right now, but it is the safest way to go. If no one is in contact with each other, then no one can get sick. There are so many positives that come out of having your party virtually.
First, you don’t have to worry about offending people on either side of the mask-wearing sides. Second, you can save a lot of money, not having to buy several bottles of hand sanitizer or bars of soap. Finally, there is no limitation on how many people you can invite to join you. As a bonus to that last one, you can invite friends from all over the world. It doesn’t have to be limited to your area.
I, Mark Roemer, hope that you decide to do the right thing. Too many people have died as a result of not being careful around this virus. I feel that I have provided you enough alternatives and suggestions if you are choosing to celebrate Halloween. Be safe and practice social distancing whenever and wherever possible.