This Halloween, trick-or-treating may seem a whole lot scarier than in the past, given that you could snag some coronavirus along with all that candy corn. Still, though, if there’s one thing we all can do to celebrate Halloween that maintains a healthy social distance, it’s decorate our house!
Yet be warned: Halloween decorations often run the risk of being tacky or over the top (inflatable zombie babies, we’re glaring at you), and when you throw a pandemic into the mix, it gets even trickier to get right.
To help you navigate this strange new world, we’ve pulled together some Halloween decorating fails to avoid during a pandemic, or anytime really—plus some smarter alternatives that probably won’t offend your neighbors.
Don’t: Thank front-line workers with skeletons
Although we appreciate people showing their support for front-line workers such as doctors and nurses, mixing this gratitude with skeletons hits a bit too close to home.
Do: Make trick-or-treating safe for everyone involved
Our 6' candy chute is ready to be attached to the handrail! Come on, Halloween!!! 🎃👻🧙#fucovid19…
It’s so sad to think of trick-or-treaters not getting any candy this year—which may explain why Andrew Beattie invented a 6-foot candy chute to create a “touch-free” trick-or-treating experience.
Here’s how it works: A costumed child stands at the bottom of the stair railing and holds his or her candy bucket under the chute. Beattie, wearing gloves and a mask, will deposit a piece of factory-sealed candy into the chute and, voila, trick-or-treat is complete!
He posted a photo of his creation on Facebook, writing that he hopes the device will make parents and kids feel more comfortable trick-or-treating this year. Some commenters called the device “overkill,” but Beattie wasn’t deterred.
“If this candy chute makes things easier or safer, AND gives those with mobility challenges more of a chance to participate, then what’s the harm?” he wrote. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, ya’ know.”
Don’t: Make corny coronavirus jokes.
Gene just couldn’t figure out why people were hoarding toilet paper! COVID was supposed to make your throat cough…not…
We understand the desire to make corny coronavirus jokes this year, but please resist the urge. If you’ve ever experienced a toilet paper shortage, you know it’s no joking matter.
Do: Encourage social distancing for trick-or-treaters
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We’ve all seen those signs ordering us to stay 6 feet away from others, and such reminders will be needed more than ever on Halloween. So, it’s refreshing and cute to see this stern warning reimagined as the length of a coffin. Granted, coffins might be a bit longer than 6 feet, but it’s close enough.
Don’t: Throw a huge Halloween party with candles
At first glance, this Etsy candle seems harmless—Halloween in quarantine seems to promote social distancing. But take a closer look and you’ll see the cheeky phrase “Infused with partying anyway.” Mixed messages!
This Halloween, resist the urge to throw a huge party and potentially spread COVID-19. Don’t invite people into your home, then light a candle that makes fun of the fact that you’re not doing your part to help keep this pandemic under control.
Do: Make relevant pop culture references.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard Lizzo‘s catchy song “Truth Hurts,” which includes the lyrics: “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that b–ch.” That might be a bit of a rough welcome for certain visitors (what would grandma think?), but this Halloween-themed doormat parodying those crass lyrics is a lot gentler.
Don’t: Buy a realistic corpse decoration
If your goal is to scare the pants off your neighborhood kids, then sure, by all means, buy this realistic corpse decoration on Amazon. Otherwise, steer clear of this one, which is just a little too scary, during a pandemic or otherwise.
Do: Keep your house stocked with cheeky toilet paper
Tasteful bathroom humor is almost always funny, especially when it’s seasonally relevant. This clever “spooky” toilet paper set from Etsy will make your family smile while they freshen up in the bathroom and get them into the Halloween spirit at the same time. It’s a win-win!
Don’t: Wear a coronavirus-themed costume
Greeting trick-or-treaters with a coronavirus-themed Halloween mask like this one on Amazon might seem very timely right now, but to the thousands of people who have been affected by the disease, it’s downright offensive. And wearing this mask without a shirt just makes it so much worse.
Do: Wear a Halloween-themed mask
While coronavirus-themed costumes may be dicy territory, you should absolutely mask up—and scary masks like this one from Red Bubble are the perfect way to inject a bit of Halloween into your routine.