How Halifax Halloweens in 2020

Getting paranormal with pandemic precautions

The scariest part of Halloween this year may be the rising case numbers outside the Atlantic bubble. But here in Halifax, children and adults alike are asking whether the scary season's big day will make a comeback this fall.

On social medial sites like Facebook, Reddit and Nextdoor, swaths of parents are asking whether children are being sent trick-or-treating as normal.

While government officials in Ontario have gone as far as stating the haunting holiday is cancelled, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer hasn't called off trick-or-treating.

“There's no reason that you can't practice Halloween safely maintaining physical distancing, maybe modifying how you give out candy if you choose to do so,” Robert Strang at a press conference back on September 9.

In mid-October, the provincial government released a list of recommendations for how to trick-or-treat safely, including not venturing out if you’re feeling sick, sticking to your bubble, and wearing a mask.


The government also encourages residents to download and use their provided signage indicating whether they have treats or are skipping the year.

For those handing out treats, the government recommends doing it from your driveway rather than your doorstep, pre-packaging treats, and using tongs to hand them out on top of wearing a mask.

While some families may feel safer opting for a treat bowl this year, the government actually recommends against a “self-serve bowl or container” that many people put their hands in throughout the night.

With that directive, parents and organizations have come up with creative ways to give out no-contact candy.

click to enlarge Spotted on Cunard Street: a paper mache snake candy chute. - THE COAST
The Coast
Spotted on Cunard Street: a paper mache snake candy chute.

And some parents are sharing their ideas on social media.





For the partiers, the government has some recommendations there as well. Strang said he was concerned Halloween would lead to, "parties and behaviours that would see us letting our guard down.”

“I urge Nova Scotians to make informed decisions before choosing to attend or host Halloween parties or events," he says in a recent government release. "We have been fortunate to have few or no new cases recently, but as we have seen with our neighbouring provinces, COVID-19 can quickly find its way back into our communities. We must continue to follow all public health measures.”

The guidelines recommend celebrating with your bubble of close family and friends (current health regulations say a house party needs to be capped at 10), and to consider the ages, occupations, and health conditions of everyone you invite. You should avoid using a buffet table, everyone should sanitize or wash their hands often, and wear a mask when possible.

Whether it's your first time experiencing Halloween or your fiftieth, this year is bound to be a bit different, but people are still putting in the work to ensure you can experience the spine-tingling Covid-rule-abiding season. Whether it's taking a ghost walk through downtown Halifax, piecing together a costume from Value Village and your roommate's closet, or visiting a virtual haunted house, there’s something hair-raising for every Haligonian.
 

About The Author

Victoria Walton

Once a freelancer, Victoria has been a full-time reporter with The Coast since April 2020, covering everything from COVID-19 to small business to politics and social justice. Originally from the Annapolis Valley, she graduated from the University of King’s College School of Journalism in 2017.

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