UNITY ‑ In a second year of pandemic the question seems to remain, "how will Halloween look this year?"
While experts say trick or treating may be safe, it depends where you live and caution should still be the theme of this event, because there is almost nothing scarier than COVID-19 at present.
So far there are no indications of any provincial restrictions or guidelines however that doesn’t mean those participating in Halloween activities shouldn’t be diligent and vigilant in their practices, including keeping any participation outdoors as much as possible.
Children not yet beging eligible for vaccinations adds another layer of precautions for young trick or treaters. Options could be similar to last year such as leaving treats in yards or doorsteps for treaters to grab and go, with parents also ensuring proper hand hygiene is maintained before eating any of the treats received. Parents can also help children to understand there may be fewer homes to approach for trick or treating activity as some people may not feel comfortable with crowds at their door.
This is where Wilkie is offering a solution. Residents can pick up a pumpkin poster from the town office to place on their front door or window letting trick or treaters know that kids are welcome at that home.
Mayor Kathy Wurz also adds from the community of Luseland, “Last year and this year, we have advised residents to pick up a poster/picture which would indicate to trick or treaters that a household was in fact giving out treats. That way kids knew that if people didn’t have the poster up that they should likely not stop there. We largely have been leaving it up to parent’s comfort. Being that kids under 12 are not vaccinated, some may choose to not let them go out.”
Mayor Sharon Del Frari of Unity recommends visiting known homes. Children could bring COVID-19 home as has been the case in some schools. “Parents need to be aware and decide what’s best for them and their families.”
Another amazing gesture has come to light in Unity. Allison Leslie posted on several Facebook pages that she would be driving around to homes where kids are isolated with goodie bags for kids that can’t go out. Leslie said if they wanted to get dressed up and come to the doorstep, she would love to see their costumes. Chantelle Bretzer had also commented she was doing the same. As well, many residents responded that they would gladly donate candy to these efforts.
Children are encouraged to get creative with incorporating a facemask into their costumes to add that extra layer of protection. The Public Health Agency of Canada said any direction on trick-or-treating is being left up to the provinces, however Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has suggested candy distribution include pre-packaged, individual treats.