October 29, 2020

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Just as many modern day Halloween celebrations do not resemble the festivals of old, Halloween in the age of COVID may be a mere shadow of its former self.

by Susan E. Stutz

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon's blood, Then the charm is firm and good.

— William Shakespeare (1623)

Halloween is a holiday steeped in tradition, tracing its roots back more than 2,000 years to the days of the pre-Christian festival known as Samhain which was celebrated on October 31st. It was thought that on that night, the dead returned to Earth and bonfires were lit and sacrifices were made to honor them.

Just as many modern day Halloween celebrations do not resemble the festivals of old, Halloween in the age of COVID may be a mere shadow of its former self. Having said that, however, all is not lost for those of us who enjoy All Hallows Eve.

Here are some of the recommendations from our friends at the CDC on how to safely participate in Halloween tricks and treats:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.
  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating, where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a porch).
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples; wearing masks is encouraged or enforced; and people are able to maintain social distancing.
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family and friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart.

We here at Resistbot want you and your family to be safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. To that end, in addition to the Halloween safety tips, our volunteers have put together a host of resources on individual state reopen plans; restrictions on public and private gatherings; and applying for financial assistance or unemployment benefits.

We have also included information on how to contact NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), because self-care is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones in times of great stress.

Send covidGet pandemic-related help on things from evictions to public assistance to utility bills to 50409 and, in addition to the information above, you will also be able to access details on how you can get help paying your utility bill until you can get back to work and whether or not your state has a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

And as always, you can send stateContact your Governor and/or state legislators, senateContact one or both of your U.S. Senators, or houseContact your representative in the U.S. House, and let your legislators know what is on your mind.

Be safe out there, everyone!

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