CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Halloween is right around the corner, and festivities will look different in 2020 because of COVID-19.
Johnny Stobbs, the president of the Corpus Christi Professional Firefighters Association, suggests limiting contact to make for the safest Halloween experience.
"The less interaction there is between people, the better off they're going to be. We’ve seen people build PVC pipes where they slide the candy down. If you don't have that ability to do something like that, I would say suggest leaving the candy in a jar outside,” Stobbs said. “Even cleaning the candy; it's simple to clean, whether it's with just little wipes or whatever, just to minimize that risk as much as possible.”
Stobbs suggests low risk activities, like staying home, or only trick-or-treating with family members.
He said it’s more moderate risk to trick-or-treat in small groups of family and close friends, while still socially distancing, and recommends avoiding high risk activities like larger groups, or events like haunted houses with close groups and screaming.
For some people, it might be a better idea to forego traditional Halloween festivities.
"For those of us in public safety, specifically firefighters, we're probably going to be foregoing it in the traditional sense," Stobbs said. "There are other things that you can do with a very small group, whether it's family, or very, very close friends. That's what I'm hearing, I know that's what our family is doing."
However, Stobbs believes people will be able to adapt to the situation faced with the current situation.
“I think we're a resilient group, we will adapt and overcome any obstacle,” he said.
One thing Stobbs stressed as important: remember traditional safety tips for Halloween to stay safe regardless of what activity you partake.
"We tend to see an uptick in pedestrian accidents on Halloween night,” he said. "Stay visible, whether it's carrying glow sticks, flashlights, reflective tape on your costume.
"Stay on the sidewalk, stay out of the road. If you have to cross the road, make sure you look left, right, left. Make sure an adult is with you, cross at street corners, don't cross in the middle of the street.
"And don't ever assume you have the right of way, it's dark, people aren't paying attention, they're on their cell phones, they're doing whatever, and they just don't see these kids. Children under 12 should only trick-or-treat with an adult, and always check your candy before doing whatever you're going to do with it.”