Dad creates contactless candy chute for Halloween trick-or-treaters during COVID-19 pandemic
LOS ANGELES - One dad had a few tricks up his sleeve to ensure trick-or-treaters stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Beattie, a Cincinnati resident, said he was trying to think up a fun and creative away to delivering candy, while adhering to social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions.
“I think the neighborhood recognizes us as the house that always has all the decorations out,” Beattie said. “This year we chose to do something a little different.”
Beattie went into the basement, where he found an Amazon shipping tube which he used to create a candy chute on his outdoor banister for distributing treats safely on Halloween.
“The candy shoot that we came up with is a fun thing for the kids to do. My 6-year-old daughter loves it,” Beattie said.The video, originally posted to Beattie’s Facebook page, has since gone viral.
Beattie was surprised by the response. “I was shocked,” he said.
While Beattie said things are different right now, Halloween is a holiday that already easily integrates certain COVID-19 guidelines such as utilizing face coverings for costumes and staying away from strangers while trick-or-treating.
Beattie said he has read through many comments on his video, and he will continue to use viewer suggestions to make the process as safe as possible.
“We wanted to do something this year to help be a part of the solution,” Beattie said.
So far, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not released specific guidance for Halloween during the pandemic. Recently, a bipartisan group of 30 members of Congress wrote to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield asking him to “include considerations for COVID-19” in the center’s annual Halloween safety guidance, accord to The Hill.
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Some states and municipalities, including the city of Los Angeles, are not recommending door-to-door trick-or-treating, citing difficulty in maintaining proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, and because sharing food is risky, according to the LA County Public Health Department.
Candy distribution options continue to pop up on social media, with some planning “treat tosses” or long sticks with hooks and candy buckets attached, to maintain a 6-foot distance.
While time will tell what Halloween will look like this year, Americans have still been stocking up on candy. New data from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) showed that Halloween chocolate and candy sales are up in 2020.
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“For the latest four weeks ending September 6 versus the same period in 2019, total Halloween chocolate & candy sales are up 13%,” the NCA said. “In the grocery channel alone, Halloween chocolate and candy sales are up 17.1%.”
Companies, including Walmart, are providing different protective measures to costumes to ensure safety. Walmart is bringing in more masks that can double as costume accessories, and has increased its indoor and outdoor decorations.
Kelly Hayes contributed to this story.