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With Halloween Canceled For Many, Parents Are Sharing Their Spooky Plans For Their Kids During COVID

It’s Halloween season but there are creepier things than ghosts and witches lingering in the air: fear of COVID.

As people across the globe begin to prepare for the fall and winter holidays, Halloween included, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doling out words of warning when it comes to gathering around your community. In fact, the public agency recently advised that “when planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.”

For many parents cautious of spreading the disease to loved ones and strangers, trick-or-treating isn’t going to be an option on the table.

We dug around Reddit to see just how parents are going to make the Halloween season special for their kids this year.

Check out their answers and ideas below!

“I’m trying to salvage as much of the holidays as I can for the kids. I’m planning to put a table at the end of my driveway with candy laid out, and a bottle of sanitizer so that kids don’t have to come to my door. Figure I’ll sit at the other end of the driveway and yell happy Halloween to anyone who comes by and restock the table as needed. Anyone else planning on doing something similar? Just curious if other parents are going to let their kids out at all.”- u/beejonez

“I won’t be taking my kids trick or treating this year but I do plan to make them goodie bags with Halloween themed stuff. My 7-year-old suggested we do an egg hunt im the yard like we do on Easter. I think she’s on to something with that idea.”- jeezlouise45

“We’re doing a Glow-in-the Dark, candy hunt. Painting our Easter eggs with paint and then doing it at night. We are making a day of it. Spooky foods and our own halloween party. I wasnt planning on not doing trick or treating this year, but all our neighbors decorated and I’m confused if it a go?! I wasn’t going to do any TorT. I might put something out for kids, like individual bags? I we may go to our neighbors, in our cul da sac, but defiantly not neighborhood. I guess we’ll see on Halloween.”- Wam_2020

“I have seen a lot of back and forth. The CDC, OHA and most health organizations are recommending doing nothing like a traditional Halloween this year. Including just putting candy out form a distance, as you are. We aren’t going out, Halloween will come next year. Going to dress up, watch a movie and eat the candy we would have handed out.” –HowdyAudi

“I actually hope we have a big rain storm, so the kids don’t feel like they missed out.”-Wam_2020

“I grabbed halloween bags from Winco and have prefilled them with candy. I will be passing them out from the end of my driveway as well so kids won’t be sticking their hands in a bowl or messing with sanitizer with gloves on. Just my gloved hands, my N95 mask, and the best compromise between safety and traditions I just won’t give up for anything I can arrange. Plus I’m, at least one of, if not, the “Full Sized Candy Bar” house in a neighborhood dominated by lower income families.” –Herr__Nilpferd

“I’m not taking my kids out. I think we will set up a table at the end of the driveway and give out candy with bbq tongs as our house is very decorated and I’m sure some folks will still be out TorTing. As for my kids I think they’re gonna get a candy shopping spree at the store.” –mithygreg

“Thanks for the insights. I’ll probably still put some candy out for the few that come around. But haunted hunts and such sound like fun things to distract my 5yo with.”- beejonez

“We’re a scavenger hunt at the homes of people in our Coronavirus bubble if I get my shit together and organize it … Giving each of our kids basically a Halloween version of an Easter basket.” –sunnydpdx

“I’m buying a shitload of candy and eating it while Watching spooky movies by myself, happy early Halloween guys.” –s3r1ous_n00b

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Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

Culture

Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

MixMedia / Getty Images

For the single introverts among us, lockdown might seem like the perfect opportunity to re-charge our social batteries and have some much needed alone-time. But no, thanks to the wonders of technology and just how damn adaptable human beings are, virtual dating has totally become a thing. 

For better or for worse, people are dating just as much as ever – albeit through a screen. So if you’re using dating apps during lockdown, arranging video dates and looking for virtual date ideas, here’s a handy guide on how to stay safe and how to ace virtual dating.

Make a damn effort

Act as if the date was in person and get ready accordingly. Shower if you haven’t already that day — it’ll make you feel a lot better — and put on your favorite outfit. Even if it’s not seasonally appropriate, who cares? Wear the sundress pushed all the way back in your closet. Put on makeup if that’s your thing, and do your hair. 

It makes all the difference not only in how you present yourself but by how you perceive yourself. You’ll feel better on the date, more like your “usual” self. 

Figure out your camera setup beforehand

Pro-tip: Do all this the day before, or at least an hour before, the date starts. That way you’re not scrambling and worrying about your angles. Decide if you’re going to use your phone or computer. Put it at eye-level, if possible. If you’re using a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books, but you can also DIY it by leaning your phone against your laptop screen (which can have its own book stack setup) or anything else you can find. 

And…lighting…lighting….lighting! Set yourself up with some good, flattering lighting before you start the call. Find a place that’s the most flattering in your house. Be sure you’re not backlit by a window which can wash out your face.

Simulate real date ideas

Credit: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

Although you obviously can’t “grab a drink” together, you can simulate that. Text before the date and decide if you’ll be drinking wine, coffee, or eating dinner “together.” You can even do a twist on “Netflix and chill,” simultaneously using Netflix’s “party” function; if you go that route, choose something campy or that you’ve both seen before so you can chat easily during it.

Trust your instincts

“A nip slip may not be appropriate for a date with a new person,” Moraya DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, joked to Refinery 29. “It’s modern times, so I think there will be the temptation for people to be really bold and ask about FaceTime sex. People are horny and trapped in their houses. On one hand, that’s okay, but on the other, you’re risking someone taking screenshots,” she cautions. “Listen to your intuition and don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”

She adds that you shouldn’t take the call from bed, because “you’re immediately sending all these other signals unintentionally.” Generally, she says you should conduct the date as you would in person.

Expect awkwardness to happen, because it will happen

Credit: Peter Dazely / Getty Images

Awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, when dating is involved, it’s inevitable. First dates in real life have their own clumsy moments, so don’t beat yourself up if your camera freezes for a moment, or if you talk over the other person. It’s going to happen! Just laugh about it and move on.

Stay safe and comfortable

Although it may seem like common sense, being cooped up inside for so long has left many of us lacking some of the most basic people skills. Remember to not give out any of your personal details – think home address and bank details – and watch out for any suspicious links that might come through in the chat.

Before the date, it’s also a good idea to do some recon on your date’s social media to make sure they are who they say they are. Also, don’t show your face on camera if they’re not showing theirs, that’s a serious red flag.

And lastly, know that you can end the date whenever you want to. You don’t owe anybody anything and it’s totally fine if you’re feeling uncomfortable or in danger to just end the call. But remember, basic dating etiquete also still remains so don’t just close your computer screen without saying goodbye because you’re just not feeling the vibe.

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Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

Culture

Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

mitocaya / Instagram

Undocumented communities are being left out of Covid relief plans. Chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya in Chicago is working to help undocumented restaurant worker in the time of Covid. Abuse of undocumented workers is rampant in certain industries and Chef Dávila hopes to offer some kind of help.

Mi Tocaya is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s Logan Square that wants to help the community.

Covid-19 has devastated the hospitality industry with restaurants being hit exceptionally hard. Restaurants have been forced to close their doors for good as the virus dragged on with no decent relief plan from the federal government. As several countries financially support citizens to avoid economic disaster, the U.S. government has given citizens $1,800 total to cover 10 months of isolating and business closures.

Namely, Mi Tocaya is working to help the undocumented community.

Mi Tocaya, a family-run restaurant, is teaming up with Chicago’s Top Chefs and local non-profits Dishroulette Kitchen and Logan Square Neighborhood Association. The goal is to highlight the issues facing the undocumented community during the pandemic.

The initiative called Todos Ponen, is all about uplifting members of our community in a time of severe need. The restaurant is creating healthy Mexican family meals for those in need.

”We asked ourselves; How can we keep our doors open, provide a true service to the community, maintain and create jobs, and keep the supply chain intact by supporting local farmers and vendors. This is the answer,” Chef Dávila said in a statement. “I confidently believe The TODOS PONEN Logan Square Project addresses all of the above and can very well be easily implemented in any community. Our goal is to bring awareness to the lack of resources available to the undocumented workforce- the backbone of our industry.”

The initiative starts in February.

Mi Tocaya is offering 1000 free meals for local farmers and undocumented restaurant workers. The meals are available for pickup Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2800 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647. to make this happen, Mi Tocaya also needs your help.

The restaurant has teamed up with two nonprofits to make sure that they can scale their operation to fulfill their commitment. They are also asking for donations to make sure they can do what they can to help undocumented restaurant workers.

According to Eater LA, 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off since the pandemic started. Some restaurants have had to lay off up to 91 percent of their staff because of Covid, about 10 percent of those are undocumented. In the cities, that number is as high as 40 percent of the laid-off restaurant staff are undocumented.

“People don’t want to talk about the undocumented workforce, but they’re part of our daily routine in most restaurants,” Jackson Flores, who manages the operations of Mi Tocaya, said in a statement. “They are in the toughest position in the whole economy because they’re an invisible part of it. Restaurant worker advocacy groups have added the creation of relief funds to their agendas, but there have yet to be long-term changes in protections for undocumented workers. Without access to unemployment benefits and other government resources, this group is especially vulnerable.”

READ: Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

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