Well, it’s that time again, my favorite time of year: Halloween! Sure, we’re in a pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you trick-or-treaters can’t enjoy going door-to-door. Come on over to my house for a ton of good, responsible fun! Due to exigent circumstances, though, you just need to abide by a few simple conditions:

  1. You must join Nextdoor, friend me, and send a PM requesting Halloween access.
  2. You must live within the immediate two-block vicinity, and I must know your parents from work or church.
  3. You must register for a COVID-19 antigen test, to be scheduled on October 31st between 2-4 PM. A mobile testing station will be parked in front of my home.
  4. You must upload and message me a copy of your negative result.
  5. I will then message you a smiling emoji badge, which you must print and wear when approaching my porch.
  6. If you did not bring a printer with you, I will have a wireless printer available on my porch. Please download the HP Smart app and message me for the printer’s name to connect via bluetooth
  7. On the porch, you will also find a no-touch forehead thermometer, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and an ample supply of swabs.
  8. Sign in on the guest register with the 20-character ID number from your badge.
  9. Sign the waiver allowing video use of your image on Nextdoor.
  10. Stand in front of the digital camera, point the thermometer at your forehead, and show the digital display to the camera.
  11. Using a swab, wipe down the handle of the thermometer with rubbing alcohol.
  12. Dispose of the swab in the conveniently-located biohazard box.
  13. Wait for the porch light to click off and on to indicate approval to proceed.
  14. Wipe your hands with rubbing alcohol before pressing the doorbell.
  15. Place your trick-or-treat bag immediately under the mail slot on the front door.
  16. Wait for your COVID-free treat to be inserted through the slot, which is wiped down after every interaction, into your bag.
  17. Wipe the doorbell and mail slot with rubbing alcohol. Dispose of the swab in aforementioned biohazard box.
  18. Sign out on the guest register and exit the porch immediately.
  19. Any attempts to trick-or-treat more than once will be met with a 5-year ban.

That’s it! So easy, right? There is nothing more fun than seeing the colorful costumes of our neighborhood children, which I will be viewing from behind my hermetically-sealed peephole. Enjoy your box of raisins, #2 pencil, or travel-size package of tissues!

Yours truly,

Fred Gailey