Who knew an old shipping tube could be the key to making trick-or-treating a bit safer and a lot more fun during a pandemic? Apparently one dad whose Halloween candy chute idea is going viral. Not only is it a practical way to practice physical distancing during the COVID-19 crisis, but it's also great for kids with mobility challenges and, heck, it even manages to help get rid of old stuff around the house.
In a Facebook post shared on Sept. 15, Ohio dad Andrew Beattie shared his brilliant invention: a "touch-free" 6-foot candy chute to deliver snacks to little trick-or-treaters this Halloween. "I want our youngins to be able to have some sense of normalcy and maybe a little bit of exercise in all this madness, and I've put a LOT of thought into how to do so safely," he wrote on Facebook.
Halloween celebrations across the country have had a big question mark looming over them due to COVID-19, with many states still reporting high numbers of confirmed cases and leaving parents wondering if trick-or-treating will be safe this year. Hershey's has even made a special Halloween interactive map to inform parents about the COVID-19 risk in their area, offering alternatives if traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating is not totally safe.
But Beattie's candy chute idea? People are really loving it.
So how is this resourceful dad going to make sure kids get their candy while staying safe? "This will be a completely 'touch-free' experience for trick or treaters," Beattie wrote on Facebook. "There will be a sign at the bottom of the tube showing them where to hold their bags and buckets so the candy can drop right in." Beattie said that he will be wearing a mask and changing his gloves often. "The candy will be from a factory-sealed bag that I'll open outside by the candy chute," he added.
Beattie attached the 6-foot chute, which he wrote on Facebook only took about 20 minutes to put together from "throwaway materials (a 6' x 4" cardboard shipping tube and stuff I already had)," to the hand rail of his house, and later shared a video of his daughters demonstrating how it would work.
Beattie tells Romper the idea "started as a family activity as a way to do something fun" with their 6-year-old. "Something easy and inexpensive that might just help us stay safe while still enjoying the festivities this year!"
"We'd been wanting to do something that also helped people with mobility challenges as well for a while now (people with strollers or wheelchairs) since we have steps in front of our house," Beattie says, "and this seemed to resolve those AND potentially the challenges we face with COVID-19."
While most people were supportive of the idea, Beattie said on Facebook that he's "received a lot of flack from people thinking this is overkill" and he should "just hand out candy." "I'm truly glad you're optimistic about this — I am! However, many people aren't feeling the same with it, and that's okay," Beattie wrote to those who've been critical of his idea. "We don't really know much about this thing yet."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.