Stamford residents work to keep the fun in Halloween – CT Insider

Posted in Tattoo Nightmares on Oct 17, 2020

STAMFORD - Theres a real villain afoot this Halloween.

Its COVID-19.

Because of it, the state Department of Public Health has issued guidelines that discourage traditional trick-or-treating, which carries a high risk for spreading coronavirus.

Mayor David Martin is adopting the guidelines for Stamford, at least for now.

We are actively monitoring Stamford's COVID-19 case rate and will adapt our recommendations based on that information, said Arthur Augustyn, spokesman for Martins office.

It means that if the number of COVID-19 cases in the city spikes before Oct. 31, the guidelines could become significantly more restrictive.

So far, heres what the state, based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends:

You should not trick-or-treat with people outside your household.

Parents should limit the number of houses their children visit.

Trick-or-treaters should wear protective masks at all times. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth or surgical face covering designed to prevent spread of COVID-19.

Do not wear a costume mask over a protective mask it could make breathing difficult.

In distributing candy, place a bowlful on the front step, in the driveway or somewhere else outside your home. If you distribute goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing them.

If you choose to hand out candy, make sure your mask is covering your nose and mouth and sanitize your hands before answering the door. Keep six feet between you and trick-or-treaters, placing the candy in their bags rather than allowing them to take it from a bowl.

Do not pass out candy if you are ill or have traveled to one of the states listed on the Connecticut travel advisory in the 14 days before Halloween.

Its enough to drain the fun out of the holiday.

In Springdale, Erin and Mike Dummeyer looked for a way to put it back. An idea came to them after Erin asked Mike for an odd gift to celebrate her October birthday.

I wanted two big skeletons, Erin Dummeyer said. Then I thought, We should put them in funny poses in our front yard.

Mike took it from there.

Each day he places the skeletons in a different vignette. One day the skeletons sat on the bushes watching people walk by the Dummeyers Palmer Street home. Another day they peered over the stone wall.

The skeletons have been seen sword fighting from atop their horses, sitting around a campfire, and fishing in a kiddy pool that belongs to the Dummeyers 14-month-old daughter.

In Mike Dummeyers favorite set-up, one skeleton spent the day giving the other a haircut.

It comes from whatever props we have around the house, Erin Dummeyer said. He has a whole basement full of random things. He gets a lot of inspiration from there.

Mike Dummeyer said a woman takes a photo of the skeletons each day and sends it to her co-workers.

People come by just to see what the skeletons are doing, Erin Dummeyer said. We think people really need a dash of whimsy in their lives now.

Federal and state public-health officials acknowledge that need in their guidelines, suggesting alternatives to Halloween traditions. Consider hosting a virtual costume contest, preparing candy scavenger hunts within the household, or organizing house-decorating contests for drive-bys, they say.

Mike Piro of Hazelwood Lane was ahead of them on the drive-by thing.

Piro is a lifelong horror-movie buff. He collects memorabilia from such classics as The Shining, Nightmare on Elm Street and It. He has a tattoo sleeve of horror-movie characters.

He hadnt decorated for Halloween, however, until he got his house last year. This year he went a little crazy, Piro said.

A lot of parents arent going to let their kids trick-or-treat this year. That kills me, he said. I loved Halloween as a kid.

His three-hour chiller show starts each night at 7 p.m., when darkness falls.

Everything starts moving and popping and making noise, he said of the frightful animated characters on his lawn. I put lights everywhere. There are a lot of shadows.

Some of the children from Hazelwood Lane come by every night and run between the groaning, grasping figures, Piro said.

They love it, he said.

A family came by in their car and stayed for half an hour, Piro said.

I love to see the reaction from people, he said.

He and the Dummeyers are creating a little joy around a holiday that comes with pandemic warnings.

Avoid indoor haunted houses where people are crowded together and screaming, federal and state public-health officials say. Avoid Halloween parades where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained, hayrides with people who are not members of your household, and trunk-or-treat events where cars gather in a parking lot and people go from one to the other collecting candy.

Remember that, in Connecticut, hosting an indoor party with more than 25 people or an outdoor event with more than 150 people can result in a $500 fine. Attending such parties can get you a $250 fine.

Piro said the fabricated fear of Halloween horrors deflects from the real fear of coronavirus.

Its a way to get some normalcy back, he said. I want people to drive by and forget about COVID for ten minutes.; 203-964-2296.

Stamford residents work to keep the fun in Halloween - CT Insider

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