How to make a “Candy Cannon”: Safe ways to trick-or-treat during COVID-19 pandemic

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This Halloween, you’re going to have to get creative with your candy delivery to stay safe from coronavirus. Fortunately, we’ve got a few fun ideas to liven things up and keep those little zombies, ghosts, and ghouls at a safe distance.

One idea is to make a “candy cannon” you can position out of a front window or attached to the railing on your front steps. You’ll need:

  • 4 inch wide PVC pipe (est. $10 per 10 feet)
  • 1 elbow socket, also 4 inch wide (est. $5 each)
  • Decorations, i.e. bright tape, paint, stickers, etc.
  • Stool and bucket (optional)

Once you have your materials, cut the PVC pipe to the desired length, but no less than six feet to ensure social distancing. Choose your decorations and style your cute loot chute however you like! Leave room at the end for your elbow socket. I found it best to attach this to the end you’ll be positioning towards trick-or-treaters.

Next, position your “candy cannon”. If attaching to a railing, leave the elbow socket and about three inches of pipe hanging slightly off the end. Secure your creation with extra tape, it needs to stay in place when you launch candy down the chute!

If you choose to set a bucket and stool at the end, send a test piece of candy down the chute to know where it will fall, then adjust accordingly. You can also forgo these extras and just have kids hold their buckets and pillowcases at the end of the “cannon”!

Neighbors in Center Square rushed in for a look when they saw our experiment.

“It’s a high-quality candy delivery system! Yeah, this works,” nods Rob Howland.

“And it looks straight out of an amusement park, so immediately we wanted to come check it out,” adds Hannah McNamee.

They also say it’s good to see coronavirus can’t kill a holiday.

“That’s so fun!” yelled one woman while walking her dog across the street. “I’m so glad people are still excited for Halloween!”

“You want to make parents feel safer while they’re getting their kids out, and this would make me as a parent feel comfortable, for sure,” says Howland.

“How do you explain the first pandemic we’re all living through to young kids? They deserve something special, and this is the cutest contraption ever,” says McNamee with a laugh.

In case you want to limit contact all together or just feel like staying in and relaxing this Halloween, the latest guidance says you shouldn’t just leave a full candy bowl out. It could spread coronavirus the more and more people put their hands in. The guide instead suggests leaving out a tray with individually wrapped bags of sweets and a sign for everyone to take one. You can also leave out a pump of hand sanitizer to keep kids clean on their candy crusade.

Also a few things to remember for our trick-or-treaters, Halloween masks with nose and mouth holes will not keep out the coronavirus. The latest guidance instead suggests you get the appropriate two-layered face mask with a cute design or decorate it yourself to match your costume.

The guide also says you should only go out with your close circle of friends and family, avoid mixing with big crowds, and stay in your own neighborhood where you know it’s safe.

Finally, if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, think you could be sick, or you’re just not feeling it this year, don’t participate! There’s always next year. Just switch off your porch light to signal to the candy goblins, then save all the goodies for yourself.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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