‘No fun size’: Charlie Baker shares 9-year-old’s humorous COVID-19 safety tip for Halloween

"It was written with a crayon, but it was quite clear."

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Salem, MA  10/6/20  Governor Charlie Baker (cq) comments about how President Donald Trump is handling his own COVID-19 diagnosis.  Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito (cq) are joined by Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack (cq) and Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll (cq) to make an announcement about the Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program.  They hold the press conference in Salem's Olde Main Street Pub, during the continuing coronavirus pandemic.  POOL (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
Gov. Charlie Baker during a previous press conference earlier this month in Salem. –Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

Gov. Charlie Baker says that outdoor trick-or-treating, if done with precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, “is actually a lot safer” than many of the indoor alternatives this Halloween season.

Baker’s administration has already put out a list of tips for trick-or-treating in the midst of the pandemic, which includes keeping groups small, wearing a face covering, and limiting face-to-face interaction with members of other households.

However, during a press conference Wednesday afternoon in Salem, the Massachusetts governor shared an additional, entrepreneurial COVID-19 safety suggestion that he received in a letter from a 9-year-old constituent.

“It was written with a crayon, but it was quite clear,” Baker said. “It said, ‘Governor Baker, I want to thank you for not canceling Halloween. And I think the best thing you can do to make sure that people really limit their exposure to each other when they’re out is to tell everybody that they should give out one large candy bar, instead of those baskets of many small candy bars, because then kids won’t put their hands in and fish around for them.'”

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“No fun size,” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll chimed in.

“No fun size,” Baker agreed, adding that the letter was a “pretty clever way of promoting an idea in the context of all the rest of this.”

The governor subsequently tweeted a photo of the letter Wednesday afternoon, which clarified that “people should only give out king size candy bars.”

The state’s safety tips also suggest placing candy on a platter instead of a bowl, as well as “one-way trick-or-treating,” with treats placed outside of the home for trick-or-treaters as a “grab and go.”

While some Massachusetts cities with elevated COVID-19 levels have simply canceled door-to-door trick-or-treating this year, Baker has expressed some concern that such moves could potentially push more people indoors, where the risk of spreading of the virus is much higher.

Baker reiterated Tuesday that indoor Halloween parties are “a really bad idea.”

“I can’t express this enough,” he said. “Indoor house parties — close contact, shared food, shared beverage, long periods of time with the same people, some of whom you know probably pretty well, but don’t know where they’ve been or who they work with or where they’ve traveled, without masks or distancing, which in most cases will be the case — is simply not a good idea.”

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