Will the holidays be back to normal this year?

A Halloween tradition, and those at Thanksgiving and Christmas, win permission to return from one of Chicago’s most celebrated experts on the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think it's perfectly safe for them to be trick-or-treating," said Dr. Emily Landon.

University of Chicago Medicine's Dr. Landon, a hospital epidemiologist and renowned expert in infectious diseases, says the upcoming fall and winter holidays should happily look very different than they did last year, at least for the fully vaccinated, starting with this month's Halloween.

"The good news is most Halloween costumes can incorporate a mask of some type, so children really should be masked for any activity that they do during Halloween. I think it's perfectly safe for them to be trick or treating. But I really hope you only go to doors where people are wearing masks," Landon said.


She did caution against having your kids spend time indoors, unmasked with their friends, noting that no vaccine has yet been approved for young children. So, what about Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas when family and friends get together indoors for hours at a time?

"If you are a vaccinated individual, you should feel free to spend time with your vaccinated family members, traveling as well. You may need to take some precautions, based on the prevalence of the disease in the areas you're traveling to or traveling from. Meaning masking may be required. And certainly you have to wear masks in transit," Landon said.

The key, operative phrase there: "fully vaccinated."