Autumn brings changes in color and temperature for me in the Midwest. It also brings about menu and activity changes under normal circumstances that I enjoy including picking apples and making pies. My grandchildren are talking about their Halloween costumes hoping there are choices other than a Spiderman mask. If allowed to trick or treat, children and parents accompanying them will need to wear a mask with multiple layers covering their mouth and nose.

How can we safely pass out candy treats? Perhaps you can leave candy and hand sanitizer out on a table at the end of your walk or driveway enjoying the evening watching from your front porch or doorway. Experts suggest that you avoid having kids pick their candy directly from a bowl because it could spread more germs, and it is advised to skip passing out homemade goods like your favorite popcorn balls.

If these options aren’t comfortable for you, how about a virtual Halloween party and costume contest or a virtual pumpkin carving contest? The trick to this year’s Halloween treat is setting correct festivity expectations including social distancing, mask wearing, not touching your face, hand washing, and staying home if you don’t feel well.

When we respect the needs for health safety, we can still experience the things that bring us joy this fall including staying in touch with fellow members. Some Circles are beginning to meet out-doors adhering to these guidelines. Creating and having fun is certainly a needed way to lend a hand to others this year meeting needs of social connection and decreasing pandemic fatigue.

If it is not yet comfortable for you to gather in person, do consider celebrating autumn with other members and friends via zoom calls. Or perhaps you can organize a car ride to enjoy fall foliage and include a drive-by wave to your IOKDS Circle members.

I was touched by the story of a family who re-designed the usual funeral calling. Friends of the deceased parked their cars six feet apart in a line in the church parking lot with windows down. The family of the deceased drove their car along the line-up to safely hear first person messages of sympathy and share remembrance stories with friends while all remained at a distance in their cars.

Be sure to read the upcoming holiday issue of The Silver Cross to learn about the innovative project of the Whatsoever II Circle to facilitate in person family visits at the IOKDS home in Bartlett, TN. I recently saw an Ohio highway sign say, “Phones down, masks up.” Now I will turn that around to say, “When at home, phones up and talking. Masks down.”

Dianne Foglesong, IN


  1. Thank you Dianne for keeping us informed about the importance of connecting while social distancing and continuing to keep in touch over the phone.

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