Dad hopes his 'candy chute' design will save Halloween during COVID-19

WATCH: You may want to start rethinking your plans for Halloween. Experts say trick-or-treating can turn into a contact-tracing nightmare.

An Ohio man is winning widespread praise with his handy trick for delivering treats on Halloween — and it just might be enough to put people at ease amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Special-effects whiz Andrew Beattie used a long cardboard tube and the guardrail on his front steps to create a “candy delivery chute,” which he hopes will cut down on the risks of spreading COVID-19 for those who go trick-or-treating next month.

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The chute is made from a one-metre (four-foot) cardboard tube that measures 15 centimetres (six inches) wide. Beattie painted it orange and attached it to his slanted railing with black duct tape. A sign at the bottom urges children to hold their bags up to the chute.

“The intent is I’ll be having gloves or tongs and pulling out fresh candy from the bag and dropping it down the tube,” Beattie told Fox 19. “The little ones will hold their buckets or bags right here and it’ll fall in the bucket or bag.”

Beattie, who lives in Delhi, Ohio, says he’s been thinking about the chute for a few years but the pandemic gave him the push he needed to finally build it.

“Every year I dress up like Michael Myers,” he said. “You get a lot of little kids that are afraid to walk up to someone like that. You get people with strollers, wheelchairs, things of that nature.“

Beattie shared the design on Facebook in the hope of inspiring others to follow his lead. The post has spread widely since Saturday, with more than 32,000 reactions, 9,000 comments and 73,000 shares.

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The design might not be useful for everyone, as it requires a front step and a guardrail. However, Beattie hopes it will help some people get past the challenge of handing out candy during a pandemic.

Some communities in North America have cancelled trick-or-treating on Halloween due to the risk of spreading the virus. Others have put out recommendations to move forward with the holiday under enhanced safety measures.

Beattie has since edited the post to address critics who say it’s too much or too little under the circumstances.

“I want our youngins to be able to have some sense of normalcy and maybe a little bit of exercise in all this madness, and I’ve put a LOT of thought into how to do so safely,” he wrote in one update.

“I’ve received a lot of flack from people thinking this is overkill, and I should just hand out candy,” he wrote in another edit. “I’m truly glad you’re optimistic about this — I am! However, many people aren’t feeling the same with it, and that’s okay. We don’t really know much about this thing yet.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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