It seems there are a lot of people out there who want something normal in this pandemic-crazed world … including a normal Halloween. We asked Facebook friends this past week what they think.

We asked, “Do you have kids? Will you change your Halloween traditions? No kids at home? Will you welcome kids at your door with treats this year? Planning anything new, different, unique, never done before for this year’s ghouliday?”

Here’s a sample of what we heard back from readers:

– Aaron Watkins: There’s going to be a great socially distanced outdoor Halloween haunt in South yuba City (Bogue Manor). Tickets go on sale next week: $5 and the funds go towards supporting the local community theater which is struggling to stay afloat right now with no shows going on.

– Jackie Coffman Pinkwart: We just get a few kids each year. We will have the light on and will have candy for the kids that come to our house.

– Michelle Herman: I have a child with a heart condition. We will be tot’ing early at a trusted masked friend’s house before any crowds hit and then having a small party at home with just us. I would put out a basket of candy unwatched, but that hasn’t gone well in past years that we have done that. As a result, our porch lights will be off.

– Geoff Cowan: Can’t imagine people taking their kids to a bunch of random strangers’ houses this year. Normally we decorate our courtyard with lights and fog and music and I dress up, but I just don’t see it this year. We’ll be back with a vengeance next year.

– Kristina Candy: Nope. Shutting down my house. We’re gonna halloween inside, just us... blackout the windows. Spooky lights, lots of movies and junk food.

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The effects of the pandemic come in many fashions … including isolation. We asked how people are handling it.

“Are you still sheltering in place as much as possible? What do you do to stay in touch with family and friends?”

– Jennifer Mank: My mother- and father-in-law had to cancel their visit. She is a nurse in another state in an elder community and can’t travel for risk of COVID. We try to text and call but we miss them. The grandkids haven’t seen them for over a year now. They usually visit twice a year but looks like it won’t be until 2021 when we see them next. We visit the local grandparents regularly and stopped social distancing from them when it started to become a mental health strain on both them and the kids.

– Cynthia Fontayne: In addition to a round robin of doorstep surprises with one friend, (hair scrunchies, wacky wall walkers, Himalayan salt, a can of water chestnuts, back scratcher, cat toy, dog treats, photo of Carlos Santana), several other friends and I exchange goodies without direct contact, just a text heads-up.... I also have regular phone calls, emails, and running text conversations with local friends with whom I would otherwise been having a weekly lunch or get together. … But I have always done this with my far flung friends of many decades. (I text one friend every time The BeeGees or “Bennie and the Jets” come on KUBA, because of something we did in 1970.) The only difference is, in the age of Covid, some of these friends are within a two- to four-mile radius of my house! One thing I always do: tell them how much I love them.

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We also worry about people who are reaching the end of their savings, unemployment, etc. We asked, “Do you know families that are having a hard time making ends meet, what with the pandemic and loss of economic relief funding and unemployment benefits? What are they doing to keep the family fed, clothed and housed? Any ideas on how the community can help out?”

– Kim Hough: I truly hope that families took advantage of the Farm to Families Boxes that were distributed by YCUSD nutrition services. I know I was very grateful for that box and I can’t classify myself as one who is struggling because of COVID.

– Veronica N John: I am grateful for the school lunches for all kids under 18. We take our kids -- my five and six-year-old -- Monday through Friday for the meals. That helps out some. I’m just thankful that right before COVID-19 hit we bought the kids each three school outfits for the fall of this year. We are taking it one day at a time.

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