On your to-do list this week: Make a plan for Halloween. We asked some health experts what they were doing, given that some of the usual traditions may be off the table. And get outside! We have places to pick apples, and a recipe for apple-cider donuts. Lastly, this week: some good advice about whether you’re being nosy or if you should intervene.

We’ve collected our best articles with our best Philly tips. They’re in one place here.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, it’s still a good idea to stay home.

How can Halloween be fun in a pandemic?
Cynthia Greer
How can Halloween be fun in a pandemic?

Know this

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Do this

It’s apple-picking time. But if you want to grab your own fresh off the tree, you’d better do it fast: A late spring frost means the season is shorter than normal. Nick Vadala found eight spots where you can still pick some pommes, though some require reservations if you want to go on the weekend, so check first and call ahead.

Read Nick’s full story to find out the best picking spots, and where you can also grab cider, pies or treats. And bonus: Jamila Robinson has an excellent recipe for making your own apple-cider donuts. (But she has no advice for how not to eat them all in one sitting.)

Stay safe, do stuff

Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:

🚗 Drive-In Movie Night at IKEA South Philly (Movie / in-person / drive-in) Catch an outdoor screening of A League of Their Own this Saturday when the Pennsylvania SPCA teams up with South Philly’s IKEA for a drive-in screening in its sprawling parking lot. ($40-$200 per car, Oct. 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., pspca.org, map, add to calendar)

🔎 Find more of this week’s safe kid-friendly, outdoor and arts events.

Try this

What are epidemiologists with kids doing on Halloween? Grace Dickinson asked local medical experts how they’re making the holiday fun for kiddos. Here were some of their ideas:

  • “We may just watch creepy movies together, dress up, and make orange and black things to eat. The Tyler Perry movie Boo! A Madea Halloween is silly and ridiculous, but I don’t know how kid-appropriate that is. I have to mute some of the scenes.” — Ala Stanford, a doctor and founder of Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, mother to a 12-year-old and 10-year-old (twin) sons. (Costumes: undecided)
  • “We might figure out a costume and do a Halloween candy hunt — like an Easter egg hunt. I’ve already thought of really good places to hide stuff that he won’t find, and then I won’t find until next June.” — Henry Raymond, associate professor and epidemiologist at Rutgers University, father to a 4-year-old son. (Costume: undecided)
  • “My older daughter is going into a hybrid model at school. If numbers are low, I could see trick-or-treating at houses that are part of her cohort.” There’s no reason families can’t go out for a walk, keep masks on, and stay socially distanced. — Kristen Lyall, epidemiologist and assistant professor of epidemiology at Drexel University, mom to 3-year-old and 6-year-old daughters. (Costumes: unicorn, undecided)
  • “We’re going to put candy out in brown paper bags in our yard, and we plan on going to places where we know the family and know they’re participating in a safe way.” — Ashley Z. Ritter, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the chief clinical officer of Dear Pandemic, mom to a 2-year-old son, and 5-year-old and 7-year-old daughters. (Costumes: frog, skeleton, clown)

More cool ideas in Grace’s full story.

Think about this

When should we mind our own business right now, and when should we butt in? Elizabeth Wellington looked at how to decide in a time when social rules all around us are changing. Are you helping or being a Karen? Here are some questions to help you know what to do.

  • Are you certain you know what’s happening? Because we have such high anxiety about COVID-19, it’s tempting to try to control what we can about other people’s behavior. So we feel justified minding people’s business, even if we don’t know the full situation.
  • Are you being a busybody? The concept of the busybody goes back to ancient Greece. The classical busybody seeks to intervene all of the time, but they don’t have the good of the community in mind. Ask yourself: What is driving your need to interfere? Are your actions driven by virtue? Or fear? And is this fear justified?
  • Are you — or is someone else — in danger? So, you’ve been honest with yourself and your intentions are good. The next important question to consider: What’s the immediate danger? Will getting involved cause more harm than good?
  • What’s the desired outcome? This is the most important question to ask yourself: What do you want the outcome to be? Take a beat and pause to reflect on what you want to see happen here. Don’t act out of anger, but try to think through each step of what happens if you intervene, or don’t, and which scenario gets you closer to what you think makes the world a better place.

More useful advice in Elizabeth’s full story.