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(CBS LOCAL) – Halloween is just six weeks away, but the pandemic is causing quite a scare for the Halloween industry.

In a new survey, three out of four people say COVID is changing their Halloween plans.

The National Retail Federation says fewer people are going to parties or taking the kids trick-or-treating.

But millions still plan to celebrate in safe ways. 53% are decorating their homes, 46% will carve a pumpkin, and 17% will take part in virtual gatherings.

Overall consumer spending for the holiday is expected to be down the year, with COVID scaring many people away from Halloween celebrations. Younger adults are more likely to buy a costume and continue with Halloween plans.

The report also says people are shopping earlier this year. Many have extra time on their hands because of the pandemic.

Halloween store owner Kevin Pohle says this year’s shopping experience is different.

“We can’t have them try it on at the store, we’re gonna give them time to try it on at home and exchange it within three days,” he says, “We’re gonna try to avoid all personal interaction with a lot of the stuff, especially like wigs and masks and stuff where you’re touching your face or touching your head.”

It’s one of the largest Halloween celebrations in the country, but this year Salem, Massachusetts – home of the 17th-century witch trials – is canceling the annual Halloween parade and other festivities because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kate Fox is the executive director of Destination Salem.

“That’s gonna be a huge loss because so many people were looking forward to it,” she says, “And the fact that it’s a Saturday, Halloween, people have been booking that for years.”

Around the country, communities are shutting down large gatherings, and several cities are deciding what to do about trick-or-treating.

Los Angeles is recommending against it but stopped short of a ban.

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Tags: pittsburgh news coronavirus covid 19 halloween national retail federation trick or treat pittsburgh news

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Weight Watchers boss reveals 6 ways to lose weight and keep healthy this winter

WHETHER it's to keep up with the kids or to feel better on holiday, most people will decide they want to lose weight at some point.

But with the darker winter evenings drawing in, it can be more tempting to cosy up in front of the TV with a hot chocolate or a slice of cake.

1There are six ways you can stay healthy and achieve your weight loss goals this winter, according to WW's Julia WestgarthCredit: Getty - Contributor

While the motivation to fling off the duvet and go bust a gut in the gym may be running thin, it's not the only way to achieve your weight loss goals this winter.

And with the threat of a second coronavirus wave seemingly around the corner, there's never been a more important time to lose weight.

Here, Julia Westgarth, the head of programme at WW (formerly Weight Watchers) has shared six ways you can keep healthy this winter....

1. Find your community

For many people, having strong community support is essential to help them work towards and maintain healthier habits.

This could be family or friends but could also be a case of finding like-minded people digitally.

There are so many social experiences and events online for WW members alone – including the in-app community, Connect - and social media can be a great way to keep in touch and share your journey with others too.

2. Track, to stay on track

Research shows us that tracking our weight, what we eat, and how we move are some of the most effective ways of maintaining health long-term.

And it’s also a great way to mindfully check-in with yourself to see how things are going.

Think about tracking as a tool to increase your awareness and learn - rather than to “score” how you’re doing – and this will feel much more motivating and help you to continue.

When people track flexibly (versus focusing on every little step or bite of food), they track more consistently, so find methods that work for you, like taking fun pictures of your food or daily voice notes.

3. Accept the situation

Focusing solely on the negative won’t help right now.

For example, try to stop telling yourself that you’ll never make progress when you can’t go to the gym.

This will make you more frustrated and doesn’t change the outcome.

Instead try to accept it and find alternatives such as an online class that you’d never try in person.

Reframing your thoughts can also help.

Instead of thinking “I’m forced to stay inside”, think “I’m doing this so I can stay healthy” – this will help you regain control and stay positive.

4. Think long-term

There’s an obvious and immediate need to find new and different ways to keep our health on track, but use this as an opportunity to introduce habits that’ll fit seamlessly into your life in the long-term.

This could be taking an online yoga class before work or making sure you eat a healthy breakfast.

Establishing new habits can take time, so by taking action now you could achieve your healthy goals quicker than if you wait until new year’s resolutions.

5. Remember there isn’t a ‘right’ way

Your way is the right way, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to being healthy in all aspects of your life.

Be active and proactive in ways that feel good and get you thinking positively, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Have you always planned to work out in the evening but find the sofa calling after a day at work? Perhaps give early mornings or lunchtimes a go.

Find yourself going hungry between meals? Perhaps try eating little and often instead.

Find it hard to switch off? Perhaps try turning off devices for a few minutes every day.

It’s easy to say ‘that won’t work for me’, but you won’t know until you try.

MORE ON WEIGHT LOSSFOOD FOR THOUGHTEat to beat bowel cancer - study finds key nutrients slash risk of diseaseKNOW THE SIGNSThe 6 signs you're one of 23 million Brits at risk of heart problemsRecipeBATCH IT, DON'T CATCH ITHelp your body fight Covid with Batch Lady's healthy eating planDIY DIETDIY jobs that help you lose weight... from painting to building furnitureExclusiveWEIGHT TO GOOver 100k free NHS fat-fighting classes are up for grabs for overweight Brits 6. Seek help

Although it’s important to remember that not all health management services are created equal, the fact there are so many goes to show that you’re not alone in needing help.

There are so many factors at play that impact your ability to lead a healthy, well-balanced life.

If you don’t know where to start or what works for you, look for a service like WW that provides a range of support – from fitness content, tracking, recipe inspiration, a 24/7 community and rewards to keep you motivated.

  • To find out more on how WW can help you keep up healthy habits, visit the WW website
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