Unexpectedly Intriguing!
October 23, 2020

Halloween is coming, and with it, a new problem in 2020. How can you hand out candy to your neighborhood's trick-or-treating children while keeping them far enough away to avoid the risk of catching the coronavirus from them?

A number of crafty-minded treat dispensers across America have seemingly simultaneously come up with a do-it-yourself invention to solve that problem: the COVID candy chute. All you need is some PVC pipe, some creative Halloween decorative skills, and you too can deliver candy to a costumed child from an safe distance.

It's not a new idea by any stretch, but it is one whose time would appear to have finally arrived! We came across dozens of local news clips telling essentially the same story of how an inventive parent crafted their own candy chute device, but we found the following video report from NBC-affiliate KRIS in Corpus Christi, Texas to be especially entertaining.

We could spent a lot of time unpacking everything that managed to get compressed into that two-minute long video package, but since we're focused on the invention at work here, let's simply describe it as a long tube, with one end rigged up higher than the other, designed for candy to be dropped in at the upper end and dispensed to an awaiting trick-or-treater at the lower end.

There's no patent, because its basic form is one of the oldest and simplest types of machines in existence: an inclined plane.

We'll close this edition of IIE with the words of KRIS' Corderro McMurry, who advises "If you do plan to trick or treat this Halloween, please be safe and to wear a mask." If you need guidance, here's Randall Munroe's helpful diagram revealing which Halloween masks are most effective at preventing respiratory virus transmission:

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