From what I am hearing because of the coronavirus a new tradition has arisen in America. I don’t know how widespread it is but more than one person has mention it as something they plan to do. It’s probably based in part on the Passover with some Irish folklore blended into it.
→ Most know the Passover story. Moses whose name means “he who was drawn from the water,” was adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter. He was raised in the palace. He became involved in a dispute with another man, killed him, and had to flee into the desert. While he was gone a new Pharoah came to power. Shortly after that he said: ‘Behold the Children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply…'” His way to deal with them was to enslave them. This did not accomplish his goal because they continued to multiply so he increased the harshness of their slavery.
After many years Moses returned from the desert with his brother Aaron to become the leader of the Israelites. Upon his return he approached the Pharaoh about the conditions under which the Israelis lived in Egypt. He asked the Pharaoh to let the Israelites be freed from enslavement and leave Egypt. The Pharaoh refused. God then brought various punishments (plagues) on the Egyptian people but the Pharaoh wouldn’t relent. The tenth punishment was that God planned to kill all the first-born children in Egypt. The Israelites were told to avoid that fate they should slaughter a lamb or a kid and sprinkle its blood on their doorposts or lintels. Then when the angel of death stalked the land of Egypt she would pass over any of those houses so marked.
→ Many Jews today continue to mark their homes with a mezuzah. This is said to have no connection with Passover yet if the angel of death is cutting a wide swath across the land and she is looking for victims it may serve as a reminder to it to follow tradition and pass on by.
→ The Irish tradition is seen mostly around Christmas. There some people put one or even three candles in the window – “the candle in the window represents welcome – the cead mile failte that is nearly Ireland’s trademark”. … Three candles are used to represent Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus. When the candle is in the window the door was left unlocked so they could find a place of rest should they arrive after the family was asleep. This is done as a reminder of the difficulty they had finding accommodations. But it is also a recognition of spiritual beings roaming the earth.
→ Add to that the Bram Stoker story about the guy who rises out of his coffin to look for victims. Stoker who was born in Ireland was probably used to its stories of other worldly beings. One of the ways to ward off the evil guy was with a cross. If he approaches the person can raise up the cross and he will be repelled by it.
⇒ The new tradition of which I write is to put a cross on the door or lintel on the outside door of one’s home or if a window is near the door to put a cross or crucifix in it. It is hoped that when the angel of death sees it she will be inclined to pass over the house.
⇒ I’m not sure other religions have their own way of warding off evil from the home but if they do I’m sure the members of those religions would be well advised to use it. As for those who don’t believe in a God who has concern for every individual they probably best follow the guidelines the medical authorities have established but they may want to follow one of the other suggestions of Bram Stoker concerning how one can ward of evil. They can wear a necklace of garlic.