Halloween Happenings in the Time of COVID
By Eva Faith Mandelbaum
*Editors note: There is a QR code at the bottom of this article. Please scan it and upload your Halloween 2020 pics for the yearbook!
The joy and excitement most people experience when dressing up for Halloween is an experience like no other. Usually, this is a highlight of the fall season. According to NRF's Annual 2019 Halloween Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, in 2019, 67 percent of men and 69 percent of women planned to celebrate Halloween. This year, the state of the world due to the Coronavirus Pandemic may have a large effect on Halloween for everyone across the country. Whether you are a child eager to go trick or treating or a teen or adult looking forward to celebrating, there are some crucial precautions that must be taken to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. This quickly spread respiratory illness which has been causing shutdowns across the country and world since before March will almost certainly change this year’s Halloween happenings.
COVID-19 is mostly spread through group gatherings, especially ones without masks that are indoors. Although you may have been looking forward to attending large gatherings or parties, in order to keep yourself and others safe, it is highly recommended that you make some adjustments to your plans. Parties should not take place, but very small social gatherings that are outside and socially distant with masks worn properly could be a fun way to still celebrate this spooky season.
Trick or treating is germy as it is, and it may be more of a tricky situation than a treat this year. From touching doorbells, to touching candy, to clustering into tightly packed groups, it may not be the safest option for this year. Despite this, having to turn down children can be difficult. Instead of letting clusters of children stick their hands into one candy and germ filled bowl, to prepare for the possibility of children expectant of candy, making individual goody bags to put out for children to take instead of having them touch your doorbell and put their hands in the same bowl may be a better option. Although not the most advisable thing to do, if you yourself decide to go trick or treating, make sure to wear something that you can be seen in at night and have flashlights as always. On top of this, you should take necessary precautions such as wearing a mask, staying six feet away from others as much as possible, and using hand sanitizer as needed.
If you choose to stay home for Halloween this year, some COVID-friendly activities to partake in to still get into the Halloween spirit are:
1. Watch Halloween movies. Most TV channels feature movie marathons, and there are seemingly endless selections on streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu. Freeform’s “31 Nights of Halloween” began on October 1 and will continue through Halloween.
2. Pumpkin decorating. Grab some paints or markers and a family member to get creative.
3. Virtual party using Zoom or Facetime. By now, we have all been forced into the world of Zoom, so why not use this knowledge on how to use it to our advantage and have some fun with it?
4. Decorate living space festively. There are a multitude of DIY YouTube videos with creative decorating ideas, one example being a video by HGTV.
5. Eat candy! There is almost no better way to celebrate Halloween than indulging in some sweets.
6. Virtual costume contest. Call up a couple of friends or family and vote on who is wearing the best costume. If it is decided to use Zoom, you can use the “poll” option and you can share the poll for the results and the winner. For more information on how to do this, visit support.zoom.us
7. Make cookies or treats using online recipes or buy a cookie mix. This way you can enjoy the experience of both baking and eating.
8. Have a fall photoshoot with leaves, pumpkins, and spooky editing. You can use a phone camera and can even make some spooky edits to the photos.
9. Dress up! Even without going out to trick or treat, there are many other ways to get to share your costume. On your day that you attend school or even on zoom, make sure to wear your costume to bring the spirit of Halloween to life. Attached below is information on how to submit pictures of Halloween costumes to the school yearbook. Simply scan the QR code at the bottom of this article and submit a picture!
With the uncertain state of the world, it is certain that this Halloween, we will have to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of ourselves and others. This Halloween make sure to be safe and follow necessary health and safety precautions. Although the usual spookiness and horrors of Halloween have been happening since March this year, the pandemic does not have to completely take over all our Halloween happenings.