COVID-19 + Halloween: will the spooky spirits be the same?

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As we watch the days of October count down and the number of COVID-19 cases go up, many trick-or-treaters are changing up the way they’ll be celebrating Halloween this year. The Classic spoke to Harrisites about their concerns regarding the safety of Halloween festivities. 

Some students believe that it may be safe for people to participate in trick-or-treating as long as pandemic guidelines are adhered to. Freshman Lily Yang stated that although she herself would not go trick-or-treating, “if some families, mostly kids and parents, feel comfortable with going outside to trick or treat, and they wear a mask, take precautions and social distance, it’s something that could work.” 

However, many students expressed how the trick-or-treating tradition would not be safe even with adherence to safety guidelines. Senior Katie Sie explained, “It’s socially irresponsible to be trick or treating during a global pandemic. People should still follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks. You don’t know what germs you’ll bring home when collecting candy at strangers’ houses.” 

Freshman Faith Park agreed and said, “If one trick or treater has COVID-19 and spreads it to the person who is handing out the candies, then the chances of the person infecting other visiting kids will be extremely high. It is risky to continue with trick or treating this year as the consequences will be deadly for some people.”

Similarly, junior Faith Grinion expressed, “Trick-or-treating seems pretty unsafe. Unless the bowl of candy is left outside and the trick or treaters can scoop out their own candy (not with their hands), I don’t think it’s the best idea.” 

To instill the same spirit of Halloween while adhering to safety guidelines, many have suggested new and creative alternatives. Faith explained that she “planned on going to a small and socially distant get together with a few friends. If that doesn’t work out, then I plan on just watching Halloween movies with one of my friends.” Junior Simar Ahluwalia also said she plans to stay home and try on different costumes with her sister. 

Similarly, freshman Kayla Shanahan commented, “You can also dress up at home and take photos, as well as use Netflix party to watch movies with your friends. If you have pets, you can also dress up your pets as well!”

Although this year’s Halloween festivities may be celebrated differently from previous years, Simar is optimistic. “I have a feeling that this [year will] be more fun for us than going out to get candy,” she said.