Like most other things, 2020’s Halloween will look quite different from years prior. The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] discourages traditional trick-or-treating, going to indoor Halloween events (including costume parties and haunted houses), and traveling outside of your community for fall festivities. Furthermore, the CDC asserts that Halloween masks are not adequate substitutes for cloth or surgical face masks (cdc.gov). Although many staple Halloween traditions are high-risk in pandemic circumstances, the spookiest night of the year can still be enjoyed in fun and safe ways!
With most traditional activities being unsafe, there are still some ways to have a “normal” Halloween experience. For many, Halloween has always been a night to stay at home and put on a scary movie. Senior Olivia Upham said, “[My friend and I] plan on watching a scary m
ovie together on Halloween. We’re going to watch it outside with a projector, which is definitely spooky. We haven’t picked the movie yet, but whatever we decide on will probably give me nightmares for weeks.” Whether you opt for a truly nightmare-inducing movie or a more family-friendly Halloween flick, watching movies is a great way to get in the Halloween spirit.
Adorning your home with Halloween knickknacks is still a safe way to celebrate the beloved holiday. The time spent at home due to quarantine can provide ample opportunity to make some DIY decorations, too. Adding some timely decorations — such as dressing up faux skeletons or inflatable monsters with masks, or setting up props six feet apart — can keep everyone in your family (including the decorations) in the clear. Even home interiors can be decorated to enhance the Halloween spirit: skeletons can take up extra space on the couch, faux cobwebs can hang from light fixtures, and witchy candles can stand upon the table to give the whole home an eerie atmosphere.
For those with younger siblings who are disappointed over the trick-or-treating cancellation, the environment can still be recreated with some help from th
ose who live in your household. Instead of having younger family members knock on strangers’ doors, kids can be sent around the house to get candy from other family members in a sort of micro-neighborhood. Or, as a parenting website suggests, “A family scavenger hunt for treats in your home or yard can be a fun alternative” (healthychildren.org). This ensures that all family members can enjoy Halloween, even if it’s not in the traditional way.
Thankfully, the biggest Halloween tradition is still feasible during the pandemic: dressing up! Even if social gatherings, like large in-person costume contests are unsafe, this tradition can still be celebrated. In lieu of the regular costume contest, UC High ASB is hosting
a virtual competition on Friday, October 30 for UC High students and faculty. According to ASB President Senior Gaby Bruce, the contest will be held through Zoom and will be administered by a panel of three faculty judges, and a prize will be bestowed to the participant with the best getup. Even if you choose not to participate in a costume contest, dressing up is still a keystone of Halloween, and can add to the fun of the beloved holiday.
Despite the necessary changes being made to Halloween this year, the holiday can still be celebrated safely and joyfully. Whether you choose to engage in more traditional festivities — like setting up decorations, putting on scary movies, or dressing up — or try something new — such as a candy scavenger hunt — the scariest night of the year can still be a blast.