A First Time for Everything: Celebrating Halloween in a Pandemic

For as long as we can remember, Halloween has been a time for people to bask in the macabre and celebrate stuffing their faces with candy until they feel sick. Whether it’s dressing up to trick or treat or to attend a Halloween themed party, it’s the time to go out and enjoy the fall vibe.  

For many, especially children and teenagers, Halloween is one of the most anticipated days of the year. Despite its association with horror and everything that instills fear, Halloween is for the most part looked upon with positivity, bringing joy to children and adults alike. Polling suggests that the average American puts Halloween in their top 3 when ranking holidays, often only second to Christmas. However, with a holiday that’s very essence is going out to interact with others, a question needs to be asked: with an ongoing pandemic, is Halloween still possible?

COVID-19 numbers have not dwindled over the past month. In fact, as most already know, 2 weeks ago DuPage County entered the red zone once again. This entails a lot, but to dim it down, cases have increased outrageously, with over 4,000 new cases.  In addition, Addison has been among the top cities in terms of COVID cases.

Anyone can look upon our current situation and infer that we are nowhere near the end of the pandemic. On the contrary, experts suggest that numbers will only continue to worsen as winter approaches; people’s tendency to stay in places that offer poor ventilation and the virus’s favor for the cold will create an environment that allows the virus to spread much quicker than before. This is especially true in regions like ours where the virus’s spread is out of control.

So how much will this affect our ability to celebrate Halloween, which is only days away? Tremendously. For one, trick or treating is out of the question for most people. “You could spread the virus not only to the people in the houses you visit, but through the candy as well, and it just all seems very unnecessary,” said sophomore Thomas Losianowycz. Parties are also a big red flag as having more than 10 people in a given place poses a higher risk of transmission.

So, is Halloween cancelled then?

Well, no. Several students have expressed their opinion on Halloween, and many think that COVID-19 will not stop people from celebrating Halloween, even if it’s at the expense of others possibly contracting the disease. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were still people going out to trick or treat,” says Senior Gaby Duran.

She’s not wrong; America has seen resurgence after resurgence of COVID-19 cases as a result of people not following through with the required procedures, along with an improper response from our government. It is still essential that everyone practice social distancing and follow the proper procedures to minimize the number of cases. “I know it sucks that everything is being canceled and stuff, but we really just have to do our part to slow the transmission of the virus.” sophomore Thomas Losianowycz said.

If you do decide to trick or treat, carry hand sanitizer, wear a proper mask, and maintain a social distance of six feet or more at all times. Trick or treating while maintaining social distancing is still possible, and many homeowners are adopting a general consensus not to distribute candy by hand, but rather leave it outside for people to grab themselves.

If you don’t want to take the risk (and we don’t blame you), there are a ton of alternative ways to celebrate Halloween, all while maintaining social distancing procedures. To list just a few, one can have a small gathering of friends or family, have a horror movie marathon with friends, carve pumpkins, visit pumpkin patches, and more. Some students are already planning safe ways to spend Halloween. “On Halloween, I am planning to get together with some friends and have a bonfire while we decorate cupcakes and exchange spooky baskets amongst each other” explained Yaquelin Hernandez. As long as the amount of people stays around 10 or less, anything is game. For others, such as sophomore Christopher Barrientos, it’s just another regular day. 

Students should also show some school spirit and participate in Student Council’s Halloween costume contest, and submit photos of their school-appropriate costume for a chance to win a basket filled with spooky goodies and candies. Several students are also dressing up for their Zoom classes, such as Senior Chris Preciado. “I want to show that it’s still possible to have fun and do a lot of stuff during remote learning, and if others dress up as well, we can just have a great time,” he said. In a time where human contact and socialization is limited, staying connected with classmates and friends is one of the best ways to make life as “normal” as possible, and just a little more bearable. 

Miguel Diaz