How to have a COVID-friendly Halloween


Halloween has never been my favorite holiday — not by any means.

I will never understand the enjoyment behind being scared or why costumes are so expensive, but nonetheless, I find myself disappointed that Halloween will not go as planned this year.

Plans are forever changing in 2020, and now many people, like myself, are conflicted on what to do for Halloween. Is COVID-19 worth that candy? It is a tough question, I know.

Luckily, it really is easy to have COVID-friendly Halloween celebrations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even ranked each celebration from lowest to highest risk of spreading COVID-19.

I am not going to share any of the virtual recommendations because, honestly, yawn. I know nobody wants to celebrate Halloween the same way they attend class. However, they still have some good, low-risk ideas that college students and families should really consider.

Carving and decorating pumpkins is one of them, and scavenger hunting is another. If you pair these activities with a small group of reliable people, maybe a bonfire and an outdoor movie, that makes for a perfectly enjoyable Halloween.

There are also options for people who are a bit more daring or, in other words, a bit more fed up with COVID-19 restrictions.

Moderate-risk celebrations include activities such as having small outdoor costume parties or participating in one-way trick or treating. Mind you, these are only ranked “moderate” when proper precautions are applied.

Believe it or not, trunk-or-treat and even regular trick-or-treating is considered a higher risk activity.

Now, if you have kids, I am not going to tell you what to do with them. All I am saying is: make them wear a fishbowl or something. Tell them they are astronauts. Whatever you do, incorporate a proper face covering into their costume, and if they detest it, just remind them that COVID cooties are not cute.

Masks have been worn on Halloween since, like, forever. So, parents, you should take this opportunity to get creative with a mask. Non-parents, you should do the same.

Think of all the cool 2020-themed costumes you could wear: Carole Baskin—but with a mask. Murder Hornet—but with a mask. Literally anything—but with a mask. If your plans are stepping into “higher risk” territory, and you are adamant on following through with them, at least wear a mask.

Large parties are of higher risk too. You knew that already, but I will say this anyway:

Us college students need to do everyone a favor and avoid large parties this year. Maybe it is the introvert in me talking, but having a small gathering with people you can trust is much more enticing than being around a bunch of strangers who, by the way, could possibly give you COVID-19.

As much as I want to say I have earned the right to a large party because I have been following the guidelines all year, that is not how it works. We have to be a bit smarter than that.

At the end of the day, there is always a risk with any activity you choose. There is risk every time we step out the door these days. But, no one is asking you to not have fun, not even the CDC.

By all means, you should dress up, eat your candy, enjoy college “festivities,” but keep it small, and keep other people in mind.

The restrictions are less restrictive now, so let’s not take that for granted.