PRO & CON: Should Halloween celebrations look normal?

Giovanni Rizzotti and Belle Wilson

Hold your normal and favorite Halloween events

As we close out the month of October during COVID-19, there is one thing that everyone has on their mind – Halloween.

There are many different things that people do on Halloween: trick-or-treating, going to Halloween parties, and going to haunted attractions such as haunted houses, hayrides, and walk-throughs.
Theme parks across the globe even celebrate Halloween, where they theme the entire park for Halloween night and allow guests to come in wearing costumes to ride re-themed rides and go through things like haunted houses.
However, this year we’re in the middle of a pandemic. One question everyone is asking is, “Are we going to be able to have these events this year?”
The easy answer? Yes.
You should be able to hold Halloween events during this time. However, many different changes will be needed to make everything safer.
There is no reason not to uphold the ultimate Halloween tradition: trick-or-treating. When it comes to trick-or-treating, there are many different ways to do that when the night comes.
For starters, wear masks and social distance on the sidewalk when trick-or-treating.
Passing out the candy may be a little more difficult.
While you could just leave a bowl of candy out on your porch, it becomes an easy target for people to just take as much as they want.
The CDC recommends making pre-wrapped gift bags and lining them up outside your house while social distancing to hand them out.
When it comes to haunted houses, the CDC says open air, walk-through haunted houses with social distancing and masks are encouraged.
One local haunted attraction has another way of keeping their attraction going. Legends of the Fog, located in Aberdeen, Maryland, has a drive-thru attraction. People are lined up in their cars and are directed through the attraction while they play audio on their phones to go along with the attraction.
The CDC also mentions that you could hold a socially distanced, outdoor Halloween movie night with friends and family.
It is definitely possible to hold your favorite Halloween events during the middle of this pandemic. All you need is to be smart and innovative.
Let’s keep traditions alive and not let the pandemic hold us back.

– Giovanni Rizzotti

Find an alternative to trick-or-treating this year

Halloween has been a tradition in American families’ homes for centuries. This year has brought up the question, is it time for this tradition to take a break?

COVID-19 had raised concern and awareness of the health of ourselves and others. Now more than ever, it is important everyone does their part is staying healthy.
Dressing up as a kid in my favorite character costume was the highlight of my year, and I cherish the photos that I have from past Halloweens. It’s important that those memories are continuing to be made.
Going up to people’s houses to be given candy will allow for physical contact with probable strangers; this is never a safe thing to do — especially right now with the scare of the virus.
Over the years, we’ve heard horror stories of laced candy with drugs and kidnapping attempts. This year brings a new set of issues.
Sperling’s Best Places analyzed more than four million records in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, and they reported that 115 child pedestrian fatalities occurred on Halloween over the 21 years of their analysis. That is an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31, more than double the average number of 2.6 fatalities for other days.
Trick or treating, therefore, has had its risks since before COVID-19 was even a thing.
Everyone has their own unique situation when it comes to the virus. Some people aren’t concerned and go about their lives as normally as possible. Others may be scared to even go to the beach for a day. As we’ve learned, elderly members and members with pre-existing conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19, so those groups remain more cautious than others.
The only way to cater to everyone’s needs is to celebrate Halloween independently. Only you know your own limits and expectations for the virus, so celebrating Halloween in your own way is not both beneficial for the community and for yourself.
Should people live in fear of COVID-19? Certainly not; at some point, we must move on with our lives despite COVID-19, but doing so in a safe manner is vital.
Some may want to have huge Halloween parties and go to strangers’ houses for candy this year, but everyone should be aware this isn’t the only way to celebrate Halloween.
This can mean still dressing up at home and taking fun photos. Make a Halloween photo booth! Make fun foods like carrots as fingers on a tray! I suggest looking at Pinterest for any ideas on fun activities to do from home.
Celebrating Halloween with your family allows you to make personal connections and arrange a perfect night on your agenda.
Just because you aren’t trick-or-treating from house to house doesn’t mean the Halloween tradition has to die.
If anything, this just means it’s time for everyone to get creative with having a fun Halloween night!

– Belle Wilson