Jordan is an English teacher who received her M.Ed as well as her B.A. in creative writing from University of California Riverside.
Hello ghouls and goblins! Did you know that Halloween falls on a freaking Saturday this year? That's something we have dreamed about since childhood. Seriously, imagine the candy haul we could pull if we didn't have an early curfew because of school (or work) the next day!
Add a full moon to the mix—a blue full moon—and the amount of potential Halloween shenanigans are endless. The neighborhood will be lit up with natural light all night long! But, there's something standing in the way between us and a treasure trove of tricks and treats, and it's probably the scariest monster of all: COVID-19.
How Will the Pandemic Affect Halloween?
According to the CDC, the coronavirus still poses a "significant threat." They have, ever so kindly, categorized our favorite spooky season must-haves as high, moderate, or low-risk. Activities such as costume parties, haunted houses, hayrides, and—wait for it—trick-or-treating are all considered high-risk. While I don't condone doing any of these during a pandemic, they suddenly have a twisted allure now that there's an added threat. Spooky!
Many of the moderate-risk activities are the previously mentioned activities with restrictions. Think hayrides but only with people you consistently have contact with or outdoor parties with masks. That shouldn't be too hard; it is Halloween, after all. Just dress up as a zombie doctor!
Low-risk activities include virtual Halloween celebrations. I'm sure the kiddos will love seeing waterfalls of candy from the other side of the screen. All jokes aside, small family gatherings and indoor scavenger hunts are on the list. Maybe you can re-watch Hocus Pocus for the 50th time this month!
The CDC is trying! On their website, they state, "Without a doubt, the theme of Halloween 2020 is creativity. If you think outside the box, you can still make the most of the holiday. for instance, children who are doing school online can still dress up and enjoy at-home treats." At the end of the day, it is what you make of it. You can either sit and mope or get started on the biggest virtual haunted house the world has ever seen!
What Halloween Activities Are Both Fun and Safe?
Below are a few suggestions for fun Halloween activities that don't compromise the safety of those involved.
Pumpkin-carving contests are a fun way to get the whole family involved! If you have little ones, there are still options. You can let them draw their designs on their pumpkins then carve them yourself, or you can let them decorate with other materials like paints, cotton balls, and prop hats.
Baking and Cooking
Make fun Halloween treats! There are so many creative recipes online for Halloween-themed goodies. Your little ones will love devouring mummy-wrapped hot dogs dipped in ketchup blood (ewwww!) and nibbling on spider marshmallows. But the kids don't have to have all the fun—there are also countless websites where you can learn how to make spooky cocktails.
Watching Scary Movies
For the older crowd, pop some popcorn and mix it with M&Ms or your favorite sweet snack, turn out every light in the house, and watch scary movies! What is more fun than getting the pants scared off of you during a full moon with your favorite people? Not much, if you ask me.
Turn That Frown Upside Down
At the end of the day, we have to live with the facts and accept the world for what it is. This pandemic is not going to last forever, and we should have enough patience and respect to engage in safe practices this Halloween season. If you do decide to go out, take precautions. This year, instead of razor blades or poison in the candy, we need to watch out for contagions. Sounds easy, right? Yikes!
We are living during a historic time period, so keep that in mind. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, and eat a handful of candy corn. You deserve it!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jordan Emanuele