How a pandemic can change a holiday


Lauren Hawkinson

The COVID-19 pandemic easily made this Halloween one of the strangest ever.

Lauren Hawkinson, Staff Writer

As the leaves change, it becomes apparent that Halloween is right around the corner, meaning families are beginning to plan their festivities. Parents are purchasing loads of candy; kids are searching for the best costume, and families are decorating their homes; all this time and money is being spent in preparation for the most ghoulish night of the year. However, the most petrifying feature of this year’s holiday is the anticipation of whether or not Halloween will even be celebrated. 

The CDC has recommended that families take precautions as most holidays approach. They have provided a detailed list on their website ranking which activities pose a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. They are suggesting, but not enforcing, that most activities be spent outside or even done virtually. If most families within a neighborhood decide to pass out candy, each piece should be individually wrapped. Festivities that are spent outside, require that each individual is socially distanced and should be wearing a mask. However, a costume mask cannot be substituted for a cloth mask; unless the costume one is made up of two or more layers of breathable fabric. 

With these regulations in mind, each state has put in place their own rules and regulations for the holiday. Most rules are understandable due to the unprecedented time we are living in, but some states have not spoken a word on the matter

For others, it seems as though the CDC has taken the Halloween spirit to heart: it’s succeeded in scaring many states out of celebrating the spooky holiday. As of now, 37 states have backed out of their annual events due to the high-risk of COVID. One of them being Universal Studios Halloween Horror Night that would have been celebrating their 30th annual event in Orlando, Florida, but will have to wait another year to celebrate. 

Of course, if the holiday does not go forward as usual, there is a lot to be missed. “I would miss gathering with the entire neighborhood and going around the neighborhood and getting a ton of candy, especially the big houses that would triple our candy supply,” senior Josh Qualen said.

I think that given the circumstances it makes sense to cancel Halloween. However, I would miss having a bonfire in the front yard with friends while handing out candy,”

— Charlie Frattalone

While some families may still be celebrating the traditional way, others have found innovative ways to still bring the spirit of Halloween to their homes. BSM teachers have a variety of Halloween plans adjusted according to the circumstances. “We’re going to have our own little Halloween party with fun party games and candy––my daughters have been brainstorming on ideas of what to do!  We’re thinking pumpkin ring toss and also a drawing contest where you have to close your eyes! We’ll also have a Halloween themed dinner,” math teacher Rosalie Goldberg said. 

Other teachers have different plans. “I think my girls will dress up, and we will have a bonfire in the backyard and tell spooky stories and eat s’mores and candy,” campus minister & junior high religion teacher Becca Meagher said.

On an average year, Halloween would be celebrated by families all over the world, but this year is different.  “If I was younger I would be really disappointed,” Frattalone said.