Halloween during a pandemic Photo By | Mathew Schwartz, Unsplash
By Syeda Ali
Halloween as we know it is a thing of the past. Citywide Halloween parades, Trick o’ Treating, haunted houses, and crowded parties are all activities we used to do without the fear of exposure to COVID-19. Like most festivities in 2020, people have found creative ways to celebrate, while also being safe and smart with their plans. I conducted a survey amongst a group of 39 college students to see how they intend to spend Halloween this year. While there were a variety of answers, it is clear to see that many have adapted their Halloween plans to coincide with CDC guidelines for COVID-19.
According to the survey, 66% of student plans for Halloween were affected by the pandemic. The majority of students are spending Halloween night watching scary movies, where some will virtually invite friends to join them. On the other hand, 32% of students plan to have small costume parties with friends/family. While this comes with moderate exposure risks, students are limiting the number of people invited and one student is going the extra mile to make sure all individuals are tested for COVID-19 prior to the party.
While watching movies and spending time with a small group of friends are entertaining and responsible ways to celebrate Halloween, there are several other options to consider this year. Carving pumpkins at home with friends and family, baking Halloween treats, preparing Trick o’ Treat goody bags, going to pumpkin patches/orchards, and visiting haunted Halloween drive-thrus are available as well.
One particularly exciting event to look forward to this year is the annual New York Village Halloween Parade. However, (as you can imagine) things are a little different this year. Artistic and Producing Director, Jeanne Fleming, devised a special project for 2020 titled “Till we Meet Again”. This project will pay homage to previous parades with screens in Times Square displaying images from Halloween Parades throughout the years. Viewers can also enjoy reminiscing on past parades from the comfort of their own home by tuning into NY1 on October 31 at 7PM.
The best part is there is still a parade to look forward to, and this one will be just as unique of a parade as the others. Instead of people strutting down the streets of NYC in their elaborate costumes, this parade is going to be virtual and will feature puppets beautifully designed by various artists. In the true spirit of the Halloween Parade, there is still more to see. Planned for the night is a special treat for New Yorkers to look out for, with further details of the event to be disclosed on the night of in order to avoid crowds.
Needless to say, there are many alternatives to celebrate Halloween this year that are fun, yet safe for you and your loved ones. As you finalize your plans for Halloween, keep in mind that social distancing rules are still in effect and so is wearing a mask–particularly one that is made to protect you from contracting the virus and not the one that’s been in your closet since last year.
Have a safe and spooky Halloween!