More Frightening Things Await: Halloween During COVID-19


Briana Rose

   Halloween is a holiday filled with friends, family, tricks, treats, and scares. To many people it doesn’t seem to get better than that, but as of recently there is something scarier out there at this time of year: the Coronavirus. With recent spikes in Coronavirus cases, people have begun to question what the holiday will look like this year.
   As of today, California is one of one of the biggest COVID-19 hotspots leading the U.S. with 908,713 confirmed cases. This has led Dr. Ghaly, the state of California’s Secretary of the California Health and Human Services to officially announce that traditional trick-or-treating or other Halloween festivities are “strongly discouraged” this year.
   Participating in activities such as trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treats, costume parties, and traveling to places for Halloween festivals involve heavy contact, and increase the risk of possibly contracting the Coronavirus, according to CDC guidelines.
   While some parents scrounge for ways to get creative with plans to create scavenger hunts, or throw costume contests over Zoom. Others come up with safe solutions to continue on with traditional plans, such as trick-or-treating. One staff parent has made plans to take her children trick or treating with proper precautions.
   “My five year old knows about trick-or-treating and was super bummed out… my husband and I got to talking saying we could go to a couple of houses so they can have the experience. I think with proper precautions [trick-or-treating] will be fine, we all have a mask and we already plan on going to a place that is not too busy, We’re only going to do a couple of houses this year, and put away the candy we collect that night for a couple of days just in case,” said Mrs. Horton, a mother of two.
   With Halloween being the second biggest spending holiday, after Christmas, the Coronavirus has also created the fear on business, with concerns that people’s spending will likely be cut in half this year. Although, this statement varies as people rethink their plans, and feel the need to make up for the loss of traditional Halloween celebrations.
   A local resident who works at a department store selling Halloween and fall decorations has already noticed a decline in sales.
   “We still have a lot of costumes still in our store, and a lot of Halloween decorations put on clearance… I think [the Coronavirus] has changed the sales on the Halloween items. Last year it was a lot crazier, people were buying more Halloween decorations,” said Isabella Rose.
   On top of financial concerns, tough decisions were made by popular California theme parks being Universal Studios Hollywood, the Disneyland resort in Anaheim, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Six Flags. These theme parks have been closed since mid-March, and have made plans to cancel their popular annual Halloween festivals.
The thought of traditional Halloween traditions and festivities being cancelled this year has devastated many, although people are glad their health and safety is being taken into consideration.
   “I am sad, but I completely understand why and I am glad that [theme parks] are valuing the safety of their customers over their business and getting more money,” said Peri Lindeman (10).
   As of now, the future of holidays and the continuation of gatherings is unclear, but it never hurts to be creative with your family, friends, and children to stay safe this Halloween.