By Connor Lambert, Staff Writer
Celebrating Halloween was different this year because of the pandemic. Holidays such as The Fourth of July and Easter, as well as birthday parties and other social gatherings, have already been affected by social distancing guidelines and personal decisions to stay home during these times. As COVID-19 cases rose in the U.S., people debated how to spend Halloween.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised against traditional trick-or-treating this year.
“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC said on their website.
Their website states that door-to-door trick-or treating, trunk-or-treating, indoor parties and haunted houses are among the riskiest Halloween activities when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo said that trick-or-treating would be allowed on Halloween. People were still expected to follow the CDC’s social distancing guidelines for holidays. The CDC recommended lower risk activities such as carving pumpkins with family or friends at a safe distance or doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children could walk around and admire Halloween decorations at a distance. Other low risk alternatives were having a virtual Halloween costume contest, or having a Halloween movie night with family. A good moderate risk alternative to normal trick or treating suggested by the CDC was participating in one-way trick-or-treating, where individually wrapped goodie bags were lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance.
In previous years, most students would gather for Halloween-themed parties. But this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most students opted to make other plans. Whether it was because of travel restrictions, group gathering restrictions in NY and on campus, quarantine, or just being cautious of the virus, there were several factors that impacted Halloween plans for college kids.
Junior musical theatre major Shelley Dean kept staying safe to be her top priority this Halloween.
“I think COVID has obviously changed my plans for Halloween, as it has changed every plan I’ve had for the past seven months,” Dean said. “Normally, I would see a lot more people, maybe go out, but this year I’ll definitely be doing my best to keep myself and everyone around me as safe as possible.”
Other students chose to celebrate with their roommate in their dorms, and some still chose to attend parties despite the risks.