Halloween celebrating safely

Read about celebrating Halloween safely in 2020!

Ellen Batty, Staff Reporter

Halloween this year will certainly look very different as a result of COVID-19; however, many people have come up with ways to stay safe and still enjoy the holiday.

Although most Halloween activities are done outside, the risk of catching the disease is still high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises children not to engage in Trick-or-Treating because of the close contact with and proximity to others. 

Specific laws will differ from town to town; however in Grayslake, trustee of Grayslake Lalena Magnetta explains, “We want to encourage social distancing… so make sure that we’re keeping… a minimum of six feet away from other people.” 

Magnetta also suggests only traveling with family, as to lower the spread of the virus. In addition, masks will be required for both the trick-or-treater, and the person giving out candy. As for the individuals handing out treats, Magnetta also has set guidelines. “Anyone that’s wanting to distribute treats. Of course, we should always be using individually wrapped candies,” Magnetta said.

Many families may be disappointed with the new guidelines; however, Melissa Thurlwell, the English department chair, and a mother of two children (Lucas, 6 and Julia, 8) who usually participates in trick-or-treating, thinks differently. 

“I think kids… and parents have dealt with a lot of trauma, and I think there’s probably room to embrace Halloween in a really safe way,” Thurlwell explains. “I think that towns should… outline their procedures to keep families safe. And I think that as part of the community, it’s just our responsibility to respect those guidelines.”

With all the new changes, Thurlwell is trying to stay as optimistic as possible. She goes on to explain that “I think there’s room for creativity this year…My family is going to… make… a COVID slide with a PVC pipe…we’re [going to] try to just have fun and send candy down a chute,” Thurlwell explains. 

That being said, leaving candy outside in a bucket or a bowl is also an acceptable option for those trying to social distance.

Halloween will not be canceled, but will instead be adjusted to fit the COVID-19 guidelines. Families will be allowed to go Trick-or-Treating but are required to wear masks and are advised to only stay in small groups. Parties and gatherings in groups of more than 50 are prohibited, along with the passing of candy from businesses and companies around town.

 If you would rather stay at home instead of risking catching COVID-19, there’s still many alternative ways to enjoy the holiday. Watching movies is always a good option. Personally, “Coraline” and “Corpse Bride” are favorites, or if you want a real scare, “It 2” and “The Shining” do the job nicely. Carving pumpkins is another tradition typically done inside. By printing out a template, you can create some really cool, spooky designs.