Halloween in the Era of Coronavirus

Journalist Henry K.’s family created this candy chute for safe delivery of candy to trick-or-treaters. (Henry K.)

While many children across the country were moping about COVID-19’s effect on Halloween, others took the social distancing guidelines as a challenge, determined to find a fun way to celebrate the holiday.

While some middle schoolers said that they were too old for Halloween, others were not happy that Halloween was, as they termed it, “canceled,” since many communities were discouraging trick-or-treating.

Many took this as a challenge to find ways to keep Halloween safe and still indulge in the fun. Some focused on covid-safe candy delivery systems, like a Candy Chute made from a 10-foot-long PVC pipe. The design included twelve 24-inch Pipes, eight connectors, and one super scary clown mask.

Many people also enjoyed carving pumpkins with their families this year. They got creative with some covid-themed pumpkins that were wearing masks. There were so many creative takes on 2020 that ABC News did a segment showing the many unique pumpkins that could only happen this year. There were portraits of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dr. Fauci (in his Covid mask), and mini jack-o-lantern faces in a Zoom meeting.

My personal favorite part of Halloween is seeing all the costumes in the neighborhood, but since I didn’t expect many trick-or-treaters, I called my friends and told them to wear their best costume, and we hopped onto a Zoom. Everyone’s costume was so funny. That made all of us feel better about doing Halloween in the covid era.

Those choosing to stay in took the opportunity to sit on the couch, grab some popcorn, and watch their favorite scary movie. Some Halloween classics include Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The unseasonably warm weather also provided an opportunity for outdoor distanced activities. One neighborhood set up a haunted trail through the backyards for just the people in their cul-de-sac.

“I hosted a super fun but safe party with my friends,” said Oliver K., a fourth grader. “It had a costume contest and a pumpkin carving contest.” He also built a candy chute for any trick-or-treaters that happened to come by.

Oliver also loves to go trick-or-treating, so he grabbed his costume and headed out on the street. Because so few people were out, and neighbors had prepared covid-safe delivery methods like bags of treats, he had over 40 individually wrapped bags of candy by the time he was all done.

One thing’s for sure, Halloween 2020 was one to remember.