Trick or sick

Expect Halloween to be different due to COVID-19


Olivia Evans/Bulldog Beat

Dressing up as a ghost and having a photoshoot is a recent trend on TikTok that is simple, yet spooky.

Megan Evans, Staff Writer

Pumpkin carving, costume parties, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, corn mazes and hay barrel rides are just a few of various people’s favorite fall activities. Unfortunately, some of these activities are considered high risk and can spread COVID-19. Many are wondering what will be different this year with the ongoing virus. Some communities may plan on canceling trick or treat and others may just add restrictions. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that some Halloween traditions may need to be avoided. According to the CDC, traditional trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treat, costume parties held indoors, indoor haunted houses, hayrides and tractor rides are all high risk activities. This means that spreading of the coronavirus is likely. The CDC suggests a safer way to trick-or-treat by one way trick-or-treating. One way trick-or-treat involves kids who are socially distanced receiving pre-packed goodie bags waiting on tables. The CDC highly suggests wearing masks during trick-or-treat and says decorative masks are not a substitute. Some recommended low risk activities are carving pumpkins inside with family, carving pumpkins outside with small groups of friends, decorating the house, outdoor scavenger hunts, virtual Halloween costume contests and movie nights with people you live with. These activities are all considered safer than high risk activities, though high risk activities are still permitted. 

Here at Freedom, most students trick-or-treat in three different areas: Conway, Freedom or New Sewickley. All three areas are going to continue with trick-or-treat this year, despite the virus. Trick-or-treat will take place on Oct. 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Trick-or-Treat Trail held at Green Valley Park will also continue this year. It will be on Oct. 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Each person may feel differently about the safety of Halloween this year and may not want to go out. 

“I think it depends on how you trick or treat and where you trick or treat. In some communities, trick or treating is a way to visit everyone and catch up on the year, which could be dangerous due to the virus being mostly airborne. However, walking up to a porch, grabbing candy and/or knocking on a door does not seem too harmful,” junior Anastasia Smith, who has little sisters trick-or-treating this year, said. 

“I do think it is safe because we will be able to social distance. I don’t think masks are necessary unless a mask is a part of the costume already,” sophomore Damian Grunnagle, who has a little brother that is going trick-or-treating, said.

Every year Freedom Elementary School usually holds an event where students parade outside in an orderly fashion to show off their Halloween costumes and then have a party in class after. Unfortunately, this year that will not be possible. Students are phasing back into school, and the district Health and Safety Plan does not allow volunteers into the building to help with the class parties. But, the school still plans on having Halloween activities that are safe for the students. 

“The PTA is offering a ‘drive-through’ event on October 14 where students can stop by campus in the evening to pick up a pumpkin. Our Title One team has also created a virtual ‘Camp Read S’ more’ for October 28. Camp stories will be read and recorded for students to watch virtually. Each story will be connected with a camp craft. Material pick-up for these craft items will also be on October 14 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. based on families that RSVP through a form,” Elementary Principal Emily Mather said. 

In conclusion, some of the communities favorite fall activities are considered high risk and possibly dangerous. Most activities are not cancelled, and trick-or-treat will not cease this year. Everyone has different opinions on whether or not they will be safe from COVID during these activities. Some may choose to participate, and others may stay home.