Halloween isn’t canceled this year — parties are

A student encourages others to get in the spooky spirit of Halloween, even if they can’t go out.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. 

As a little kid, it was the one night of the year when I could dress up and stockpile a ridiculous amount of chocolate and candy. As a teenager, it was fun to make a costume and go to Halloween parties.

But the holiday will be looking a lot different this year for everyone.  

As of Oct. 4, 37 states have already canceled Halloween parades and other events, USA Today reported. 

It’s official: COVID-19 has canceled Halloween. Or has it?

Although social gatherings are off-limits this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released holiday guidelines outlining how to celebrate safely. 

Public health experts recommend avoiding high-risk activities, like hay-rides, trick-or-treating or indoor costume parties and instead opting for low-risk activities, like decorating the house with ghoulish decor, having a virtual Halloween costume contest and decorating pumpkins, according to the CDC

Skyy Morrison, a freshman film and media studies major, will be crossing things off this list, as COVID-19 ruined her plans to go out for Halloween and every other holiday, she said. 

“I’m planning on decorating my house, now dorm, especially the front door in hopes to entertain those who walk by,” Morrison said. “I’m also going to rewatch classic spooky movies like ‘Halloweentown’ to get into the spooky mood.”

On Oct. 13, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said there has been a continued spread of COVID-19 on college campuses, including Temple University, Philly Voice reported

The city averaged 167 new cases on Oct. 16, down from 212 on Oct. 9. As of Oct. 19, Temple has 59 active cases, The Temple News reported.

It is critical that Philadelphians do not cause another spike by behaving recklessly on Halloween. Temple students in particular must be conscientious of the North Philadelphia community by practicing social distancing and not attending Halloween parties.

I am disheartened that Halloween events have been canceled this year, but Halloween doesn’t have to be boring. It will just take more creativity than in the past.

Morrison suggests having small get-togethers with people in the same household. 

“Doing small activities like baking and watching movies sounds much more fun compared to going to a big party in this climate,” Morrison added.  

I’ve been having Halloween-themed movie nights with my friends over Zoom and Disney+. We watch traditional horror films or childhood classics, including the “Halloween” franchise, “Scary Movie 2,” “Twitches” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Justice Dyer, a freshman communications major, will be baking pumpkin muffins and carving pumpkins, she said. 

“Spooky season is one of my favorite times of year,” Dyer added. “I was excited to celebrate Halloween for the first time in Philly at Temple, but instead I’ll be celebrating at home with my family.”

Philadelphia has a variety of modified events for people who are having “cabin fever” from staying indoors, like a haunted half-mile walk on the Bates Psycho Path, Pumpkinland at Linvilla Orchards and Halloween movies at the drive-in outside of the Mann Center, according to Visit Philadelphia, the city’s official tourism and visit information guide. 

Students should be enthusiastic about the spirit of the holiday, whether it be the ghostly spirits or the popular Halloween costume store, Sarah McDuff, a junior advertising major, said. 

“Focus more on decorations than the partying aspect,” McDuff said. 

For now, I recommend hanging out with your roommates, watching a movie or baking Pillsbury ghost cookies, if you can resist eating the cookie dough.

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