No candy, just rocks

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photo by Maggie Taylor

Sponsored by the girl’s laccrose team, the annual pumpkin patch went up early this fall. Carving pumpkins is a great alternative to trick-or-treating, which has been discouraged this year due to coronavirus.

From binging your favorite Halloween movies like “Hocus Pocus” to baking Pillsbury’s pumpkin cookies, Halloween is a treasured holiday, and a time to spend the afternoon carving pumpkins with friends and family, but when COVID-19 knocked on our doors wishing only tricks and no treats, plans soon fell through, crushing tradition and the hearts of Halloween lovers. While there are still many ways to celebrate safely, maybe we all should just sit this Oct. 31 out.

Halloween was one of many things people were looking forward to over the course of our extended quarantine, but come to find out this September, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) advised that states shut down trick-or-treating. A majority of states agreed, with more than 37 banning people from going out. To no surprise, Florida is not included in those whopping 37 states, a monumental mistake on Gov. Ron Desatis’ part, but many counties are advising people to stay home. 

Not only is there trick-or-treating, but there are no Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, no creepy corn mazes, no collecting a bag full of candy to eat till you are sick, and no big costume parties. With these circumstances, we feel like Charlie Brown, getting rocks house after house. Fall has turned into a big, disappointing mess.

However, a few bumps in the road does not mean Halloween is canceled. Even Charlie Brown managed to salvage his holiday after receiving rocks the whole night. There are plenty of other alternatives to keep the spooky spirit alive, and losing trick-or-treating is not the end of the world; in fact, the ban is keeping us safe from meandering teenagers infecting us with their COVID-19 breath. Who wants to talk to strangers in a sweaty werewolf costume all night or have that awkward chat with your mom’s friend anyway? We cannot beg strangers for candy on the streets this year, but we can watch movies and bake yummy holiday snacks with members of the household or socially distanced with friends, which are arguably the best parts of Halloween. Although safety is always a priority, coronavirus cannot control everything, and some fun is still possible.

The CDC released new guidelines in September in accordance with upcoming holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, and New Years to prevent coronavirus cases from rising. When throwing a holiday party, the CDC advises people to host outdoor activities rather than indoor, and if indoor, to increase ventilation by opening all windows and doors. They also suggest to only host activities with people from the local area, to avoid contact with people outside of households 14 days before the party, and avoid commonly touched surfaces or shared items. Likewise, they encourage attendees to bring supplies: masks, hand sanitizer, tissues. And, as always, to frequently wash your hands. Throwing a small get-together with close friends and immediate family members is not the end of the world, and some fun for the holidays is welcomed. However, cautiousness should always be a prime concern, and if you can, continue to avoid having small or even large get-togethers.

Advising is one thing, but people adhering to those guidelines is another. In order to protect the ones around you, it is imperative to follow these rules and be smart for the holidays. Unfortunately, this will not stop some from going out and attending crowded, disease-ridden parties. Be smart. Do not sacrifice you or anyone else’s health for temporary bliss. There will always be another Halloween, another sweat-smelling costume to squeeze into, and another Halloween Horror Night. We should all forgo this fall season; stay home and carve your pitiful sorrows into a pumpkin. 

With quiet streets and your own store-bought Kit-Kats, there is a perfect opportunity to stay home and watch a movie, maybe even one of the 11 “Halloween” movies in its franchise. But whatever you do, do not scream. The respiratory droplets might hear you.

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