Pandemic Scales Down Halloween Celebrations


Courtesy of Kate Brooks

Junior Kate Brooks and senior Isaac Yang dressed up in creative costumes that also incorporated their masks to ensure they were both following CDC health guidelines.

For many people, Halloween is all about going door-to-door and receiving candy, or walking neighborhood streets in costume surrounded by other large groups, but the health guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned against such situations. As Halloween approached this year, many were unsure how this very hands-on holiday would continue.

“I was planning on going trick-or-treating with my friends and being with more of my friends, but I still had a great time despite the ongoing pandemic,” sophomore Chris Li said. “I played tennis with my friend … and we dressed up to take pictures with each other.” 

Like Li, many students came up with alternate plans this holiday in order to avoid the masses of trick-or-treaters on the streets. However, some chose to find creative ways to stay safe while still going out.

“At least in my neighborhood, people did a great job [of following guidelines]. There were only two trick-or-treaters that came to my house … Also, I saw a lot of people finding creative ways to make masks a part of their costumes, which was really good to see,” senior Maria Pantoja said. 

I saw a lot of people finding creative ways to make masks a part of their costumes, which was really good to see

— Maria Pantoja

Although people may have found ways to adapt and keep trick-or-treating a part of their Halloween traditions this year, the pandemic also put a stop to other traditions that many normally celebrate before Halloween and throughout the month of October. 

“The pandemic has taken away the more Halloween-specific activities, like handing out candy to kids or being the trick-or-treater yourself,” junior Kate Brooks said. “[But] in my opinion, handing out candy to the little kids in the neighborhood is more enjoyable than being the recipient of candy. [Also, it has] definitely put a halt to the month-long Halloween activities at amusement parks or even going to a pumpkin patch.” 

Many pumpkin patches and other amusement parks put on drive-thru events to keep the spirit of fall and the holiday alive.

One such example is Tanaka Farms, which usually opens every October with a  pumpkin patch and carnival combination leading up to Halloween. This year, the farm held a drive-thru pumpkin farm experience that ran every Saturday and Sunday from Sept. 11 to Oct. 31, according to their website. 

“The pandemic did make things harder, but it wasn’t impossible … I still had a lot of fun staying at home,” Pantoja said.