By Angelina L. ’22 and Abby G. ’22
With Halloween just around the corner, many of us have started to pull out the costume bin and get into the spooky spirit to celebrate this iconic holiday. However, since Halloween is so centered around large scale interaction and contact with others, events have to be different this year in order to remain cautious of safety protocols. Community members have responded to this shift by coming up with new, fun ways to celebrate this homework-free weekend!
Usually around this time, Collect would host a Collect-O-Ween where students can go around to the different departments and fill up their treat bags with candy and toys. Unfortunately, with the one-way hallways and social distancing, our means of celebrating this tradition are limited. Franchesca V. ’22, Collect’s Secretary, shared on behalf of the rest of the members that “Even though things may look different this year, we are still trying to recreate some of the events we’ve held. Collect has been working hard to think of creative ways of maintaining tradition. For example, as a replacement for Collect-o-ween, we came up with a themed advisory activity!” It is definitely not a good idea to pass around candy from hand-to-hand this season, and thankfully Collect has taken that into account and planned a special surprise for us.
Because conditions are far from normal, some Winsor students have reservations about Halloween as a whole. Amelia Z. ’21 thinks that “trick or treating might still be a little too much. With everyone walking around and also going to each house, I feel like even if everyone were wearing a mask, gloves, and staying 6 feet apart, there is too much contact and human interactions.” She continues, “if someone is sick and they choose to go trick or treating (or even if they’re not sick), they are not only putting themselves at risk, but the people around them as well.” However, it is unlikely that anyone would be “[forced] to stay home,” so each person who ventures out into their neighborhoods will have to be mindful of their own and others’ safety.
Especially for younger students, trick or treating is usually an essential part of Halloween. We texted a lower school student, Morgan P. ’26, what her plans are for Halloween this year since, for the most part, trick or treating is not taking place. Morgan said that “Most people, including me, are probably not going to or going to be able to do normal stuff, so I’m probably just going to hang with a couple of my friends. But this year is also different bc I haven’t really thought about costumes and stuff like that because I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”
There are also some other ideas of fun ways to enjoy this holiday in a safe way. Suzanne P. ’24 told us, “I’d say I’m sad that Halloween is canceled this year, but I’m glad that people are taking precautions and putting safety first. This year I am watching a movie with some friends. We are watching it outside and with masks on so Covid friendly, but I am excited to at least have some fun!” Even if it may be chilly outside, grab some sleeping bags and some warm clothes to get into the spooky spirit with a spooky (or even scary) movie. There is nothing like getting into the holiday with a good scare! Having a socially distanced costume contest with some close friends or within your family is also a great idea. Additionally, everyone should go purchase some candy for themselves to enjoy.
In individual towns, neighborhoods might want to consider agreeing on whether or not kids will be knocking on doors. We have yet to see any state or town-issued mandates, which, if closely followed, could effectively prevent further spread of the virus. On this topic, Claire A. ’22 said, “I think that the safest decision towns could make right now is to mandate for children to not pursue traditional trick-or-treating. At a time where several places in Massachusetts are seeing an uptick in cases, it makes the most sense to not encourage an activity in which children would likely not be social distancing, touching candy that may have been touched by others, and potentially not wearing masks as there is often not too much supervision.”
When getting a glimpse of different students’ perspectives and plans for Halloween, it seems that people want to be responsible and safe this upcoming Halloween, and they have come up with a variety of fun ways to celebrate. We hope that the usual festivities are not forgotten during this time but merely altered to better accommodate safety precautions.