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A comprehensive guide to a COVID-safe Halloween

In previous years, Miami students have paraded the streets of uptown in their costumes on Halloween weekend. This year, with gatherings limited to less than 10 people and the bars not packed to the brim, it may seem like Halloween is canceled. 

But it’s not! There are lots of ways to celebrate Halloween while following health and safety regulations. Here’s how:

1. Dress up!

Dressing up is undoubtedly the most quintessential part of Halloween. For sophomore math and statistics major Chris Guptil, it’s one of the most fun parts.

“I am pretty into making dope costumes,” he said. “I think me and my girlfriend are kind of doing a meme and she’s gonna go as a frat bro and I’m going as a [sorority] girl.”

If you need to wear a mask, embrace it! Treat it as another accessory and match it to the color scheme or patterns in your costume. A friend of mine is going as an angel/cow hybrid (“Holy cow”), so she’s DIY-ing a cow print mask.

Even though you can’t go to parties, you can still show off your costume. Take fun pictures to post on social media. Miami Activities and Programming (MAP) is even having a costume contest on its Instagram

You can even get a few of your friends together, dress up and go out to eat while following health guidelines. This way, you can show off your costumes while staying safe and also supporting a local business.

2. Watch a Halloween movie.

Watching a spooky movie is a perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit and celebrate. Personally, I’ve been making my way through my Halloween movie watchlist since the end of August. 

One thing that’s great about Halloween movies is there are so many options. Looking for something scary? “Paranormal Activity.” Classic? “Beetlejuice.” Family-friendly? “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” 

Sophomore speech pathology major Cait LaGuardia’s favorite Halloween movie is “Halloweentown.” She loves watching Halloween movies because they make her nostalgic for past Halloweens when she was a kid.

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“I grew up watching those [types] of movies with my family,” she said. “When I was little, I always thought they were so scary and fun to watch.”

3. Listen to a spooky playlist.

Another way to get into the spooky Halloween mood is with a playlist specially made for the occasion. You can make your own playlist or find one on Spotify.

Essentials include “Calling All The Monsters” by China Anne McClain, the “Spooky Scary Skeletons” remix and The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack.

4. Pass out candy.

If you want to avoid large parties and also return to the childhood magic of Halloween, hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, like junior biochemistry major Cole Yurkiewicz and his roommates plan on doing. 

While dressing up as High School Musical characters (Yurkiewicz as Sharpay), they want to make sure they stay safe by wearing masks and keeping a distance from the trick-or-treating families.

Handing out candy is also a way for Miami students to connect with the Oxford community.

“One reason that I wanted to find somewhere to pass out candy is because I know a lot of people that live and have families around here have recently been feeling very negatively about Miami students … and I don’t want to be a part of that,”  Yurkiewicz said.

5. Have a small gathering.

Just because you can’t go out to parties this year doesn’t mean you can’t get together with your roommates or friends to celebrate. Have a small “party” with less than 10 people. Do some of the other things on this list. Make the best of the holiday with the people you’re closest to.

Guptil will be attending a get-together with a few of his friends. They plan on dressing up but staying in and watching movies in order to stay safe.

“Even though [Miami] might be doing a little bit better number-wise, there’s a really good chance for that to change pretty quickly Halloween weekend,” he said. “We’re just playing it safe. I know we would probably like to go out … but it’s not realistic, and it’s not the best idea right now.”

Miami’s COVID-19 cases have been decreasing, and most dorms are at a Level 1 as of Oct. 24. For the downward trend to continue, it's necessary to keep following guidelines.

“Nobody’s saying that we can’t have fun,” Yurkiewicz said. “We just have to be smart.”