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‘Halloween isn’t ruined — it’s just different’

Halloween is my favorite holiday, hands down. 

I know a lot of people share this sentiment, because honestly, who wouldn’t love Halloween? You get to dress up in fun costumes, cover your home with spooky decorations, go out and party with friends, and if you go trick-or-treating, get a whole lot of candy. It’s literally the perfect holiday.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard and seen a lot of folks saying Halloween is ruined this year because of COVID-19. A fair amount of people I know aren’t going to do anything at all for Halloween 2020, because it’s all “ruined” and they “can’t do anything fun” anyway. No parties, no trick-or-treating, no decorations, no nothing.

Part of that is true.

Halloween parties with thumping bass lines and crazy costumes are a no-go. Even trick-or-treating, which can be made to be socially distanced, seems dangerous — and not in the fun “it’s Halloween” way.

But much of Halloween, and the spooky month leading up to it, will still be the same — right?

COVID-19 procedures aren’t stopping you from watching scary movies at home or going to a drive-in with friends inside your bubble. I just went to see “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Hocus Pocus” at a double feature at the Holiday Auto Theatre drive-in, located in Hamilton, this past Saturday. 

We ate buttered popcorn and candy, wrapped ourselves up in thick cozy blankets and laughed along to Jack Skellington and the Sanderson sisters. It was safe and so much fun, and the wearing of masks and social distancing didn’t stop that.

COVID-19 procedures aren’t stopping you from decorating your home with creepy and hilarious Halloween-themed ornamentation. My roommate and I have pumpkin lights strung up on the inside of our door, and when driving around Oxford a few days ago, I saw plenty of houses with inflatable pumpkins or faux graveyards on their lawns. Heck, you could even buy a $9 roll of caution tape on Amazon and turn your home or room into an imitation crime scene.

There’s also nothing stopping you from socially distancing at corn mazes or pumpkin patches, both of which can be found at Wendel Farms about 20 minutes from campus. Though I’ve never been there myself, I have seen friends go, and it seems pretty fun — definitely on my to-do list for this fall.

You can also definitely still create cool costumes to wear on Halloween, even if you’re just chilling at home with friends. Currently, I’m stuck between a few ideas — namely, O’Hare from “The Lorax,” Wednesday Addams from “The Addams Family” or a sheet ghost (à la TikTok trend). 

And if you’re worried about your mask interfering with your costume, don’t be — there are plenty of costumes that actually incorporate face masks! Take Bucky Barnes from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Walter White from “Breaking Bad” and The Mandalorian from “The Mandalorian,” for example — the latter of whom actually wears an entire helmet, so you wouldn’t have to worry about anyone seeing your non-costume face mask underneath. 

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Finally, COVID-19 procedures definitely aren’t stopping you from shoving as much candy as you want into your face. Make six-year-old you proud with your sugar haul this year.

Obviously, there are still plenty of ways you can celebrate Halloween while still being safe, masked up and socially distanced. In short, Halloween isn’t ruined — it’s just different.

Now, this is not me giving you permission to go out and party on Halloween night. In fact, I am saying just the opposite. 

Please stay home and watch “Hubie Halloween” or “In the Tall Grass” (10/10 thriller movie, would recommend) on Netflix instead. Please dress up for fun, to take cool pictures and to impress your roommates, but not for throwing it back in some basement. Please eat all the candy you desire and bake orange-and-black sweet treats.

Please enjoy Halloween for what it should be — a fun celebration of the mystical, the spooky and everything in-between — instead of turning it into just another night for drinking and dancing.

Because if you do that, then yes, Halloween will be ruined this year. But because of your own irresponsibility, not because of COVID-19.