Student Guide


October is a month where days are getting shorter, and nights longer, which means Halloween is around the corner. But how can we safely trick-or-treat during a pandemic?

/ 21 October 2020

It’s that time of the year where, supposedly, people dress up in costumes inspired by scary movies, breakout TV shows, and pop culture references. People go out to trick-or-treat, throw a house party, or drink at bars. But with the current quarantine situation, Halloween will look a lot different this year.

In this year’s spooky month, nothing is scarier than the risk of contracting COVID-19. Since traditional ways of celebrating have now become considerably scarier than usual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines for a safe Halloween during the holiday celebration, including new methods of doing classic spooky activities, grouped into lower-risk, moderate-risk and higher-risk buckets.

Higher risk activities include:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

While the Halloween activities we are used to are on pause this year, there are lots of safe and creative ways to have fun and celebrate at home with family and friends online. Here are some ideas to keep the spooky fun going while staying safe from high-risk exposure to COVID-19:


Host a virtual Halloween party

At this point in quarantine, we’re all pros at hosting virtual hangouts. Up your usual e-numan by putting on a costume, and invite all your friends to a Halloween FaceTime or Zoom party. Make it fun and incorporate prizes for best costume, play a trivia game, or even watch a movie together. You can play around with the virtual background too!


Bake spooky treats

Halloween is all about treating yourself, so instead of buying candies, pick a few fun and Halloween-themed cookies or treat recipes to make for the young ones and, who are we kidding, even yourself. Try something creative, like black cat cupcakes, pumpkin cookies, or even a cake that looks like Frankenstein. Virtual icing lessons are also available to get yourself preoccupied.


Go wild with the Halloween decorations

There’s still 2 months before the Christmas holidays, so you still have time to decorate the house and get creative by making your favorite Halloween creatures out of simple arts and crafts supplies.


Go see a scary movie

There’s no more classic Halloween activity than watching a scary movie. Go on a movie marathon by preparing some popcorn and candy and setting a spooky scene. You can also host a virtual film exhibition with your friends via Zoom or Google Meets.


While the CDC offers many different alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating, if you’re still thinking about organizing a party with friends or trick-or-treat outside, health experts say these considerations should be cautiously considered.

The most significant risk relies on who you’re actually trick-or-treating with, because close contact is defined as those who are within six feet. House parties (or any indoor activities) aren’t safe by any means, but you can limit the COVID-19 risks associated with trick-or-treating outside your home by making sure your trick-or-treat group stays small and at a safe distance. And of course, bring a sanitizer and always wear a mask.