The Scariest Halloween Yet

How Chicago is Handling Halloween in the Middle of COVID-19


Once the leaves start to change from green to auburns and yellows, the drop in temperature paired with a crisp breeze, and the sudden craving for pumpkin everything… fall is upon us. Arguably the best part of fall is Halloween. Trick or treating, getting dressed up, and watching scary movies with your friends are meaningful Halloween traditions for almost every American. However, due to COVID-19, Halloween across the country is going to look different. 

State by state, health officials have warned their citizens that trick or treating this year will cause major spikes in the coronavirus and have urged people to practice social distancing. According to the CDC, “Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses.” The CDC has recommended people participate in low risk activities such as carving pumpkins, decorating your house, and having virtual costume contests. The CDC has labeled traditional trick or treating as a higher risk activity along with indoor haunted houses, indoor Halloween parties, and attending hayrides. 

In Chicago, city officials have made efforts to minimize a coronavirus outbreak by implementing “Halloweek.” “Halloweek” begins October 26 and will mark the start of trick or treating. Chicagoans have been told to keep groups small — six or fewer people — and to preferably stay in a household bubble. Mayor Lori Lightfoot explained, “The reality is, people are gonna trick or treat. So, we’re dealing with that reality. We’re trying to spread it out over the course of the week.” 

In efforts to make “Halloweek” as safe as possible, houses that will be providing candy have been told to keep on a light or make a sign to let trick or treaters know that they are safely handing out candy. Houses have been told to try and keep a six feet distance from trick or treaters and to think of ways to safely drop the candy into bags, perhaps by using a pipe. All trick or treaters and those handing out candy must wear masks. 

Older Chicagoans celebrating Halloween have been told that all large gatherings and Halloween parties are strictly prohibited. Dr. Allison Arwady, the city’s health commissioner, said “We’re honestly more worried about COVID-19 spread among adults gathering to celebrate Halloween indoors than we are about children outdoors trick-or-treating.”

Although the pandemic is still in full swing, Chicagoans have expressed that this will not stop their trick or treating. According to Fran Spielman, via the Chicago Sun Times, “Two-thirds of those surveyed planned to participate in trick-or-treating this Halloween — either by handing out candy or taking their children door-to-door.” Therefore, it is imperative to follow the CDC guidelines to the coronavirus and the city of Chicago’s guidelines to safe trick or treating. 

As for Halloween at Parker, there will be no Halloween parade or costumes this year in efforts to keep those in school safe.