At any time of the year, hanging out with friends can be a fun, rejuvenating experience. Now that we have officially entered the “Spooky Season” of October,  I’d like to provide some tips on how to fully enjoy this season in a fun, COVID-19 safe way.

The first way to enjoy the Spooky Season is through Halloween-themed dress up parties. Even though trick-or-treating will look very different this year, we can always count on the costume and party stores to be open at this time of year.

I always look forward to seeing what cool costumes people either make or buy every Halloween. From the traditional ghosts and skeletons to favorite superheroes, I always have fun guessing who someone has dressed up as.

This doesn’t have to be just a student-led thing, either. Even though most of our classes are on Zoom, teachers and professors are always welcome to join in on the spooky festivities. My personal favorite has to be when my Seventh Grade English teacher dressed up as Flow from the Progressive commercials.

Another idea for the Halloween season would be trick-or-treating within dorms.

Because of the presence of COVID-19 on campus, this could prove to be a bit tricky. However, if we restrict the number of people we come into contact with to just our close contacts (as regulated by the CDC), we should be able to conduct trick-or-treating in a safe manner.

And yes, wearing a mask is absolutely mandatory during any activity that day. Even though you might be wearing a mask as part of your costume, wear another one underneath, as the costumes’ masks aren’t made for containing viral aerosols.

We’d also want to be careful about the distribution of candy on that day. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, candy should only be given to or taken from those whom you eat with, or from those whom you would otherwise call close contacts. No mass floor parties, or even dorm-wide parties could occur without a great risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Again, it’s recommended that you only stop at doors of people with whom you come into close contact on a regular basis.

Of course, we can always improve on the experiences of trick-or-treating and dressing up in our favorite costumes. If you’re wondering how, the answer is simple: do all of this while starting a scary movie marathon!

In order to avoid the risk of transmission brought on by packed common rooms, a great idea would be to watch your film of choice over a Zoom call with your friends. That way, you could be connected with your friends, eat whatever you want and you could even take off your mask (as long as you were inside away from other people). This option would also serve to include those Zags who aren’t on campus this semester.

While some might not find the idea of watching a movie on someone else’s shared screen for an hour and a half, I know from experience that watching videos over Zoom works fine. Shortly before school started, a few friends and I watched the first few episodes of the original “Ben Ten.” As long as you have a stable connection, you should be good to go.

If you take anything away from these tips today, know that COVID-19 doesn’t have to be a death sentence for your usual fun Halloween activities. Just make sure that you and your friends are having fun in a way that keeps everyone safe! We don’t want this spooky day to be the thing that shuts down campus.

Red Kwenda is a staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @RedKwendawriter.

 

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