By Charlie Pentland

Graphic by Jennifer Notman

With September upon us and October approaching, many Las Lomas students are beginning to look forward to Halloween. However, with the Coronavirus pandemic still affecting millions of people, Halloween could look different this year. 

San Francisco is a city that usually goes big for Halloween by throwing large parades and handing out candy to little kids who are trick or treating. However, this year will look a little different. According to Eater San Francisco, health officials are strongly discouraging standard Halloween traditions such as parties and trick or treating. What does this mean for high school students this year?

“I’m not sure yet,” sophomore Sam Mieszkowski-Lapping said. “I think I’m most likely going to be around my friends, probably in a smaller setting than a big party like I did last year.” He and many others still want to celebrate Halloween while remaining safe. “I definitely want to be with all my friends,” sophomore Josie Schneider said. “Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I love to spend it with all of my friends.”

“I don’t know what Halloween will look like,” Mieszkowski-Lapping said. “I don’t imagine too many people will be having any parties. Maybe they will, who knows. I’m sure everyone wants a normal Halloween but we most likely won’t [have one].” When asked if her Halloween plans would change because of the Coronavirus, Schneider responded, “Most likely…There probably will not be as many parties, but I still want to see all of my friends and have a good time.” Everyone wants to have a good time with their friends on Halloween, but how can this be done safely if at all? 

First, if one decides to go out to a party on Halloween night, they should understand the risk they are taking. While COVID-19 has primarily affected people 65 years and older, there is still a chance of contracting it and falling sick or passing it on. Second, the CDC states that the maximum number of people allowed at an outdoor gathering of any type is 60 people. It’s recommended that when one arrives at any Halloween festivities that they look and estimate how many people are there and if it’s safe to proceed. It is also recommended not to share any food or drinks with anyone to minimize germ spread between people.

Some Las Lomas students with younger siblings who are not old enough not to make their own decisions lay that responsibility on their parents or guardians. When asked if his parents would let his younger sibling trick or treat, Mieszkowski-Lapping said, “I’m not positive if my parents will let him trick or treat. He loves to trick or treat. I’m sure my mom and dad will be hesitant but they probably will let him go with a mask.” 

While it may be tough to predict where the coronavirus numbers may be in a little over a month, we know that it won’t disappear in a day. “I have a younger sister who is a freshman, and I think my parents will let her do the same as whatever I’m doing because we are so close in age.” Schneider said. 

While we may not get a normal Halloween this year, it’s certainly possible to have a good time. It’s important to use judgement when going to parties and to not share food and drinks with others. Personally, I will be trying to find the perfect balance of remaining safe while having as normal a Halloween as possible. I believe that with the right precautions, one can have a relatively normal Halloween.