Ongoing pandemic thwarts teen Halloween festivities

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Anoushka Mekerira

Sara Stone participates in a pumpkin carving contest with her friends in their social bubble.

With Halloween right around the corner, teenagers are forced to consider the ongoing pandemic when planning their festivities. 

COVID-19 has redefined social norms and activities, causing uncertainty to revolve around almost everything. Whether it be children or teens, this fall and Halloween will be very different from past years.

Teens highly anticipated this upcoming Halloween because it falls on a Saturday, will have a full moon, and will gain an extra hour from the end of daylight saving time. As expected, teens around the Bay Area share remorse for losing a rare lineup for a Halloween night.

This year, Great America postponed their Halloween Haunt, their annual Halloween attraction that dots haunted houses throughout the theme park. The attraction usually is a hotspot for teens and young adults throughout the spooky season, but due to COVID-19, it has been put off until it’s safe to conduct.

Further, the San Mateo County Department of Public Health issued its most recent COVID-19 safety guidelines for gatherings and social bubbles in its June 17 health order. In this order, Dr. Scott Morrow, the San Mateo County Health Officer, demoralizes meeting in gatherings of any size “because they carry a significant risk of exposure to COVID-19.”

Morrow also explained how individuals would be able to meet with specific people in small gatherings. Gatherings of 12 individuals or less from various households but within the same social bubble can organize to mingle as long as they are outdoors and complying with the safety guidelines.

Still, many teens are disappointed that San Mateo County prohibited Halloween gatherings and parties with people outside of a social bubble because they can’t attend any larger high school parties that night.

“It’s disappointing that Halloween isn’t going to be able to live up to its fullest extent this year. To find some sense of normality, I think if you are responsible, with a small group of friends and take proper social distancing precautions, then it’s a safe alternative than going to a big Halloween gathering,” sophomore Sara Stone said. 

Stone is working to find a fun and safe alternative that still has the Halloween spirit, and she isn’t the only teenager trying to find light in this odd Halloween. Abby Wong, a junior at Carlmont, expressed that she will be doing this Halloween. 

“Hanging out with a small, responsible group, watching a movie, anything to just enjoy the weekend should be fine,” Wong said.

 Additionally, Wong suggested spending time with family, watching spooky movies, baking festive treats, and pumpkin carving as safe activities for this Halloween. 

“Right now, my focus is on the importance of staying safe from COVID-19,” said Wong.

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