Halloween 2020: everything you need to know

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Elena Khanlarbeik

Junior Maya Chelar visits Homestead Farm with Juniors Elena Khanlarbeik, Nikki Faroughi, Layla Hilmi and Elizabeth Stepanov to enjoy the fall season, take photos and pick pumpkins.

The 31st of October is quickly approaching and with the US reaching over 220,000 deaths from COVID-19, it’s clear this will be a Halloween unlike any other.

Although the CDC warns against any indoor parties or traditional trick-or-treating, fear not! There are still ways to get in the spooky spirit without contracting a deadly virus, like carving pumpkins and having an outdoor movie night with friends.

Montgomery County’s official guidelines suggest online parties and car parades to celebrate, as opposed to in-person events. Gatherings of more than 50 people, like parties or parades, are prohibited even if outside. The guidelines also warn that a costume mask is not a good enough replacement for a cloth one and social distancing is still a necessary measure to prevent transmission.

It remains critical for Marylanders to continue practicing the basic habits that we know will slow the spread of this virus.”

— Larry Hogan

As of Oct. 12, Maryland has had 132,000 cases of COVID-19 and just under 4,000 deaths, but cases do seem to be leveling out. On Oct. 9, Governor Larry Hogan tweeted, “Pleased to report declines in our state’s daily (2.24%) and seven-day (2.79%) positivity rates… It remains critical for Marylanders to continue practicing the basic habits that we know will slow the spread of this virus.”

Montgomery County has been a hotspot for COVID-19, as the first three confirmed cases in Maryland on March 5 were just minutes away. MoCo has had over 20,000 confirmed cases and just over 850 deaths.

Despite the impediments on traditional Halloween celebrations, students are staying positive about the upcoming holiday. Junior Sere Doumboya said she will probably stay home, watch scary movies with a few friends and eat candy corn. “I’m also thinking of making a huge Halloween cake and cookies for the Halloween season,” Doumboya said.

Senior Rishika Jadhav is more concerned about the spread of COVID if people do not follow guidelines. She said she thinks lots of people will attend parties. “People with superiority complexes who are ignorant of the reality of the virus and continue to put themselves and others in danger for superficial benefits,” Jadhav said.

Plenty of ways still exist to enjoy the holiday, like watching scary movies, attending outdoor, socially distanced haunted houses and decorating your home. “There’s no excuse for not staying safe because there are definitely ways to still have fun on Halloween and create fall vibes without putting others in danger,” Jadhav said.

A common festive activity for students is to visit Homestead Farm, in Poolesville, to pick pumpkins, apples and to look at the animals. “We obviously took masks and hand sanitizer, and when we went apple picking we went in a row of trees where no one else [was]. We didn’t get too close to the animals either because a lot of people were petting them, but for the pumpkin patch there were a lot of people there so we couldn’t really social distance,” junior Maya Chelar said.