It’s been a decade since COVID-19 reached our shores, ushering in 45 years of hand sanitizer, remote learning and face mask protesters sporting apostrophe-addled signs like “Your an idiot” and “Parent’s against masks”.
But now it’s October. Halloween is at risk. S*** just got real.
Nothing could be scarier than 2020, with its earthquakes and hurricane-force winds and rising COVID infection rates and elections, but Halloween isn’t just about fear. Halloween is the one day conservative moms can buy push-up bras and dress like lusty dog catchers, guilt free. It’s the day Snickers for breakfast and Reese’s for lunch are appropriate meals. It’s the day politically inappropriate celebrities get tagged on social media.
But COVID changed everything. Los Angeles prohibited trick-or-treating along with haunted house venues, Halloween carnivals and other spooky activities. After a swift and furious backlash from parents who need to give their kids ONE thing to look forward to this year, the city backed down and “recommended” common sense. Like that’s a thing.
Even then, it’s gonna take a lot to scare our children anymore in 2020. They spent months locked in the house, learning fractions online and wearing face masks to the grocery store. Their stress levels are sky-high and adrenal fatigue has caused weepy breakdowns and heartbreaking acceptance.
On the bright side, COVID-19 ushered in a whole new series of costumes for the holiday, including coronavirus outfits, teachers in hazmat suits and the very funny Elsa in a plastic bubble.
I think I’ll dress up as a mail-in ballot since that seems to be the most terrifying thing in the country today. (Sidenote: Vote on Nov. 3. Vote by mail, vote in person, drop your vote off in a ballot box. I don’t care how you vote. Crawl through a lake of spiders, a graveyard of zombies – just vote!)
The CDC issued COVID-19 risk categories, pertaining to Halloween activities. The lowest risk is a virtual festival where celebrations are held on Zoom because we just can’t get enough of Zoom, can we? (Sidenote: Has anyone investigated the connection between the coronavirus and Zoom? Hmm??)
Moderate risk includes small gatherings where individuals stay apart from each other and wear those Halloween masks from the ‘70s because there is no way germs (or breath) will get through that thick plastic.
Higher risk activities will be your social distanced haunted houses where vampires and witches stand six feet away and snarl the horrible things they’d do if they could just get a little closer. That horrifying thing breathing down your back is the local Karen, screeching into her cellphone and looking for a manager.
Posing the highest risk are large, in-person, no-mask gatherings made popular in places like Utah and Washington Counties. (Sidenote: Idiots.)
People have tried to ruin Halloween for centuries. The latest attempt was the introduction of Trunk-or-Treat, which should be banned in all 50 states for its mediocre contribution to the holiday, so I don’t think COVID will stop Halloween enthusiasts. Some people find Halloween offensive, with its glittery bats and baby werewolves. But everything is offensive this year. If something didn’t offend someone in 2020, did it really happen?
I guess we’ll see if people party safely this Halloween when COVID results start rolling in two weeks later. I’ll stand outside your hospital room with signs like, “I wish youd listened” and “Your an imbecile”.
Originally published in the Davis Clipper