Although it’s possible to limit risk to a certain extent at school with mask mandates and distancing rules, there’s a big question: What are kids doing outside of school? With Halloween, a holiday that tends to invite parties and large gatherings coming up, I think there’s an opportunity to observe how students are perceiving Covid-19 as a risk right now.
Last year’s Halloween was just before the biggest surge of cases in the entire pandemic, and most people seemed to recognize this. Many told me they just stayed home with their families or did something masked with a few friends. Anna, a sophomore, told me what she did. “Last year, my Halloween was a small group of friends hanging out. It was nothing like my normal Halloween plans. It definitely felt more like a normal day rather than a fun event.”
This was a common theme among students, and I talked to someone about what they thought about others’ questionable plans. He said: “It was ridiculous to see 50+ people gathering for these massive parties last year, especially while the rest of us were doing our part and staying safe. I get that they wanted to have fun after so many months of uncertainty, but it makes me sick how they could just disregard healthcare workers and the thousands of people who were dying just to fool around for one night.”
He says that now that he and his friends are vaccinated, they are looking forward to participating in safe gatherings. Another anonymous person told me she agrees that although she’s being cautious about the size of the group she is with, she enjoys that restrictions are being lifted enough for her to have a gathering.
Anna says “This year my plans are probably to hang out with a bigger group and I think it will be fun to get back to normal if it’s safe and possible. Covid is definitely playing into my plans because if there is a spike in cases or one of my friends gets Covid, all of our plans will be canceled. Covid has made it so that everything can change in one second.”
Most people I talked to are planning parties like they would in a normal year or just having gatherings with their friends. Now that a large percent of the student body is vaccinated, it seems like many doors are opened when it comes to having fun and celebrating holidays. Happy Halloween everyone!