Opinion | Trick or treating is not in during pandemic season

It’s a terrible idea to go out trick or treating or partying this Halloween — find something else to do with friends instead.



Attendees dance in alien costumes during Undercover Organism’s set at Yacht Club on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. Many members of the crowd sported Halloween costumes for the occasion.

Signe Nettum, Opinions Columnist

My mother has a whole section in my scrapbook dedicated to my Halloween Costumes. One of my favorite photos is of my older brother, Thomas, trying to kiss me on the cheek while I wore a ladybug costume when I was around two years old. I dressed up as Lady Gaga and impressed enough friends that they thought I was a different person. My entire family dressed up as the Village People from the YMCA music video and almost won the group costume award at a friend’s costume party.

This year, none of that is going to happen.

COVID-19 is not stopping for Halloween. It did not stop for the Fourth of July this summer, and by the looks of it, it will not stop for Halloween, nor Thanksgiving.

While I support going out to your local pumpkin patch, corn maze, or apple orchard, I do not condone the act of trick or treating this year with COVID-19. Too many variables to deal with and manage. It is putting too much trust in others, rather than a facility.

But that does not mean you should do away with the holiday itself. There are other, non-trick or treating ways to get spooky.

Halloween decorations are a must. Both inside and outside of the house. Decorations easily give your house the feeling of Halloween throughout the month of October and even if you cannot physically interact with others, the decorations on your front yard or terrace can make others enjoy the feel of Halloween around the corner. (Why do you think people started drawing rainbows in their windows during the beginning of the summer?)

Zoom calls to friends to celebrate the night are also a way to connect with others. Dress up in your costumes — makeup and all. Adding the fun twist to your zoom happy hour or casual talk will further your connection with your friends during this time of distance. While it will not be the same during the holiday, doing anything is better than nothing.

Most of the costume parties I participated in with my family and as a college student were on days other than Halloween. You do not need to save it for only the holiday.

One thing on my list this Halloween — and October in general — is to try out new scary movies that have been released on streaming services. I am an extreme scaredy cat and I cannot stand scary movies, but I’ve always wanted to watch them.

Thanks to Netflix party, alongside Zoom to have the visual connection with whomever I’m watching with, I can watch the scary movies with other people even though we are states away. While I wish I could grab onto my friend’s arm while we watch Us or Silence of the Lambs, seeing them in the corner of my screen makes it seem less scary.

Just because you cannot — should not — Trick or treat this Halloween, that does not mean you have to give up other traditions. While I will not be dressing up with my friends and going to a Halloween party this 31st, you can see me eating a bag of candy while watching — maybe hiding during — Sleepy Hollow.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.