By Sabrina Edwards
With COVID-19 cases dramatically spiking in West Michigan, health professionals are recommending against gathering in large groups of people, and suggesting that families refrain from going trick or treating.
This year Halloween is falling on a Saturday, and under normal circumstances, would lead to many college students having or attending parties. However, many students are going to spend the holiday in their own homes instead of going out.
“I will be staying home,” said Clair Phakamad, 21, of Hudsonville. “You know, COVID is scary, and things can happen easily. You can get it easily because a lot of people will be outside during this time.”
The Center for Disease Control has guidelines posted for celebrating holidays ranked from low risk to high risk for COVID exposure. Some low risk activities include carving pumpkins with people in your household or having a virtual costume party. Going to parties, traditional trick or treating, and going to indoor haunted houses are all listed as high risk for exposure.
“As a college student I was expecting to be able to go to Halloween parties where there would be a large group of people dressed in costumes,” said Rachel Herbst, 18, of Grandville. “Knowing that isn’t a safe idea for everyone is frustrating at times because we feel like we aren’t getting the real college experience, though it’s important that young people take the pandemic seriously.”
Instead of going out, many are opting to stay home and celebrate by watching scary movies.
“I will just be watching scary movies at home and eating some candy from the store,” said Phakamad. “I think there needs to be more stay-at-home orders during holidays, so that people don’t go out and party.”
Herbst also stated that she will be celebrating by watching movies, while she was hoping for a more extravagant Halloween celebration, there is always next year.
The CDC recommends that if you are gathering for a holiday, to urge all attendants to quarantine before and after the celebration, as well as following all the COVID guidelines.
The city of Grand Rapids also released recommendations for celebrating this holiday. If hosting a holiday party, gatherings are limited to 10 people. City officials also suggest setting out already portioned plates instead of having a buffet style gathering. Instead of wearing a Halloween mask, opt for incorporating a designed face mask. However, the best way to be COVID-free this holiday is to connect with friends and family virtually.
This story was written by Sabrina Edwards, Collegiate Editor-in-Chief, Sherry Sokolowski and Sydney Hudson helped report