COVID-Safe Halloween activities

Carter Uslabar, Editor in Chief

Halloween and the many holidays that follow leading into the new year present many challenges as communities across the world and country continue to grapple with rising coronavirus cases.

The prospect of group celebrations after months of social distancing is tantalizing, but to lower numbers of cases in the Winnebago and Outagamie county areas, it’s crucial the guidelines recommended by the CDC are still followed.

For holiday gatherings, the CDC recommends hosting outdoors whenever possible. Certainly, as the bleak Wisconsin winter sets in, outdoor gatherings become increasingly untenable, but if an event must be held indoors, host events in well-ventilated spaces.

For all events, regardless of whether it’s being held indoors or outdoors, limit the attendance of people from outside your community whenever possible to prevent the spread of COVID.

The CDC also states it is best to avoid the potluck-style dining typical at many holiday events. Instead, encourage guests to bring food for themselves and their families. If a dish is to be served, designate one person to serve all the guests, and, of course, wash your hands for 20 seconds under warm water prior to serving and eating.

As of Oct. 14, UW Oshkosh on-campus guest restrictions have been relaxed to allow two guests in double suites, three guests in triples, and four guests in Horizon Village quads. However, it’s still imperative that on-campus students police themselves, limit close-quarter interaction and physical contact, and schedule weekly COVID tests to continue to mitigate the spread.

So, in lieu of the traditional holiday gatherings and activities, consider these four Halloween suggestions:

Play “Among Us”
Among Us was released in 2018, but has recently gained lots of popularity after being played by streamers on Twitch and YouTube. Among Us is somewhat similar to games like Mafia or Werewolf in that it requires participants, who are mostly uninformed to deduce who the informed “imposters” are, but Among Us differs in that it’s a virtual game, allowing for social distancing.

Piece of sheet photoshoot
A plain bedsheet with two slits for eyes is the quintessential Halloween costume, and it’s seen a huge increase in popularity after achieving ‘gram-worthy’ status. Take that sheet outside with some friends and see what locations you can find befitting a ghost’s presence.

Pumpkin carving contest
It’s never too late to carve a pumpkin. Plus, if you’ve waited to the last minute, you needn’t worry about the pumpkin rotting on your doorstep, as you’ll be throwing it out in a few days. As an added bonus, you might be able to find discounted pumpkins as stores begin clearing out their inventories.

Make a voting plan
Is there anything more spooky than not having a part in democracy? Okay, yes, leviathan anthropomorphic pumpkins, but other than that, no. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that absentee and mail-in ballots must be received by the end of the day on Nov. 2, so if you haven’t mailed your ballot yet, now’s the time. If you’re planning to vote in person, make a plan of when and where you’ll be voting on Nov. 3.