My teen daughter and I were recently reflecting on the past six months of the pandemic and how it’s changed just about everything, when she suddenly said to me, “What about Halloween? Will Halloween be canceled?” 

She raised an interesting question and what followed was an entertaining discussion of what we imagined a mid-pandemic Halloween might look like. This was one of many “laugh to keep from crying,” conversations that we’ve had over the course of the pandemic — a humorous take on a time in our lives that we likely won’t look back on as very humorous at all.  

Here’s what we imagined Halloween 2020 might look like:

Curbside Trick-or-Treating. Just text your neighbors when you’re outside and they’ll bring the candy right out to your car. Pop your trunk for contactless delivery.

Absolutely NO bobbing for apples! This carnival game was pretty gross even pre-pandemic, but now? I suspect bobbing for apples will go the way of the dinosaurs. 

Popular Halloween costumes for 2020: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Coronavirus itself, and a “Quarantiner,” complete with long, unkempt hair, pajamas, and wielding a can of Lysol and an overabundance of toilet paper.

Four words: Pumpkin Spice Hand Sanitizer. Feel the burn. 

Scariest character at the haunted house: The mask-less zombie who coughs in your face.

All jack-o’-lanterns will be wearing masks, which really cuts down on the detailed carving work required to get the mouth and snaggle teeth just right.

Instead of the corn maze, we’ll go to the “Corona Maze,” which is much more frustrating, and with even fewer directives on how to safely navigate.

 Do Halloween masks count as PPE? Or do you have to wear a facial mask over or under your werewolf mask? 

Socially distanced hayrides. Reserve a sanitized bail of hay, strategically placed six feet apart, for your family today! 

In all seriousness, the idea of Halloween being canceled intrigued me so I did some research on the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak. I learned that Halloween was indeed canceled in October of 1918 in communities across the United States. Now, bear in mind that the United States was also in the throes of World War I during this time, so it’s safe to say that perhaps it didn’t feel prudent to celebrate the macabre that particular year. 

As my daughter and I hypothesized about what the future might look like with all of these new procedures and protocols in place, it was interesting to reflect on just how much has changed in the past year. 

This time last year, Halloween was going on as planned, with inclimate weather being the only real peril to an evening of Trick-or-Treating and merry mayhem. Wurstfest was on track to be the biggest and best yet. Fans packed in shoulder to shoulder at our local high school football stadiums to watch the game every Friday night. 

Who could’ve predicted how vastly different things could look just a short year later? 

Here’s hoping that your family can find a way to enjoy the season while coping with the tricks and embracing all of the treats that lie ahead.

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