Don’t Be Ghouls! Follow the Rules!

Isabel Chavez, Freelance Journalist

On October 14th, 2020, the Nevada Health Response Center released recommendations for celebrating the most anticipated holiday this month: Halloween.

Fortunately for enthusiasts, Clark County has reported no intentions of banning festivities, but the Nevada Health Response Center guides individuals to be cautious. The organization lists that “smaller groups are generally safer than large groups,” with an urging to avoid the congestion of crowds and remember that outdoor spaces provide less danger compared to the stuffy and less ventilated indoors.

The documents go further on to detail health and safety protocols as well as alternatives to this traditionally social celebration. One suggestion made by health officials is to leave the candy on the curb to maintain distance, reducing contagions spread from door-to-door.

But what does this all mean for the Shadow Ridge students?

All students, trick-or-treaters and partiers alike, should be diligent with their health. Cautions can include wearing gloves to handle candy, disinfecting the treats afterward, and continuing to wear masks as the state requires when in the presence of other people—keeping in mind that costume masks do not replace proper face coverings as per the CDC. Individuals are recommended to restrict interactions to the limits of their household, but exceptions are made when adhering to correct social distancing and mask protocols. For those who intend to host or attend get-togethers, 10 guests indoors and 25 guests outdoors fall under Nevada’s COVID-19 Residential Gatherings guidance.

And, of course, those who suspect they may be sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are expected to refrain from activities that could put others at risk of infection and instead partake in virtual events or a personalized Halloween movie marathon from home.

Senior Shawn Carney stated, “I think it might be the first learning opportunity on how to adjust to living with COVID-19 in a way that is enjoyable en masse,” in response to maintaining proper health protocols and minimizing risk.

“Halloween activities are fun with a group of friends and the people you love,” Melanie Rodriquez, an eleventh-grade student, said, “but I think people should stay home and stay inside to watch a scary movie and eat snacks, candy, and order some takeout. I just think that’s way safer than going out and possibly getting infected and spreading COVID-19.”

Samantha Solis chimed in with agreement. “Halloween activities will probably spike our percentage of COVID-19 cases by spreading through candy and people not wearing their masks. Health protocols will not be efficient enough, and the best thing to do is to celebrate with family at home,” the junior stated.

Whether keeping spirits high in the comfort of home or venturing into haunted streets at nightfall, students should remain safe and informed with up to date information. The Nevada Health Response Center Halloween guidelines can be found here, along with details for Día de los Muertos and a version in Spanish.