Social distance-friendly activities help students safely celebrate the fall season


Melanie Garcia dresses as a ghost while reading a book for a TikTok-inspired photoshoot. Photo by Elisha Tapangan.

Fall is notably a favorite season of students, where they attend spooky costume parties with friends, carve funny faces in pumpkins, and order one-too-many pumpkin spice lattes. However, because of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the guidelines for this month’s festivities on Sept. 21, and numerous traditions and cult-classics of the autumn season are restricted. The CDC classifies trick-or-treating, crowded haunted houses, hayrides with strangers, and more as higher-risk activities, meaning that engaging in them is possibly hazardous to people’s health. 

Ren Buendia, though being saddened by the restrictions of activities, recognizes the importance of staying safe and social distancing during these times.

“It’s disappointing how we have to place these restrictions in the first place, but I respect my own safety and the safety of others, and that’s more important than Halloween,” Buendia said. 

In spite of a few limitations of fall ventures, students have all found ways to celebrate this season while also complying with the CDC’s guidelines. 

“I have gone shopping for some cute fall clothes and have been looking at some fun Halloween costume ideas for my friends and I,” Terry Furtado said.

Though being somewhat constricted, Furtado remains positive and concludes that she and her friends will be able to celebrate as close to normal as possible. 

“I feel a bit restricted by COVID during this time since a lot of fall festivities definitely won’t be the same as previous years, but we will make it work,” Furtado said.

Elisha Tapangan has also found ways around the constraints, and even baked desserts and participated in photo shoots inspired by TikTok.

“This fall season, I have been celebrating with close friends and family due to quarantine. Activities I’ve enjoyed in anticipation of Halloween would be baking in-season treats and doing my own little ghost photoshoot as inspired [by] TikTok,“ Tapangan said.

Ifé-Michaela Spencer, on the other hand, ended up continuing a yearly tradition in which she and her friends visit Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm in Wheatland while remaining cautious of their surroundings and welfare.

“I went to Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch with a small group of friends to celebrate my 17th birthday. We wore masks and made sure we social[ly] distanced from people, even though people were not really social[ly] distancing at the park. I always go to Bishop’s around my birthday ever since I moved to the states,” Spencer said.

If you’re looking to get in on the action of safe autumn pastimes like these students, you could decorate your room, make fall-themed playlists, watch scary movies, or even host a virtual Halloween costume party with friends.