The Spookiest Thing About this Year’s Halloween: Covid’s Effects on the Holidays

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has had terrible global effects for so many people. But how much are all of the changes we’re facing really affecting our lives? The stress, anxiety, and fears associated with a global pandemic may be changing our lives much more than we know. The full effect of Covid on people’s mental health is still unknown, but the uncertainty alone which the virus brings is stressful at best. The loneliness, boredom, and sadness that quarantining brings for so many exemplifies how deeply the virus has affected most people.

October – and fall in general – is an exciting time for so many. Changes in the weather and the colours of the leaves, spending time with family over Thanksgiving, PSLs, and trick-or-treating no matter your age, are only a few of the highlights of the month. However, big October events will undoubtedly look different this year due to the pandemic.

Family gatherings for Thanksgiving will most likely go on, but some might be much smaller. In the Maritimes at least, gatherings are easier, but for larger provinces that have more active cases of Covid, families and friends might feel the lonely effects of the virus more than ever. For students in the Atlantic Bubble that won’t be able to safely get home for Thanksgiving, the holiday may do the exact opposite of what it does for those who are able to spend time laughing and eating with loved ones.

Similarly, Halloween will be unique this year. Children incorporating masks into their costumes is perhaps the least significant difference. Still, it’s something novel which parents will have to consider. Many Halloween festivities, such as trick-or-treating and haunted houses are already being discouraged, leaving children with a drastically different experience. The stress and fears of Covid affect children all the same, especially when they see their lives changing so significantly for a reason they most likely do not completely understand. There is no doubt that this will lead to changes in children’s mental wellbeing, something else we’ll have to consider this holiday season.

Whether we feel the direct impacts of the pandemic or not, our holidays will unquestionably be different this year. With limitations on gatherings and restrictions keeping some people from getting home, it might be easy to forget the things we have to be thankful for. Make sure to take the time to check in on both yourself and your loved ones this fall.