Halloween looked vastly different this year, with safety measures taken all over the country to prevent the spread of the deadly virus COVID-19. The CDC had advised trick-or-treaters to avoid direct contact with others, stay outside, use hand sanitizer, and, of course, wear a mask. Despite these guidelines, many chose to ignore the risk of infection and went out to celebrate anyway. On October 31, there were 84,285 new cases reported in the United States. Almost a week later, on November sixth, there were 132,797 new cases.
In the past few weeks since Halloween, cases have spiked in Middlesex County, with around five hundred cases being reported a day instead of the under three hundred a day that were being reported before October thirty-first.
At Concord Academy, Halloween was much more subdued than usual. Traditionally, there is a Halloween Dance in the Student Health and Athletics Center, which takes place the weekend before the holiday, but this year that did not happen. Boarding students on campus were able to participate in some celebratory, social distant activities, organized by the Boarding Council. One of the highlights was a pumpkin carving contest.
In Salem, Massachusetts, usually a big tourist attraction during the months leading up to Halloween due to the infamous witch trials, people were urged not to visit. Trains did not stop in the city, parking and other fines were tripled, yet tourists still came out in droves. 2,769 cases have been reported in Essex County since, as of November sixth.
The rise in cases after one of the biggest holidays in the year could lead to officials shutting down gatherings and family get-togethers for the rest of the holiday season.