I can’t believe it’s that time of year again when people start buying pumpkin-spiced everything and decorating their houses with maple leaves. One of the biggest reasons Fall is my favorite season is because all the holidays pile up. In the last three months of the year, there’s something to look forward to. The cool breeze, crunching of leaves, and the scent of maple and cinnamon are what excites me. I was looking forward to going out and embracing the sweater weather. 

Unfortunately, 2020 brought a huge pause on that dream. Fall during the start of the pandemic was brutal. Everyone was scared and out of place. Safety became the priority. I remember being cooped up indoors. Even though the leaves were changing, I was caught in a cycle. Most of my time was spent indoors. With each holiday it seemed that time was precious. Everyone was taking precautions. At the time I understood, but it still was frustrating. 

I planned a Halloween party with my boyfriend

We invited a few friends and planned out the decorations. I remember being ecstatic. It had been six months since I had seen my friends in person. Everyone would have a mask; it was an outdoor venue. But rain foiled our plans. My boyfriend and I were disappointed. The only upside is that it was just him and I, watching a few Halloween movies. But it didn’t feel the same. 

When Thanksgiving arrived, I helped my mother make our signature dishes; spinach cheese artichoke dip and sweet potato casserole. The parade had me on edge. All these people were concerned about breaking the Thanksgiving Parade tradition. Even when it worked out I couldn’t enjoy it. When watching the parade I looked forward to the audience’s reactions and the usual news team hosting. But everything was modified. A part of me wondered if this will be our new normal forever.  

December was no different

I doubled the masks, hand sanitizer, and distance. It was more likely that I could catch Covid than the common cold. Those four months felt like isolation and social awkwardness. There was no Christmas Eve party with my grandma and her fruit guacamole. It was just a cold morning unwrapping a few gifts.

Despite all the chaos and fear during Fall 2020 it feels that so much has changed. With everyone taking the vaccine people have become more open. Although I think we still need to be cautious, I can go out without having to worry. Stress was a huge burden last year. It feels as if the huge list of worries has shortened. 

My plans for this year’s festivities are to become closer with my family and friends. I plan on going to an actual movie theater for Halloween. I’m excited to see young adults and children in costumes. Maybe instead of creating small sliding devices to slide the candy to the kids, the kids can finally get it from a clean jack o lantern bowl. I can imagine many of the costumes representing essential workers and humorous ploys about Covid. I feel we can all finally breathe and have a laugh. 

With vaccinations and masks being a necessity I can finally see my grandmother. Around March last year, she had Covid. She was physically distraught and had a high fever. But thankfully she recovered. She is fully vaccinated and cannot wait to celebrate the holidays with me. 

Compared to the 2020 Fall season, this one will be different!

Communities around the United States are listening. Many places are taking this seriously. The damage and losses have been a lesson learned. Everyone is unifying and helping each other. So now, we can celebrate this fall. I cannot wait to get a pumpkin latte and wear my cardigans outside. I can smile knowing there are colorful leaves and smiling faces in my field of vision.

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