Pumpkins carved into jack-o’-lanterns for halloween. PUBLIC DOMAIN

Steven Keehner is a junior majoring in journalism and history.

The Onion Bagel is a satirical column for The Statesman.

The COVID-19 outbreak has killed over 200,000 Americans. But as many plan their Halloween parties, one Florida man expects those numbers to go up.

Death, also known by names like the “Grim Reaper,” sat down with The Onion Bagel to speak about how the spooky and ghoulish night could make 2020 an even more profitable year.

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Halloween is an American tradition like no other. Every Oct. 31, millions of children patrol the streets, seeking the finest candy from their local strangers. But the festivities don’t stop with the young.

“Yeah, it’s just been a remarkable time for the industry,” Death explained. “Usually, these idiots make my job easy by driving home drunk or something. But Halloween parties during a global pandemic? They’re making it too easy.”

Around the nation, college students celebrate before finals season begins, by getting hammered while dressed up as John Cena.

With Election Day shortly following Halloween on Nov. 3, Death cited the sizable amount of elderly folks that could get hit with COVID-19 as an unexpected bonus.

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But despite some interpreting his enthusiasm as a warning, this hasn’t stopped young people from planning for the scariest night of the year.

Arnold Chetan, 24, is one of those party planners. Describing the night as a “movie waiting to happen” on his Instagram story, he refuses to have a “boomer” ruin his night.

“I don’t care about what Death thinks,” Chetan said. “I think he’s just mad that he wasn’t invited. And that he’s old.”

Stating that he goes to the gym at least twice a week, he believes that he can fight off the virus if he were to catch it.

When reached out for further comments, Death was quick to rebuke Chetan’s statements, “Did Arnold say that? Well, I don’t care, I didn’t even want an invitation! There’s only going to be like 12 people there, anyway.”

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“Oh, and Arnold, if you’re reading this: going to the gym to only take pictures of yourself for two hours before leaving doesn’t make you a ‘gym head.’ It makes you a jackass.”

Another planner, Ben Andronicus, 22, a member of his local Alpha Beta Alpha chapter, explained that he’s planning on enforcing a strict mask rule at his party, “I want to make sure everyone coming to the Shag House knows that safety is a top priority.”

Saying that folks can only remove their masks when they’re drinking, smoking, dancing, chatting, or inside the house, he only responded to further questions by stating that “It’s lit!”

But Death’s warnings have not been entirely glossed over.

Tori Zdenka, 21, is one of those on the fence. She hasn’t fully decided on what she’ll be doing on the 31 of this year.

“I’ve been waiting for this day all year; I even have a cool costume planned out,” Zdenka explained. “Then again, Netflix always sounds good compared to the prospect of dying.”

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Teddi Safaa, 24, who cited Donald Trump’s recent bout with coronavirus, explained that they’re not sure if they should be worried.

“Trump’s like 90, right? If he made it through ‘rona, I don’t see why I couldn’t. Sure, 200,000 Americans have died, but I don’t even know anyone who has died,” Safaa said.

“Actually, I’m pretty sure my friend’s grandmother died a few months ago from COVID. One of my former elementary teachers got it and died too, but like, does that even count? I don’t think it does.”

Death was quick to explain that the Trump debacle has him puzzled, too.

“I don’t understand how he’s still alive, either,” Death said. “I was really hoping to get one on him, but the sly goose got me again.”

All things considered, he claims that this Halloween could be another highlight of an unforgettable year.

“It’s like getting two bags of Doritos from a vending machine after only paying for one. I guess great things can happen to good people.”

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The Onion Bagel will follow any developments in the story as they occur.

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