Health workers worried about Halloween COVID-19 increases

SEATTLE — As cases of coronavirus surge across the country, health workers say the biggest “goblin” on Halloween will be the threat of the coronavirus.

In the process, parents are faced with the prospect of another ruined occasion for their kids.

“It’s just a disappointment that they don’t get to go out and be normal kids and go door to door because they have to worry about all these safety things,” said Leandra Mendy, a parent living in Arlington. “I want them to feel normal! I mean, 2020 isn’t all bad,” she added.

To get around that, Mendy is doing exactly what health workers recommend.

This year, she’ll be masked up, gloved up and giving out candy in her front yard to allow for plenty of ventilation.

She said she will also provide hand sanitizer to anyone who arrives at her home.

“Even if teenagers want to come on out, have at it,” Mendy said. “They didn’t get a graduation. They’re getting a lot of stuff taken away from them too.”

As COVID-19 spikes across the country, health workers said the effects of Halloween could be beyond terrifying.

They’re worried super-spreader gatherings will cause cases to skyrocket even more.

“This is the short game,” said Dr. Steve Pergam, an infectious disease specialist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “We have to focus on the short game now. We have to do the right things now for the long term.”

And that leads back to Mendy.

While she’s doing her part, she said the scariest aspect of this Halloween is the chance that others won’t follow common sense.

“It shouldn’t be bad trick-or-treating when you can just follow some guidelines and be safe,” she said.