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Parents don’t want kids to miss Halloween despite SWFL health leader warning

Many will be dressing up and masking up for Halloween Saturday, but health experts say  folks might want to make other plans.

Dressing up is great; marching in a socially-distanced parade is perfect; but Lee County’s top doctor who studies COVID-19 and its impact on everyone locally would rather kids skip trick-or-treating.

Despite warnings, Parents we spoke to Thursday say they want to make sure their children have good memories of Halloween, even during a pandemic.

“Kids need to be kids,” Jodi Johnson said. “I don’t want their childhood memories to be scarred like that was the year we couldn’t have Halloween, and that was the year that basically everything was ruined

A Halloween without trick-or-treating, to Johnson, is no Halloween at all. While the CDC calls trick-or-treating a high risk activity, Johnson is taking her two little girls door-to-door.

“My oldest daughter, it’s her favorite holiday,” Johnson said. “So she has been looking forward to Halloween since last Halloween.”

Johnson told us she will go prepared to protect her girls from COVID-19.

“I’m going to have hand sanitizer on hand,” Johnson said. “I’ll bring a mask if .. I’m going to bring a mask just in case, but it’s going to be dependent on if it’s still crowded.”

The biggest fear for Adina Bridges is her daughter missing out on making yet another memory. Bridges said she is worried many homes won’t participate in Halloween. But there have been events and continue to be events scheduled for the holiday in the region.

“Out of all the holidays, I would think this is the least important, but that is not the case for my child,” Bridges said. “This is super important for her to be able to dress up for that one day, so I’m going to make sure that it happens.”

Lee Health CEO Statement

“Halloween poses a unique risk during this pandemic, and parents need to make the choices they feel are best for their children and families,” said Dr. Larry Antonucci, the CEO and president of Lee Health. “Unless families make accommodations, socially-distanced trick-or-treating, it is probably best to skip the tradition this year. If parents do take their children trick-or-treating this weekend, they should do so individually and not in a large group. In addition to costumes, children and parents should wear protective face coverings and bring along hand sanitizer to wash their hands after every home they visit.”

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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