Elizabeth McCarthy, a nurse at Stanford Hospital, gets what it’s like to want to smack the bejesus out of the coronavirus.
The Menlo Park resident has been taking care of patients with COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, and knows better than most the anger and frustration that many people feel toward the invisible virus that has taken so many lives and derailed so many plans.
Now, she’s offering a way for people to get that cathartic thrill as an artisan making handmade, biologically accurate piñatas shaped like the coronavirus.
The project creatively combines McCarthy’s background as a nurse and as a crafty connoisseur of Mexican folk art. Before becoming a nurse, she was a cake decorator who specialized in creating sugar skulls celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead.
After the first COVID-19 vaccine was approved, she said, “I started thinking, people are going to start wanting to celebrate. What better way to celebrate the end of COVID than by having a COVID piñata where you can beat COVID with a stick?”
Piñatas had long been associated with birthday celebrations in her household — as one of four children in her family, they were always a part of birthday parties, and the garage door that the family’s piñatas were suspended over accumulated some scars over the years from blindfolded strikes missing their targets, she said.
After running across images of other coronavirus piñatas online, she said, she decided to try crafting her own.
“I saw some that looked poorly done, and…