By Emily Drooby
A sign of thanks has appeared outside what’s become the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Queens’ Elmhurst Hospital.
It’s the work of local Catholic artist Scott LoBaido.
They’re “the two simplest words in the universe that mean so much: thank you,” he explained.
“Would I want to go in there and hug them all and bring them pizza?” he asked. “I don’t know if i’m allowed in there, so why not use my art to give that big giant thank you to them.”
He’s been creating sculptures out of foam insulation boards and putting them outside of hospitals on Staten Island, bringing the idea here to Elmhurst after hearing how hard the hospital has been hit by the coronavirus.
“See that makes their day, that means the world to me,” he said.
It’s a beacon of hope for those working on the frontlines.
“To see them come out with this big smile on their face or tears in their eyes just saying, ‘thank you,’ thanking me, I’m like, “No, no, no, this is thank you. Just say, ‘you’re welcome,’ no thanking me. I’m just one man representing how the community feels.”
Scott is accepting donations, but has been taking on a majority of the $500 cost per sculpture himself.
He hopes to continue to spread a message of thanks throughout all of New York City. He will be putting similar signs in front of hospitals in all of the boroughs.