By Emily Drooby
ELMHURST — A literal show of thanks has appeared outside what’s become the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.
It’s the work of local Catholic artist Scott LoBaido. They are “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? 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,” LoBaido said.
He’s been creating sculptures out of foam insulation boards and displaying them outside of hospitals on Staten Island, but decided to install one in Queens after hearing how hard Elmhurst Hospital has been hit by the coronavirus.
“That makes their day,” the Staten Island artist said. “That means the world to me.”
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,’ ” LoBaido said.
The artist is accepting donations but has been taking on a majority of the $500 cost per sculpture himself.
He hopes to continue to spread his message of thanks by putting similar signs in hospitals throughout all of the boroughs.
To read the latest updates regarding coronavirus concerns in the Brooklyn Diocese, go to https://thetablet.org/coronavirus.