Florida Couple Memorializes Over 220,000 COVID Deaths in Christmas Light Display

A couple in Orlando, Florida, honored the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives because of COVID-19 in a stunning Christmas light display.

"We are dedicating this season to all the families who have lost a loved one and to all our first responders who have spent countless hours helping and providing care to those infected with COVID-19," said a sign posted outside of Frank Boyce and David Nubar's well-decorated home.

Boyce and Nubar, who began decorating on October 1, placed over 220,000 lights on their house to memorialize all those who died this year from the coronavirus.

"Each light represents a life lost to COVID-19. While those lost are no longer with us, their bright light will forever shine in our lives," the sign continued. "Our thoughts and prayers this holiday season are with the families and friends of those who have lost a precious loved one. Never forget them."

The couple unveiled their display in late October, when the U.S. surpassed 220,000 coronavirus deaths. Every night since, Boyce and Nubar have turned their lights on at 6 p.m. EST and welcomed others to share in the display's beauty and meaning.

"We can physically see a representation of all the lost souls due to COVID-19 and it puts it all in perspective," Nubar told Orlando television station WOFL (Fox 35). "It's overwhelming."

Jupiter And Saturn Align In Great Conjunction
Christmas lights are shown above in the front yard of a house on December 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A Florida couple decorated their house and yard with over 220,000 Christmas lights to honor those who lost their lives to COVID-19. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images/Getty

In an interview with local TV station WFTV, Boyce and Nubar shared a story about a woman who came to tell them how appreciative she was of the display after her mother died from COVID-19. The couple were particularly moved when the woman told them how their light display was helping her heal, according to the station.

"People will remember because we say never forget them. And we don't forget tragedies," Nubar told WFTV. "We don't forget Pulse [the 2016 mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub]. We don't forget 9/11. We don't forget any of that, so maybe they won't forget this. We memorialized it."

As of Thursday, over 327,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the U.S., according to John Hopkins University.

As coronavirus cases continue to soar across the nation, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington predicts the U.S. could see as many as 347,446 deaths before the end of the year, surpassing the number of American casualties in the Vietnam War, Korean War, Iraq War, the war in Afghanistan and World War I combined.

"We are seeing a rise in cases and mortalities above what we expected," Dr. Ali Mokdad, a member of the IHME's senior faculty and a former official at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Newsweek on Thursday.

Mokdad added that of all the winter holidays, he is most concerned about New Year's Eve, which, unlike Christmas, it is often celebrated with friends and outside of the immediate family. Mokdad said this could create another surge in virus cases and mortalities if people are not cautious.