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CHRISTMAS FOR COVID: Michigan man 'shines lights' for virus victims

As COVID-19 continues to spread, people are desperate for 'light' in the 'darkness.' A Grand Rapids man believes he's found it.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Christmas was almost three months ago, but some people are putting all their lights back up, hoping the effort brings some level of joy in the midst of all the unknown connected to the COVID-19 outbreak.

A West Michigan man decided Wednesday to put all of his holiday lights back out in his front yard, hoping it spreads a different kind of pandemic, one of health and happiness.

Credit: WZZM
Robert Anderson of Grand Rapids, Mi. decided recently he wanted to put up his Christmas lights in honor of the Coronavirus victims.

"I woke up [Wednesday] morning, checked Facebook, and saw posts of people doing this for Coronavirus victims," said Robert Anderson, 21. "I took them all down January 4th, but here they are, back out again."

Anderson says he spent several hours Wednesday intricately weaving strands of lights through posts out by the sidewalk, and wrapping multi-colored strands around several trees.

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - When you drive past the corner of Knapp Street NE and Ball Avenue NE, you can't help but notice a beautiful Christmas lights display outside. But to know how special it truly is, you have to meet the man who put it together.

The majority of his light display is made up of red, white and blue colors.

"Since the whole United States is affected by [Coronavirus], that's kind of why i chose [those colors]," said Anderson.

He also got a big piece if plywood and spray-painted a message on it: "Shine a light for COVID-19 victims."

Credit: WZZM
While putting up the lights, Robert Anderson decided to create a sign, too, and place it in his front yard for passersby to see.

"I thought this was a way to just kind of light up the community," added Anderson. "Show that people care."

For cars approaching the intersection of Knapp and Ball Streets in Grand Rapids, it's a bit startling at first to see a yard full of Christmas lights in March, but many of the drivers honk, showing their approval and appreciation for Anderson's out-of-season, yet out-of-the box, idea.

"I hear cars honking all the time," said Anderson. "Makes me feel like some people don't think I'm crazy for putting Christmas lights up in March."

Anderson's house is right on the corner of the intersection so there's a lot of foot traffic, too.

Credit: WZZM
Mary Joyce was walking her dog, Lucy, when she passed by Anderson's display. She, like most, approve of it and the meaning behind it.

"I think it's cool," Mary Joyce said, while she was walking her dog past Anderson's display. "I'm all for shining a light for the victims to let them know they are loved and cared for."

Anderson says he plans to keep the light display up until the Coronavirus pandemic has passed.

"I'll probably look into creating different color themes, like for Easter and other notable days beyond that," added Anderson. "It's great seeing people smiling, considering everything that's happening."

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