ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. - Stretched outside Cathy Tobias' Anna Maria Island home, a beautiful rainbow of ribbons depicts a tragic reminder of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's very emotional for me to know that we started with one ribbon one vision and here we are. They each represent a human life and each human life is important," she said.
More than 27,000 ribbons, some bearing the names of those lost to the virus. Each ribbon represents one life lost in the state of Florida from COVID-19.
"I just can’t imagine how that grief and sorrow just expands in our state," said Tobias.
Tobias started tying the ribbons by hand two and a half months ago.
"I just wanted to be able to do something that would bring the community together where we could grieve together, remember together and heal together," she said.
She's been joined by others volunteering their time to the Covid Ribbon Memorial of Florida.
"When you’re doing it you just become part of a sea of these people who have either died or have lost people who have died," said Lucy Kanson.
On February 16, they'll join together to display the memorial. It'll stretch out to nearly two and a half football fields in length at the beach. A moment of silence will be held.
" I hope that it can help us all to wrap our heads around it and that seeing it we can make good socially conscience decisions in our part to help slow the spread," said Tobias.
Tobias plans on continuing the memorial, expanding their work to represent all lives lost from COVID-19 throughout the U.S.
"My hope is that people will find it a time when healing, there will be a time of healing when people can come together and we can do it as a community," she said.
The Covid Ribbon Memorial of Florida will be displayed on Anna Maria Beach on February 16 at 11 a.m. Those who wish to participate will meet on the beach near the Sandbar Restaurant at 100 Spring Street.
About 90 volunteers are needed to lift up the memorial.
LINK: For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/CovidRibbonMemorial.