We’ve always known that healthcare workers have one of the toughest jobs in the world. They’re responsible for managing the well-being of their patients and saving their lives in the process.
But with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, their responsibility has become even more arduous. In the US alone, hundreds of thousands have succumbed to COVID-19, and a significant percentage of them belong to the medical field. It’s a painful reality, but we have to live with it and find the motivation to soldier on despite the circumstances.
Lewis Miller, the owner of the floral design company Lewis Miller Design, has been beautifying the grittiest spots in New York over the past several years. He attaches a giant display of flowers to random objects, such as trash cans, phone booths, and payphones. This surprise arrangement of blooms is what he calls “flower flashes,” which Miller does to express his creativity and make the city folk smile.
But amid the ongoing health crisis, he realized that these flowers could serve a new purpose – a tribute to medical workers in the front lines of the pandemic.
“With the city being so desolate and people being stuck inside, and it being a cold, dismal spring, we needed hope,” the 45-year-old floral designer told CNN. “Doing it for the healthcare workers was a no-brainer because they’re the ones that are out there doing the deed while the rest of us are sequestered inside.”
His most recent flower flash, supported by American Express, was at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. On Monday, Miller and his team set out to the location and wrapped flowers in distinct shades of pink around a lamppost outside the hospital.
The colorful display did an excellent job of brightening up the area, and passersby couldn’t help but admire it. Miller posted a photo of the arrangement on Instagram, and it received many positive comments from people who appreciated his creativity and the goal behind it.
“Amazing. What a lovely tribute to our healthcare workers!” one user said.
“Thank you for making the world a little brighter,” another one wrote.
“Love what you do! Love your flowers! You are very good humans!” said one admirer of his work.
Miller and his team don’t ask for permission when putting up their displays; they’ve always done it that way. Unfortunately, just 30 minutes after completing their latest masterpiece, hospital security asked to take them down.
They came up with an alternative and turned the blooms into bud vases and loose flowers to hand out to the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers walking by.
“So many people cried,” Miller said. “I’m always amazed at the reaction people get when they get flowers. It’s like the last thing on their mind right now. No one is going to buy themselves flowers so for them to just appear is kind of like a unicorn walking down the street.”
According to behavioral research done at Rutgers University, flowers can have a positive impact on a person’s emotional health. The presence of beautiful blooms evokes happy emotions, increases feelings of life satisfaction, and influences social behavior in a good way, far beyond what is commonly understood.
Aside from randomly giving out flowers, Miller donated all the profits from his Flower Flash Boxes to the Greater New York Hospital Association, which totaled $60,000.
The floral designer doesn’t know when or where he will install his gorgeous flower displays next, but surely, the people of New York are looking forward to it!