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Eagle River couple builds COVID-19 vaccine-inspired light display

Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 11:16 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - There have been some great light display this holiday season but a unique and timely display out in Eagle River has drawn a bit of extra attention this week.

Inspired by the latest COVID-19 vaccine news, Kristina Smolenski and Danny Makalena went the extra mile by creatively building a giant syringe and lighting up the front of their house with the phrase “All I want for Christmas is my 2 vaccines.”

“We decided we wanted to make a tribute or sort of a light-hearted approach to the COVID pandemic so we were kind of bored one day and said hey why don’t we spruce up our Christmas decorations,” said Makalena.

The couple made, what they considered to be, short work of their new idea. Smolenski estimated that it took about 15 hours to build the display and get it working.

The homemade syringe was also the most difficult portion to build. “It’s two pieces of wood running down the length of the center and we have the Christmas lights wrapped around the wood, and then there’s three cardboard dividers to break up the lights, and then it’s chicken wire around that and then shower curtain,” said Smolenski.

So far the hard work appears to have been worth it as passersby have certainly taken note. “We get a lot of random cars that stop by, we have a security system so we can see people stopping and hanging out for an awkward amount of time so we assume they’re taking pictures,” said Makalena.

This timely show of lights is both a labor of love and a show of gratitude to scientists that have been working to bring this COVID-19 pandemic to an end. “People have spent a lot of time working on the vaccine and studying the virus and trying to actually bring an end to it and I would love to thank those people and the health care workers,” said Smolenski.

Of course, there is also a simpler reason for the effort. “You put lights on your house to, pardon the pun, brighten other people’s day and the reactions we’ve gotten are great people are happy to smile people need it right now,” said Smolenski.

This vaccine light display is just the latest example of how there are all sorts of ways to make a difference right now and to create a few smiles during a tough year.

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