SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A high school student making his way across the lower 48 states with a message is now in New Mexico. He calls it the pandemic quilt, and it’s his way of helping remember this time in history.
When Will Stich-Smith hits Santa Fe Friday, it will be his fifth state capital on his tour with the pandemic quilt. “My mom taught me how to sew, and I decided to make a quilt and I wanted to take it to all the states at first, to show a sense of unity within America behind COVID-19, and then hopefully onto the world front to show a global sense of unity with COVID-19,” said Stich-Smith.
Stich-Smith is from a Seattle suburb and his quilt features different images representing the pandemic or people affected by it, like health care workers and others on the front lines. He’s been to places like Washington, Oregon, and California. Stich-Smith was supposed to hit Phoenix but because of the outbreak there he re-routed.
And if you were wondering how he plans to come here without going into quarantine, he has a plan he’ll only get out of his car to snap a picture of himself with the quilt in front of the roundhouse before moving on to the next state.
Overall he says it’s been a great experience. “It’s been really cool, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on it. I’m from a small town in Washington and I’ve never driven more than like 100 miles from home, so this is definitely really different. I think I looked at the trip meter on the car, I’ve driven almost 19-hundred miles,” said Stich-Smith.
He said the entire tour should take him about two months, getting him back home right before the start of his senior year. Stich-Smith says each night he does research on the state he’s about to enter, to make sure he doesn’t put anyone’s health at risk. To learn more about Stich-Smith’s journey, you can visit his website.