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(Image: Will Stich)

The Story of the Traveling 'Pandemic Quilt'

Will Stich, a high school student from Acme, WA - is making his way across the states with his traveling "pandemic quilt" in hand.

What is a traveling pandemic quilt you ask? Let me explain.

With extra time on his hands due to COVID, Stich took up sewing.

"My mom taught me how to run a website, how to start a go-fund me and and how to sew a quilt," said Stich. "My mom calls it the School of Mom but I call it The School of Hard-knocks."

With his new found skills, Stich got to work. Each patch tells a story to reflect our current pandemic.

Some examples include a patch that reads, "If you can read this, you're too close" and apparently, according to Stich, the message works.

" I had someone read it out loud and actually backed off and I loved it so much!"

Other patches serve as a reminder to thank essential workers - and there's even a patch that says, "I survived the apocalypse with a roll of toilet paper." We can't forget those early days of people rushing out to stock up on T.P. no matter how hard we try. Oh, humanity!

"I wanted to take it to all the states, 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,” he said.

Stich has actually made three quilts: one for himself to keep, one that has been accepted to go on display at CDC headquarters in Atlanta and another that's he says is in the running to be included in the Smithsonian.

That's why he's on the road, taking his treasured quilt to the CDC in Atlanta and documenting his journey along the way.

"The nice part is that there's not a lot of people out on the road, and I use drive thrus and self checkout so I can adhere to social distancing guidelines while on the road."

He plans to finish the trip with his grandpa by his side in Minnesota and if all goes to plan, he'll get home right before Labor Day weekend.

To learn more about his journey, you can visit his website.