Children are home from school.

   Many adults are working from home. Others simply are laid off.

   Everyone is being asked to stay away from each other.

   Even when COVID-19 isn’t hurting someone’s physical health, it’s bound to be impacting their mental health.

   But Judy Gauthier believes that, quilt by quilt, she and other Riponites can ease that pain.

   Through an initiative she’s calling #QuiltsOutAmerica, she’s asking area residents — and even those nationwide — to brighten up the community for everyone who’s feeling a bit darker these days.

   “Back in the days when people were sequestered for the polio epidemics, they would have to think of things to do — so they would go for a drive and look at things,” Judy said, noting that in one area of America, a quilt show had been canceled at the time. “So what they did was they had people hang them outside at this venue, and then people just drove by and looked at them. And I thought, ‘Well, wouldn’t that be awesome if everybody just had quilts out? I’d bet 75% of the population in Ripon probably has quilts.’”

   With that in mind, Judy’s calling on Riponites and beyond to hang quilts outside their homes so that everyone who’s been sent home can see them from the safety of their car windows driving by.

   “If they’ve got more than one, they could put a different one out for several days in a row,” Judy said.

Read the full story in the March 26, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.