The Perfect Enemy | Quilt project highlights COVID-19 and its impact, three years after shutdowns - KCRG
April 15, 2024

Quilt project highlights COVID-19 and its impact, three years after shutdowns – KCRG

Quilt project highlights COVID-19 and its impact, three years after shutdowns  KCRG

HIAWATHA, Iowa (KCRG) – When Linda Langston saw what other cities such as Philadelphia and Washington D.C. were doing to commemorate the third anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, she knew she had to create something that represented the fabric of the community.

“We wanted to do something very Iowa,” Langston said.

What Langston came up with is a quilt with unused cloth masks from the very beginning of the pandemic.

“We took masks, which had been kind of a point of contention, and turned it into something beautiful, which was sort of the whole point of the project was to commemorate people but to do it in a positive way,” Langston said.

Starting next month, the quilt will visit different places such as the Mercy Medical Center, St. Lukes’s Hospital, the African American Museum of Iowa, and the Cedar Rapids Art Museum before ending up at The History Center.

As it travels, anyone who has lost someone, no matter if it was directly related to COVID-19 or not, will be able to sew a piece of red thread through the quilt.

“We said, if we ended up at the end with a very furry quilt that would be just fine,” Langston said.

Lijun Chadima, whose mother died last year from old age, said this is helping carry on the spirit of her loved one.

“Just to remember her and know that she is in a good place and that we will remember her forever,” Chadima, who was at the event, said.

Langston said that she hopes this project will provide an outlet to relieve emotional burdens.

“We have to recognize that an unrestricted ability to feel what happened has been hard on people. And this is again a different way to allow them to express those emotions in a more positive way,” Langston said.

According to the Linn County Department of Public Health, over 500 people in Linn County have died from the virus.