Resources During This Time of Social Distancing, April 15, 2020

Dear Seekers,

So this week marks a month of Social Distancing. As tax day (April 15] came and passed
without a thought about taxes, I realized we have moved into a new time, a different reality. And yet much is the same, too. It is like living in two realities at the same time. I think there is spiritual message in there somewhere-living in a present reality but also living in God’s reality all at the same time, but I will let you think about that.
Here are the resources I have gathered for this week! Enjoy!

Resources for Keeping Informed About the Coronavirus

We have been given an opportunity to rethink our lives and the way we live them. How then shall we live?

Testing data for the world:

Immunity and what it might or might mean for us.

Thoughts about reopening and what our summer might look like by Ed Yong.

If we do reopen how should we think about protecting ourselves when we leave home. How to use masks, gloves and outer clothing effectively outside your “safe zones.”

Important information on “How NOT to Wear a Mask”

Resources for Getting Benefits or State or Governmental Assisatance Due to Covid-19

If you are self employed or normally would not be eligible for Unemployment Insurance you will now be eligible under the Cares Act in Maryland (check DC and VA for their requirements by Googling Cares Act DC or Va.)

However, right now in Maryland you still cannot file for benefits since their IT system is not yet set up to take these kinds of applications. In order to be notified when you will be able to make your application you can sign up to get an email notification. Check for details in DC or VA.

MD, DC and VA have suspended the processing of evictions and foreclosures during this pandemic. They will however resume once this emergency is over. In the meantime contact your mortgage holder or your landlord and try to come terms with them for the duration of the pandemic.

Everything you need to know about paying your rent or mortgage during the pandemic.

Resources from the Earth and Spirit Mission Group

Reconciling God, Creation and Humanity:

Earth Optimism Summit April 22-24 presented by the Smithsonian Institute:

The mission group encourages you to participate in this remote Earth Day Clean Up! Send your pictures to me and maybe we can create a page on our website showing what we have accomplished!

Resources For Sustaining Your Spiritual Life

Sunday, April 19 at 2:00 Washington National Cathedral and Interfaith Power & Light co-host an online service focused on our shared call to climate action. Join us in prayer and song in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day at

Resources for Food Assistance

Food Assistance

Seekers was contacted by Michael Tabor of Licking Bend Creek Farm who is offering discounted CSA’s for families struggling during the pandemic. I have attached the information to this email in two Word documents below. Please let me know if you need assistance. If you just want to support their effort or want a CSA the cost is $37.50 per week and you can sign up directly.

Resources for Cooking

For the first time ever, DoubleTree Hotel chain has released its iconic chocolate chip cookie recipe

The signature amenity with a cult following can now be made by bakers stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Every week the NewYork Historical Society will reprint a recipe from its collection of historic manuscript books. Written by hand and stained from use, these recipes connect us with the our past. This week they start with a lemon cake. Part of the fun is deciphering the measurements and guessing at the  the instructions that are missing. Let us know how it turns out!

Resources for Mental Health, Wellness and Emotional Well Being.

I am reposting information from last week, since I think there are some great resources here.

Sallie sent this:

This is something a friend forwarded to me which I thought might be useful to share with Seekers. This File of Life Packet and especially the form where you fill in your medical history would be very helpful if you had to go to the hospital, especially if you live alone. So hard to think of all these things when you are in an emergency situation.

Description: The File of Life packet enables Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel to obtain a quick and accurate medical history when a patient is unable to provide it. The File of Life provides a way to document an individual’s existing medical conditions, allergies, current medications, as well as an area to list contact information for their doctor, family members, insurance information and any other special circumstances that rescue personnel should know in caring for a patient. For additional information about the File of Life Program, please click on the first link below.

The fastest way to obtain a File of Life form is to click on the second link below and print out the form. Complete the form and hang on the front or side of your refrigerator. The instructions are available in both English and Spanish however the insert should ONLY be filled out in English. If you are unable to print the form, please submit a Service Request by clicking on the “Create Service Request” button below and providing the requested information with an asterisk. In the Brief Description Field, put “File of Life Form Request”. Forms/magnetic sleeves are typically mailed out within 5 days, although due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, it may take longer.

For more information you may visit the following websites:

File of Life Information

File of Life Printable Form

PEP continues to offer resources for families and children about the Coronavirus.

Anita sent me this link from the AARP:

“If you’re feeling socially isolated, you can use AARP Community Connections to ask for a phone call from an AARP volunteer Mondaythrough Friday 9 am to 5 pm EDT.  Call1-888-281-0145 or share this number with others.”

Here are some more mental health resources:

EveryMind Specialists are available 24/7 to listen and provide support to either you or a loved one. This service is free and open to all members of our community. You do not have to be in crisis to connect with EveryMind. Reach out even if you are just looking for ways to support someone you are concerned about.  Call/Text: 301.738.2255 or Chat:

·        Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Manage Anxiety and Stress

·        National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Managing Stress Associated with COVID-19 Virus Outbreak

·        National Association of School Psychologists Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource

·        American Psychological Association Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus

·        Harvard Medical School Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety

Resources to Help You Laugh and Be Entertained

Live Event
One World Together at Home

Saturday, April 18

(8:00 pm)

(click here for more information)

This is a virtual concert, organized by WHO and international advocacy organization Global Citizen, in order to bring together people who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to take meaningful actions to protect health and to support the global COVID-19 response.  It will also celebrate and support brave healthcare workers doing life-saving work on the frontlines.

Curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga, this global event will include Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder.

Should be amazing. It will be showing on ABC on Saturday at 8:00 pm.

Tonight, Friday April 17, Andrew Lloyd Weber will be streaming The Phantom of the Opera on You Tube. Other shows will follow.

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is now has a live-streaming cam of its Underwater Beauty exhibit. Mesmerizing and calming at the same time.

Twelve Frank Lloyd Wright buildings are now giving virtual tours!

Here is a guy who changing the pandemic into a pundemic! Ken Burton this is for you!

Working at home? Here is one weatherman’s story….

A way of using those leftover peeps for science.

This is a repeat from last week since no one sent in anything new. Keep those recommendations coming!

From Julie:

Movies: Amelie, Chicago, Adaptation & Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

From William:

Movies: The Prestige, Rushmore, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Kill Bill

If you like foreign films, here are a few Hong Kong / Chinese films and directors we both love:

In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar Wai;

Hero by Zhang Yimou;

Infernal Affairs by Andrew Lau (The Departed, which does not compare, was a remake of this)

TV shows we (mostly) both love:

Drama: The Good Wife, The Americans

Fun/ny: The Good Place, Parks & Rec, Community

Sci Fi: Person of Interest, Fringe

From Erica :

For TV I’ve been bing-watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix – I know it’s been around a while but it’s just SO delightful.

John Krazisnki (aka Jim from “The Office”) is doing an at-home “news” show called Some Good News that is really heartwarming – Episode 2 has a special treat for fans of “Hamilton!”

Also, Humans of New York is doing a series focusing on happy stories (most of his work is generally uplifting, but right now he’s specifically focusing on all the good people out there)

From Paul and Sallie:

We have loved “Atypical” – a 3-season Netflix series about a high-performing kid with autism.  Sensitive and very well done…

From Keith and Brenda:

We are watching and enjoying Mrs. Maisel on Netflix, about a Jewish housewife who becomes a stand up comic in the late 50’s and 60’s.

We really enjoyed Man in a High Castle on Netflix based on an alternative history where Japan and Germany win WWII.

Also watching Westworld on HBO, which is about AI becoming human.

Recently watched:

1917(amazing cinematography)

Midway(pretty good)

Knives Out (silly and fun.)

From Judy and Richard:

We are hungry for TV shows that are funny. We enjoy The Neighborhood on CBS at 7:00 on Mondays.  Also, CBS Sunday morning from 9:00 – 10:30 each week that is VERY uplifting and informative on a whole wide world of innovative people.

Resources for Books and Reading

Seekers is a member of CAIR or the Capital Area Immigrant’s Rights coalition. In their most recent news

letter they sent us a list of books by Latinix or Latin-American authors that you might find helpful, engaging and informative.

In light of everything going on, sometimes its good to put down our phones and recharge with a book. Recently, our staff got into an organization-wide conversation about the books that we’ve read on immigration that were most compelling, formative, and truthful.

With information swirling around us constantly about immigrants – but rarely from immigrants – we decided to highlight these pieces by Latinx or Latin-American authors that bring us back to the human truth of migration.

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande

In her memoir, Reyna recounts her experiences as a child left behind in Mexico when her parents emigrated to the U.S. in search of work, and her own journey to the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant at the age of nine. The L.A. Times hailed it as “the Angela’s Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.” Kirkus called it a “standout immigrant coming-of-age story,” and Publishers Weekly said that her memoir “captivates and inspires.”

Looking for something for younger audiences? The Distance Between Us was also republished September 2016 as a young readers edition.

Selected by Feline Lucas, Detained Adult Program

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

Structured around the forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin-American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends (an expansion of her 2016 Freeman’s essay of the same name) humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction of the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants with the reality of racism and fear both here and back home.

Selected by Giovanna Calderon, Detained Children’s Program, and Jessica Depies, Volunteer Coordinator

The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea

In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, the “Devil’s Highway.” Three years later, Luis Alberto Urrea wrote about what happened to them. The result was a national bestseller, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a “book of the year” in multiple newspapers, and a work proclaimed as a modern American classic.

Selected by Molly Keck, Detained Children’s Program

Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession With Locking Up Immigrants by Cesar Cuauhtemoc Garcia Hernandez

Migrating to Prison is a leading scholar’s powerful, in-depth look at the imprisonment of immigrants. César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández takes a hard look at the immigration prison system’s origins, how it currently operates, and why. From the emergence of immigration imprisonment in the mid-1980s, to powerful stories of people caught up in the immigration imprisonment industry today, Migrating to Prison asks: who belongs and on what criteria is that determination made?

Selected by Elie Urbina, Detained Adult Program

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn’t come empty-handed. She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams. . . and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and six-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales’s gorgeous picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.

Selected by Katherine Story, Detained Adult Program

For more reads on immigration, picked by writers, check out The Guardian’s booklist “love, loss, and longing.”

Books that Fellow Seekers Recommend

Need more recommendations here too! Keep them coming!

Here are last week’s recommendations:

Julie recommends:

Books (all memoir here):

H is for Hawk,

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (also a great movie),

A River Runs Through It,

The Winged Seed by Li-Young Lee (probably my favorite writer ever)

Also, the original book of The Phantom of the Opera is worth a read!

William’s books:

Native Speaker,

11/22/63 (also a tv miniseries),

nonfiction by Mark Salzman —

Iron & Silk;

Lost in Place;

Man in the Empty Boat

Here are some recommendations from Jeanne Marcus:

 My reading strategy for these times involves seriously engaging longish books that immerse me in another world. These novels’ worlds, like ours, are experiencing historically challenging times, but they are not set in the U.S., and mostly not set in this time.  But, though their times are challenging, they are all animated by a spirit of deep humanity, a certain sweetness of soul, and a bit of magic realism.  And the nominees are—all of them great!:

Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon,  Barcelona, post WWII Franco-ruled Spain 1930s, 1950s

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena-  Anthony Marra –Chechnya between 1994-2004

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet- David Mitchell –1799 in Japan

A Gentleman in Moscow-Amor Towles- Stalinist Russia

Stay safe, read well,


Joan Dodge says:

Just finished the Dutch House by Ann Patchett. novel about an estate house in Suburban Philadelphia over five decades.

Resources for Learning and Trying New Things

Elijah Wan’s podcasts on animals are both informative and entertaining from Crocodiles to Wolves you can learn a lot from Elijah!

Great Courses is a great way to learn new things! They are now offering free classes for one month!

Resources from Seekers

If you or someone within the Seekers community is running out of TP let David Lloyd know. We had some extra at church and we are willing to share with anyone in the community who needs it!

SLT has commissioned Margreta to make some extra masks for us and will offer them to those who need them and don’t have the resources to get them or make them themselves.

Please contact me if you need a mask.

Resources On How To Still Be God’s Hands and Feet while practicing Social Distancing.

As we begin to receive our government checks some of us are looking for suggestions on organizations in addition to Seekers with whom to share some of this money. If you have ideas for organizations to support please let Trish know.

From Sallie:

VOLUNTEERS Needed to Call or Write a Homebound Senior

The JCA’s Kensington Club, which serves older adults with diagnosed early stage dementia or mild cognitive impairment, along with volunteers from Sixth and I Synagogue, have launched “KC Phone Pals,” a phone reassurance program for KC members and former members of The Misler Adult Day Center who are at home, keeping social distance from friends and family.

Volunteer Criteria for Phone Calls:

  • Be comfortable talking to people with early stage dementia
  • Commit 1 – 3 times weekly for 5 – 15 minutes
  • Have the ability to use the volunteer website and fill out a google form
  • Currently have or willing to get a background check (can do from home)

If you are interested in making “friendly chat” phone calls or writing letters, please contact Colleen Kemp, Director of Kensington Clubs: Please write Interages Volunteer in the subject section of your email. Colleen will provide a “Quick Start Guide” and “How and What to Say to Your Phone Pals Guide.” Several slots are available at this time. Thank you!

Finally, in other news

In Japan, a 1,000 year old cherry tree is beginning to bloom. It has lived through earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, nuclear disaster, war and pandemics. Truly a sign of hope in our times!

Closer to home, on April 13, after several hours of storms went through the city, a rainbow appeared over NYC, just in time for the 7:00 pm cheer. These are crowd sourced pictures of that rainbow and at the end is an amazing guitar performance a la Jimi Hendrix of the Star Spangled Banner. It gave me chills!

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