Resources During This Time of Social Distancing, June 19, 2020

Dear Seekers and Friends,

Covid-19 is back in the news again as more and more states who are reopening are seeing a sharp rise in their numbers of infections and hospitalizations.

The virus has exposed many things that we as a society did not want to face or just ignored. Racism, inequities, systems that prevent upward mobility and deny equal access to education and opportunity are just some of the things that have come into sharp focus in the last week. It has also exposed the limits of our health care system and the irony of tying healthcare to employment in a time when 28% of people are now unemployed because of a pandemic.

How we choose to move forward to address these wrongs and inequities is part of the work we have to do in reimagining our world.

In this Resources Email you will find ways to change America, online classes and many books on the black experience, the latest information about the virus, vegetarian recipes, tips on how to de clutter and keep it that way and many other interesting things!



Resources for Keeping Informed About the Coronavirus  

There is a bit of good news for those who are seriously ill with COVID-19. A slow acting steroid has been shown to help prevent one third of deaths for those on ventilators and one fifth of those on oxygen. It does not seems to help those less seriously ill and those who do not have breathing problems, but help for those who are the most seriously ill is good news!

How exactly do you catch COVID-19? Surface contamination and fleeting encounters are less of a worry than close-up, person-to-person interactions for extended periods of time. These emerging scientific findings are helping businesses and governments devise reopening strategies that limit the coronavirus’s spread.

Patients with underlying conditions were 12 times as likely to die of Covid-19 as otherwise healthy people, the CDC finds. The data released Monday is consistent with earlier reports showing the disproportionate impact the pandemic has on people with underlying medical conditions and on minority groups.

On the other hand, a new study shows that children are only half as likely to get infected by the coronavirus. These low rates of sickness from Covid-19 could influence school policies and reopening plans. However, the study also shows that 21% of those children in the 10-21 year old age range who do get sick show little or no symptoms making it complicated for policy makers and educators to decide how and when to re-open schools.

Montgomery County is now at Phase Two in their reopening stating today! For what that means and what facilities are now open see the list here.

Although China thought it had controlled the spread of this virus, a new outbreak in Beijing has caused great concern. On Tuesday authorities raised the emergency level again closing schools and restricting travel and air travel. All movement in and out of the city will be ‘strictly controlled’ as dozens more test positive for Covid-19 amid fears of a second wave

This active graph is a sobering reminder of how quickly Covid-19 has become the most deadly disease surpassing all others in just a very short time.

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

Reposting because these are still important resources.

The first coronavirus relief stimulus payments have been issued. Here’s what you need to know about how much you and your family could receive.

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.) This link will tell you how and where to file. Filing in MD begins today, April 24.

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 for Participation in the Upcoming Election

The Get-Out-the-Vote effort is becoming more and more important as the November election looms. Here is a list of organization who are signing up people in safe districts to write postcards reminding people to vote! This is one way we can participate even during a pandemic!

And here is another opportunity with Vote Forward.

If you have not yet signed up to get a mail-in ballot for the upcoming   election Please, Please do so NOW!

Trish found this great website that has clear usable information for each state about voting deadlines, registration deadlines and includes information on how to ask for an absentee ballot, etc.  There are relevant deadlines in May for each DMV jurisdiction so this is a good time to get this out. The organization is called Election Protection:866ourvote

This is from the League of Women Voters:

Check your voter registration at or text Check to 777-88 and update your address or party affiliation if necessary by May 27.  Vote your ballot, sign the oath, and return your voted ballot by mail. You will not need a stamp- the envelope will have postage on it. Your ballot must be postmarked by June 2. You may also drop your ballot at any one of four Vote Centers or at a drop box at the Board of Elections or Rockville City Hall between May 21 and June 2 at 8 p.m. Go to the Montgomery County Board of Elections website for more details. The highly respected non-partisan Voters’ Guide from the League of Women Voters will be coming soon in both an English and a Spanish version. Check our website for updates or go to now.

Resources for Re-imagining Our World After the Pandemic

A thought provoking article about how we can change America.

On Monday, June 22 at 7:00-8:30 pm, Festival Center is hosting Black Youth Project 100 and a member organization of the Excluded Workers Campaign to lead a Teach In on Defunding the Police & Investing in Our Communities. To learn more or to sign up follow the link.

Racism is terrible, being black is not!

This is from Sandra:

Patrick Crumrine, who owns a landscaping firm, informed me that Home Depot is a huge Trump supporter, and suggests local Ace Hardware stores (the Takoma Park, Adams Morgan, and Rockville(?) stores are all owned by one family), or for a big box choose Lowes which supports small black owned businesses!

Reposting from last week, just in case you missed it!

A good list of ways white people can show up in the right ways:

One of the hardest things to do is to talk with relatives and friends who are much more conservative and unaware of their white privilege. I found this article very helpful in how to approach my dad who seems to think the looting and destruction of property was a justification for police violence. How to Talk to Relatives Who Care More About Looting Than Black Lives If you’re not Black but want to support BLM, having fraught conversations with your kinda (or definitely) racist loved ones will likely not be fun, but it’s a very worthy undertaking.

Read in VICE:

How do we talk to our kids and grandkids about race? Here are a few great resources that can help open that difficult conversation.

Why Talking About Race Matters

Talking about race, although hard, is necessary.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture offer tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation.

These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids

In addition to keeping an open dialogue about racism, a way to raise children who are anti-racist is by making sure your home library has books with black people at the center of their stories.

CNN and ‘Sesame Street’ Town Hall Addressing Racism

The 60-minute special “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, talks to kids about racism and the recent protests, while also explaining how they can embrace diversity and be more empathetic and understanding.

From Sandra: For those of you who may not have seen the opinion piece by Stacy Abrams in the Times on Friday the 5th, it’s worth the read:

A hotel in England decided to stay open during the pandemic and provided rooms for the homeless. In return the people who stayed are now repaying the favor by helping clean rooms, doing odd jobs and even laying a brick patio and wall! What kind of world would it be if we did this all the time?

Marc Ehrlic, the Montgomery County Executive, has this to say about the changes that need to be made to make Montgomery Co. A better place to live for everyone.

Sometimes change happens because it has to. Having to stay at home has shifted the way we think about food. More Americans are now cooking at home and as a result, one dietician thinks we may be developing other healthier habits.

Extra food is rotting on farms while Americans go hungry. This group is trying to fix that. Idaho potato farmer Doug Hess spent the past three months staring at a mammoth mountain of potatoes — enough to feed more than 6 million people.

De-escalation techniques for police exist but police departments still respond by escalating. What needs to change and where do we go fr m here?

Calls to “defund” or “abolish” the police have been mounting in the wake of George Floyd’s death. What do this mean and why does it matter in the context of reimagining our world?

Many Civil War statues have been coming down, with good reason. But what should they be replaced with? Here is one answer from Sweden.

Resources from Earth and Spirit Mission Group

These virtual tours let you explore 5 National Parks online!

Two exquisitely beautiful videos that remind us that it is Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples across the planet that are most significantly impacted by both Climate Change and COVID 19.

Algonquin Water Song

Climate Code Manifesto

Resources for Gardening and Growing Vegetables

Not sure when to plant broccoli or cucumbers? The University of Maryland extension program has some great resources, including this handy chart showing your when to plant what! Growing veggies just go a whole lot easier!

This is from Sandra:

Find out about native plants in our area by going to the Chesapeake Native Plant Center:

For a deeper dive try the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center:

And to  buy some of these plants go to Chesapeake Natives in Upper Marlboro:

Resources For Sustaining Your Spiritual Life (Sponsored by Living Water Mission Group)

I have found many important spiritual insights in Rachel Hackenberg’s blog. This week’s “Divest and Defund” challenges the church to look at its legacy of whiteness and to radically change its’ ways.

Resources for Food Assistance 

Reposting since these are all good resources.

Resources for Cooking

Fresh, healthy and safe: Navigating farmers markets in an age of social distancing. Markets have adjusted their setups to comply with local guidance during the coronavirus, so it pays to check ahead and see how the markets are trying to make things safe for you!

This is a great collection of vegetarian recipes. Now you have no excuse to move to the vegetarian side!

Resources for Organizing and Decluttering

This is a great collection of the best decluttering advice from many professionals! I especially like the two trash bag idea!

Resources for Mental Health, Wellness and Emotional Well Being.

You’re finally able to get out of the house. Here’s where you can play, kayak and explore nature, pick berries and flowers. Remember, though that it won’t be the same as it was, so be careful to read the rules and take a mask!

This is from Sandra:

The Children’s Mental Health Network is sharing information about The Kindness Curriculum, and how teaching and learning are impacted. There are certainly insights we can all use. “Part of the curriculum involves being able to tune into sensations in the body and learn to identify them and respond to them in an appropriate way,” explained Davidson. There is also a column on the right hand side of the page that offers other articles of interest.

We know that singing can lift our spirits and our mood!  This is a resource from Marcia Sprague that lets us do just that:

The Washington Revels and Carpe Diem Arts (Busy Graham) hosts a daily short program at noon that is called Daily Antidote of Song. At noon each day, there is a song presented by a musical artist (some local, some more distant), and the participants sing the song together. There is time for discussion afterwards. The program originated as an antidote to the effects of COVID-19. Here’s the link to the site where people can join on Zoom or on Facebook:

If you have been feeling anxious or depressed you are not alone. According to this article by William Wan the incidence of anxiety and depression is increasing especially in younger populations. Although the virus is hitting hard among older populations, younger people seem to be suffering from more emotional and mental distress.

I am reposting this information, since I think there are some great resources here:

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:

Resources to Help You Laugh and Be Entertained 

A Willy Wonka style chocolate factory? OMG! Yes, it is going to be built in the Netherlands and will open by 2024. Making my vacation plans now!

By now you have probably noticed certain types of Zoom call participants in your various meetings. Here are all those annoying types illustrated by some furry friends!

TV and Movies and Podcasts

In one of summer’s best new shows, Perry Mason gets what he’s always lacked — a personality. Matthew Rhys (The Americans) heads an impressive cast in HBO’s terrific “Perry Mason” remake.

TV, Movies and Podcasts Recommended by Seekers

Keith and I finished the third season of Westworld. Very twisty plot lines, but great characters and acting.

Resources for Books and Reading

Here is a another great list of 62 books by Black authors recommended by TED speakers.

For those of you wanting to read about racism and ways to dismantle it, how to rethink our justice and carceral system, and more, there are some great bookstores in our area.

We have “our own” Potters House ( and the ever popular Politics & Prose (

Another step to take is to support black owned bookstores:

Mahogany Books in SE (

Sankofa Video & Books in Shaw across from Howard ( and they have good food too!

Loyalty Bookstore in Petworth (

At last check, they all did curbside pickup.

Books that Fellow Seekers Recommend

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Really enjoyed this! Here is my post about it on my blog.

Resources for Learning and Trying New Things

As a translator and interpreter I am pretty sensitized to mispronounced words. Whenever I hear a mispronounced word I am in a quandary. Do I correct it,  or do I let it go? This article made me realize I am not alone!

Yale University is offering a free online course on African-American History.

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

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!

Our own Margreta is making and selling masks on her Etsy site. Here is the link if you need a mask!

Please contact David if you need a mask and don’t have the resources to buy or make them yourself. Margreta made a few extra to share with Seekers who need them!

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

Here are some recommendations from Sandra:

Would you like to support incarcerated persons? Interfaith Action for Human rights (  is informative and offers a pen pal program (

Are you an artist wanting to help mentor an incarcerated artist? Then Justice Arts Coalition is for you (,  and the pen pal program can be found at

This is from Sallie! Here is a list of organizations supporting anti-racism and doing great work!  You can make a donation, get ideas on how to help, lots of good resources for learning and growing this movement.

Cynthia Dahlin has asked us to send notes of gratitude to the staff at

N Street Village. During the pandemic they are working extra hard in difficult conditions to help the homeless women they serve. Seekers has supported the work of N Street for 20 years, but now we can also show our gratitude to the staff for all they are doing during this pandemic. Here is the address!

Frontline Heroes of N Street Village

N Street Village

810 5th St. NW

Washington DC 20001

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 me know.

Elizabeth Gelfeld suggests donating to the following organizations:

Black Lives Matter Collective —

Black Visions Collective

Baltimore Action Legal Team

National Bail Out

Sandra recommends:

The Bail Project is focused on paying bail for these people in a loop process – once a person goes to trial, the bail is returned to the fund to help others. Unfortunately, they are not yet active in our area, but there is a link for requests for bail.

One of my spiritual practices during this time of Covid is to incorporate more music into my life. I found this recording/video of Black Water by The Doobie Brothers (one of my favorite bands!) which I really enjoyed. But at the end they encourage people to go to the Feeding America website and find out what you can do to stop hunger! Seems like a win win all around! Great music, feed people!

A friend of mine told me about McKinley Mutual Aid who is working with the Navajos and Zuni people whose supplies have been cut off by the Gallup lockdown. Indigenous people here in the US have been disproportionately harder hit by this pandemic. Right now the governor of New Mexico has placed the town of a Gallup in a strict lockdown because over 60% of the town’s 2,200 residents are positive for Covid-19.

Direct Support for Immigrants is an organization that some individuals in Seekers have worked with by meeting immigrants at bus stations and offering support. Now those same thing immigrants are struggling in the pandemic.

This is from Julie:

I wanted to mention an organization under the possible donations/ support category. My good friends Cary Umhau and Scott Borger have a nonprofit called Breadcoin, which serves as a way to feed the hungry. Right now they’re really in need of monthly supporters to help them get food to those who need it most.

Originally, Breadcoins were physical tokens that you could purchase and pass out on the street to those who needed them. The recipients could then redeem those coins for food at vendors around DC who had chosen to partner with Breadcoin (these include Ben’s Chili Bowl). Our family has had a lot of meaningful interactions passing out these tokens in the past, but of course right now this kind of contact is not possible. Breadcoin is finding that monthly supporters is the most effective way to reach those in need. More info is here:

Finally, in other news

A mom takes her high energy kids to the park. Not really news worthy you say? It is when it is a momma bear and four highly energetic cubs playing on the swing set in your back yard!

Remember we are all in this together!


Resources During This Time of Social Distancing, June 26, 2020
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