June 26, 2020
Dear Seekers and Friends,
As we enter our 15th week and are moving into a full reopening, I have found myself thinking that there is no longer a need for this resources email anymore. I have enjoyed gathering and sharing a variety of information and I hope that it has been helpful, entertaining, thought provoking and opened new possibilities.
This will be the last issue of the Resources Email!
Resources for Keeping Informed About the Coronavirus
Are you having trouble understanding all the information coming your way about this virus? What does asymptomatic mean exactly? What is pool testing? Here is a great glossary of all the terms you need to know so you can understand all the latest information on this virus.
New data shows that coronavirus cases may be 10 times higher than reported. CDC Director Robert Redfield said this new estimate is based on blood samples collected from across the country that look for the presence of antibodies to the virus which showed that for every confirmed case of COVID-19, 10 more people had antibodies.
Twelve States have set record highs for covid19 Cases and Seventeen have set records for number of hospitalizations. All indications that re-opening is a lot more complicated than people thought it was going to be. Stay safe, wear masks, maintain social distancing and don’t take unnecessary risks.
We know that the pandemic is affecting minorities and people of color disproportionately. Here are eight concrete ways to reduce that outsize impact on these groups right now.
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. https://www.mymcmedia.org/breaking-montgomery-county-phase-2-reopening-will-begin-friday/
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. https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/2637725/?fbclid=IwAR1t0QUqr20BTa4XQ9t0sWYafaDEjW3BIfKD-2PuLbumTRWQkhPyLH40tYA
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
This is from Judy:
Voter suppression is a big issue in this upcoming election. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is one organization who is trying to stop voter suppression with both social and legal action. To see more about what they are doing and support their efforts, here is the link! https://www.naacpldf.org/preparedtovote2020/
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 https://voterservices.elections.maryland.gov/VoterSearch
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 vote411.org now. http://www.lwvmocomd.org/
Resources for Re-imagining Our World After the
There have been calls to “defund the police,” but what does that mean? This article explains: https://www.vox.com/2020/6/24/21296881/unbundle-defund-the-police-george-floyd-rayshard-brooks-violence-european-policing
This is a fascinating look at the major impact reintroducing wolves had on the environment. We are just beginning to see the delicate balance that exists in nature. https://www.facebook.com/1409194590/posts/10222936041975414/
It is becoming clear that deforestation has caused havoc in our world, from climate change to disease we need to think again about what we are doing to the forests of the world.
Reposting from last week:
A thought provoking article about how we can change America.
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!
Resources from Earth and Spirit Mission Group
6/29 2-3pm Webinar “Breathing Time in a Time of Crisis” – How do the words, “I can’t breathe” connect to our faith? How can the tools of mindfulness meditation and compassion drawn from our faith guide us in responding appropriately in constructive ways, so that the Earth and all beings may flourish? (If you can’t make the time, you can register and get a link to the recording.) https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7567234154783586575?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=df1392a6-f458-4377-a757-9e5a238b98e0
6/30 4-5pm Film & Discussion “The Story of Plastic” (from the Interfaith Center at Miami University) – Learn about the problem of plastic and what we can do about it! (Register and view the film in advance of the Discussion) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-story-of-plastic-virtual-film-discussion-tickets-106839680360
Article: Top Global Experts Say Humanity Must ‘Heal Our Broken Relationship to Nature’ to Prevent Future Pandemics
Resources for Gardening and Growing Vegetables
A professor has just won a big prize for his work focusing on soil which enables farmers to fight climate change.
These next two sources are from Judy!
From The Old Farmer’s Almanac at Almanac.com: Four good reasons to deadhead blooms.
From The Old Farmer’s Almanac at Almanac.com: How to get rid of fruit flies. https://www.almanac.com/news/almanac/everything/how-get-rid-fruit-flies
Reposting from last week:
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! https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/not_updated/GE007_Vegetable_Planting_Calendar_for_Central_MD.pd
This is from Sandra:
Find out about native plants in our area by going to the
Chesapeake Native Plant Center: http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/plants/
For a deeper dive try the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center: https://www.wildflower.org/plants-main
And to buy some of these plants go to Chesapeake Natives in Upper Marlboro: http://chesapeakenatives.org/plant-list-2020/
Resources For Sustaining Your Spiritual Life
(Sponsored by Living Water Mission Group)
Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings: THE REBIRTHING OF GOD.
by John Philip Newell. (2015)
The walls of Western Christianity as we know it are indeed collapsing as something new is trying to be birthed. Newell’s excellent book explores eight major features of a new birthing of Christianity. (fyi, Last week, each day’s “Inward/Outward” featured an excerpt from each of these birthing features: relating to the Earth as sacred, to compassion as ground of relationships, reverencing the wisdom of other religious traditions, knowing the unconscious as wellspring of this new vision, among others.)
I highly recommend this book for its timeliness to our discernment of what the Spirit is birthing within and among us in the world today. Author Marcus Borg says “Occasionally I read a book that leads me to think, ‘I wish I had written that.’ This is one of those books.” NL
“We have a longing for coming home to the sacredness of our belonging to the living body of Earth and the joy of serving that at at every step,…but we can’t do it alone. Just hearing the news of what is happening each day on the planet, I can’t handle all of it alone. I’m not supposed to. Even looking at it requires we reach out to each other and take each other’s arm and I can tell you how I feel, and you will listen. The very steps we need to take bring us the relief and reward of the whole point of it, which is our collective nature, our non-separateness, because this is the only thing that can save us….In being a ‘we,’ humans can live as the deeply interconnected consciousness of Earth…”
Excerpted from May 21, 2020 issue of online magazine Yes!
Article “Grieving My Way Into Loving the Planet” written by Dahr Jamail, independent journalist/author of book “The End of Ice” with quotes from Joanna Macy, scholar of Buddhism.
Resources for Food Assistance
Reposting since these are all good resources.
- Manna Food Distribution Centers
- Capital Area Food Bank
- Food Assistance Resource Directory (location, hours, and eligibility guidelines for 100+ sites in MoCo where residents can access food and benefit application assistance)
- Food Research & Action Center – Updates
Resources for Cooking
5 ways to get on board the banana bread bandwagon.
From classic to chocolaty to gluten-free, there’s a banana bread recipe for everyone.
This recipe is from Judy: Italian vegetable popover pizza!
Resources for Mental Health, Wellness and Emotional Well Being.
I find guilty pleasure in watching cute animal videos! Now I have learned that mental health experts say that is a good thing! So go ahead and watch without feeling guilty. Experts say that the positive emotions these few minutes of watching generate can counteract negative ones and help us get things done.
Reposting from last week:
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. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/26/americans-with-depression-anxiety-pandemic/?tid=a_classic-iphone&p9w22b2p=b2p22p9w00098&no_nav=true
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: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Manage Anxiety and Stress
- National Center for Post Traumatic 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
Museums and gardens are reopening across the region.
Here’s what you can visit now. While some cultural institutions remain closed because of covid-19, museums, sculpture gardens and historic sites are cautiously beginning to open their doors to socially distanced visitors.
The best things to do — virtually and in person — while quarantined in the D.C. area. Virtual film festivals, trivia nights, concerts and poetry slams offer an escape for everyone staying at home.
TV and Movies and Podcasts
I have started watching Beacham House on PBS. Set in India just before-and during the British Raj, it is an interesting and challenging view of colonization and white privilege.
Resources for Books and Reading
Summer is upon us and here is a list of 50 books for your summer reading pleasure! https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jun/20/the-great-escape-50-brilliant-books-to-transport-you-this-summer?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
And here is another great list of summer reads, put together by your favorite independent book sellers!
This is a 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.
Another step to take is to support black owned bookstores:
Mahogany Books in SE (https://www.mahoganybooks.com/
Sankofa Video & Books in Shaw across from Howard (https://www.events.sankofa.com/ and they have good food too!
Loyalty Bookstore in Petworth (https://www.loyaltybookstore.com
At last check, they all did curbside pickup.
Resources for Learning and Trying New Things
On July 21 and 28 in the School of Christian Living we will be discussing Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God
By Cynthia Bourgeault
Cynthia Bourgeault, the well-known teacher of centering prayer, brings to light the Biblical meaning of hope, which is rooted not in desired outcomes (such as, “I hope my mother gets well”) but in the depths of God’s mercy and compassion. In this two-week class, we will discuss what this small, practical book shows each of us about how to recognize hope in our own lives, how to deepen it through prayer, and how to carry it into the world as a source of strength and renewal.
Class led by Elizabeth Gelfeld and Brenda Seat . Sign up by emailing Marcia Sprague at email@example.com
Here is the link to the book.
Reposting from last week:
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 (https://interfaithactionhr.org
is informative and offers a pen pal program (https://www.interfaithactionhr.org/pen_pal_program
Are you an artist wanting to help mentor an incarcerated artist?
Then Justice Arts Coalition is for you (https://thejusticeartscoalition.org,
and the pen pal program can be found at https://thejusticeartscoalition.org/the-partner-project/
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 — https://www.blacklivesmatterdmv.org/
Black Visions Collective
Baltimore Action Legal Team
National Bail Out
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! https://www.facebook.com/117412568715118/posts/946522929137407/
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. https://ourindigenouslifeways.org/
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: https://breadcoin.org/membership/
Finally, in other news
This is such a feel good story. A man who climbed the corporate ladder in a large corporation in Japan re-evaluated his life after retirement. What he did next is quite inspiring! https://www.facebook.com/nhkworld/videos/175799427171632/
Remember, we are all in this together!