Resources During This Time of Social Distancing, May 22, 2020

Dear Seekers and Friends,

Somehow the weeks are starting to slide by more quickly. As we we complete our ninth week of social distancing we are beginning to see signs of reopening as now all 50 states begin that process. We do not yet know how this will turn out. What we do know is we will need to be vigilant, wear masks, wash our hands, and be very very patient as we all try to do something new and untested.

In the meantime here is your new Resources Email to help you keep informed about the virus, tantalize you with new ideas what our world might become, hone your green thumb with tips on how to grow tomatoes and make you hungry for a bite of Applesauce Cake! So find your favorite chair, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy!

Remember we are all in this together!


Resources for Keeping Informed About the Coronavirus  

What are your chances of catching the virus outdoors?  A stir-crazy nation wonders: Is it safe to stroll on the beach in a deadly pandemic? How about a picnic in the park? Or coffee with a friend at an outdoor table? The risk is in the details.

Another very enlightening article about how this virus spreads and what to be aware of as we open back up to protect yourself.

A tale of two Covid-19 infections in one person. Was it reinfection or was it the same infection. This is the challenge of this virus as we try to reopen.

Even after we find a vaccine that works it may take quite a while for manufacturers to ramp up to a capacity enough to vaccinate everyone around the world. With contributions from William Wan, this article tells us what lies ahead.

We are learning more and more about this virus and the way it attacks the body. Here is a great summary of all we know right now.

A refreshing and bracingly honest assessment of what our new normal is going to look like from the Republican Governor Larry Hogan.

A deep dive into why it is highly unlikely that this virus escaped from a Wuhan lab, based on the science.

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 Maryland Primary is June 2. You should have your mail-in ballot by now.  If you have not received it yet please open this link and call the numbers given.

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

The pandemic may forever change the world’s cities. “Until now, cities have always bounced back,” mused one expert. But that’s until now. What could our cities look like? How would they look if they were more equitable?

Amazon is quick and easy, but do we really need things the next day? Here are some alternatives to our Amazon addiction and some ideas about how to be more aware of the consequences of these consumer habits.

Plastic is the big conundrum of our lives. How can we reimagine a world without plastic? How about a container that is strong enough to hold carbonated drinks but will decompose quickly by composting!

We need to think about protecting nature in order to protect ourselves. If we don’t, more pandemics like the one we are gong through will be the result.

What if we used trains rather than planes in the new world we are reimagining?

Arundhatti Roy’s words are inspiring.

What would it look like if we tracked goodness and kindness, instead of the virus? Two med students did just that and you too can contribute! How could we use this to change the way we look at the world?

Two weeks ago I posted a link to a video where a poet in the U.K. was imagining a world after the pandemic. Entitled ‘The Great Realisation,’ it was told as a post-pandemic bedtime tale that captured the hearts of millions. Now the WAPO has interviewed the author, Tomos Roberts, who is now working on actual writing a children’s book  and has caught the attention of Hollywood.

Reposting these from last week just in case you missed them!

The Moment To Change the World is Now is the title of this Time Magazine article. I think they may be on to something!

Germany’s Angela Markell is prioritizing green initiatives as part of the planning for Germany’s recovery from COVID-19.

What if in this new world we are reimagining our work week was only 32 hours?

The May 14 Inward/Outward was entitled Guidelines for the Honorable Harvest by Robin Wall Kimmerer which I think has some wise words about how we treat Mother Earth in all her varied aspects.

This is from Trish:

This is the first part of a data-driven Reuters Special Report on how the Supreme Court has helped tip the balance in favor of cops in excessive force cases involving claims of police brutality. The story is published amid increasing calls for the Supreme Court to reconsider its approach.

Resources from Earth and Spirit Mission Group.

Earth Day 2020: Multi-faith perspectives presented by Earth Ministry/Washington Area Interfaith Power and Light

Baby Sloths Being Sloths:

Resources for Gardening and Growing Vegetables

Learn the secrets to growing great tomatoes! From Mike McGrath on WTOP.

Your soil is the most important part of your yard or garden here is how to enrich it naturally?

Learn how to plant, grow and enjoy many different herbs in your garden with this online class:

The Joy of Herbs by Master Gardener Deb Ellis

May 30, 10-11:00 am (Sat)

I have always wanted to create a butterfly garden, but felt stymied because I didn’t know what needed to do. Well, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, NY is offering an online course on May 27. Click here to sign up!

Gardening as a “sneaky form of “meditation”

Resources from Carroll Café

Since the pandemic began Carroll Cafe has had to cancel all 4 concerts on the calendar for the 2019/20 season. As you can imagine this is a very complicated time for all the artists/musicians, whose income is directly tied to being able to interact with the public. We’ve all read about larger venues making art shows and concerts available live streaming, but Carroll Cafe does not have the ability to do that.

So we would like to put forward an opportunity for you to explore the concerts that didn’t happen by giving you the links to the artist’s websites where you can hear and buy their music.

March 13, 2020 IN PROCESS…

April 10,2020 PIERCE PETTIS

May 8, 2020 IONA

June 12, 2020 Scott Ainslee

Resources For Sustaining Your Spiritual Life 

(Sponsored by Living Water Mission Group)

Sometimes we may be asking the right questions but are unwilling or unable to listen for the right answers. Are we trained well enough in our sensitivity to the symbolic to really see where God is at work in our world?

In this original video series from Convergence on learning to see through the eyes of God, you are invited to consider the ever present mystery and symbol that points to something bigger than immediate circumstances.

Resources for Food Assistance 

Reposting since these are all good resources.

Resources for Cooking

Here is a great easy recipe from Sandra! It uses pantry staples and there are many variations. She has used champagne mangoes in place of applesauce and has ground up rolled oats and coconut in the food processor to replace the flour!

Applesauce Cake

Recipe by Kater

READY IN: 1hr 10mins



  • 21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons salt
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon clove
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 11⁄2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Combine all ingredients; pour in prepared pan.
  • Bake 60-65 minutes or until done.

Resources for Organizing and Decluttering

Having trouble getting started in your de-cluttering? Here are some helpful tips that only take five minutes to help jump start your de-cluttering plans. I finally tackled my medicine cabinet, and it felt sooo good!

Resources for Mental Health, Wellness and Emotional Well Being.

This is from Claire:

Two on-line courses entitled The Keys to Healing Trauma.

Feeling irritable and out of sorts? Are you snapping at everyone? You are not alone and here is why.

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

We need to remember that we may face a national mental health crises in the coming months, as the toll of social distancing and the anxiety we are all feeling begins to spill over. Here is what we can do to prepare and take care of ourselves.

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 friend of mine from high school is a wonderful photographer. She lives in Okeechobee, Florida and has been documenting the many birds of that live there. Some of these photos are breathtaking!

Who knew that flamingos flying over a lake in Tanzania would be so evocative and amazing! Like modern art it makes you question what you are really seeing.

The entire Salvador Dali museum can be visited virtually now!

How do we measure time during this pandemic? If you feel like time has changed, here is a humorous reason why.

A new Frida Kahlo exhibit of her art is going online!

In this age of social distancing and telecommuting, we have been given glimpses into the lives of the news anchors and reporters who we follow like never before. Judy Woodruff introduces us to the pets of the reporters on the NEWS HOUR who have become stars in their own right!

I think this link, Eyes on Sligo Creek, might have to become a regular feature in the Resources email. This couple is so passionate and excited about the wildlife they see along Sligo Creek. The baby goslings have hatched now, and a green heron was spotted and you’ll have read more here to find out what else happened on this rainy day in May.

This year Stonehenge will live stream the summer solstice. Here is what you need to know!

TV and Movies

This is from Martha Philips:

Over the last couple of days I have watched Ken Burns series on “The Dust Bowl” that has got to one of the most horrifying periods of history in the US. Not only did crops fail but many people died of dust fever. Then when they finally had some rain and a good crop  the grasshoppers came. For 9 years these people lived with failure after failure. Roosevelt’s WPA  and CCC  programs were the only thing that keep some of these people going.  Also because of this the government had the Department of Agriculture develop new methods of farming. This was also when Social Security started. Without these public government funded programs a large part of the population would have perished. There are times when the government must step in to save the country. This is not Socialism this is survival. If you want to understand our country today this is a good plan e to start. It is on Amazon Prime Video.

The new spring TV shows are about to begin. Here is what to watch according to AARP:

TV and Movies Recommended by Seekers

Keith and I just finished watching Unorthodox on Netflix about a young woman who leaves her extremely conservative Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg NY. We watched one episode and then another and another and just couldn’t stop! Highly recommend!

Paul and Sallie found this video to be educational and inspirational:  This is a video sermon by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, entitled “The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery.” Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III is from Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side of Chicago and has combined preaching and filmmaking in a way that highlights America’s Original Sin — how we might repent of it and be healed from it. Listen, watch, weep, hope, and be renewed.

Resources for Books and Reading

The Gaithersburg Book Festival begins as a virtual event May 16 and will go until June 4. Check out all the great events and opportunities right here!

Books that Fellow Seekers Recommend

I have been going back to some of my favorite authors as I am reluctant to risk reading new authors right now. The more chaos I have to negotiate in real life the less I want it in my reading life!

So here is a list of some of my favorites and maybe this will remind you of some of your favorites as well.

Elizabeth George

Michael Connelly

Sharon Kay Penman

Tea Obreht

Joanna Trollope

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Resources for Learning and Trying New Things

Join us to discuss Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard by Douglas W. Tallamy.

Button Farm Almanac”

with Anthony Cohen

Tuesday, May 19 @ 3:00 p.m.

Join historian Anthony Cohen for the story of the Button Farm Living History Center and its mission to interpret plantation life in Maryland. Set on 40 pristine acres in Germantown, it is home to the Underground Railroad Immersion Experience—a “sensory discernment” first used to train Oprah Winfrey for her role in the movie Beloved. Discover the heritage breed animals, heirloom crops and period re-enactors that come together to create this one of a kind living history experience.

Bread & Beauty: Making Value Visible, Foodways in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve”

with Claudia Kousoulas

Thursday, May 21 @ 3:00 p.m.

Just as the force and flow of ancient glaciers deposited soil and shaped hills, our decisions about property, policy, family, and food also shape the landscape. So much of what we value—a clean environment, local food, a diverse landscape, and a varied economy—comes together in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. This talk, based on Bread & Beauty: A Year in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve, will tell the history of the Reserve, and its historical food-ways, from the foods (and drink) of the C&O Canal boatmen to the diversity captured in Elizabeth Ellicott Lea’s 1850 Domestic Cookery.

Here is a great list of things to do during this time! From working on your relationships to learning new skills, this will motivate you to begin something new.

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. 

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.

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

We need some good news, don’t we? Well, this is really good news for young girls in the Sudan. In April they banned the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and imposed criminal sanctions against those who continue the practice. This is a big step forward but the practice is still quite common especially in Egypt. There is still more work to do.

An author wondered if what William Golding described in the Lord of the Flies would actually happen in real life. Then he ran across the story of 6 boys stranded on an island for more than a year. This is what he found out.

Remember we are all in this together!

Resources During This Time of Social Distancing, May 29, 2020
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