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

Dear Seekers and Friends,

“Reopening” as a word was never supposed to be scary or frightening, but in the midst of a pandemic it has become a loaded term, fraught with anxiety and uncertainty.

We are right at the beginning of a pandemic that could last for awhile and as we reopen we are going to need to figure out how to coexist with this virus while we try to find a vaccine or develop treatments which make its effects on the human body more manageable and less deadly.

In the meantime, how do we stay safe as we reopen?

What are the risks?

What changes do we already see that will impact our lives in this new world that is emerging?

You will find answers to those questions and many more right here in this week’s Resources Email, along with gardening tips, some funny videos, book recommendations, a few recipes, and some amazing art work!



Resources for Keeping Informed About the Coronavirus  

Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine.

The pandemic could last for years. Embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response. Experts urge U.S. leaders and public to start thinking long-term.

Four concepts to use as you assess your personal risk as the U.S. reopens. We need to use common sense. Just because we can resume activities doesn’t mean we should.

What does social distancing look like now as we reopen?

There’s increasing concern that people infected with COVID-19 who show no signs of illness are playing a large role in the transmission of COVID-19. The CDC says between 25-50% of people who get the disease are showing little to no symptoms either in the early stages of the illness (pre-symptomatic) or have little to no symptoms over the course of the illness (asymptomatic) thus making it more difficult to do contact tracing to find those who are unwittingly spreading the disease.     Read in Los Angeles Times:

More evidence emerges on why covid-19 is so much worse than the flu.

Wiping down the groceries, and worrying about getting the mail are part of our new reality, but is it necessary? What is the real risk of Catching the coronavirus from surfaces?

Montgomery County now has created a dashboard where all the latest numbers regarding this virus have been gathered together.

COVID-19 Metrics: Montgomery County, MD

Contract tracing is teaching us how to better assess our risks. What behaviors are risky and what are not?

Although we rely on science to give us the answers we need, during this pandemic, even experts struggle with coronavirus unknowns.

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

If you or someone you know needs health insurance and lives in Maryland, the time to apply has been extended due to the pandemic. Now is the time to apply and get the health insurance you need!

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

Cities are closing streets to make way for restaurants and pedestrians

As restrictions begin easing, officials are examining the lasting impacts of coronavirus-related closures.

This pandemic has exposed some big gaps and inequities in our health care system. From the absurdity of tying healthcare to jobs to supply chains that are compromised, these are some ways healthcare could change radically in the future.

This article entitled Grieving My Way Into Loving the Planet may give us a glimpse of how we grieve and move forward into this new world we are reimagining.

The virus has simply exposed the illness that was already there, says John Pavlovitz in this reflection.

Sometimes we have to celebrate the new stuff that is emerging right now as our world is changing. Crayola has just released a collection of 24 skin-tone colors. Finally, every child can color a picture of themselves in the correct color.

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

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 going 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.

Resources from Earth and Spirit Mission Group.

From Earth Ministry and Washington Area Interfaith Power and Light:

From Active Hope to Embodied Hope

May 31st 2:00-4:00.

In this Zoom gathering, We will learn strategies to address our climate grief so that we can respond to this planetary crisis with resilience and creative power.

Register at:

From The Poetry Foundation

Poetry and the Environment:

Recent poetic approaches to the natural world and ecology.

Arcadia is an open access, peer reviewed journal for short, engaging environmental histories.

Resources for Gardening and Growing Vegetables

Are you trying to develop a green thumb? Whether you’re attempting to grow a mini vegetable patch for the first time or are a seasoned gardener wondering about your blooms, our gardening expert has tackled some of your most common questions.

What Went Wrong With My Vegetables and Flowers?

Last week Mary Mehala signed up for a class on gardening that she found here in the Resources Email. She sent me a picture of how her garden looks now and promised to send us updates as she makes progress in her garden! Here is her garden now!

Mosquito season is beginning! Here is all you need to know about growing citronella and keeping those pesky bugs away.

You have planted a garden, and you are counting on enjoying  all those tomatoes and carrots you are growing. Suddenly, you notice something is coming into the garden and eating everything. Here is one gardeners’ story and what he did about it!

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)

Dealing With Challenges by Emmy Lu Daly

I was caught off guard by Thomas Merton’s words with their prescriptive  “…what you need is…”  that felt as if he were speaking directly to me, which he was.  Yes, he caught my attention, but more importantly, he spoke to my heart, opened a door.

You do not need to know precisely what is happening,

or exactly where it is all going.

What you need is to recognize the possibilities and

challenges offered by the present moment,

And to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.   —Thomas Merton

The Prayer

Here is a Father-Daughter duet, singing The Prayer which we heard this Sunday for the offertory.

Resources for Food Assistance 

Reposting since these are all good resources.

Resources for Cooking

This is from Leslie Smith who says, “Tabitha Brown has been my quarantine fatigue balm.” In 60 seconds she shares a great vegan recipe and some much needed emotional and self care tips as well!

The Joy of Vegan Cooking, 60 Seconds at a Time.

It has never been more important to eat healthy! Make sure you are eating your fruits and veggies!–just-when-we-need-a-better-diet/2020/05/26/fbf5a04a-9c54-11ea-ac72-3841fcc9b35f_story.html

It’s almost summer and it’s time for pickles! These look easy and fun to make. I plan to make a batch soon and will let you know how they turn out!

This is a total game changer! You know that recipe that calls for 1 table spoon of lemon juice? It seems like such a waste to cut open a lemon for just that small amount of juice.  Well, this juicing method allows you to get your lemon juice without wasting any of the lemon and allows you to save it for another time, too!

Just in time for strawberry season, this recipe showed up in my FB  feed. Since it is from Smitten Kitchen, I know it will be amazing!

Now I just need some strawberries. Anyone want to go picking?

Resources for Organizing and Decluttering

Don’t forget that Montgomery County residents are entitled to 5 large item pickups per year. So if you have been procrastinating about getting rid of some large trash items, schedule your pick up here!

Resources for Mental Health, Wellness and Emotional Well Being.

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 

You may be over the sports commentator doing their thing, but I just couldn’t resist sharing this one. A BBC sports commentator calling the nightly walk of the penguins on Phillip Island, Australia. ????????

This is a schedule from PlayBill Upcoming and Current Free Live Stream Broadcasts of various theatre productions!

After three and a half years, artist Manabu Ikeda has completed his large work entitled, Rebirth, commemorating the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It is extraordinary!

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is showcasing their extensive kimono collection in a virtual tour. From beautiful traditional kimonos to more modern looks you can see it all here!

TV and Movies

A love story set in North Korea? I know, it does seem a bit of a stretch, but it really has been getting a lot of good press from around the world. Australians seem to be particularly taken with this South Korean drama on Netflix. So maybe we should take a chance. Here is a great review about the show and its huge popularity all over the world!

TV and Movies Recommended by Seekers

This is from Paul and Sallie:

This is a very uplifting video that will make you smile, cry and fill your heart with hope. It’s on HBO.

Resources for Books and Reading

I often find the recommendations from Book Riot to be very helpful.

In this post they recommend literary books that are uplifting and satisfying. Perfect for reading during a pandemic!

We all know that books can broaden our horizons, but if someone asked you what one book you thought broadened your horizons what would it be? Here is a list of authors, poets, artists, journalists and writers who share their answers to that question. I put a few of these on my “To Read” list!

Books that Fellow Seekers Recommend

Jackie McMakin recommends the following:

Factfulness:  Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things are Better Than You Think” by Hans Rosling.  Bill Gates says this is “One of the most important books I’ve ever read – an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.”   Chapter 2 called “The Negativity Instinct” is a must.  Here’s my favorite quote:

“People often call me an optimist, because I show them the enormous progress they didn’t know about.  That makes me angry.  I’m not an optimist.  That makes me sound naive.  I’m a very serious ‘ possibilist.’  That’s something I made up.  It means someone who neither hopes without reason, nor fears without reason, someone who constantly resists the overdramatic worldview.  As a possibilist, I see all this progress, and it fills me with conviction and hope that further progress is possible.  This is not optimistic.  It is having a clear and reasonable idea about how things are.  It is having a worldview that is constructive and useful.”

And speaking of Bill Gates, here are five books he recommends we read during this pandemic!

Resources for Learning and Trying New Things

Throughout history music has been a way to process our grief and fear during pandemics. This PBS NewsHour piece takes us on a musical journey from medieval times until the present day showing how music has illuminated, instructed and given solace during some of the worst times in human 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. 

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.

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

The rains were late this spring in California, but the gift they gave was stunning. So many flowers bloomed you can see them from space!

Remember we are all in this together!




Resources During This Time of Social Distancing, June 5, 2020
Resources During This Time of Social Distancing, May 22, 2020