Dear Fellow Seekers,
This week has been challenging as we began to see the breadth and width of this pandemic and what an impact it will have on our world. What we know is that these next few weeks ahead of us are going to be even more challenging, and yet there is little we can do to change these outcomes except to do what we are doing: stay at home and wash your hands. These are not little things however. What we are doing is saving lives so keep at it like your life and the lives around you depend on it, because in fact they do!
So in the midst of all this how do we find our grounding, where do we find joy, and where do we find hope? I hope some of these resources below help to answer those questions.
Resources for Keeping Informed About the Coronavirus.
Our own William Wan has an article in today’s WAPO asking important questions about the projections the WH has been using in their daily briefings. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/02/experts-trumps-advisers-doubt-white-houses-240000-coronavirus-deaths-estimate/
I have also been impressed with this article in The Atlantic about the actual virus itself and why it has been more deadly than other members of its family. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/03/biography-new-coronavirus/608338/
The same journalist, Ed Yong who wrote the article above was also interviewed on NPR. Here is the link to that 13 minute interview: https://www.npr.org/transcripts/819137104
I am repeating the following the following two sites as I think they are important resources to continue to access over the next few weeks.
1.Maryland has a website that shows what is going on in State and governmental actions that are taking place. DC and VA also have websites that do the same thing.
- I have found this site, Worldometers, has some great graphs and a good break down of the data about this illness that is coming out of countries all over the world.
Resources from the Earth and Spirit Mission Group
This is a collection of 100 films that call us to act to create a more just and sustainable world: https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/the-top-100-films-for-action/
Relax with nature :https://www.facebook.com/bbctwo/videos/673783093425336/
And I think this bears repeating as well!
Resources For Sustaining Your Spiritual Life
This article by N.T. Wright on the Christian response to the coronavirus is important reading and gives new meaning to the idea of lament. https://time.com/5808495/coronavirus-christianity/?fbclid=IwAR1U0USqZTITcGgHZHSVNuJxPUM-a8zhpUaXbDBsebZIA4svh5PPbk4w9Zk
I found this you tube video to be a helpful prayer for this time:
Collect our tears https://youtu.be/bKEazYy_13E
Working preacher is an excellent resource site for reading and understanding the lections for each week.
Bible hub gives you access to many, many translations of the Bible. Type in your text into the search engine and you can compare and contrast how it has been translated or even go back to the original Greek or Hebrew. https://www.biblehub.com/interlinear/
Resources for Food Assistance
If you know someone who has lost their job or needs food please pass these resources on!
- Food Assistance Resource Directory (location, hours, and eligibility guidelines for 100+ sites in MoCo where residents can access food and benefit application assistance)
Resources for Cooking
An Italian grandma is live streaming classes on how to make Italian pasta. This article is from an Australian spurce so the timing and cost may vary but you can use the direct link to her live stream to get more information!
Ina Garten, otherwise known as the Barefoot Contessa, now has an Instagram account that will help you plan meals and cook through this quarantine. https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/04/ina-gartens-quarantine-playbook-instagram/609238/
Resources for Mental Health, Wellness and Emotional Well Being.
I found this article on how to nurture hope in difficult times helpful. https://www.centerforloss.com/2020/03/nurturing-hope-in-difficult-times/
PEP continues to offer resources for families and children about the Coronavirus. https://pepparentonline.org/courses/category/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 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 for Making You Laugh and Entertained
A family in England got creative during their social distancing! Listen to their Coronavirus rendition of One More Day from Les Miserable.
The Getty Museum asked its patrons to use everyday objects they had at home to recreate the art in their collections. Some of the recreations are pretty amazing. I encourage you to try to do this yourself!
Andrew Lloyd Weber will be live streaming his musicals for free on You Tube. https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/music/andrew-lloyd-webber-will-stream-his-musicals-for-free-online-starting-with-joseph/ar-BB1247pd?ocid=News
The National Cowboy Museum has closed for social distancing and put their head of security in charge of their Twitter feed account. His “aw shucks”style and bumbling attempts to get up to speed on this new technology are both endearing and laugh out loud funny!
And here is some music to lift your spirits:
Resources for Books and Reading
If you haven’t signed up to get a library card yet, Montgomery County Library is making it easier to access their digital library. Now you can get a card that will last longer than 30 days. Check it out! https://www.mymcmedia.org/montgomery-county-introduces-digital-library-card/
Other libraries are doing similar things so go online and see how you can sign up too!
Here is Levar Burton reading Good Night Moon to Neil deGrasse-Tyson. Because we all need to be read a good night story sometimes!
Books that Fellow Seekers Recommend
I am adding my blog to this list of books that fellow Seekers recommend. If you are not following my blog, now is a good time to do so! (Shamelessly self promoting here! 🤪)
For the last three weeks I have been doing a series on “Books to Read During a Pandemic.” This week’s theme was about reassuring books. https://brendasbookshelf.wordpress.com/
I will repeat the recommendations I received from other Seekers last week as I didn’t receive any new ones for this week. Please keep them coming!
This is a list from John Morris:
Round Rock, Michelle Huneven
Duplex, Kathryn Davis
Crossing the River, Caryl Phillips
The Stories (So Far) of Deborah Eisenberg, D. Eisenberg
The Sellout, Paul Beatty
A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin
Collected Prose, Paul Auster
Hallelujah Anyway, Anne Lamott
We Were Eight Years in Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates
American Sonnets for My Past & Future Assassin, Terence Hayes
Collected Poems, Wyslawa Szymborska
The most influential book I have ever read: too many candidates so I’ll just name one:
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger (if you haven’t read this as an adult, you should — it’s amazing)
This is from Katie Fisher:
I know this sounds like a joke but it’s not—it is the best book I ever read: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Sandra Miller recommends the following:
Fiction: Maybe it’s the rain outside, but a book I haven’t thought of for a zillion decades would be Mists of Avalonby Marian Zimmer Bradley is a good long read. I’m reading through the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny which keeps me wanting more. Perfume by Patrick Suskind, which is both hauntingly horrible and beautiful.
Nonfiction: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, anything by Mark Kurlansky – especially Salt.
Joan Dodge recommends the following:
Here are some that I’ve liked and my book club has also liked.
Washington Black—Esi Eugyan. Just finished…sorry of young slave boy through adulthood
The Silent Patient—Alex Michaelides. Psychological MH mystery
When Rowing North—Mary Pipher. Non fiction of older women’ developmental stages
Where the CrawdadS SING—DELIA OWENS
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family—Amy Ellis Nutt— Nonfiction and transfer issues
Olive, Again—Elizabeth Strout
My Dear Hamilton—Stephanie Dray. Historical fiction about Hamilton
Educated-Tara Westover*** non-fiction and one of my favorites about a family who did not educate
The Great Alone—Kristin Hannah*** fiction but family living in Alaska and also one of my favorites
A Gentleman in Moscow—Amor Towles. Historical fiction after the Russian revolution
Roy Barber recommends the following:
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Native American woman writer gives a rich portrait of her culture in the 50s and America attempt to once again terminate her culture. It’s fiction but it’s based on her grandfather. It has short chapters and it’s a fairly quick read. This is my nomination for National Book Award.
Michele Frome recommends:
I’ve been re-reading The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr it makes more sense the second time around.
Resources On How To Still Be God’s Hands and Feet while practicing Social Distancing.
For those of you who sew here is an opportunity! Suburban Hospital (and other hospitals too, contact the ones close to you) needs masks. Lots of masks. Here is the information and pattern you will need to make them.
Finally, in other news
In other news, this last Saturday was peak cherry blossom viewing in Japan. And it snowed! This a rare juxtaposition and this link is the crowd sourced photos taken all over Japan. A great reminder that in the midst of all that is happening, flowers still bloom, snow still falls, life goes on.
Remember, we are all in this together!