Responding to COVID-19
Updates and Encouragement from Diocesan Leadership
All of the following are offered in both English and Spanish | Todo lo siguiente se ofrece en inglés y español.
Health and Strength in Community V
A letter to clergy of the Diocese of Los Angeles in the time of COVID-19
A Word on Communion to Go
Health and Strength In Community IV
Health and Strength In Community III
Health and Strength In Community II
Health and Strength in Community: A message from the Diocese of Los Angeles
An Introduction to Live Streaming
For the duration of the coronavirus emergency, occasional special issues of Resource Roundup — usually a newsletter for clergy, wardens, administrators and lay professionals in the Diocese of Los Angeles — will replace the Episcopal News Update. The Episcopal News Monthly bulletin insert will also be suspended until churches of the diocese return to their regular in-person worship. Additional resources to be considered for future issues may be emailed to email@example.com. Past issues are linked below.
Prayer and inspiration
Video: A Collect for Aid against Perils
(Book of Common Prayer)
Read by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry here
What Americans Are Doing Now Is Beautiful
[The Atlantic – March 19] [I]f we take a step back from the panic-buying of toilet paper, the response to COVID-19 should stand as one of the most beautiful moments in our country’s long history—a moment of shared, galvanizing national spirit that has existed in perhaps only in a handful of epochal years before, like 1776, 1861, 1933, and 1941, and, in modern times, after 9/11. Read more here.
From the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, former bishop of Alaska:
“Now is the time for which our faith has prepared us. Now is the moment when all that we believe can be put to work.
Now we can turn to the inner resources we have been developing over these many years to face the challenge of a world in desperate need. We are not afraid of this crisis for we have been made ready for it.
We have devoted our lives to the belief that something greater than fear or disease guides human history. We have studied, prayed and grown in the Spirit. Now we come to the call to use what we believe.
Our people need hope, confidence, courage and compassion: the very things for which we have been trained. We are the calm in the midst of a storm.”
“Stand your ground and let your light so shine that others may see it and find their faith as well.”
Video: Let All Who Are Thirsty Come: Litany for the Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus has thrown us all in the mud
By William H. McRaven, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
[The Washington Post] My [Navy Seal] training class had been out of the mud for a short period of time when the instructors, looking to weed out the weak of mind and body, ordered the entire group of 55 men back into the bog. The mud consumed each man until there was nothing visible but our heads. We were all exhausted, numb from the cold and desperate to hold on. The instructors told us that we could all leave the mud — if just five men quit. Read more here.
Praise Song for the Pandemic
Abbey of the Arts
Resources for Virtual and Remote Worship and Meetings
Introduction to Live Streaming (Diocese of Los Angeles)
Church Publishing offers Book of Common Prayer, other free resources for devotional use
You already have everything you need to be a digital media minister
Keeping Congregations Connected in the Face of COVID: What we learned from our experiment with online worship
[The Faith X Project]
Live-Streaming Resources for Churches [The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia]
Prayer and Worship in Our Homes
By Keith Anderson,Suzanne Edwards-Acton, Scott Gunn, Christopher Martin, Tim Schenck, Karekin Yarian
Connection in the Midst of an Epidemic (from Episcopal Relief & Development)
State & County Resources for Addressing Coronavirus Concerns
State of California pages
Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH, County)
City of Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Community Resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S-WJaMa4q3yNrEBfSFKEdSQArcNc_MTI2LiUA63Ycyg/edit
- Confirmed List of 60 LAUSD Schools That Will Be Serving Free Meals to Students in L.A.: https://www.lataco.com/lausd-free-meals/
Faith Based Communities
CDPH Press Release
OC Health Alert
Faith Based Communities
San Bernardino County
Faith Based Communities
Resources for Large Community Events & Mass Gatherings
Santa Barbara County
Large Events/Mass Gatherings
Faith Based Communities
Large Events/Mass Gatherings
CDC website links:
Most counties are referring people to the CDC’s website, the California Department of Public Health for more detailed information or information in general, with some counties having lots of information on their websites, while others have minimal information listed. It seems that most counties are referencing the CDC’s guidelines when it comes to Large Community events and Mass Gatherings, which can be found here.
Several websites keep close track of COVID-19 infection and recovery rates.
- San Francisco Chronicle Cornavirus Tracker
- Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University
The County of Los Angeles Internal Services Division has issued a warning that two fake COVID-19 trackers, with the (partial) URLs “corona-virus-map” and “coronavirusapp” contain malicious software. Do not upload anything with these URLs to your computer or phone. In addition, “phishing” emails pretending to be COVID-19-related information or relief organizations are becoming common. Be on your guard.
Misinformation abounds on the Internet, especially concerning the coronavirus. In this time of uncertainty, it’s important to avoid spreading inaccurate information. Before you share a meme or story, visit one of these well-regarded fact-checking organizations: FactCheck, Snopes, AP Fact Check, PolitoFact (from the Poynter Institute), and FactCheck.org and see if they note any inaccuracies.
Coronavirus Rumor Control (from FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency)
“The purpose of this FEMA page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. Do your part to the stop the spread of disinformation by doing 3 easy things; don’t believe the rumors, don’t pass them along and go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the federal (COVID-19) response.” Read more here. (h/t Ken Higginbotham, communications expert at FEMA and member of St. Stephen’s Church, Santa Clarita.)
Helpful Information in Understanding SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
A history of the SARS coronavirus, its most recent version SARS-CoV-2, and the resulting disease, COVID-19, with some recommendations for prevention, especially in church settings. Written March 5 by Anjeanette (A.J.) Roberts, Ph.D., microbiologist, former researcher with the National Institute of Health, and member of Grace Episcopal Church, Glendora. Read more here. An updated (March 15) version is here.
Hannah Palpant, Ph.D., also a member of Grace Church, has conducted several interviews with Dr. Roberts concerning the history of the virus, its present form, and how to effectively protect against it.
PSA: Safe Grocery Shopping in COVID-19 Pandemic
A medical doctor shows how to use “sterile techniques” to help prevent infection when dealing with groceries from the market or takeout food. Video is here.
The Covid19 pandemic: A slow-moving disaster
A blog post by Dr. Lucy Jones, for more than three decades a seismologist with the US Geological Survey. She is a member of All Saints Church, Pasadena.
I am not an epidemiologist. But you don’t need to know the details of how the virus works, to understand the public health statistics. I am an educated layperson with more than four decades experience in statistics, and from that perspective, I want to share my thoughts on what we are going through and how to listen to the public health professionals. As a disaster scientist, I also look at what we should expect going forward. Read more here.
Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”
[The Washington Post – March 14) After the first case of covid-19, the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, was announced in the United States, reports of further infections trickled in slowly. Two months later, that trickle has turned into a steady current. This so-called exponential curve has experts worried. If the number of cases were to continue to double every three days, there would be about a hundred million cases in the United States by May. Read more here.
Doxology Handwashing Timer
[Diocese of Newark, New Jersey] In order to protect against flu and coronavirus, it’s recommended to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds – the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. If you get tired of singing that, you can also sing the Doxology! Here’s a demonstration by Emma Moyer (soprano), Vivienne Longstreet (alto), Roy DeMarco (tenor) and William Butron (bass), students at Westminster Choir College and choir section leaders at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Maplewood, NJ. Video by Nina Nicholson, director of communications for the Diocese of Newark. Video is here.
Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
[CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Handwashing can help prevent illness. It involves five simple and effective steps (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry) you can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy. Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs. Video is here.
AB’s Hand Washing Demo: No Cleaver!
Funny and informative hand-washing advice from Alton Brown, creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats. Video is here.
Credit Union will make loans available to churches, institutions at reduced rate during coronavirus crisis
The Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union has set aside a $500,000 emergency cash fund to assist churches and other institutions of the diocese whose cash flow has been adversely impacted by circumstances caused by the Covid-19 virus pandemic. The program will offer, for a limited time, a 50% reduction to its published rate for church loans. Read more here. Esta historia aparece en español después del texto en inglés.
Coping with social distancing
10 guidelines for pastoral care during the coronavirus outbreak
[The Christian Century] Officials are arguing over whether the novel coronavirus has reached the level of pandemic, as outbreaks continue to spread globally. Meanwhile, religious leaders still must care for people—many of whom are feeling a rise in anxiety verging on panic. How can ministers, chaplains, counselors, and educators accompany people pastorally through this valley of anxiety, fear, and death? Read more here.
COVID-19: Addressing isolation and quarantine
A summary of this Episcopal Relief & Development webcast is here.
New York Public Library releases app allowing access to ‘growing’ e-book collection
[New York Daily News] The New York Public Library is turning a page — and taking a step into the digital age. The library is releasing an app Tuesday that will allow readers to easily access its popular e-book collection. More than 300,000 e-books will be available on the app — dubbed “SimplyE” — to anyone who has a library card and access to either an iOS or Android device. Kindle and web browser versions are in development, according to the library. Read more here.
I’m a nun and I’ve been social distancing for 29 years. Here are tips for staying home amid coronavirus fears.
By Sister Mary Catharine Perry, as told to Cassidy Grom
[NJ.com] For the past 29 years, I’ve chosen to practice social distancing. Of course, I and the 17 other nuns I live with don’t call it that. We are formally called cloistered sisters, meaning we never leave our walled-off monastery in Summit except for doctors’ visits or perhaps shopping for a specific item. … Of course, this virus is not good. Sickness never is. And I understand that this sudden shift in our society is frightening. As someone who has lived a life of separation, I’d like to share from my experience how you can make the best of it. Read more here.
‘I’m Really Isolated Now’: When Elders Have to Fight Coronavirus Alone
[The New York Times] At the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Monday morning, a trickle of older New Yorkers, some pushing walkers or riding in mobility scooters, arrived to bad news. All group activities were canceled. Read more here.
Google now lets you explore U.S. National Parks via 360-degree virtual tours
[TechCrunch] Exploring the world is something that’s always been a bit of a luxury for those who can afford to travel, but technology is changing that. With VR and 360-degree videos, you can now immerse yourself in virtual environments that give you a real sense of what a place is like, without actually being there. Read more here.
Is it safe to hike, run and bike outside now?
[Los Angeles Times – March 18] Is it safe to walk, run, hike and bike outside? Is it recommended? Yes, say L.A. County Public Health officials. In fact, “take a walk” and “go for a hike” are at the top of the L.A. County Public Health Department’s “safe-to-do” list as the region’s fight against the coronavirus continues. And, a spokesman said, “Biking and running are great as long as not in a group where there is close contact.” Read more here.
10 Ways to Ease Your Coronavirus Anxiety
[The New York Times – March 18] Dr. Harriet Lerner has spent much of her career researching the effects of anxiety and fear on individuals, families and larger systems. She has also managed anxiety in her own life (documented in her best seller “The Dance of Fear”). That makes her the perfect person to help us tackle the rise in panic accompanying Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Read more here.
Children and Families
Confirmed List of 60 LAUSD Schools That Will Be Serving Free Meals to Students in L.A.
[L.A. Taco – March 16] L.A. Taco has confirmed that starting Wednesday, 60 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be serving free meals to students from the hours of 7 to 10 AM. Read more here.
Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch
[Parents Magazine] There is a way to get a little culture and education while you’re confined to your home. According to Fast Company, Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world. Read more here.
Scholastic Learn at Home: Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing
Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin! Read more here.
Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
Harry the Dirty Dog
Read by Betty White. Video is here.
Bestselling children’s author Mo Willems is teaching drawing on YouTube to kids who are stuck at home due to the coronavirus
[Insider – March 18] For parents who are desperate to keep their kids entertained and learning while they’re home from school due to the coronavirus outbreak, Mo Willems, a bestselling author and illustrator, is here to help. Read more here.
Online Group AA Meetings
“The only requirement for member in Alcoholics Anonymous is a desire to stop drinking” Open to the public; online registration and sign=in is required. Click here.
Online Intergroup, Alcoholics Anonymous
Online Meetings Directory: AA Groups for men, women, GLBT, deaf/hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired, other groups. Click here.
How Zoom Is Keeping Me Sober
By Molly Jong-Fast
[Vogue – March 18] “I’m happy to be social distancing. I want to stop the spread. I’ve seen the pictures of Italy and I know we’re just a few days from that terrifying reality. But there’s one problem with all of this. I am a recovering alcoholic. I’ve been sober since I was 19. I even wrote a novel about it. And while I’ve been sober since November 2, 1997—22 years—I stay sober largely by going to meetings. So how am I and everyone else in AA (about 2.1 million members) going to stay sober in a world without AA meetings?” Read more here.
Managing work in a time of isolation
Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success
LinkedIn is making this content available for free. Read more here.
How to help
Can you sew? Hospitals, other agencies need face masks for medical providers, patients, at-risk elderly
The Rev. Canon Jaime Edwards-Acton, rector of St. Stephen’s Church, Hollywood, and pastor of St. Be’s (St. Barnabas), Eagle Rock, writes, “A friend and parishioner of mine who is a nurse practitioner has been deployed on the front lines in the San Francisco area to deal with COVID19. She said she and her colleagues have no protective masks for their patients. She asked me if the saints of my church could sew some. After thanking her for everything she does, I said: Yes, we can!” And I bet a group of my friends and colleagues, real and virtual, can do it too.”
Edwards-Acton is compiling a list of places that can use such masks and how to send them. The nurse-practitioner has told him that she sees an urgent need for masks not only for health care professionals, but for the elderly in general, nursing homes and smaller hospital systems. She adds that bigger hospital systems may need them too.
An article from the Courier-Press of Evanstown, Indiana, contains information and links to instructions, patterns and a video: click here.
If you would like to help, please click here to notify Edwards-Acton that you are available.
Thank you cards for hospital staff: a request from Michael Bell of Good Samaritan Hospital
Church colleagues, friends with kids stuck at home, educators with classes online, leaders of other groups – If you’re looking for something helpful to do right now that doesn’t cost much more than time and some creative love, consider writing/creating thank-you notes, cards, pictures, banners for our hospital staff. E.g., “Thank you, Good Samaritans” – signed by you, children, students, members of your club or community. The more the better. Imagine how you’d feel – how your spirit would be nourished if you saw hundreds or thousands of thank-you notes greeting you as you face another challenging day at the hospital during this crisis. Package them up and mail them to my attention (see below). I’ll get them posted around the hospital to help boost the spirits of our staff who are and will be working round the clock throughout this COVID-19 pandemic for the well being of our neighbors here in downtown Los Angeles.
Blessing to all for safety and wellness at this time. Thanks to all who act on this invitation.
The Rev. Michael S. Bell
Spiritual Care Services
PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital
1225 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90017
Episcopal Relief & Development COVID-19 Response Fund
“Join us in prayer and action. Help us be there in times of uncertainty. Your gift enables us to prepare for emergencies around the world — including the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. With your help, we can equip our partners on the ground with crucial support to assist local communities and meet the changing needs as this crisis unfolds.” Click here to contribute.
How you can help during the coronavirus outbreak
[The Washington Post – March 21] The coronavirus pandemic has now reached every state in the United States. In addition to posing public health challenges, the outbreak has prompted mass closures of schools and businesses and is straining resources. Here are ways to help in your community. Read more here.