Keeping Up With COVID

Dear Friends and Family,

I’m finding it hard to keep up with COVID-19. I thought we were on the tail end of this virus—at least for a little while. But it is ramping back up again. The United States is the new Italy. Houston is the new New York. Even California’s numbers are going up and we have a statewide order to wear masks if we can’t maintain at least six feet of distance.

I find all of this a bit demoralizing. Not for me, personally, or my family, or even my street. So far, all of us are fine. So far, all of us are staying home (for the most part) wearing masks, staying six feet apart, and sticking to our bubbles—even when we have Hula Hoop Happy Hour on Fridays.

But, what about people who cannot afford to stay at home? What about people who work in grocery stores, meat-packing plants, and Amazon warehouses? What about people who have lost their jobs, their health insurance, and (soon) their unemployment benefits? And, what about all the families who have lost a loved one to this pandemic?

I feel helpless—like Sylvester in Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig. And being helpless, makes me feel hopeless.

So, I’m going back to my old (aka March) emails and pulling out resources for ways to help, plus adding in some new ones. If you, too, are feeling helpless and hopeless, please consider supporting the following:

Homies Empowerment FREEdom Store

Watch a 3-minute news clip about Homies here. Read a message from Cofounder Dr. César Cruz below:

Last Tuesday we had a record day of family members being shopped for at the @HomiesEmpower FREEdom Store! 1865 family members received a weeks worth of groceries, toiletries and much more. Our lines stretched three blocks on MacArthur and then they went into the community as well for 4+ hours. We had 13 tents up to protect the people from the sun, and it was still not enough! Bless you all the volunteers and donors we truly appreciate your solidarity! You can support here.

Black Owned Businesses and Restaurants

The easiest way to find Black Owned Businesses and Restaurants is to Google: black owned businesses and restaurants near me

Or you can check out these apps EatOkra and Black Nation.

Online Shopping that doesn’t require workers in an Amazon warehouse and offers eco-friendly, zero-waste, or sustainable products.

Toilet paper, paper towels and tissues that are made from bamboo, recycled paper or are forest friendly and 50% of profits build toilets for people who don’t have them.

Plastic-free dish soap and dishwasher tablets come in paper cartons and packages.

Cleaning sprays and hand soaps that come as tablets and you drop them in a bottle of water to make the spray or foaming soap (like Alka-Seltzer). They’re cheap and they work!

Plastic-free and Package-free sites for things like:

Saran Wrap alternatives

Body wash, shampoo and conditioner cubes, shampoo and conditioner bars 

Produce bags that really do keep your produce fresher longer

Stain sticks and laundry detergent sheets and dryer balls (instead of dryer sheets)

I know it’s not much, but for those of us lucky enough to still have a paycheck, these are places we can donate and shop that will support our community and our planet.

Until next time, stay healthy, safe, and loved, most important, loved.

Love, Leslie