When we started quarantine a few weeks ago, we sent an email to all of our members around the country and around the world, asking what they were doing to cope with the personal challenges of physical distancing on top of the global challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic that is causing all of us so much stress and fear these days. These answers soothed and inspired us. We hope they'll inspire you too.
"I am writing books, have planted an orchard in my back yard so that I can share fruit with others, called to see how my family and friends are doing." –Pearl
“I have been attempting a few things. I had been sending email letters to one of my Senators' offices (John Kennedy, Louisiana) and have received responses from one of the ladies in the Lafayette, Louisiana, office.” –R.
“I planted seeds in my greenhouse, have seedlings under lights, and I am meditating on a day when organic and regenerative are the mainstream. I think of all the people on the front lines, and wish I could thank them personally every day.” –Deena
“Personally, I have coped with the stress by getting outside (which we are currently allowed to do) in open space, running/walking etc, as well as online yoga classes. I am diffusing my essential oils both at home and office.” –Helen
“I'll be participating this week in a local meeting on making our town more sustainable also through Zoom; I'm preparing to host a webinar on victory gardens and living soil through my local Jewish Climate Action Network. And I work on the novel I'm writing.” –Charles
“I am a Religious Sister (Nun). I live with a large group of retired Sisters and some younger active Sisters. We agreed to spend more time together, indoors. We are doing well; spending more time in prayer, especially to pray for families and individuals who may be having a difficult time adjusting to this change in our world and our country. We also spend more time at meals conversing with each other and doing varied activities together. This helps us to live with a positive spirit of accepting what is happening in our country and our world.” –Dolores
“I am a nurse practitioner specializing in geriatrics and working from home for the past week. Lucky to have work. I am following the guidance but get outside a couple of times a day for fresh air.” –T.
“Cats, books and tea are all that is necessary for happiness.” –Matilde
"I am not too good at isolation! I did break out on Sunday. Invited neighbors to meet in the street and sing hymns accompanied by the neighbor next door and his cornet. Yes, we sat 6 feet apart. Love to you and all." –Mae
“Still here. Through virus, Earthquake and major aftershocks, unemployment over night. Still here. Standing strong. Thank you.” –Mary
"I've taken advantage of this time to build solid bonds with local farmers at my Farmers Market so that I have access to fresh, healthy veggies and fruits to feed myself and my family. I'm also sharing the produce of the citrus trees in my backyard with my neighbors. I've started studying herbs and aromatherapy and have three herb plants growing happily on my kitchen windowsill, the beginnings of my garden. I'm composting all organics that come into my home, getting the sandy soil that fills my backyard into shape to support future crops. Most of all, I'm holding onto my inner belief that this too shall pass. That we hold within each of us the power to choose whether we view this as an obstacle or an opportunity. And that we each have an obligation to do everything in our power to help those who are struggling to find their way through this. We are far stronger together than apart. May this crisis help us realize that on a global scale and begin building the bridges that will make our world a better place for all.” –Audrey
"I’m currently in France where we have been on lockdown [since March 17]. As a single mum (but lucky to have my parents next door who help me a lot) I am trying to support my other single mum friends (some with a few children and tiny or no garden), to help them find a rhythm and blow off steam when needed. I have connected with my lonely neighbor too who has no car to be able to fetch groceries for her when needed. Sending much love and strength to all in the US and beyond. May we emerge stronger because more united after all this!" –Garance
"I have been keeping up with the COVID-19 bill going through the Senate today and have called my Senators and sent emails. Last week, we had a couple of great summer-like days, and I and my friends spent some time outdoors, practicing social distancing. I’ve also been calling friends and relatives and doing some emailing." –Mary
"Garden cleanup and phone/email contacts with family and friends. Appreciating even more than usual, the unfolding of spring. First red wing blackbird on the first day of spring!" –Bonnie
"It's time to start working outside here on the Oregon Coast and there is sure a lot of work to do---enough to keep me busy for several weeks. Also I really like to read and appreciate the extra time to get into a good book. And I have lots of craft projects waiting for me." –Sue
"I have been asked by the Learning in Retirement association at the local university to put together some online classes for our 'mature' members. Since I am just sitting at home, this task will be an interesting challenge." –Benjamin
Verna Bacon sent us an original poem, which tells us how she's spending her days and the positive outlook she aims to inspire.
Stock up on poetry not toilet paper,
Grace rather than guns.
Gorge on love,
Which multiplies like loaves and fishes.
Call people and talk for hours,
Fill their hearts with hope.
Hoard every sweet moment of your life
And then release each one into the world
To seed more joy.
Be stingy with nothing
Least of all yourself.
Ensure the shelves of your heart never fall bare,
That your soul seeds new sprouts
And the wings of your imagination
May you realize what matters, who matters,
The rock that you can be,
When the world is shaking.
Stockpile only what is limitless,
And can be shared with all.
We hope those stories and ideas gave you some inspiration and camaraderie in this difficult times. We hope Green Americans stay healthy and stay connected as they practice physical distancing. Please connect with us on social media (links are in the footer on GreenAmerica.org, as always).
If you're looking for action to take to ask corporations to do better, head to our Take Action page. And check out our Climate Victory Gardening resources if you, like many, have been inspired to start a garden.