Historically, the faith community has been one religious and social constant in times of upheaval and uncertainty. COVID-19 has restricted our daily routine in terms of activities, employment, and education of students; many of us are concerned about the health of loved ones and ourselves; and finances and social isolation are too-real burdens. In addition, California wildfires are raging, affecting the air that many of us breathe, and causing concern for the health and well-being of first responders.
The faith community again is here to stand strong in the face of this shared threat, to pray alongside with, to offer practical action opportunities and to provide information on difficult situations faced by our brothers and sisters. In addition to the resources below, if you know of others that may be useful, please send them to CIPL staff.
Check the air quality where you live; protect yourself and others:
California Air Quality – airnow.gov
World Air Quality Index- https://aqicn.org/map/california/
Breezometer – https://breezometer.com/air-quality-map/
Location of wildfires in California:
Cal Fire – https://www.fire.ca.gov/
Inciweb – https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
Capradio has a good overview on the latest fire, air quality, evacuations, and official information – https://www.capradio.org/articles/2020/09/21/latest-updates-on-northern-california-wildfires/
Health Information and Updates:
From the Centers for Disease Control
From the California Department of Public Health
Excellent information from the American Psychological Association
On-going Prayer Services and Words of Comfort: Many houses of worship and organizations are offering online prayers and live-streaming services. The plus side of this is you can attend anywhere – check our CIPL member congregation list to find one and, of course, ascertain with your own congregation.
- Grace Episcopal Cathedral, San Francisco – beautiful Sunday morning services and more
- IKAR, Los Angeles – Virtual Prayer and Social Calendar
- Islamic Shura Council of Southern California – words of strength, resources
- Vedanta Society of Southern California – services, classes, teachings
Policy Action: We need to make sure that legislators are poised and will act quickly on pollution reduction and our climate crisis and, indeed, to include appropriate responses now. Cutting air pollution saves lives and can improve respiratory health especially for vulnerable people. Here are some climate issues that you can take action on now and stay aware of:
- Pledge to vote with climate and creation in mind – Faith Climate Voter
- Support “Carbon Covenant” – IPL’s Global Forest Climate Protection
- Protect public health and the right to vote amidst the COVID-19 situation. Tell your Senator to support the Vote by Mail legislation.
Social Resources: Many of our brothers and sisters have been hard-hit by this pandemic with job loss; financial insecurity; and health challenges. The resources below were provided by the office Senator Henry Stern:
- If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 you may qualify for Paid Family Leave (PFL).
- If you’re unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness, you may qualify for Disability Insurance.
- Those who have lost a job or have had their hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19 may be able to partially recover their wages by filing an unemployment insurance claim.
- If a worker or a family member is sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine, workers may use accrued paid sick leave in accordance with the law.
- If workers are unable to do their usual job because they were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of their work, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- PG&E Customers – read the latest on non-suspension of services and more
A celebratory interfaith prayer service accompanied the 2015 Cool Climate Awards
at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland