15 Mar 2020

Building community:

#SocialDistancing: The Coronavirus is here and you need to stay home

Dear friends and readers,

We are sailing uncharted waters at this point.

In our lifetime, we have seen modern medicine make strides unimaginable: Making life beyond incurable disease possible, making childhood diseases that immobilized or killed children before they were old enough a thing of the past. But along with these advances, our global village has also gotten smaller, closer and more connected. It was only a matter of time until a disease would take over, ignoring national borders, religion, race or socioeconomic status: We are in the throes of a coronavirus pandemic, and it is time we start taking it seriously. What does that mean? For one, we should be listening to, reading, and trusting official sources, who have the latest and most updated access to information. In our District, Mayor Muriel Bowser has set up a website, coronavirus.dc.gov, where you can find resources and data. For our neighbors and friends who’ve moved to Maryland or Virginia, you can access information via coronavirus.maryland.gov and vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/ respectively.

At a hyperlocal level, our ward councilmember, Charles Allen has been sharing regular updates on his site, charlesallenward6.com. Please make sure you read through and connect with Charles, as he and his staff are very kind and responsive.

You may have noticed this is the first official post on the Coronavirus situation (despite mentioning it on Hill Buzz before). The situation is overwhelming but it’s also brought out so much kindness and solidarity from the community, it’s reassuring and heartwarming. I wanted a place to share as many resources as possible, to do my part for our wonderful community. I’ve also been busy sharing content on Twitter and Instagram (and therefore, Facebook). Please follow me in our social media channels, if you haven’t done so. It will be worth your while.

In addition to reading our blog, I cannot encourage you enough to also read other bloggers with local content. Long-time residents know that in addition to using the print edition for keeping your arms in shape, the Hill Rag has plenty of hyperlocal content and a devoted staff that shares news relevant to our neighborhood. You can find them at hillrag.com. Larry Janezich is passionate about ANC 6B and the area of coverage around Eastern Market. Please visit his blog, capitolhillcorner.org. Friend of the blog and nightlife enthusiast Raman Santra can be found at barredindc.com. If it’s a bar, he knows it. He’s also planning on doing a March Madness citywide bracket, in the same spirit as our Bar Madness of years past. Make sure you follow him on Twitter as well. Jacqueline Dupree, or JDLand.com, is a Capitol Hill resident who’s been chronicling the awe-inspiring rise of the area south of our neighborhood that I, for obvious reasons, like to call JDLand. I know there are other bloggers and listservs out there, most notably Facebook’s Hill East. Please send me the links you feel I should not miss and I will add them to this post.

As you may know, the main way to flatten the curve, or prevent widespread contagion, of this coronavirus epidemic, is to stay home and not go out as much as possible– something called “social distancing.” While it is absolutely the right thing to do, social distancing has terrible economic ramifications and it makes people on hourly wages very vulnerable. Closing the schools, while also a correct and responsible call, places many children in the terrible position of not having a source for meals. To this effect, the District will be distributing free meals at several centers across the District. You can find that information below:

Other restaurants across the area offering free meals for children (included with a paid meal for adult) include the following:

(Know more restaurants offering special deals? Email me at maria AT thehillishome.com)

Some businesses around the Hill have opted to close and we applaud them heartily. As small businesses, your income and your employees’ salaries are terribly impacted by your decision, but you’re doing the right thing. Here is a list of businesses that have closed, along with any links to help the employees. Please help your local economy and help them out:

Biker Barre: Suspending classes for the next two weeks. Well done, fam. <3

Call Your Mother/Timber Pizza: They are not open just yet in our neighborhood, but CYM clearly calls their mom and is doing the right thing. Can’t wait for bagels and pizza when they reopen.

CHAW: Although CHAW is more of a non-profit, it will be closed starting today until at least Mach 30, if not later.

Clothes Encounters: Gail has made the tough decision to close her store during this tough time. Make a plan to wear nothing but vintage this summer.

Hill Center: Shut down through 3/31, but will continue to pay staff.

Hill’s Kitchen: Leah will close the store starting Monday. Sending much love her way.

Lululemon is closing stores across US and Canada until the end of the month. The email I received notes staff will be paid. (thanks Jon Penndorf!)

Solid State Books: Will be on-call and offering curbside pickup from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every day. You can order from them through bookshop.org/shop/solidstate

Summit to Soul: Kim Wattrick’s chic emporium of all things cute and athetic is closing their Barracks Row store but you can still shop online at summittosoul.com

Takorean: Closing business entirely until it’s safe for team and community to interact, will pay team accrued sick leave. (Thanks Kristin Szafranski!)

The Miracle: After reducing their seating to only 25% capacity, The Miracle has decided to close their doors for the time being. They ask that you send donations to the Dream Center (which is working with Granny’s Kitchen to serve hot meals daily).

The Pug: They are just closed. We love them for it and hope they pass on any info to help them. Update: Neighbor Adrian Coakley has organized a GoFundMe page for the pug’s employees. Access it here.

VIDA, Bang Salon, and Aura Spa are closing for 2 weeks, all locations. The member email I received notes staff will be paid per their normal rates, and they are working on setting up ways to tip stylists in lieu of missed appointments via Venmo. (Thanks Jon Penndorf!)

Wisdom: Offering a group chat to stay connected with staff and other patrons via GroupMe, (email dcwisdom at gmail.com for more info) as well as a GoFundMe fundraiser to help employees.

(Please pass on any other info on businesses closing to me at maria at thehillishome.com)

Many places of worship are closed or operating on a very limited basis. The Episcopal Diocese of Washington (St. Mark’s, Christ Church, St. James and St. Monica’s, Calvary Episcopal, St. Augustine in SW) has shut down officially until March 25. The Lutheran Church of the Reformation will also be closed and you can check their home worship resources at reformationdc.org. The Archdiocese of Washington (St. Peter’s, St Joseph’s, Holy Comforter St. Cyprian, St. Vincent de Paul) has announced that they are closed for ALL gatherings. If you would like to volunteer to help run errands or grocery shop for parishioners, contact volunteer@saintpetersdc.org or 202-547-1430. The National Community Church has a relief fund and you can donate by visiting NCC.re/RELIEF

Our neighborhood has some of the kindest, most incredibly generous people around, starting with Allison McGill. She is organizing an all-volunteer effort to help people who need errands run. Email Allison at alli at thetabledc.org if you need errands run (or if you would like to volunteer).

Capitol Hill Village helps elderly adults stay in their homes and checks in on them. If you want to help CHV or become part of the village, reach out to kgarber at capitolhillvillage.org

Brian at District Flight Deals is keeping a spreadsheet with links and information on how to support local businesses, listing how to buy gift cards and virtual storefronts. The list can be accessed here.

Washington City Paper columnist Laura Hayes shared a Virtual Tip jar spreadsheet, and observed that “what’s notable is 61 of 116 people say they don’t have health insurance.” You can find that spreadsheet here.

Remember that although COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, seems to do its worst on elderly people, it makes people sick across all demographics. Children appear to be immune to it, or at least much less susceptible, but they can carry the virus and spread it even if their symptoms are mild. Don’t assume you know anything about the people with whom you come into contact.

Washingtonian’s food team has a list of all the restaurants that have closed due to the Coronavirus. Some of these restaurants may choose to do delivery and takeout, but the rest are closed for the time being. You can find that list here.

By the way, if you were summoned for jury duty in the DC Courts system, visit dccourts.gov/coronavirus. The courts are operating only at the essential personnel basis. The District Court for the District of Columbia doesn’t have any specific coronavirus information, but you can try their website, dcd.uscourts.gov/jury-service, for more information.

CHAMPS DC, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, has a very informative post on upcoming legislation regarding business assistance in the wake of Covid-19. Click here to read it.

If you are a parent, Kid Friendly DC has put together a great list of resources for kids and parents, so you can survive this with younger ones.

Wash your hands.

Don’t touch your face.

Help your neighbors.

Be kind to one another.

With much love,

Maria Helena Carey and the rest of The Hill is Home

(Did I miss something? Get in touch with me through all the channels mentioned above.)

A little parting beauty for you via Katrina Avila. Stay safe, friends.

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