Years from now, what will you tell your grandchildren about the pandemic of 2020? Your memories plus the voices of over 38 men and women in Navigating the Pandemic show how the human mind, body and spirit can cope with the concurrent traumas of a deadly pandemic and racial injustice. These essays and poems on your bookshelf will renew your faith that we can endure and overcome.

Norma Press,
Author and Editor

Pandemic, sheltering at home, George Floyd, demonstrations, empty streets, empty grocery shelves, loss. How many emotions have you been through in 2020? You will find a selection to match that emotion, or to comfort you, or to just make you think in Teresa Schreiber Werth’s anthology of essays and poems. And you will no longer feel alone.

Holly Bauer-Mergen,
M.B.A. Health Systems Administration

This timely collection of essays, memoirs, and poems rises out of the professional insights and lived experiences of its authors who address the pain of grief, loss, and racism seen through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. Middle-aged, old, and young voices tell their inspiring stories and provide candid looks at real situations. They share their pain—and the wisdom they have found on the other side of pain—and offer practical advice for not only persevering, but thriving. Here you will find testimonies of resilience, gratitude, and hope. Read them one a day, to strengthen our resolve to re-envision ourselves and our lives together, to build empathy and solidarity, and to create a “brave new space” where every person can choose life!

– Kay Kupper Berg,
M.A., retired Professor of English,
Sinclair Community College,
Dayton, Ohio

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, we were asked to social distance and stay home. Vacations, weddings, trips to the mall, dinners out and baseball games all ended. We were literally sent to our rooms to reflect on how we live our lives and what mattered most to us.
Many people inspired us with their tireless work, growing sense of community and inter-dependence upon each other. Other horrified us with their racism, greed, and brutal use of power. All of it was visibly heightened by our slowed pace of life and the removal of many distractions. Trying to make sense out of the avalanche of information and emotions was overwhelming.
Teresa Schreiber Werth’s new book Navigating the Pandemic: Stories of Hope and Resilience is a collection of poetry, stories, and honest feelings about this transformational time. Reading it will bring a bigger picture into view, one that incorporates many peoples’ experiences. If you are searching for the meaning of the year 2020, this is the book to read. Sit back and let the writings elicit your own story and what you have discovered about living on this planet Earth.

– Rev. Mary Ramerman,
Counselor and Founding Pastor of Spiritus Christi Church

The COVID-19 pandemic has called upon us to respond with soulful grief. This period of time is a rough initiation, where change has been thrust upon us, indifferent to our protestations. The pandemic has distanced us from one another and we are asked to go inward and engage our inner lives and our ancestral traditions."Navigating the Pandemic: Stories of Hope and Resilience" grew out of that saturnine ground, collecting a chorus of voices that invites the reader to grow and grieve along with the communities that sustain us.

“The Wild Edge of Sorrow:Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief”

Francis Weller,

During the first months of 2020, a highly infectious novel virus encircled the globe at warp speed, impacting human life in many devastating ways. Fifteen years ago, Thomas Friedman, in his ground breaking book, The World is Flat, a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, began to translate how globalization helped flatten the globe and the effect emerging consequences were having on our economic, political, and cultural life and wellbeing. We now find our shrinking world in a global pandemic, taking a toll on human life, swamping our health care institutions, and forcing humankind to cope with new cruel realities: the grief of the loss of loved ones, the loss of jobs, schooling, graduation, weddings, in addition to sharp economic disparities and living in a bubble of isolation with the lack of social engagement.

During the early days of the pandemic, Teresa Schreiber Werth, using her talents as a writer and grief counselor, called upon her colleagues to write about their own experiences during the crisis and those of their families, friends and those whom they serve in their professional capacity. In her new book entitled Navigating the Pandemic: Stories of Hope and Resilience, she shares these stories and presents stories of others, including teachers, faith ministers, physicians, nurses and recent high school graduates. Throughout the book, the reader is opened up to pathways through the grief of these losses in the context of a variety of cultural, professional and personal settings. We feel the sadness but also see glimmers of hope in these essays, poems and reflections. Collectively, they bring a sense of comfort that we can and will get through this together. This anthology provides a genuine bird’s eye view of the history we are living.

- Henry J. Peris,

The personal stories that emerged as the world navigated the Covid-19 virus pandemic will be valuable to future generations in understanding the toll taken on so many who, though sheltering in isolation, were not alone in their experiences. As the end to many others’ stories have not yet appeared while this virus continues to rage on, comfort can be found knowing we’re not solitary in just our confusion and our fears, but also in our hope. This compilation of narratives will ring with familiarity to the struggles of many, while the professional guidance offered will help to inform as we move forward. Overall, this book emphasizes the importance of reaching out, while holding on.

– Penny Simonson,
a free-lance writer, public speaker and artist
who makes her home in Spokane Valley,