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March 19 AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall

Experts share information about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself

Listen to the March 19 Tele-Town Hall

Staying Safe: Protect Your Health, Wealth and Loved Ones

During the 90-minute live event, government experts answered questions about health concerns. caregiving and avoiding scams related to COVID-19.

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Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall, March 19, 2020

BILL WALSH:  Hello. I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Today we will discuss with leading experts how you can stay healthy and stay informed, and we'll address your questions. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years.

In the face of the global coronavirus epidemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them to protect themselves from the virus and prevent its spread to others. We will ask experts about the latest changes to address the health impacts related to coronavirus, family caregiving needs, and what you can do to stay safe from scams and fraud during these turbulent times.

This is your opportunity to learn, ask questions and get answers from the leading experts. If you participated in one of our tele-town halls before, you know this is similar to a radio talk show where you had the opportunity to ask questions live. If you'd like to ask a question about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask that question live.

To ask your question, please press *3. Before we begin our conversation, we need to hear from you. Please take a moment to tell us what is your greatest need for information about coronavirus right now. Press 1 on your telephone keypad if you most want to hear about preparation and prevention. Press 2 if you most want to hear about Medicare and insurance coverage, press 3 if you most want to hear about local resources and press 4 if you want to hear about supporting loved ones, including family and friends. What is your greatest need for information right now? Press 1 for preparation and prevention, 2 for Medicare and insurance coverage, 3 for local resources and 4 for support of loved ones. 

Hello, if you're just joining, I am Bill Walsh with AARP and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. We are talking with leading experts and taking your questions live. To ask your question, please press *3. 

Joining us today is Dr. Jay Butler, M.D., the deputy director for infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. Also with us is Lance Robertson, the assistant secretary for aging and administrator of the Administration for Community Living, ACL. And we have Daniel Kaufman, the deputy director for the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection. 

AARP is convening this tele-town hall to supply information about the coronavirus to help keep you and your family healthy and safe. While we see an important role for AARP and providing information advocacy related to the virus, you should be aware that the best source of health and medical information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can be reached at cdc.gov/coronavirus. 

This event is being recorded, and you can access the recording on aarp.org/coronavirus 24 hours after the event. 

First, we are joined today by Dry Jay Butler, M.D., deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC. He provides leadership for the CDCs’ three infectious disease national centers, and helps to advance the agency's cross-cutting infectious disease priorities.

Thank you for joining us today, Dr. Butler. 

JAY BUTLER:  Good afternoon or good morning everyone. 

BILL WALSH:  Thank you so much for joining us. Let's jump right in. There's a lot of new information coming out and new clarity as preparation and prevention becomes our new normal. Tell us what are we doing right and where do we need to improve our response to the coronavirus.

JAY BUTLER:  Well, I think one of the things that we're doing right is we're taking the threat seriously. This is a virus that we didn't even know existed only three months ago. So it's pretty remarkable to think about the progress that has been made in terms of some of the, understanding of this disease and the virus itself, steps that have been taken to slow its spread. And it's quite a change. I mean, this is going to be something that people will be telling their grandkids, our grandkids will be telling their grandkids about down the road. 

The progress of the virus in spreading globally has mirrored what we have seen in influenza pandemics in the past—although it's important to stress that this coronavirus is not influenza, but it is something that really is involving all parts of the world right now. Europe is most heavily impacted, but here in the United States we're definitely on the upswing as well. 

And one of the reasons why I'm so pleased to be able to talk to you today and to think about what’s the approach to the virus and the importance of taking it seriously. As we've learned more about COVID-19, it's very clear that most people who become infected do recover and do very well. But unfortunately, some get very sick. And some even die. And the risk of more severe illness is greatest for those who are older and for persons with underlying health conditions, especially chronic heart, lung or kidney disease, and those with diabetes. 

The current interventions represent a transition from the early phase, which really focused on containment. That is, how do we slow the entry of the virus into the country? Recognizing very early on that it would probably be impossible for it to never enter the country, to now one that it's here, of mitigation. What are the steps we take to slow the spread and to distribute the impact of the pandemic over as long a period as possible so that infrastructure can be maintained—in particular, so that our health care system is not overwhelmed by the burden of people who are becoming sick with the infection?

So these are parts of the response that I think we can dig into some more details on. I know right now there's a lot of controversy. Do we need to be doing all the things that we're doing, particularly surrounding social distancing, which we can talk more about in the future. 

But right now there's many unknowns.

And so I think what, what we're doing is a way to be able to, in a sense, take a pause or call a time-out and be able to assess just what the impact of the pandemic is going to be on our country and to be able to sort out what is the best way to, to slow that spread. 

If you'll forgive an analogy, maybe it's a little bit like coming out to your car on a very cold morning or, uh, out to your car if you live in the South when the sun's been beating down on it. You put the heat or the air conditioner on high until you know what the situation is going to be and how you can adjust to the climatic conditions inside your car, and then you dial things back as needed. So I think in many ways, we're trying to take very important and major steps, trying to hit the right balance between how do we achieve social distancing, but minimize social isolation and the impact on things that are also health related, like the economy and access to food, our interactions with our loved ones, which are important to our mental health. All of these things go into these important decisions that where we have to look at what are the costs and also what are the benefits.

BILL WALSH:  I think people are already feeling the heat. What do people need to do to improve our response and what does the government need to do to improve our response to coronavirus? 

JAY BUTLER:  Well, I think the most important thing for individuals to do to improve the response, one is to stay informed.

I appreciate your reference to the CDC website, cdc.gov/covid19. There's also very good resources that are available at your state or local public health department website. The Johns Hopkins University also has a very good website that provides a lot of broad-based information, as does the World Health Organization, the WHO.

And then look at what, how best you can invest, adapt in your own life, particularly for older persons, those with underlying illnesses. This is a good time to realize that you need to take steps to help stay safe and also to slow the spread of the infection. While you may not be at risk of more serious disease, it is possible that you could be a contributor to spread. So some of the steps that have been taken to minimize exposure to one another are very important. 

BILL WALSH:  Well let me actually pick up on that point right there, doctor. We've seen a number of news reports of late where grocery stores are designating special hours for older people to shop. What's the CDC’s point of view on that given your admonition for people to practice social distancing. 

JAY BUTLER:  Yeah. So there's no official position on that. But I think that's a good example of showing how businesses are adapting to sort of following that model of the costs and the benefits while we want people to be able to minimize their interactions in the public and with one another as much as possible, people need to eat.

And if you're running out of food or are running low on any supplies, and particularly if you don't have access to someone who can make that run to the grocery store for you or have delivery services available, moves like this are a way to spread out the number of people in the store at any given time. So it's a way to provide services while also supporting the concepts of social distance. 

BILL WALSH:  Is it safe for an older person to go the supermarket even during those designated hours? 

JAY BUTLER:  The word safe is interesting because there's very few things, maybe nothing, that's a hundred percent safe.

So is it as safe as staying in your home and not being in contact with others? Probably not. Is it as safe compared to potentially running out of food and getting into nutritional problems? Well, there's two costs and risks involved there. Which is safer? I really can't answer that question. So you know, there's nothing that is all safe or all risky. It's maybe not as good as being able to stay socially distanced, but it's also a very good option if being able to keep provisions in your home is becoming a challenge, 

BILL WALSH:  We've also been seeing a lot about food delivery services, prescription delivery services. We, we think that might be a good middle ground for people if those services are available in their area.

For those of you just joining our conversation, I'm Bill Walsh with AARP and we're speaking today with leading experts about the coronavirus. We're also taking your questions live. To ask a question at any time, please press *3. 

Doctor, you know we've heard there's been a lot of discussion about testing. If you need a test, how does that work? Where do you go? What should you expect and how does payment work? 

JAY BUTLER:  Right. So let's start with where do you go and who should be tested? Maybe if it's more important, testing is most appropriate for people who develop symptoms of COVID-19, and that can include fever. It can include cough, muscle aches, headache, shortness of breath. All of these things are of concern. It really is primarily a respiratory tract infection. We know that lots of different things cause respiratory illness. It's still sort of at the tail end of flu season, so just because you develop those symptoms doesn't mean that you have COVID-19.

If you develop symptoms and want to talk with your health care provider, that's where the first contact is made to make decisions about whether or not to be evaluated and whether or not a test may be indicated. The decision really should be made with a health care provider involved.

And I know in many parts of the country there are drive-through testing places now provided. That is of course an opportunity to be able to have the test collected without going into the clinic and potentially exposing other people. So that's where being in touch with your local provider is important.

Of course, if you suddenly become very ill—and that would be things like shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty in getting your breath at all or noticing that your face or your lips are turning blue—that's when you call 911, and get in as quickly as possible. Emergency departments are an option, but I think it's very important that unless you're very ill it's extremely important to call in advance so that you can be advised on how to best interact with the health care system in a way that will keep everyone safe. 

Now, regarding payment, I think many of us are pleased to know that COVID-19 testing is covered by Medicare Part B when it's ordered by a health care provider. There’s also steps that have been taken to ensure that costs are not a barrier to testing, and there's legislation working its way through Congress now that provides for free testing for COVID-19. There's also a bill that has recently passed Congress, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, that among other things requires most private insurance plans to cover testing for COVID-19 with no cost sharing, at least during the emergency period.

Some states have adopted similar requirements for insurers they regulate. And many private insurance companies have voluntarily expanded coverage to include testing already. And then the last thing I'll mention is: Medicaid coverage is generally determined by the states. And so, checking with—visiting—your state's Medicaid program website is a good way to determine whether or not Medicaid coverage is an option as well. 

BILL WALSH:  OK. Let me ask you one other question. Doctor why is the practice of social distancing so important right now, even among populations who aren't as high of a risk. 

JAY BUTLER:  Right. So if you'll forgive me, let's talk a minute about what we know about transmission of this infection.

It appears that the primary mode of transmission for this coronavirus, as well as the six other coronaviruses that were previously known to cause disease in humans, is respiratory droplets. And by that I mean, when I cough or sneeze I produce a spray, and droplets that contain the virus may fly as far as five or six feet from my body.

This is how most respiratory infections are transmitted. And that is where it becomes very important to be able to keep a certain amount of distance from other people who may cough or sneeze. It may have nothing to do with the fact that they're infected with COVID-19. But it provides a chance for spread of the virus.

One of the things that is becoming apparent about this disease, which is troubling and really challenges our ability to control it without social distancing, is it appears that people may be able to transmit the infection for a short period of time prior to the onset of symptoms.

Additionally, we do know that people who have no symptoms at all may be infected. We don't know what role they would play in spread. I think it's a pretty safe assumption that people who are coughing and sneezing are going to be more capable of spreading the infection. But it suggests that it's important that we all keep a certain amount of distance from one another, particularly at this time where transmission appears to be on a big uptick here in the United States.

Now you're asking about people who are not at high risk for complications. And this is really important. While we've focused a lot on messaging to people at high risk, we want to be able to get good messages out to younger people as well because they may play an important role in spread of the infection.

So social distancing doesn't just apply to people who are at highest risk, but really does apply to all of us is, at least for this period of time. I'm a grandfather, and, you know, I love to see my grandkids. But this is probably a good time, particularly for people who are, most advanced in years—those over 75 to age 80—maybe to connect with the grandkids primarily by phone or video chat or ways that would be less likely to potentially a result in exposure to COVID-19 

BILL WALSH:  All right. Thank you very much. Let’s turn now to Administrator Lance Robertson. Administrator Robertson was appointed to serve as assistant secretary for aging and the administrator of the Administration for Community Living in 2017.

His vision for ACL focuses on five pillars: supporting families and caregivers, protecting rights and preventing abuse, connecting people to resources, expanding employment opportunities, and strengthening the aging and disability networks. Thank you for joining us today. 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Thank you, Bill. Glad to be on. 

BILL WALSH:  Administrator Robertson, what suggestions do you have for family caregivers? These are the unpaid, more than 40 million unpaid caregivers out there who are assisting nursing home residents, about how they can stay in touch with their loved ones when they can't visit in person. Who should they contact if they have questions and concerns.

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Certainly a common question that we're getting with great regularity here at the, Administration for Community Living. And, you know, by the way, we are part of the Department of Health and Human Services, so very honored to work alongside CDC and CMS and so many others. We're a relatively new federal organization I might add. So I really want to encourage listeners to check us out at acl.gov. 

Let me go jump into the question because it's one that we certainly can all appreciate. And while we, I think, all understand the reasons for the, simple, sensible, necessary restrictions on visits to long-term care facilities, there's no question that these are very hard for everyone and certainly for the residents themselves and for the family members who support and advocate for them. There are of course things that you can do to make it easier. So let me run through a quick checklist of suggestions. 

First, it's important to make sure that the facility has your up-to-date contact information.

Also be sure to read any information that the facility sends to you,; this may describe systems that they have set up that will help facilitate virtual visits or phone calls. 

Next, if you need staff assistance to communicate by phone or video chat, consider setting up a routine date and time. That really will help the facility.

Also consider sending cheerful cards and notes, uh, not only to your loved one, but you know, consider sending a simple thank you, to maybe other residents, but certainly staff and express your gratitude for the hard work that they're doing at present. 

And then finally, of course, be patient. Please be patient. Facilities of course are short staffed and this is a hard time for them, too. 

So we're all learning as we go, but let's break this down just a little bit. 

If you have a loved one who is able to communicate verbally, the simplest thing to do is, of course, to use the phone and check in routinely. One of our concerns, of course, is boredom and isolation. So, think about how you can participate in mutual activities. If you find the conversation struggling a bit, maybe play a game of trivia, reminisce, work on a crossword puzzle together, sing songs, read poetry or other materials. Watch a TV show at the same time and and just discuss. Again, throw in some creativity and you can help prevent both boredom and isolation.

And for those that are more technologically astute, you might consider various platforms that are popular now that help with face-to-face interactions such as FaceTime, Messenger, Facebook, Zoom, et cetera. And of course, any interaction is going to be very valuable. 

But let's pivot quickly to those that are not able to verbally communicate because we know that that separation is even harder. It's even harder, admittedly, to find ways to connect. So against some tips we would offer to your listeners. Ask the facility again to set a time for a call. So, for example, if your mom is most alert in the morning, pick a morning time, think about what music they might like and play that in the background or sing along or sing directly to your loved one.

If your loved one is spiritual or religious, you can draw on their faith community and consider saying prayers, reminisce or read a book because I've referenced earlier that just hearing your voice can really bring comfort, even if that loved one is unable to verbalize that. And then set a time to speak with facility staff routinely so that you can stay updated on how your loved one is managing.

And of course, ask specific questions, things like, are they are they getting help to walk around as appropriate? Are they eating their meals? What kind of activities are offered?

Ah, that's so critical. And if a care conference is scheduled, ask the facility to keep the scheduled time and hold it over the phone. We know they're busy, but it's imperative that you remain linked as a caregiver. 

BILL WALSH:  Well, this is all very interesting. We've had a number of calls into AARP’s call center about this very issue, mainly from family members who feel like they're being shut off from communications. Do the facilities themselves have an obligation to keep families up to date on a regular basis about the condition of their loved one and also about the conditions in the facility? 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, Bill. Undoubtedly they have that obligation. Our hope would be that these facilities, of course, would see that as a very critical high priority for them, particularly during this season. Yes, their work is focused on the care of that resident, but admittedly, they know the overall package of caring for both the resident and that resident family is what will make this a survivable period for all. 

So I would certainly hope that if people do have difficulties with that, we have some ways we can suggest that we can intervene or have someone help on behalf of the family member. But again, to be clear, yes, a facility should absolutely permit regular communication with the resident. And, candidly, it should be appropriate for them and their professional roles and obligations to communicate back to the family as needed. 

BILL WALSH:  AARP has some terrific resources along these lines too, at aarp.org/coronavirus, some research resources specifically for these family caregivers: questions to ask the facilities, how to make a care plan. Go check it out. And hopefully there'll be material there that is useful and actionable. 

Administrator Robertson, we were just talking about caregivers with loved ones in a facility. What about those with loved ones living in their own homes? If they need resources like home-delivered meals, respite care or home care in their communities, who do they contact?

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, great question. And of course, Bill, you know, we have a network, nearly 20,000 providers across the country that do so much of the service delivery that we would consider to be “normal.” Some of how that service is delivered has of course been altered for safety sake. So, you know, again, while some of those partners at the community base level have been stretched to their limits and in some cases have shut down, you know, certainly we would have as suggestions to family members, various ways to navigate the coming days, weeks until things become a little more standardized in terms of operations. To be honest, Bill, we have to make sure, given the enhanced pressure on the family caregiver, that we don't see an enormous jump in caregiver burnout. Because then we're looking at a situation that has grown tremendously fragile, not just for the person who direly needs the care, but for the person providing the care.

BILL WALSH:  These folks are under so much stress, even in normal times and, as we know, these are not normal times. 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Absolutely. And you know, to answer your question directly, Bill, let me just remind your listeners in terms of accessing what network providers are out there. You know, every community is covered by an Area Agency on Aging, and we also have our Aging and Disability Resource Centers.

So a lot of that. Really candidly, most all of that can be found online at our Eldercare Locator. We certainly have specialized call centers, like the Alzheimer's Call Center, and also the National Respite Locator. And all of these are funded by us. And again, very, very simple resources for us to connect to those listeners who might need that help.

I can give the number in case a person has a pen handy. It's a pretty easy number to get hold of the Eldercare Locator. It's toll-free 1-800-677-1116, and again, that will connect them to their local resources. 

BILL WALSH:  Okay. Fantastic. Thank you. For those of you just joining our conversation, I'm Bill Walsh with AARP and we're speaking with Dr. Jay Butler, M.D., at the CDC and Lance Robertson at the Administration for Community Living.

We're also taking your questions live to ask a question at any time. Please press *3 to be connected to an AARP staff member to share your questions. And for the latest information resources about the global coronavirus pandemic. Visit aarp.org/coronavirus. Again, aarp.org/coronavirus. 

It's my pleasure right now to be joined today by my colleague, Jean Setzfand, AARP senior vice president of programs. Jean will be helping me lead our discussion today. Welcome, Jean. 

JEAN SETZFAND:  Thanks, Bill. Delighted to be here for this important tele-town hall. 

BILL WALSH:  Let's turn to some of our callers. Who is our first caller today?

JEAN SETZFAND:  I have Rose from Pennsylvania who has a question. 

BILL WALSH:  Okay. Hi, Rose. 

ROSE:  Thank you for taking my call. 

BILL WALSH:  All right. Go ahead with your question. 

ROSE:  Okay. Based on the COVID-19 attacking the respiratory system, if you're over 65 and you had the pneumococcal pneumonia shot, would that help if I got COVID-19, 

BILL WALSH:  Dr. Butler, that sounds like a good question for you. 

JAY BUTLER:  This is one of those questions that I often ask early on whenever we're considering how a new respiratory pathogen impacts the health of all of us. As you may be aware, we've encouraged people to get the influenza vaccine because there's a lot of influenza right now.

But that vaccine will not provide any protection against COVID-19. It may potentially result in some improvement if you're so unlucky as to have both viruses at once. Similarly, that might be true for the pneumococcus. The pneumococcus is bacteria that causes pneumonia. And COVID-19 is a virus. Pneumococcus is a bacterium. It is possible that some people who get severely ill with COVID-19 may develop a secondary bacterial pneumonia. So it's possible that the pneumococcal vaccine could provide some protection against that, but it will not provide any direct protection against COVID-19. Bottom line is, if you were in the age group or have one of the underlying conditions for which your health care provider would recommend the pneumococcal vaccine, it's important to get it.

BILL WALSH:  Okay. Thank you very much. All right, Jean, who is our next caller? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  Our next caller is Eleanor from North Carolina. 

BILL WALSH:  Hi, Eleanor. 

ELEANOR:  Hello, how are you? And thank you for having me. I wish to commend you for how this program is, just wonderful. My question is this, many seniors live in apartment complexes and the social distance thing that we, we speak of, often it seems a little difficult, more difficult in those apartment complexes. Therefore, I'm asking what would you recommend? And the second question is if senior citizens wish to move to another location, what is your recommendation for moving from one state to another? Can you give me some advice? 

BILL WALSH:  OK. All right. Thank you. Dr. Butler, do you want to take a shot at that? 

JAY BUTLER:  Sure. In fact, the the question strikes close to home for me because I actually own a home far away from Atlanta, actually in Anchorage, Alaska. But I have an apartment here in Atlanta because this is where I work and my, apartment complex actually has had people infected with COVID-19, and there's a significant number of people who are also quarantined after exposure. So I understand the question very well in terms of social distancing. Some of the same concepts, as much as possible, you want to minimize your exposure to other people and also practice hand hygiene, which I didn't mention much earlier.

I talked about respiratory droplets, but we also are concerned in particular, based on what we know about the other coronaviruses, that surfaces can become contaminated and potentially the virus could survive for at least for a period of minutes to hours. And so if your hands become contaminated, that can be another way that the virus can spread.

So it's very important if you're coming back into the apartment after running some trash to the chute or to the dumpster to wash your hands. And that means about 20 seconds with soap and water. I know that may seem like a long time, but it's very important to get those hands clean.

Well, 20 seconds can also be the amount of time it usually takes to get through the alphabet or to sing Happy Birthday twice. If you're prone to want to do a splash and dash type a of hand cleaning, this is probably the time to use one of those devices to help you slow down and wash your hands.

Another option is to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. And while those supplies are hard to get in some parts of the country right now, a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol is a suitable alternative to hand washing. 

BILL WALSH:  Oh, go ahead. I'm sorry. I was going to ask about the second part of her question. She seemed to be asking about moving out of an apartment complex. 

JAY BUTLER:  Yes. Yeah. Thanks, Bill. That was just what I was getting to. Right? So, in terms of the decision of whether or not to move to another location, it really depends on your situation and where you're moving to. While families can provide a lot of care, it's important to consider whether or not social distancing can be maintained wherever you're going. The other consideration is how you're going to get there. We do recommend that people who are at higher risk, those who are older people with underlying conditions, not travel by airplane if the travel can at all be delayed to a future time.

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you very much, Jean. Who's our next caller? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  We have a call from Joel from Oregon. 

BILL WALSH:  Hey Joel, are you on?

Hey Joel, go ahead with your question. 

JOEL:  Yeah, I'm a 74-year-old disabled veteran living by myself, and I have no outside source helping me get food, and the food bank that I go to has been closed for two weeks.

BILL WALSH:  OK. So it sounds, so it sounds like Joel was facing some real difficulty getting a local sources of food. Administrator Robertson, do you want to weigh in on that? 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Oh, absolutely, Joel, and thank you for your service, sir. And certainly, whether it's through HHS-funded services or the Department of Veterans Affairs, we want to make sure that we can meet your immediate needs.

As I mentioned previously, probably the quickest, most efficient way, to tie into available resources is through that Eldercare locator number. And I'm happy to repeat that number. And likewise, that can of course be found online as well, but it will connect you to the Area Agency on Aging that services your area there in Oregon.

And while their traditional meal delivery process has changed, meals in most parts of the country to our knowledge have not stopped getting to consumers. How they're packaged and bundled is different. How they're dropped off may be different, but certainly for us a top priority is to prevent food insecurity.

So that number is 1-800-677-1116. Again, 1-800-677-1116.

Thank you, Bill. 

BILL WALSH:  Okay. Thank you very much for that, Jean. Who is our next caller? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  Our next caller is Diane from California. 

BILL WALSH:  All right, Diane, welcome. What is your question? 

DIANE:  Hi, thank you for taking my call. 

My question is, I recently cared for some children, and I would like to know how long would it take for symptoms to appear if I became infected. These kids are active in the community and, um, I'm a senior and have been isolating in place except for that one time where I watched the children. And before I, you know, go out or do anything, I want to make sure that I didn't get an infected. 

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thanks for that. Dr. Butler, do you want to weigh in on that? 

JAY BUTLER:  I sure will. So Diane, you're asking about what in medicine we call the incubation period. In other words, how long between being exposed to an infectious agent before symptoms may appear? Very broadly for COVID-19, we believe it's anywhere from about two to 14 days.

But in situations where there's a very discrete exposure, the vast majority of those illnesses will occur about four to seven days after the exposure. We do recommend that if someone is self-quarantining, that is you've, you've had an exposure or your concern that you've been exposed and you want to prevent exposure to other people, that it’s extended for a period of up to 14 days after that last exposure.

BILL WALSH:  Doctor, you had mentioned earlier about the likelihood of exposure through airborne transmission. I'm wondering if that has caused CDC to change its advice around wearing masks. 

JAY BUTLER:  That’s a great question, Bill. And actually, let me just distinguish airborne transmission from respiratory droplets. That may sound very technical, but it's very important because when we say airborne transmission, we're talking about viruses that can actually remain suspended in the air and be transmitted over much longer distances under laboratory conditions.

This family of coronaviruses, we can make it do that, but in nature that does not appear to happen very often, if at all. Examples of an airborne infection are things like measles, where the virus can really spread throughout a room. We think for this virus, it's much more likely to be just within that spitting distance, if you will, of up to six feet. It's not to say the airborne transmission can't occur. The epidemiology suggests that it's not a common mode of spread. 

Now, getting to your question about masks. We do recommend that masks be worn by health care providers, particularly in certain instances. The type of mask that's used is very, pretty specific to this situation. But at the same time, CDC does not recommend that everybody wear a mask out in the community because the ones that work like surgical masks really don't filter the air and provide any protection. Also, there's not a lot of evidence that wearing masks in the community provides protection against respiratory viruses. The one exception to that is that if you contact your provider and have symptoms and are asked to come in, they may greet you at the parking lot with a surgical mask and ask you to put it on. That's actually to protect other patients and the health care provider.

So that's the instance where the function of the mask is not to filter the air, but actually to prevent any coughs or sneezes that may be hard to control from potentially contaminating the environment or spreading the infection to others. 

BILL WALSH:  All right. How about another call or a Jean? Who do we have.

JEAN SETZFAND:  We have Debra from New York. 

BILL WALSH:  Hi Debra. Go ahead with your question. 

DEBRA:  Okay. What kind of suggestions do you have for social distancing? So what kind of resources for how can we support our loved one while social distancing?

BILL WALSH:  Administrator Robertson. Did you hear that question? 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Hey, Bill, I do think I heard most of it and, and it's wonderful to hear from New York. I was listening to Governor Cuomo this morning, and again, the commitment they have there is very admirable to helping stamp out this disease. 

I think thethe way I would answer the second part of the question I understood clearly was more about just long-distance caregiving, and we do get a lot of questions about that now, regardless of the geography is, “Hey, how do you care for somebody that maybe you're not in the same physical proximity”? And you know, for us, again, we just offer the suggestion of more frequent and regular phone calls and video conversations. And you know, where you have permission, sometimes neighbors can help out. Of course, any of that would need to be done under the precautions prescribed by the CDC. And certainly, again, that Eldercare Locator is wonderful for identifying potential supports for loved ones in a particular location.And certainly the appropriate supports can be found there for yourself as well as a caregiver. And I think if Debra's question was more about caring for someone in the same household that obviously is best answered by Dr. Butler.

JAY BUTLER:  Thanks. And so following up on that question for care in the same household, I think that the important things are to minimize contact as much as possible, particularly with people who are symptomatic, but recognize that within households there is going to be exposure. It’s also important to clean surfaces at least once daily.

And when I talk about cleaning, disinfecting, it's not anything fancy. The vast majority of household disinfectants actually are proven to be able to inactivate this particular coronavirus as well as the entire coronavirus family. 

BILL WALSH:  And Administrator Robertson, one of the things I think Debra was getting at was hyperlocal resources. We're getting a lot of calls from people saying, How do I find out what's really right nearby in terms of food delivery, prescription drug delivery, things like this?

What advice do you have for people looking for a variety of resources close to home? 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, fair question, Bill. And you know, again, traditionally the Eldercare Locator is the repository for most of that. I think, though, that during this very unprecedented time, we want to acknowledge that, you know, local communities are doing some very exceptional work.

For instance, I know, again, referencing New York, you have police officers now delivering meals and for some of that, the latest and greatest, you know, you might of course, call your local health department. Any of the social service agencies that we would put you in touch with, though our hope, our expectation would be that they too are keeping a pulse on what's happening, as the picture sort of continues to evolve day by day when it comes to social services.

So again, that local Area Agency on Aging, which can be found through the Eldercare Locator, is still going to be the source we would point to relative to most all services that are happening. You know, the other acknowledgement, I think the faith-based community is really stepping up. So you can have a lot of churches in local areas that are doing some pretty exceptional work.

But again, our hope is to keep a good pulse on that as your social service provider lead. And again, that Eldercare Locator is an excellent resource. 

BILL WALSH:  And you want to give us that contact information again for the Eldercare Locator? 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, absolutely. Let me also give you the website, which is simple. The website is simply eldercare.acl.gov. The phone number's toll-free 1-800-677-1116. Thanks so much, Bill, for helping us push that resource out because as the days and weeks go along, I think we're going to see a pivot within our society where people are going to now become more interested in sustaining needed services.

We're all getting a great message from our CDC friends about how to take precautions and the quarantine. But I think the day will come when people are ready to find out, hey, where's my next meal coming from? 

BILL WALSH:  OK, we've been talking a lot about preparation and prevention. I'd like to pivot to another dimension of the coronavirus outbreak, and that is fraud and scams.

I’d like to bring back my cohost, Jean Setzfand, senior vice president for programs here at AARP, to discuss that. Jean, you want to take it away? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  Sure. Thanks so much, Bill. Hi, everybody. Again, this is a team that's from AARP, and again, we're taking questions about coronavirus with the CDC as well as the Administration for Community Living.

They're both hanging on the line to answer your questions, but as Bill said, we're going to shift gears just slightly to talk a little bit about staying safe from scams as well as frauds during this crisis. But as a reminder, you can also ask a question by pressing *3 on your telephone pad.

So let me welcome Daniel Kaufman to the conversation. Daniel is deputy director for the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection. The bureau works to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices; also assist in overseeing all bureau matters involving privacy, data security, and advertising and marketing practices.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Daniel. 

DANIEL KAUFMAN:  I'm really glad to be here today and I apologize. The honking is in my neighborhood. I'm not used to working from home, but fortunately I think the car honking has stopped.

JEAN SETZFAND:  Very good. We are social-distance practicing in our event today, so thanks so much for that.

So Daniel, unfortunately, fraud never takes a holiday and it seems to be particularly present in this time in times like this. I understand the FTC has already taken action to stop companies from selling products that claim to treat or prevent the coronavirus. Can you tell us a little bit more about this?

DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Sure. You know, it's interesting at the outset, during difficult times there are so many people doing wonderful things that demonstrate compassion, humanity and caring. I'm not going to get to talk about any of that, unfortunately, instead at the FTC we are focusing on companies and individuals that are out there trying to prey on consumers during difficult times.

One of the first things we did was, in early March, we did this along with the FDA. We sent out warning letters to seven different companies that were touting a variety of products that they claimed would treat or prevent the coronavirus. They were selling cheese, essential oils, colloidal silver.Now these are mostly companies and names that we're probably not familiar with, but one of the recipients was the Jim Baker show. You know, from the FTC’s perspective, this is false advertising; from the FDA's, these are unapproved and misbranded products. I'm happy to report, in these times we found warning letters to be a very effective tool.

And the companies that issue these have changed their claims. They're not making these claims anymore but we continue to monitor what they're doing and we are looking for other deceptive coronavirus claims that are out there. You know, this is a really important public health matter and we want to remind consumers that to the extent that there are treatments that are developed, you're not going to hear about it at the outset from obscure websites that are selling products. 

So if you come across these, you know, we want to hear about them at the FTC, you can report these scams at ftc.gov/complaint. 

JEAN SETZFAND:  That's terrific. So in addition to taking care of our health, we should also be vigilant about protecting ourselves from the bad actors right now.

So it’s important for you to kind of remind us that we should report what other fraud activities the FTC is warning consumers about. And again, if you can tell us about where we can go to learn more about that and more importantly to report a suspected fraud, tell us more about that.

DANIEL KAUFMAN:  So from a higher level, I've been at the FTC for about 21 years now, and we have seen time and again, when there is a health crisis or a health emergency you will see unscrupulous marketers taking advantage of consumer fears and selling sham treatments. So we saw it with anthrax, with Zika, Ebola.

That will happen time and again, and I will give you some website information at the FTC if you want to go to our website and get more information about scams to look for. You can go to ftc.gov/coronavirus or just go to ftc.gov; you will see a very prominent link for coronavirus scams. If you want to receive consumer alerts directly from the FTC, you can go to ftc.gov/subscribe. We have a wonderful office, division that does nothing but consumer education and outreach, and they are doing the best they can to keep abreast of all the scams that are out there. 

But let me tell you a little bit about some of the other kinds of scams that we are seeing. Phishing emails: We are seeing a lot of bogus emails that are going out to consumers, that use headers about coronavirus to get people to open them. You know, these are fake emails that are purporting to come from legitimate and important organizations like the World Health Organization or the CDC. 

So we're reminding consumers: Don't click on links when you get those emails. Don't open those emails. They will download viruses or harmful software onto your computer, or they will try to get your private information or credit card information.

Another thing we are seeing is charity scams. You know, this is a difficult time and we all want to help. But we want to make sure we're helping charities and not scammers who are pretending to be charities. So do your homework. If you are getting charity solicitations, don't feel pressured to give.

You can hang up, go online and give to the charities you are comfortable with. You can do your homework and make sure you are giving to a charity that you're comfortable with. And we also have information about that at ftc.gov/charity. There are a lot of scam artists using lookalike names, so you have to be very wary of that. We want generous consumers to be giving to the right organizations. 

You know, another thing we are seeing is a steady onset of more and more robocalls that are touting a wide variety of coronavirus issues. Now, it's sort of interesting. I'm working from home now and I'm getting phone calls all day for my colleagues. And I'm answering phone calls I usually don't answer. And we know a lot of consumers are going through this, so I'm being exposed to far more robocalls than I usually get. And the message is just hang up. Keep in mind that anyone who's robocalling you, if they're trying to sell you a product, they're already doing something that's unlawful.

So they're probably trying to sell you something. 

Other things we're seeing, and I wish the list didn't go so long, but we know that there are always going to be scam artists trying to prey on consumers during these difficult times. We're seeing undelivered goods. There's a high demand for a lot of different products right now, whether it's cleaning supplies or masks, and it's pretty easy to set up a website that's purporting to provide, to sell these kinds of products. And they're taking consumers’ payment information but not delivering. So again, you want to be careful who you're doing business with.

And you also want to pay by credit card. You know, one of our recurring tips at the FTC is you should not be paying through wire transfer or through gift cards or things like that. That's a sure sign that something is afoot. We're seeing online offers for vaccinations. 

And finally, one of the things I do want to say, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been warning consumers about stock scams. You see, fraudsters are out there touting that a certain company's stock is going to explode because they have products that can treat coronavirus. So the prices are going up, the hype grows. The fraud artists are selling, and then everyone else is left with basically a defunct stock. 

So that's sort of the range of scams we’re seeing, but we’re putting a lot of information on our website, ftc.gov, to keep consumers abreast of, of what we are seeing.

JEAN SETZFAND:  That's really helpful. Daniel. Unfortunately, we're fighting against the virus as well as trying to stay vigilant against the scams and fraudsters. And interestingly enough, you talked about sort of this wide range of different scams that are out there and that at AARP we actually talk a lot about the first step of a successful scam is to actually get the target, the victim, into a heightened emotional state. I believe that’s also called “getting under the ether.” So scam marketers are taking advantage of our fears right now. So what should we do to also look out for some of these tactics in addition to this wide range of different types of scams?

DANIEL KAUFMAN:  You know, so many of us are right now in that heightened emotional state. It doesn't take much to get us there. I just turn on the news. So, I mean, I think an important thing to keep in mind is when you are presented with the sense of urgency, you know, buy this now, don't do it. Talk to somebody you know, and trust and talk about, does this make sense that this, talking to other people, we found that incredibly effective issue.

You know, one other thing we've been warning consumers about, we've heard a lot about Congress talking and the president talking about potentially sending money to American consumers, whether it's $1,000 or more, you know, that's up to Congress, not the FTC. But we know that when that happens, scam artists will be there trying to get some money as well. So that's also something to look for, that we're providing information on our website and to the consumers that looking down the road, we anticipate these other kinds of scams that are going to prey on, on benefits that are out there. So unfortunately the scam artists are very creative and they will be doing everything they can to separate people from their hard-earned money.

JEAN SETZFAND:  Very good. So very helpful. Thank you so much. We’re going to actually take some live calls. We have lots of calls coming in through a phone lines as well as online through our YouTube and Facebook. So, Bill, let me bring you back to the conversation to get some questions up and running. 

BILL WALSH:  Very good. Thank you very much. We've seen so many acts of compassion in the face of this, the coronavirus. It's infuriating to hear some of the scams that are out there from Daniel. He gave some good tips about how to be vigilant and be on the lookout. We're taking your questions today about coronavirus with key leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Trade Commission and the Administration for Community Living.

You can ask your question by pressing *3 on your telephone. Jean, who do we have in the question queue? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  I'm actually going to take a question from our Facebook. It seems like there's a lot of questions around the virus and the environment right now, asking about when temperatures change, does that actually affect the virus? Does that mean things are going to get better. 

JAY BUTLER:  So there's been a lot of questions raised about whether or not this respiratory virus will behave like so many others do and become less common during the summer months. We see that every year with flu and we see that with rhinovirus, the cause of the common cold. Of course, currently we're talking about a virus. That we didn't even know it existed three months ago. And some of the genetic analysis suggests that it is truly a new virus, although related to the SARS virus and some other coronaviruses. 

So at this point in time we really don't know what will happen as the weather warms. I wouldn't want to promise you that it's going to decline as the weather warm. In general, we should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. So I think that's going to be a question. It's going to be very hard to answer until we actually start getting into April and May and see whether or not the incidents decline.

If we look at the experience in the 2009 influenza pandemic, of course, that was a virus that first, appeared here in North America and caused a lot of infection during April and May. But as the weather warmed, it became less common, but then it returned in the fall. So there's certainly that pattern, the pattern that could occur. But we really don't know at this time how COVID-19 will behave.

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you, doctor. Jean, who's up next?

JEAN SETZFAND:  All right. We have a question from Facebook about scams: I'm worried about my parents who are isolated in their house right now. How do I protect them?

DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Yeah, please talk to them. There is nothing more helpful. Just having the conversation and reminding them that if they get phone calls out of the blue, they are scam artists. They should just hang up. Make sure you're talking to them about these issues that, you know, these are difficult times and people will try to take advantage of them. It is really essential to have that conversation. In our experience, when you have that conversation, it does change things quite significantly in terms of the impact on consumers and whether they're likely to become victims. Also, if they have an email account, please sign them up at ftc.gov/subscribe; there's a lot of great information we're providing to consumers that can be very helpful as well. 

BILL WALSH:  Thank you for that. And I want to mention that AARP also has a Fraud Watch Network helpline staffed with agents. So who can take your call? That number is [877] 908-3360.

 Jean, who do we have up next?

JEAN SETZFAND:  We have a caller, Helen from Michigan. 

BILL WALSH:  Hi, Helen, what's your question? 

HELEN:  My question is twofold. One is I have to go out to drive-through, whether it's a restaurant or a fast food place. And then the other thing as far as risk for older people, if you had a heart attack, put a stent in 2015, years ago, no problem, high blood pressure that's under control with medication, are you still considered at risk with the health issues. 

BILL WALSH:  Okay. Helen, thank you. Dr. Butler, that sounds like a question for you. 

JAY BUTLER:  Helen, I don't know if you were listening earlier, we talked a little earlier about what does safe mean?

I think the best way to think of it is, it's safest if you're able to stay in for a period of time, but we recognize that everybody has important reasons that they may need to go out. So going to the drive-through is safer than going into a restaurant where there'll be a lot of people and a longer period of potential exposure to others. So if it's between going through the drive-through as opposed to going into the restaurant, it's safer to go into the drive-through. 

Regarding the at-risk, it's important to recognize that there's no magic switch that's thrown to put somebody at higher risk. But in general, the older you are, the higher the risk and the more severe the heart disease, the higher the risk. At this point in time, we don't have a lot of visibility on specific types of heart disease, but I think the situation that would be most concerning is when you actually have congestive heart failure. That appears to be a condition that is particularly likely to impose a higher risk of severe illness.

BILL WALSH:  Thank you. For the latest information and resources about the coronavirus, Visit aarp.org/coronavirus. Jean, who's up next? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  We have Mary from Illinois. 

BILL WALSH:  Hey Mary, what is your question? 

MARY:  My first question is, my mom lives in a senior living center and I want to mail her a package. But I'm wondering, I heard that the virus can live on. And the second question, real quick, is I heard that after you had the coronavirus and you recovered, you can still be a carrier to other people for a certain amount of time. And I want to know if that is true.

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you. Dr. Butler, do you want to address that one? 

JAY BUTLER:  I sure do. Hi, Mary, and thank you. Those are two very good questions. Earlier we were talking about the survival of the virus on surfaces. And there's two ways that we assess that. One is under optimal laboratory conditions. The other is what happens in real life and what we can discern from the transmission of the virus over the past three months. The likelihood of transmission through the mail is extremely low. We know that there's a lot of mail, a lot of products that come out of China and were coming out of China early in the course of the epidemic. If mail were one of the primary ways that the infection spread, we would have seen more, incidents of the infection popping up in remote parts of the world.

Instead, what we saw was infection spread primarily among travelers who had been in Wuhan, China, or in other parts of China where the disease was spreading, and then came out of China during the vacation period before they got sick and then got ill when they got home. And then if there was further transmission at home, it was primarily at home to people that they lived with.

So the predominance of the evidence is that respiratory droplets are the most important way for it to spread. So in thinking about what's important to somebody who's in the nursing home, I think mail is entirely appropriate. Well, we talk about social distancing. It's very important that we don't create social isolation. So receiving a card or a package can mean a lot to someone who's in an assisted living center. And you know, I think a number of people on the line remember 2001. And this is not anthrax. So, it's a virus that is primarily spread through the respiratory droplets.

In terms of recovery, that's a very important question, to us scientifically. What we know about other coronaviruses is that there is some period of immunity after an infection but it may not be lifelong. So it is possible for someone to become ill again with the infection, but we don't know for the COVID-19. It seems very unlikely that someone would recover and then get sick again after a period of only a few weeks in terms of ability to transmit the infection after a recovery. We do have data regarding how often virus is recovered from patients. In general. It appears that most people, once they are more than a week after onset plus three days after symptoms have resolved, are very, very unlikely to be infectious. The one exception to that would be people who are on immunocompromising drugs. And while we don't have a lot of data on that, that's something that we also see in influenza. So, for instance, someone usually in a hospital situation where they're on a very powerful immunosuppressing drugs, we would be much more careful in terms of the possibility of a continued shedding of the virus after recovery from infection. 

BILL WALSH:  Who do we have up next?

JEAN SETZFAND:  Our next caller is Lucy up from New York.

BILL WALSH:  Hi, Lucy. What's your question? 

LUCY:  Hello? Hi. Can you hear me? Pretty good? 

BILL WALSH:  We sure can. Go ahead. 

LUCY:  Thank you. Thanks for your time. What a wonderful conference. I have a question about any special precautions we have to take for our volunteers who happen to be older people delivering meals visiting other older adults in home, as service providers, what special precautions can we take? I don't know if it's masks or special gear. We’re kind of trying to figure out and find good information about people who visit other older people in the home to deliver services. 

BILL WALSH:  Administrator Robertson, do you want to start there? And maybe Dr. Butler can chime in as well. 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Absolutely. Bill. Yeah. We do know, of course, with the shortage of personal protection equipment at present, a lot of our service delivery providers have had to look at alternatives for delivery that without PPE still makes the transaction safe. So again, in some instances they're actually bundling multiple days’ worth of meals, making that single delivery and making sure that when the pass-off occurs that people have been properly wearing gloves, et cetera, but that product is placed in a safe position or place for the resident to get it and utilize it. So, again, at this point, I think for us, we continue to look to our friends at CDC for guidance on what is that balance between making sure services can continue, to be provided to vulnerable Americans, but at the same time not enhance the amount of exposure.

So hopefully that helps with those questions.

BILL WALSH:  Dr. Butler, did you want to weigh in on that at all? 

JAY BUTLER:  Yeah, I sure do. First of all, I fully agree with what was just said. 

There's three things that I would want to highlight. One is to minimize contact between the support personnel and the client receiving services. So, examples of that is just what you heard, being able to pass off a whatever is being delivered, be it food or whatever. It might be even a matter of placing that at the door and given a quick call to let people know it's delivered, or just opening the door and passing it in. The goal is to minimize contact as much as possible.

The two other things that are important is hand hygiene, and that's going to be protective for both the person who's delivering service and the person who is receiving it. As we discussed earlier, when we talk about hand hygiene, that means washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or longer or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. For people who are out making deliveries, the hand sanitizer really can be the best option. 

And finally, and maybe most importantly, is to make sure that support people delivering services are not working when they're sick. I think we all probably try to tough it out if we think we have some sort of respiratory infection and we think it's fairly mild but this is not the time to do that. Even though the likelihood of it being COVID-19 may be low in some parts of the country, it's still best at this time to take special precautions. If you're sick, please stay home. 

BILL WALSH:  Okay. Well, we were just talking about deliveries in the precautions people should take. We're getting a number of questions from folks about, just going to the doctor's office. So many people over the age of 50 have a chronic illness. Many of them have multiple chronic illnesses with standing doctor's appointments on the books. What should they do?

JAY BUTLER:  Well, I think it's important to recognize, as has been stated earlier, these are not normal times. So it really does call for flexibility, recognizing that if you have a routine doctor's visit scheduled or if you have elective surgery, you may very well be contacted that it needs to be rescheduled and that is for all of our own good as well as for support of the health care system that may become very stressed if there's a big increase in the number of people who are sick with COVID-19.

There's also been work with the insurance industry as well as Medicare and Medicaid to be able to loosen up some of the rules to be able to allow earlier refills so that people have better supplies of their prescription medication at home. So these are parts of how we adapt to these unusual times.

And recognizing that people who have chronic illnesses, those will persist and we have to make sure that care is delivered. 

BILL WALSH:  Okay. Jean, let's take another caller. Who do we have in the line? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  I actually have a question coming from YouTube.

The person is asking, how do I avoid scams? I have an elderly mom with me. And more importantly, if I am scammed, what are the actions? What actions should I take? 

BILL WALSH:  Daniel Kaufman, you want to take that. 

DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Oh yeah, absolutely. The first step: Go to ftc.gov/coronavirus or just ftc.gov and look for the link on coronavirus scams for lots of helpful information on the kinds of scams that are out there, how to avoid them. But you raised a really good question of what happens when you have fallen victim to scams. And we have also on the FTC website a lot of different information, and I can't go into all of it right now because sometimes it does depend. Was it through a credit card? Was it a wire transfer? Was it a prepaid credit card? But all of that information is available on the FTC website, at consumer.ftc.gov. Lots of helpful information to contact your credit company immediately to try to get a charge back. If it's a credit card. And finally, to report it, please go to ftc.gov/complaint so we can also provide helpful information to you as well. So it's ftc.gov/complaint and for more general consumer tips on what to do and when you're scammed, go to consumer.ftc.gov. We've got a wealth of helpful information there depending upon what the scam was and what payment mechanism you use. 

BILL WALSH:  Okay. I heard you say earlier a use a credit card if that's possible, because that gives you some recourse, seems like a really good piece of advice.

DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Yeah. We see a lot of scam artists trying to use gift cards. As soon as someone says send money via a gift card, don't do it. 

BILL WALSH:  Got it. Administrator Robertson, how should older Americans who may be grandparents raising grandchildren help educate younger people in their homes about the importance of social distancing?

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, absolutely, Bill. And I have to quickly acknowledge I was raised by my grandparents. So certainly a sensitive question for me. As we know, so many grandparents across this country are in a position of raising younger people. And you know, during this time, of course, presuming that the question focuses primarily on people under 18, we won't touch the whole, everybody partying on the beach during spring break. But for younger people, certainly, you know, we have a number of things we would suggest. You know, it's important to communicate and to have those family discussions. Try to have them in a comfortable place and, you know, encourage those family members to ask questions. And you know, sometimes you have to have a separate discussion with younger children. I think the main thing of course is to be calm and reassuring. You know, children are going to pick up on what you say, yes, but probably even more how you say it will influence them, how they feel in their anxieties. 

You know, we want to avoid language that blames others and leads to any sort of stigmatization and pay attention to what children also are seeing and hearing on the media. While lots of it are certainly good resources. We have to be careful, sometimes even the volume of good information needs to be reduced because being so focused on one topic inevitably creates more anxiety. I'll also say that the CDC has a good resource on their website, on talking with kids. They have tips on there as well. We also encourage people just to be honest and accurate.

You know, kids are going to hear a lot of different things and it's important that they trust you as a primary source. I think grandparents often just relationally have that trust. So you want to make sure that you're continuing to be honest and accurate. You know, talk to children about how, some of the stories that they're going to hear are going to be inaccurate. Rumors are not to be believed, et cetera. And I think that it's important as has been stressed by Dr. Butler and others that you teach the children about how important those everyday actions are to help reduce the spread of germs to stay away from people and other kids that are coughing and sneezing or sick, and what to do if they're going to cough and sneeze. You know, here's a tissue or their elbow, and you know, discuss any new actions that the schools are planning to take for those that remain in school or in daycare environments. We also, of course, stress hand washing, which I think is that common message we're all really trying to focus on.

So again, I think those are some things we'd recommend, Bill. 

BILL WALSH:  Yeah. Well, that's great advice. And you know, I think you're right, grandparents often have more credibility than parents. As a parent myself, I know that to be a fact. It's strange, I mean, how that message has gotten out there, that, yes, I mean we know that older people and those with chronic health conditions are more susceptible to this virus. But they're not the only ones susceptible. I mean, there’s a reason so many schools are being shut down, 

JAY BUTLER:  Right. Absolutely. 

BILL WALSH:  OK. Jean, let's start. Let's go back to our callers. Who do we have in the line? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  We have Steve from Nevada. 

BILL WALSH:  Hey, Steve, what's your question? 

STEVE:  Hi. This is productive. Dr. Butler, it's two questions concerning diabetes. OK. So the first question is, I am an insulin diabetic. I'm turning 76 years old in May. All right. And I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, but the doctor put me on insulin and I have been on insulin over 30 years. That's number one. Number two, should I be tested, in Nevada. I have no symptom, just on the fact that I'm a diabetic. Are there any statistics? Does the CDC have any statistics on how many people with diabetes are getting coronavirus? 

BILL WALSH:  OK. Two questions are about diabetes. Dr. Butler. 

JAY BUTLER:  Yeah. Thanks, Steve. Those are great questions. And first of all, I've just got to say, congratulations on 30 years of managing your diabetes it sounds like relatively well. The question about testing, the short answer: We do recommend that people without symptoms not be tested because it's not clear that if the test were to return positive it will provide any useful information. And even more importantly, we don't want to, create any false sense of security. If a test comes back negative it doesn't mean that you don't have to continue to take the steps that you're already taking, such as a social distancing.

Regarding statistics on how many diabetics become infected, the numbers are still coming together. I'm sure you're aware, this is only been fairly common in the United States for about two weeks now. What I can say is that it does appear that people with diabetes may be at higher risk of getting sicker and being hospitalized, which is pretty much identical to what was reported from China as well.

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you very much. Um, Jean, who else do we have in the queue? 

JEAN SETZFAND:  I have Terry from Iowa. 

BILL WALSH:  Hey, Terry. What’s your question? 

TERRY:  Well, it's kind of a hard question, I guess. I have a loved one in a nursing home and they are on their deathbed and nobody wants their loved ones to die alone. How do we go about making them understand that we would like to be with our parent that is in that condition?

BILL WALSH:  Thank you so much, Terry. Administrator Robertson, do you want to take that one on? 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Wow, Terry. Yeah, that's a tough one. I have no easy answer, unfortunately, because striking the right balance between, again, being there for the end-of-life moments with a loved one, but not spreading or being susceptible to falling ill yourself because of those visits. That's going to make it difficult. Certainly we would ask that first and foremost you're going to want to work with the facility and make sure that there is an appreciation for what the facility is trying to do.

Now we do understand, and I'll make this note for Terry, you know, we do understand that. The current guidance that has been provided by our peer agency, CMS, does permit palliative visits. According to the guidance provided just recently out of CMS, they should permit a visitation. And of course we would highly encourage it. Um, certainly Dr. Butler would stress that, you know, all proper precautions are taken, but I'm hopefully that answers Terry's question. 

BILL WALSH:  So, um, let me just follow up on that. If she's having difficulty getting into the facility because of the restrictions, what should she do?

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, fair question. And we would ask that you just immediately reach out to the ombudsman, who can be found through the Eldercare Locator. We have ombudsmen that cover every nursing facility in America. So that nursing home ombudsman can, on behalf of the resident, try to reach a resolution with the facility.

BILL WALSH:  Would you mind just giving that website and phone number again? 

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Absolutely: eldercare.acl.gov. The phone number is 1-800-677-1116 and again, Bill, that should put Terry and anyone else that's in that type of situation in contact with the ombudsman. Again, their primary role is to create resolution of issues and they certainly will jump all over this one.

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you so much. And Terry, we'll be thinking about you. So many people are seeing their lives up-ended at this time and facing things they never imagined they would. So we are coming to the end of our tele-town hall. 

Any closing thoughts or recommendations about what AARP members should understand most from our conversation today, doctor? About where do you want to go first? 

JAY BUTLER:  Sure. Thank you for the invitation to be with you today, and I want to thank everybody for joining us, especially those who are called in with questions.

And I hope the discussion has been helpful. As we've said a couple of times, these are very unusual times. While many of us in public health and in emergency response have gone through exercises and certainly have responded to earlier major epidemics, this one is unique and we live in unusual times.

So I think more than anything, uh, we have to maintain hope and know that we are going to come through this. There will be another side of this. But for the next period of weeks to months, these are going to be very unusual times. So we really have to all stand together, I would say hand in hand, but that would violate social distancing.

So let's all spend time together—at least six feet apart. And let me also close by thanking AARP for doing this virtually. Here in the, the room in Atlanta, we're all sitting at least six feet apart. And of course the virus can’t travel through the phone lines. So, thank you for hosting this event. 

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you for being on. Deputy Director Kaufman from the Federal Trade Commission. 

DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Yeah. Just want to make a few quick points and just reiterate some of what I've said. It is really important if you're looking to avoid scams and talk to friends and family about it, and keep in mind there's a myth that it is mostly older people who fall victim to two scans. It's just not true. Young and old, they're all vulnerable to scams at times. So please expand your population of who you talk to. 

Please report scams to ftc.gov/complaint. If you feel at all as passionate about it as I do, we have a lot of staff really eager to do everything we can to help consumers during this time.

And finally, if you want more information about scams and what to look for and what to be careful of: ftc.gov/coronavirus. And we also really appreciate the AARP putting this together. 

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you for being here. And administrator Robertson from the Administration for Community Living. Any closing thoughts?

LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, I would say I'm confident that we're going to get through this. And I think in large part it's going to be because of the personal commitment, tenacity, and flexibility of everyone on this call. And thanks so much, AARP, for having this call.

I would just again stress that when it comes to community-based services, which are so imperative as we pivot from this initial reaction to the virus into a more sustained cadence of, you know, the next days and weeks: How do we make sure folks are cared for? All of our services remain intact. Now, again, how some are delivered will vary. But, again, our commitment level remains very high. 

I might ask one thing in closing though. Bill, you know, AARP is known for just a tremendous, tremendous posture of encouraging volunteerism. And what I can also say is that our network, I think could really use an infusion of volunteers. So for those listening, I would just really encourage you in connecting through our network and through our faith-based partners. There are so many opportunities for folks to volunteer and to do so in a wide variety of, of ways that could, balance the comfort that you need to have in volunteering, but also help meet the needs of so many Americans during this time that we'll need that help.

Thank you. 

BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you for that and thanks to each of you for answering our questions. This has been a really informative discussion and thank you, AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in this discussion. If your question was not addressed, please go to aarp.org/coronavirus. 

AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years.

In the face of this crisis, AARP is providing information and, resources to help older people and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and prevent it from spreading to others. All of the resources referenced in today's tele-town hall, including a recording of today's Q&A can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus.

That’s aarp.org/coronavirus. 

That recording should be available tomorrow for everyone to hear and download and to share. 

On our website, you'll find the latest updates as well as information tailored for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something new about the coronavirus to keep you and your loved ones healthy.

Please be sure to tune in to our next AARP tele-town hall on March 26 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

Coronavirus Tele-Towh Hall, Thursday, March 19, 2020

BILL WALSH:  Hello. I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. Today we will discuss with leading experts how you can stay healthy and stay informed, and we'll address your questions. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years.

[00:00:25] In the face of the global coronavirus epidemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them to protect themselves from the virus and prevent its spread to others. We will ask experts about the latest changes to address the health impacts related to coronavirus, family caregiving needs, and what you can do to stay safe from scams and fraud during these turbulent times.

[00:00:51] This is your opportunity to learn, ask questions and get answers from the leading experts. If you participated in one of our tele-town halls before, you know this is similar to a radio talk show where you had the opportunity to ask questions live. If you'd like to ask a question about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask that question live.

[00:01:23] To ask your question, please press *3. Before we begin our conversation, we need to hear from you. Please take a moment to tell us what is your greatest need for information about coronavirus right now. Press 1 on your telephone keypad if you most want to hear about preparation and prevention. Press 2 if you most want to hear about Medicare and insurance coverage, press 3 if you most want to hear about local resources and press 4 if you want to hear about supporting loved ones, including family and friends. What is your greatest need for information right now? Press 1 for preparation and prevention, 2 for Medicare and insurance coverage, 3 for local resources and 4 for support of loved ones. 

[00:02:12] Hello, if you're just joining, I am Bill Walsh with AARP and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. We are talking with leading experts and taking your questions live. To ask your question, please press *3. 

[00:02:28] Joining us today is Dr. Jay Butler, M.D., the deputy director for infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. Also with us is Lance Robertson, the assistant secretary for aging and administrator of the Administration for Community Living, ACL. And we have Daniel Kaufman, the deputy director for the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection. 

[00:02:59] AARP is convening this tele-town hall to supply information about the coronavirus to help keep you and your family healthy and safe. While we see an important role for AARP and providing information advocacy related to the virus, you should be aware that the best source of health and medical information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can be reached at cdc.gov/coronavirus. 

[00:03:24] This event is being recorded, and you can access the recording on aarp.org/coronavirus 24 hours after the event. 

[00:03:35] First, we are joined today by Dry Jay Butler, M.D., deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC. He provides leadership for the CDCs’ three infectious disease national centers, and helps to advance the agency's cross-cutting infectious disease priorities.

[00:03:52] Thank you for joining us today, Dr. Butler. 

[00:03:56]JAY BUTLER:  Good afternoon or good morning everyone. 

[00:03:59]BILL WALSH:  Thank you so much for joining us. Let's jump right in. There's a lot of new information coming out and new clarity as preparation and prevention becomes our new normal. Tell us what are we doing right and where do we need to improve our response to the coronavirus.

[00:04:13]JAY BUTLER:  Well, I think one of the things that we're doing right is we're taking the threat seriously. This is a virus that we didn't even know existed only three months ago. So it's pretty remarkable to think about the progress that has been made in terms of some of the, understanding of this disease and the virus itself, steps that have been taken to slow its spread. And it's quite a change. I mean, this is going to be something that people will be telling their grandkids, our grandkids will be telling their grandkids about down the road. 

[00:04:49] The progress of the virus in spreading globally has mirrored what we have seen in influenza pandemics in the past—although it's important to stress that this coronavirus is not influenza, but it is something that really is involving all parts of the world right now. Europe is most heavily impacted, but here in the United States we're definitely on the upswing as well. 

[00:05:16] And one of the reasons why I'm so pleased to be able to talk to you today and to think about what’s the approach to the virus and the importance of taking it seriously. As we've learned more about COVID-19, it's very clear that most people who become infected do recover and do very well. But unfortunately, some get very sick. And some even die. And the risk of more severe illness is greatest for those who are older and for persons with underlying health conditions, especially chronic heart, lung or kidney disease, and those with diabetes. 

[00:05:55] The current interventions represent a transition from the early phase, which really focused on containment. That is, how do we slow the entry of the virus into the country? Recognizing very early on that it would probably be impossible for it to never enter the country, to now one that it's here, of mitigation. What are the steps we take to slow the spread and to distribute the impact of the pandemic over as long a period as possible so that infrastructure can be maintained—in particular, so that our health care system is not overwhelmed by the burden of people who are becoming sick with the infection?

[00:06:38] So these are parts of the response that I think we can dig into some more details on. I know right now there's a lot of controversy. Do we need to be doing all the things that we're doing, particularly surrounding social distancing, which we can talk more about in the future. 

[00:06:58] But right now there's many unknowns.

[00:07:01] And so I think what, what we're doing is a way to be able to, in a sense, take a pause or call a time-out and be able to assess just what the impact of the pandemic is going to be on our country and to be able to sort out what is the best way to, to slow that spread. 

[00:07:19] If you'll forgive an analogy, maybe it's a little bit like coming out to your car on a very cold morning or, uh, out to your car if you live in the South when the sun's been beating down on it. You put the heat or the air conditioner on high until you know what the situation is going to be and how you can adjust to the climatic conditions inside your car, and then you dial things back as needed. So I think in many ways, we're trying to take very important and major steps, trying to hit the right balance between how do we achieve social distancing, but minimize social isolation and the impact on things that are also health related, like the economy and access to food, our interactions with our loved ones, which are important to our mental health. All of these things go into these important decisions that where we have to look at what are the costs and also what are the benefits.

[00:08:22]BILL WALSH:  I think people are already feeling the heat. What do people need to do to improve our response and what does the government need to do to improve our response to coronavirus? 

[00:08:31]JAY BUTLER:  Well, I think the most important thing for individuals to do to improve the response, one is to stay informed.

[00:08:41] I appreciate your reference to the CDC website, cdc.gov/covid19. There's also very good resources that are available at your state or local public health department website. The Johns Hopkins University also has a very good website that provides a lot of broad-based information, as does the World Health Organization, the WHO.

[00:09:11] And then look at what, how best you can invest, adapt in your own life, particularly for older persons, those with underlying illnesses. This is a good time to realize that you need to take steps to help stay safe and also to slow the spread of the infection. While you may not be at risk of more serious disease, it is possible that you could be a contributor to spread. So some of the steps that have been taken to minimize exposure to one another are very important. 

[00:09:48]BILL WALSH:  Well let me actually pick up on that point right there, doctor. We've seen a number of news reports of late where grocery stores are designating special hours for older people to shop. What's the CDC’s point of view on that given your admonition for people to practice social distancing. 

[00:10:07]JAY BUTLER:  Yeah. So there's no official position on that. But I think that's a good example of showing how businesses are adapting to sort of following that model of the costs and the benefits while we want people to be able to minimize their interactions in the public and with one another as much as possible, people need to eat.

[00:10:30] And if you're running out of food or are running low on any supplies, and particularly if you don't have access to someone who can make that run to the grocery store for you or have delivery services available, moves like this are a way to spread out the number of people in the store at any given time. So it's a way to provide services while also supporting the concepts of social distance. 

[00:10:56]BILL WALSH:  Is it safe for an older person to go the supermarket even during those designated hours? 

[00:11:03]JAY BUTLER:  The word safe is interesting because there's very few things, maybe nothing, that's a hundred percent safe.

[00:11:09] So is it as safe as staying in your home and not being in contact with others? Probably not. Is it as safe compared to potentially running out of food and getting into nutritional problems? Well, there's two costs and risks involved there. Which is safer? I really can't answer that question. So you know, there's nothing that is all safe or all risky. It's maybe not as good as being able to stay socially distanced, but it's also a very good option if being able to keep provisions in your home is becoming a challenge, 

[00:11:49]BILL WALSH:  We've also been seeing a lot about food delivery services, prescription delivery services. We, we think that might be a good middle ground for people if those services are available in their area.

[00:12:02] For those of you just joining our conversation, I'm Bill Walsh with AARP and we're speaking today with leading experts about the coronavirus. We're also taking your questions live. To ask a question at any time, please press *3. 

[00:12:16] Doctor, you know we've heard there's been a lot of discussion about testing. If you need a test, how does that work? Where do you go? What should you expect and how does payment work? 

[00:12:27]JAY BUTLER:  Right. So let's start with where do you go and who should be tested? Maybe if it's more important, testing is most appropriate for people who develop symptoms of COVID-19, and that can include fever. It can include cough, muscle aches, headache, shortness of breath. All of these things are of concern. It really is primarily a respiratory tract infection. We know that lots of different things cause respiratory illness. It's still sort of at the tail end of flu season, so just because you develop those symptoms doesn't mean that you have COVID-19.

[00:13:11] If you develop symptoms and want to talk with your health care provider, that's where the first contact is made to make decisions about whether or not to be evaluated and whether or not a test may be indicated. The decision really should be made with a health care provider involved.

[00:13:32] And I know in many parts of the country there are drive-through testing places now provided. That is of course an opportunity to be able to have the test collected without going into the clinic and potentially exposing other people. So that's where being in touch with your local provider is important.

[00:13:55] Of course, if you suddenly become very ill—and that would be things like shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty in getting your breath at all or noticing that your face or your lips are turning blue—that's when you call 911, and get in as quickly as possible. Emergency departments are an option, but I think it's very important that unless you're very ill it's extremely important to call in advance so that you can be advised on how to best interact with the health care system in a way that will keep everyone safe. 

[00:14:32] Now, regarding payment, I think many of us are pleased to know that COVID-19 testing is covered by Medicare Part B when it's ordered by a health care provider. There’s also steps that have been taken to ensure that costs are not a barrier to testing, and there's legislation working its way through Congress now that provides for free testing for COVID-19. There's also a bill that has recently passed Congress, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, that among other things requires most private insurance plans to cover testing for COVID-19 with no cost sharing, at least during the emergency period.

[00:15:18] Some states have adopted similar requirements for insurers they regulate. And many private insurance companies have voluntarily expanded coverage to include testing already. And then the last thing I'll mention is: Medicaid coverage is generally determined by the states. And so, checking with—visiting—your state's Medicaid program website is a good way to determine whether or not Medicaid coverage is an option as well. 

[00:15:49]BILL WALSH:  OK. Let me ask you one other question. Doctor why is the practice of social distancing so important right now, even among populations who aren't as high of a risk. 

[00:16:00]JAY BUTLER:  Right. So if you'll forgive me, let's talk a minute about what we know about transmission of this infection.

[00:16:10] It appears that the primary mode of transmission for this coronavirus, as well as the six other coronaviruses that were previously known to cause disease in humans, is respiratory droplets. And by that I mean, when I cough or sneeze I produce a spray, and droplets that contain the virus may fly as far as five or six feet from my body.

[00:16:36] This is how most respiratory infections are transmitted. And that is where it becomes very important to be able to keep a certain amount of distance from other people who may cough or sneeze. It may have nothing to do with the fact that they're infected with COVID-19. But it provides a chance for spread of the virus.

[00:17:02] One of the things that is becoming apparent about this disease, which is troubling and really challenges our ability to control it without social distancing, is it appears that people may be able to transmit the infection for a short period of time prior to the onset of symptoms.

[00:17:21] Additionally, we do know that people who have no symptoms at all may be infected. We don't know what role they would play in spread. I think it's a pretty safe assumption that people who are coughing and sneezing are going to be more capable of spreading the infection. But it suggests that it's important that we all keep a certain amount of distance from one another, particularly at this time where transmission appears to be on a big uptick here in the United States.

[00:17:51] Now you're asking about people who are not at high risk for complications. And this is really important. While we've focused a lot on messaging to people at high risk, we want to be able to get good messages out to younger people as well because they may play an important role in spread of the infection.

[00:18:12] So social distancing doesn't just apply to people who are at highest risk, but really does apply to all of us is, at least for this period of time. I'm a grandfather, and, you know, I love to see my grandkids. But this is probably a good time, particularly for people who are, most advanced in years—those over 75 to age 80—maybe to connect with the grandkids primarily by phone or video chat or ways that would be less likely to potentially a result in exposure to COVID-19 

[00:18:48]BILL WALSH:  All right. Thank you very much. Let’s turn now to Administrator Lance Robertson. Administrator Robertson was appointed to serve as assistant secretary for aging and the administrator of the Administration for Community Living in 2017.

[00:19:06] His vision for ACL focuses on five pillars: supporting families and caregivers, protecting rights and preventing abuse, connecting people to resources, expanding employment opportunities, and strengthening the aging and disability networks. Thank you for joining us today. 

[00:19:25]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Thank you, Bill. Glad to be on. 

[00:19:27]BILL WALSH:  Administrator Robertson, what suggestions do you have for family caregivers? These are the unpaid, more than 40 million unpaid caregivers out there who are assisting nursing home residents, about how they can stay in touch with their loved ones when they can't visit in person. Who should they contact if they have questions and concerns.

[00:19:51]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Certainly a common question that we're getting with great regularity here at the, Administration for Community Living. And, you know, by the way, we are part of the Department of Health and Human Services, so very honored to work alongside CDC and CMS and so many others. We're a relatively new federal organization I might add. So I really want to encourage listeners to check us out at acl.gov. 

[00:20:14] Let me go jump into the question because it's one that we certainly can all appreciate. And while we, I think, all understand the reasons for the, simple, sensible, necessary restrictions on visits to long-term care facilities, there's no question that these are very hard for everyone and certainly for the residents themselves and for the family members who support and advocate for them. There are of course things that you can do to make it easier. So let me run through a quick checklist of suggestions. 

[00:20:44] First, it's important to make sure that the facility has your up-to-date contact information.

[00:20:50] Also be sure to read any information that the facility sends to you,; this may describe systems that they have set up that will help facilitate virtual visits or phone calls. 

[00:21:00] Next, if you need staff assistance to communicate by phone or video chat, consider setting up a routine date and time. That really will help the facility.

[00:21:10] Also consider sending cheerful cards and notes, uh, not only to your loved one, but you know, consider sending a simple thank you, to maybe other residents, but certainly staff and express your gratitude for the hard work that they're doing at present. 

[00:21:26] And then finally, of course, be patient. Please be patient. Facilities of course are short staffed and this is a hard time for them, too. 

[00:21:33] So we're all learning as we go, but let's break this down just a little bit. 

[00:21:39] If you have a loved one who is able to communicate verbally, the simplest thing to do is, of course, to use the phone and check in routinely. One of our concerns, of course, is boredom and isolation. So, think about how you can participate in mutual activities. If you find the conversation struggling a bit, maybe play a game of trivia, reminisce, work on a crossword puzzle together, sing songs, read poetry or other materials. Watch a TV show at the same time and and just discuss. Again, throw in some creativity and you can help prevent both boredom and isolation.

[00:22:17] And for those that are more technologically astute, you might consider various platforms that are popular now that help with face-to-face interactions such as FaceTime, Messenger, Facebook, Zoom, et cetera. And of course, any interaction is going to be very valuable. 

But let's pivot quickly to those that are not able to verbally communicate because we know that that separation is even harder. It's even harder, admittedly, to find ways to connect. So against some tips we would offer to your listeners. Ask the facility again to set a time for a call. So, for example, if your mom is most alert in the morning, pick a morning time, think about what music they might like and play that in the background or sing along or sing directly to your loved one.

[00:23:02] If your loved one is spiritual or religious, you can draw on their faith community and consider saying prayers, reminisce or read a book because I've referenced earlier that just hearing your voice can really bring comfort, even if that loved one is unable to verbalize that. And then set a time to speak with facility staff routinely so that you can stay updated on how your loved one is managing.

[00:23:24] And of course, ask specific questions, things like, are they are they getting help to walk around as appropriate? Are they eating their meals? What kind of activities are offered?

[00:23:33] Ah, that's so critical. And if a care conference is scheduled, ask the facility to keep the scheduled time and hold it over the phone. We know they're busy, but it's imperative that you remain linked as a caregiver. 

[00:23:45]BILL WALSH:  Well, this is all very interesting. We've had a number of calls into AARP’s call center about this very issue, mainly from family members who feel like they're being shut off from communications. Do the facilities themselves have an obligation to keep families up to date on a regular basis about the condition of their loved one and also about the conditions in the facility? 

[00:24:07]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, Bill. Undoubtedly they have that obligation. Our hope would be that these facilities, of course, would see that as a very critical high priority for them, particularly during this season. Yes, their work is focused on the care of that resident, but admittedly, they know the overall package of caring for both the resident and that resident family is what will make this a survivable period for all. 

[00:24:34] So I would certainly hope that if people do have difficulties with that, we have some ways we can suggest that we can intervene or have someone help on behalf of the family member. But again, to be clear, yes, a facility should absolutely permit regular communication with the resident. And, candidly, it should be appropriate for them and their professional roles and obligations to communicate back to the family as needed. 

[00:25:00]BILL WALSH:  AARP has some terrific resources along these lines too, at aarp.org/coronavirus, some research resources specifically for these family caregivers: questions to ask the facilities, how to make a care plan. Go check it out. And hopefully there'll be material there that is useful and actionable. 

[00:25:23] Administrator Robertson, we were just talking about caregivers with loved ones in a facility. What about those with loved ones living in their own homes? If they need resources like home-delivered meals, respite care or home care in their communities, who do they contact?

[00:25:38]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, great question. And of course, Bill, you know, we have a network, nearly 20,000 providers across the country that do so much of the service delivery that we would consider to be “normal.” Some of how that service is delivered has of course been altered for safety sake. So, you know, again, while some of those partners at the community base level have been stretched to their limits and in some cases have shut down, you know, certainly we would have as suggestions to family members, various ways to navigate the coming days, weeks until things become a little more standardized in terms of operations. To be honest, Bill, we have to make sure, given the enhanced pressure on the family caregiver, that we don't see an enormous jump in caregiver burnout. Because then we're looking at a situation that has grown tremendously fragile, not just for the person who direly needs the care, but for the person providing the care.

[00:26:36]BILL WALSH:  These folks are under so much stress, even in normal times and, as we know, these are not normal times. 

[00:26:43]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Absolutely. And you know, to answer your question directly, Bill, let me just remind your listeners in terms of accessing what network providers are out there. You know, every community is covered by an Area Agency on Aging, and we also have our Aging and Disability Resource Centers.

[00:26:58] So a lot of that. Really candidly, most all of that can be found online at our Eldercare Locator. We certainly have specialized call centers, like the Alzheimer's Call Center, and also the National Respite Locator. And all of these are funded by us. And again, very, very simple resources for us to connect to those listeners who might need that help.

[00:27:22] I can give the number in case a person has a pen handy. It's a pretty easy number to get hold of the Eldercare Locator. It's toll-free 1-800-677-1116, and again, that will connect them to their local resources. 

[00:27:38]BILL WALSH:  Okay. Fantastic. Thank you. For those of you just joining our conversation, I'm Bill Walsh with AARP and we're speaking with Dr. Jay Butler, M.D., at the CDC and Lance Robertson at the Administration for Community Living.

[00:27:52] We're also taking your questions live to ask a question at any time. Please press *3 to be connected to an AARP staff member to share your questions. And for the latest information resources about the global coronavirus pandemic. Visit aarp.org/coronavirus. Again, aarp.org/coronavirus. 

[00:28:17] It's my pleasure right now to be joined today by my colleague, Jean Setzfand, AARP senior vice president of programs. Jean will be helping me lead our discussion today. Welcome, Jean. 

[00:28:29]JEAN SETZFAND:  Thanks, Bill. Delighted to be here for this important tele-town hall. 

[00:28:32]BILL WALSH:  Let's turn to some of our callers. Who is our first caller today?

[00:28:37]JEAN SETZFAND:  I have Rose from Pennsylvania who has a question. 

[00:28:41]BILL WALSH:  Okay. Hi, Rose. 

[00:28:44]ROSE:  Thank you for taking my call. 

[00:28:47]BILL WALSH:  All right. Go ahead with your question. 

[00:28:49]ROSE:  Okay. Based on the COVID-19 attacking the respiratory system, if you're over 65 and you had the pneumococcal pneumonia shot, would that help if I got COVID-19, 

[00:29:05]BILL WALSH:  Dr. Butler, that sounds like a good question for you. 

[00:29:09]JAY BUTLER:  This is one of those questions that I often ask early on whenever we're considering how a new respiratory pathogen impacts the health of all of us. As you may be aware, we've encouraged people to get the influenza vaccine because there's a lot of influenza right now.

[00:29:29] But that vaccine will not provide any protection against COVID-19. It may potentially result in some improvement if you're so unlucky as to have both viruses at once. Similarly, that might be true for the pneumococcus. The pneumococcus is bacteria that causes pneumonia. And COVID-19 is a virus. Pneumococcus is a bacterium. It is possible that some people who get severely ill with COVID-19 may develop a secondary bacterial pneumonia. So it's possible that the pneumococcal vaccine could provide some protection against that, but it will not provide any direct protection against COVID-19. Bottom line is, if you were in the age group or have one of the underlying conditions for which your health care provider would recommend the pneumococcal vaccine, it's important to get it.

[00:30:28]BILL WALSH:  Okay. Thank you very much. All right, Jean, who is our next caller? 

[00:30:34]JEAN SETZFAND:  Our next caller is Eleanor from North Carolina. 

[00:30:38]BILL WALSH:  Hi, Eleanor. 

[00:30:40]ELEANOR:  Hello, how are you? And thank you for having me. I wish to commend you for how this program is, just wonderful. My question is this, many seniors live in apartment complexes and the social distance thing that we, we speak of, often it seems a little difficult, more difficult in those apartment complexes. Therefore, I'm asking what would you recommend? And the second question is if senior citizens wish to move to another location, what is your recommendation for moving from one state to another? Can you give me some advice? 

[00:31:26]BILL WALSH:  OK. All right. Thank you. Dr. Butler, do you want to take a shot at that? 

[00:31:31]JAY BUTLER:  Sure. In fact, the the question strikes close to home for me because I actually own a home far away from Atlanta, actually in Anchorage, Alaska. But I have an apartment here in Atlanta because this is where I work and my, apartment complex actually has had people infected with COVID-19, and there's a significant number of people who are also quarantined after exposure. So I understand the question very well in terms of social distancing. Some of the same concepts, as much as possible, you want to minimize your exposure to other people and also practice hand hygiene, which I didn't mention much earlier.

[00:32:17] I talked about respiratory droplets, but we also are concerned in particular, based on what we know about the other coronaviruses, that surfaces can become contaminated and potentially the virus could survive for at least for a period of minutes to hours. And so if your hands become contaminated, that can be another way that the virus can spread.

[00:32:40] So it's very important if you're coming back into the apartment after running some trash to the chute or to the dumpster to wash your hands. And that means about 20 seconds with soap and water. I know that may seem like a long time, but it's very important to get those hands clean.

[00:33:02] Well, 20 seconds can also be the amount of time it usually takes to get through the alphabet or to sing Happy Birthday twice. If you're prone to want to do a splash and dash type a of hand cleaning, this is probably the time to use one of those devices to help you slow down and wash your hands.

[00:33:23] Another option is to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. And while those supplies are hard to get in some parts of the country right now, a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol is a suitable alternative to hand washing. 

[00:33:41]BILL WALSH:  Oh, go ahead. I'm sorry. I was going to ask about the second part of her question. She seemed to be asking about moving out of an apartment complex. 

[00:33:48]JAY BUTLER:  Yes. Yeah. Thanks, Bill. That was just what I was getting to. Right? So, in terms of the decision of whether or not to move to another location, it really depends on your situation and where you're moving to. While families can provide a lot of care, it's important to consider whether or not social distancing can be maintained wherever you're going. The other consideration is how you're going to get there. We do recommend that people who are at higher risk, those who are older people with underlying conditions, not travel by airplane if the travel can at all be delayed to a future time.

[00:34:33]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you very much, Jean. Who's our next caller? 

[00:34:39]JEAN SETZFAND:  We have a call from Joel from Oregon. 

[00:34:42]BILL WALSH:  Hey Joel, are you on?

[00:34:47] Hey Joel, go ahead with your question. 

[00:34:51]JOEL:  Yeah, I'm a 74-year-old disabled veteran living by myself, and I have no outside source helping me get food, and the food bank that I go to has been closed for two weeks.

[00:35:21]BILL WALSH:  OK. So it sounds, so it sounds like Joel was facing some real difficulty getting a local sources of food. Administrator Robertson, do you want to weigh in on that? 

[00:35:32]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Oh, absolutely, Joel, and thank you for your service, sir. And certainly, whether it's through HHS-funded services or the Department of Veterans Affairs, we want to make sure that we can meet your immediate needs.

[00:35:44] As I mentioned previously, probably the quickest, most efficient way, to tie into available resources is through that Eldercare locator number. And I'm happy to repeat that number. And likewise, that can of course be found online as well, but it will connect you to the Area Agency on Aging that services your area there in Oregon.

[00:36:04] And while their traditional meal delivery process has changed, meals in most parts of the country to our knowledge have not stopped getting to consumers. How they're packaged and bundled is different. How they're dropped off may be different, but certainly for us a top priority is to prevent food insecurity.

[00:36:22] So that number is 1-800-677-1116. Again, 1-800-677-1116.

[00:36:31] Thank you, Bill. 

[00:36:32]BILL WALSH:  Okay. Thank you very much for that, Jean. Who is our next caller? 

[00:36:37]JEAN SETZFAND:  Our next caller is Diane from California. 

[00:36:41]BILL WALSH:  All right, Diane, welcome. What is your question? 

[00:36:46]DIANE:  Hi, thank you for taking my call. 

[00:36:48] My question is, I recently cared for some children, and I would like to know how long would it take for symptoms to appear if I became infected. These kids are active in the community and, um, I'm a senior and have been isolating in place except for that one time where I watched the children. And before I, you know, go out or do anything, I want to make sure that I didn't get an infected. 

[00:37:20]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thanks for that. Dr. Butler, do you want to weigh in on that? 

[00:37:24]JAY BUTLER:  I sure will. So Diane, you're asking about what in medicine we call the incubation period. In other words, how long between being exposed to an infectious agent before symptoms may appear? Very broadly for COVID-19, we believe it's anywhere from about two to 14 days.

[00:37:43] But in situations where there's a very discrete exposure, the vast majority of those illnesses will occur about four to seven days after the exposure. We do recommend that if someone is self-quarantining, that is you've, you've had an exposure or your concern that you've been exposed and you want to prevent exposure to other people, that it’s extended for a period of up to 14 days after that last exposure.

[00:38:13]BILL WALSH:  Doctor, you had mentioned earlier about the likelihood of exposure through airborne transmission. I'm wondering if that has caused CDC to change its advice around wearing masks. 

[00:38:29]JAY BUTLER:  That’s a great question, Bill. And actually, let me just distinguish airborne transmission from respiratory droplets. That may sound very technical, but it's very important because when we say airborne transmission, we're talking about viruses that can actually remain suspended in the air and be transmitted over much longer distances under laboratory conditions.

[00:38:53] This family of coronaviruses, we can make it do that, but in nature that does not appear to happen very often, if at all. Examples of an airborne infection are things like measles, where the virus can really spread throughout a room. We think for this virus, it's much more likely to be just within that spitting distance, if you will, of up to six feet. It's not to say the airborne transmission can't occur. The epidemiology suggests that it's not a common mode of spread. 

[00:39:30] Now, getting to your question about masks. We do recommend that masks be worn by health care providers, particularly in certain instances. The type of mask that's used is very, pretty specific to this situation. But at the same time, CDC does not recommend that everybody wear a mask out in the community because the ones that work like surgical masks really don't filter the air and provide any protection. Also, there's not a lot of evidence that wearing masks in the community provides protection against respiratory viruses. The one exception to that is that if you contact your provider and have symptoms and are asked to come in, they may greet you at the parking lot with a surgical mask and ask you to put it on. That's actually to protect other patients and the health care provider.

[00:40:31] So that's the instance where the function of the mask is not to filter the air, but actually to prevent any coughs or sneezes that may be hard to control from potentially contaminating the environment or spreading the infection to others. 

[00:40:47]BILL WALSH:  All right. How about another call or a Jean? Who do we have.

[00:40:53]JEAN SETZFAND:  We have Debra from New York. 

[00:40:56]BILL WALSH:  Hi Debra. Go ahead with your question. 

[00:40:59]DEBRA:  Okay. What kind of suggestions do you have for social distancing? So what kind of resources for how can we support our loved one while social distancing?

[00:41:21]BILL WALSH:  Administrator Robertson. Did you hear that question? 

[00:41:25]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Hey, Bill, I do think I heard most of it and, and it's wonderful to hear from New York. I was listening to Governor Cuomo this morning, and again, the commitment they have there is very admirable to helping stamp out this disease. 

[00:41:37] I think thethe way I would answer the second part of the question I understood clearly was more about just long-distance caregiving, and we do get a lot of questions about that now, regardless of the geography is, “Hey, how do you care for somebody that maybe you're not in the same physical proximity”? And you know, for us, again, we just offer the suggestion of more frequent and regular phone calls and video conversations. And you know, where you have permission, sometimes neighbors can help out. Of course, any of that would need to be done under the precautions prescribed by the CDC. And certainly, again, that Eldercare Locator is wonderful for identifying potential supports for loved ones in a particular location.And certainly the appropriate supports can be found there for yourself as well as a caregiver. And I think if Debra's question was more about caring for someone in the same household that obviously is best answered by Dr. Butler.

[00:42:45]JAY BUTLER:  Thanks. And so following up on that question for care in the same household, I think that the important things are to minimize contact as much as possible, particularly with people who are symptomatic, but recognize that within households there is going to be exposure. It’s also important to clean surfaces at least once daily.

[00:43:08] And when I talk about cleaning, disinfecting, it's not anything fancy. The vast majority of household disinfectants actually are proven to be able to inactivate this particular coronavirus as well as the entire coronavirus family. 

[00:43:27]BILL WALSH:  And Administrator Robertson, one of the things I think Debra was getting at was hyperlocal resources. We're getting a lot of calls from people saying, How do I find out what's really right nearby in terms of food delivery, prescription drug delivery, things like this?

[00:43:43] What advice do you have for people looking for a variety of resources close to home? 

[00:43:50]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, fair question, Bill. And you know, again, traditionally the Eldercare Locator is the repository for most of that. I think, though, that during this very unprecedented time, we want to acknowledge that, you know, local communities are doing some very exceptional work.

[00:44:05] For instance, I know, again, referencing New York, you have police officers now delivering meals and for some of that, the latest and greatest, you know, you might of course, call your local health department. Any of the social service agencies that we would put you in touch with, though our hope, our expectation would be that they too are keeping a pulse on what's happening, as the picture sort of continues to evolve day by day when it comes to social services.

[00:44:31] So again, that local Area Agency on Aging, which can be found through the Eldercare Locator, is still going to be the source we would point to relative to most all services that are happening. You know, the other acknowledgement, I think the faith-based community is really stepping up. So you can have a lot of churches in local areas that are doing some pretty exceptional work.

[00:44:51] But again, our hope is to keep a good pulse on that as your social service provider lead. And again, that Eldercare Locator is an excellent resource. 

[00:45:00]BILL WALSH:  And you want to give us that contact information again for the Eldercare Locator? 

[00:45:05]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, absolutely. Let me also give you the website, which is simple. The website is simply eldercare.acl.gov. The phone number's toll-free 1-800-677-1116. Thanks so much, Bill, for helping us push that resource out because as the days and weeks go along, I think we're going to see a pivot within our society where people are going to now become more interested in sustaining needed services.

[00:45:39] We're all getting a great message from our CDC friends about how to take precautions and the quarantine. But I think the day will come when people are ready to find out, hey, where's my next meal coming from? 

[00:45:50]BILL WALSH:  OK, we've been talking a lot about preparation and prevention. I'd like to pivot to another dimension of the coronavirus outbreak, and that is fraud and scams.

[00:46:00] I’d like to bring back my cohost, Jean Setzfand, senior vice president for programs here at AARP, to discuss that. Jean, you want to take it away? 

[00:46:11]JEAN SETZFAND:  Sure. Thanks so much, Bill. Hi, everybody. Again, this is a team that's from AARP, and again, we're taking questions about coronavirus with the CDC as well as the Administration for Community Living.

[00:46:22] They're both hanging on the line to answer your questions, but as Bill said, we're going to shift gears just slightly to talk a little bit about staying safe from scams as well as frauds during this crisis. But as a reminder, you can also ask a question by pressing *3 on your telephone pad.

[00:46:40] So let me welcome Daniel Kaufman to the conversation. Daniel is deputy director for the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection. The bureau works to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices; also assist in overseeing all bureau matters involving privacy, data security, and advertising and marketing practices.

[00:47:01] Thanks so much for joining us today, Daniel. 

[00:47:03]DANIEL KAUFMAN:  I'm really glad to be here today and I apologize. The honking is in my neighborhood. I'm not used to working from home, but fortunately I think the car honking has stopped.

[00:47:13]JEAN SETZFAND:  Very good. We are social-distance practicing in our event today, so thanks so much for that.

[00:47:18] So Daniel, unfortunately, fraud never takes a holiday and it seems to be particularly present in this time in times like this. I understand the FTC has already taken action to stop companies from selling products that claim to treat or prevent the coronavirus. Can you tell us a little bit more about this?

[00:47:37]DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Sure. You know, it's interesting at the outset, during difficult times there are so many people doing wonderful things that demonstrate compassion, humanity and caring. I'm not going to get to talk about any of that, unfortunately, instead at the FTC we are focusing on companies and individuals that are out there trying to prey on consumers during difficult times.

[00:47:59] One of the first things we did was, in early March, we did this along with the FDA. We sent out warning letters to seven different companies that were touting a variety of products that they claimed would treat or prevent the coronavirus. They were selling cheese, essential oils, colloidal silver.Now these are mostly companies and names that we're probably not familiar with, but one of the recipients was the Jim Baker show. You know, from the FTC’s perspective, this is false advertising; from the FDA's, these are unapproved and misbranded products. I'm happy to report, in these times we found warning letters to be a very effective tool.

[00:48:41] And the companies that issue these have changed their claims. They're not making these claims anymore but we continue to monitor what they're doing and we are looking for other deceptive coronavirus claims that are out there. You know, this is a really important public health matter and we want to remind consumers that to the extent that there are treatments that are developed, you're not going to hear about it at the outset from obscure websites that are selling products. 

[00:49:07] So if you come across these, you know, we want to hear about them at the FTC, you can report these scams at ftc.gov/complaint. 

[00:49:18]JEAN SETZFAND:  That's terrific. So in addition to taking care of our health, we should also be vigilant about protecting ourselves from the bad actors right now.

[00:49:24] So it’s important for you to kind of remind us that we should report what other fraud activities the FTC is warning consumers about. And again, if you can tell us about where we can go to learn more about that and more importantly to report a suspected fraud, tell us more about that.

[00:49:45]DANIEL KAUFMAN:  So from a higher level, I've been at the FTC for about 21 years now, and we have seen time and again, when there is a health crisis or a health emergency you will see unscrupulous marketers taking advantage of consumer fears and selling sham treatments. So we saw it with anthrax, with Zika, Ebola.

[00:50:04] That will happen time and again, and I will give you some website information at the FTC if you want to go to our website and get more information about scams to look for. You can go to ftc.gov/coronavirus or just go to ftc.gov; you will see a very prominent link for coronavirus scams. If you want to receive consumer alerts directly from the FTC, you can go to ftc.gov/subscribe. We have a wonderful office, division that does nothing but consumer education and outreach, and they are doing the best they can to keep abreast of all the scams that are out there. 

[00:50:41] But let me tell you a little bit about some of the other kinds of scams that we are seeing. Phishing emails: We are seeing a lot of bogus emails that are going out to consumers, that use headers about coronavirus to get people to open them. You know, these are fake emails that are purporting to come from legitimate and important organizations like the World Health Organization or the CDC. 

[00:51:05] So we're reminding consumers: Don't click on links when you get those emails. Don't open those emails. They will download viruses or harmful software onto your computer, or they will try to get your private information or credit card information.

[00:51:20] Another thing we are seeing is charity scams. You know, this is a difficult time and we all want to help. But we want to make sure we're helping charities and not scammers who are pretending to be charities. So do your homework. If you are getting charity solicitations, don't feel pressured to give.

[00:51:39] You can hang up, go online and give to the charities you are comfortable with. You can do your homework and make sure you are giving to a charity that you're comfortable with. And we also have information about that at ftc.gov/charity. There are a lot of scam artists using lookalike names, so you have to be very wary of that. We want generous consumers to be giving to the right organizations. 

[00:52:02] You know, another thing we are seeing is a steady onset of more and more robocalls that are touting a wide variety of coronavirus issues. Now, it's sort of interesting. I'm working from home now and I'm getting phone calls all day for my colleagues. And I'm answering phone calls I usually don't answer. And we know a lot of consumers are going through this, so I'm being exposed to far more robocalls than I usually get. And the message is just hang up. Keep in mind that anyone who's robocalling you, if they're trying to sell you a product, they're already doing something that's unlawful.

[00:52:38] So they're probably trying to sell you something. 

[00:52:40] Other things we're seeing, and I wish the list didn't go so long, but we know that there are always going to be scam artists trying to prey on consumers during these difficult times. We're seeing undelivered goods. There's a high demand for a lot of different products right now, whether it's cleaning supplies or masks, and it's pretty easy to set up a website that's purporting to provide, to sell these kinds of products. And they're taking consumers’ payment information but not delivering. So again, you want to be careful who you're doing business with.

[00:53:16] And you also want to pay by credit card. You know, one of our recurring tips at the FTC is you should not be paying through wire transfer or through gift cards or things like that. That's a sure sign that something is afoot. We're seeing online offers for vaccinations. 

[00:53:34] And finally, one of the things I do want to say, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been warning consumers about stock scams. You see, fraudsters are out there touting that a certain company's stock is going to explode because they have products that can treat coronavirus. So the prices are going up, the hype grows. The fraud artists are selling, and then everyone else is left with basically a defunct stock. 

[00:53:59] So that's sort of the range of scams we’re seeing, but we’re putting a lot of information on our website, ftc.gov, to keep consumers abreast of, of what we are seeing.

[00:54:12]JEAN SETZFAND:  That's really helpful. Daniel. Unfortunately, we're fighting against the virus as well as trying to stay vigilant against the scams and fraudsters. And interestingly enough, you talked about sort of this wide range of different scams that are out there and that at AARP we actually talk a lot about the first step of a successful scam is to actually get the target, the victim, into a heightened emotional state. I believe that’s also called “getting under the ether.” So scam marketers are taking advantage of our fears right now. So what should we do to also look out for some of these tactics in addition to this wide range of different types of scams?

[00:54:53]DANIEL KAUFMAN:  You know, so many of us are right now in that heightened emotional state. It doesn't take much to get us there. I just turn on the news. So, I mean, I think an important thing to keep in mind is when you are presented with the sense of urgency, you know, buy this now, don't do it. Talk to somebody you know, and trust and talk about, does this make sense that this, talking to other people, we found that incredibly effective issue.

[00:55:19] You know, one other thing we've been warning consumers about, we've heard a lot about Congress talking and the president talking about potentially sending money to American consumers, whether it's $1,000 or more, you know, that's up to Congress, not the FTC. But we know that when that happens, scam artists will be there trying to get some money as well. So that's also something to look for, that we're providing information on our website and to the consumers that looking down the road, we anticipate these other kinds of scams that are going to prey on, on benefits that are out there. So unfortunately the scam artists are very creative and they will be doing everything they can to separate people from their hard-earned money.

[00:56:03]JEAN SETZFAND:  Very good. So very helpful. Thank you so much. We’re going to actually take some live calls. We have lots of calls coming in through a phone lines as well as online through our YouTube and Facebook. So, Bill, let me bring you back to the conversation to get some questions up and running. 

[00:56:21]BILL WALSH:  Very good. Thank you very much. We've seen so many acts of compassion in the face of this, the coronavirus. It's infuriating to hear some of the scams that are out there from Daniel. He gave some good tips about how to be vigilant and be on the lookout. We're taking your questions today about coronavirus with key leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Trade Commission and the Administration for Community Living.

[00:56:46] You can ask your question by pressing *3 on your telephone. Jean, who do we have in the question queue? 

[00:56:55]JEAN SETZFAND:  I'm actually going to take a question from our Facebook. It seems like there's a lot of questions around the virus and the environment right now, asking about when temperatures change, does that actually affect the virus? Does that mean things are going to get better. 

[00:57:19]JAY BUTLER:  So there's been a lot of questions raised about whether or not this respiratory virus will behave like so many others do and become less common during the summer months. We see that every year with flu and we see that with rhinovirus, the cause of the common cold. Of course, currently we're talking about a virus. That we didn't even know it existed three months ago. And some of the genetic analysis suggests that it is truly a new virus, although related to the SARS virus and some other coronaviruses. 

[00:57:58] So at this point in time we really don't know what will happen as the weather warms. I wouldn't want to promise you that it's going to decline as the weather warm. In general, we should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. So I think that's going to be a question. It's going to be very hard to answer until we actually start getting into April and May and see whether or not the incidents decline.

[00:58:26] If we look at the experience in the 2009 influenza pandemic, of course, that was a virus that first, appeared here in North America and caused a lot of infection during April and May. But as the weather warmed, it became less common, but then it returned in the fall. So there's certainly that pattern, the pattern that could occur. But we really don't know at this time how COVID-19 will behave.

[00:58:54]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you, doctor. Jean, who's up next?

[00:58:59]JEAN SETZFAND:  All right. We have a question from Facebook about scams: I'm worried about my parents who are isolated in their house right now. How do I protect them?

[00:59:10]DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Yeah, please talk to them. There is nothing more helpful. Just having the conversation and reminding them that if they get phone calls out of the blue, they are scam artists. They should just hang up. Make sure you're talking to them about these issues that, you know, these are difficult times and people will try to take advantage of them. It is really essential to have that conversation. In our experience, when you have that conversation, it does change things quite significantly in terms of the impact on consumers and whether they're likely to become victims. Also, if they have an email account, please sign them up at ftc.gov/subscribe; there's a lot of great information we're providing to consumers that can be very helpful as well. 

[01:00:03]BILL WALSH:  Thank you for that. And I want to mention that AARP also has a Fraud Watch Network helpline staffed with agents. So who can take your call? That number is [877] 908-3360.

[01:00:23] Jean, who do we have up next?

[01:00:27]JEAN SETZFAND:  We have a caller, Helen from Michigan. 

[01:00:31]BILL WALSH:  Hi, Helen, what's your question? 

[01:00:33]HELEN:  My question is twofold. One is I have to go out to drive-through, whether it's a restaurant or a fast food place. And then the other thing as far as risk for older people, if you had a heart attack, put a stent in 2015, years ago, no problem, high blood pressure that's under control with medication, are you still considered at risk with the health issues. 

[01:01:03]BILL WALSH:  Okay. Helen, thank you. Dr. Butler, that sounds like a question for you. 

[01:01:08]JAY BUTLER:  Helen, I don't know if you were listening earlier, we talked a little earlier about what does safe mean?

[01:01:15] I think the best way to think of it is, it's safest if you're able to stay in for a period of time, but we recognize that everybody has important reasons that they may need to go out. So going to the drive-through is safer than going into a restaurant where there'll be a lot of people and a longer period of potential exposure to others. So if it's between going through the drive-through as opposed to going into the restaurant, it's safer to go into the drive-through. 

[01:01:48] Regarding the at-risk, it's important to recognize that there's no magic switch that's thrown to put somebody at higher risk. But in general, the older you are, the higher the risk and the more severe the heart disease, the higher the risk. At this point in time, we don't have a lot of visibility on specific types of heart disease, but I think the situation that would be most concerning is when you actually have congestive heart failure. That appears to be a condition that is particularly likely to impose a higher risk of severe illness.

[01:02:28]BILL WALSH:  Thank you. For the latest information and resources about the coronavirus, Visit aarp.org/coronavirus. Jean, who's up next? 

[01:02:44]JEAN SETZFAND:  We have Mary from Illinois. 

[01:02:46]BILL WALSH:  Hey Mary, what is your question? 

[01:02:52]MARY:  My first question is, my mom lives in a senior living center and I want to mail her a package. But I'm wondering, I heard that the virus can live on. And the second question, real quick, is I heard that after you had the coronavirus and you recovered, you can still be a carrier to other people for a certain amount of time. And I want to know if that is true.

[01:03:17]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you. Dr. Butler, do you want to address that one? 

[01:03:20]JAY BUTLER:  I sure do. Hi, Mary, and thank you. Those are two very good questions. Earlier we were talking about the survival of the virus on surfaces. And there's two ways that we assess that. One is under optimal laboratory conditions. The other is what happens in real life and what we can discern from the transmission of the virus over the past three months. The likelihood of transmission through the mail is extremely low. We know that there's a lot of mail, a lot of products that come out of China and were coming out of China early in the course of the epidemic. If mail were one of the primary ways that the infection spread, we would have seen more, incidents of the infection popping up in remote parts of the world.

[01:04:09] Instead, what we saw was infection spread primarily among travelers who had been in Wuhan, China, or in other parts of China where the disease was spreading, and then came out of China during the vacation period before they got sick and then got ill when they got home. And then if there was further transmission at home, it was primarily at home to people that they lived with.

[01:04:36] So the predominance of the evidence is that respiratory droplets are the most important way for it to spread. So in thinking about what's important to somebody who's in the nursing home, I think mail is entirely appropriate. Well, we talk about social distancing. It's very important that we don't create social isolation. So receiving a card or a package can mean a lot to someone who's in an assisted living center. And you know, I think a number of people on the line remember 2001. And this is not anthrax. So, it's a virus that is primarily spread through the respiratory droplets.

[01:05:25] In terms of recovery, that's a very important question, to us scientifically. What we know about other coronaviruses is that there is some period of immunity after an infection but it may not be lifelong. So it is possible for someone to become ill again with the infection, but we don't know for the COVID-19. It seems very unlikely that someone would recover and then get sick again after a period of only a few weeks in terms of ability to transmit the infection after a recovery. We do have data regarding how often virus is recovered from patients. In general. It appears that most people, once they are more than a week after onset plus three days after symptoms have resolved, are very, very unlikely to be infectious. The one exception to that would be people who are on immunocompromising drugs. And while we don't have a lot of data on that, that's something that we also see in influenza. So, for instance, someone usually in a hospital situation where they're on a very powerful immunosuppressing drugs, we would be much more careful in terms of the possibility of a continued shedding of the virus after recovery from infection. 

[01:06:57]BILL WALSH:  Who do we have up next?

[01:07:00]JEAN SETZFAND:  Our next caller is Lucy up from New York.

[01:07:03]BILL WALSH:  Hi, Lucy. What's your question? 

[01:07:05]LUCY:  Hello? Hi. Can you hear me? Pretty good? 

[01:07:07]BILL WALSH:  We sure can. Go ahead. 

[01:07:09]LUCY:  Thank you. Thanks for your time. What a wonderful conference. I have a question about any special precautions we have to take for our volunteers who happen to be older people delivering meals visiting other older adults in home, as service providers, what special precautions can we take? I don't know if it's masks or special gear. We’re kind of trying to figure out and find good information about people who visit other older people in the home to deliver services. 

[01:07:40]BILL WALSH:  Administrator Robertson, do you want to start there? And maybe Dr. Butler can chime in as well. 

[01:07:46]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Absolutely. Bill. Yeah. We do know, of course, with the shortage of personal protection equipment at present, a lot of our service delivery providers have had to look at alternatives for delivery that without PPE still makes the transaction safe. So again, in some instances they're actually bundling multiple days’ worth of meals, making that single delivery and making sure that when the pass-off occurs that people have been properly wearing gloves, et cetera, but that product is placed in a safe position or place for the resident to get it and utilize it. So, again, at this point, I think for us, we continue to look to our friends at CDC for guidance on what is that balance between making sure services can continue, to be provided to vulnerable Americans, but at the same time not enhance the amount of exposure.

[01:09:04] So hopefully that helps with those questions.

[01:09:09]BILL WALSH:  Dr. Butler, did you want to weigh in on that at all? 

[01:09:11]JAY BUTLER:  Yeah, I sure do. First of all, I fully agree with what was just said. 

[01:09:16] There's three things that I would want to highlight. One is to minimize contact between the support personnel and the client receiving services. So, examples of that is just what you heard, being able to pass off a whatever is being delivered, be it food or whatever. It might be even a matter of placing that at the door and given a quick call to let people know it's delivered, or just opening the door and passing it in. The goal is to minimize contact as much as possible.

[01:09:50] The two other things that are important is hand hygiene, and that's going to be protective for both the person who's delivering service and the person who is receiving it. As we discussed earlier, when we talk about hand hygiene, that means washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or longer or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. For people who are out making deliveries, the hand sanitizer really can be the best option. 

[01:10:21] And finally, and maybe most importantly, is to make sure that support people delivering services are not working when they're sick. I think we all probably try to tough it out if we think we have some sort of respiratory infection and we think it's fairly mild but this is not the time to do that. Even though the likelihood of it being COVID-19 may be low in some parts of the country, it's still best at this time to take special precautions. If you're sick, please stay home. 

[01:10:52]BILL WALSH:  Okay. Well, we were just talking about deliveries in the precautions people should take. We're getting a number of questions from folks about, just going to the doctor's office. So many people over the age of 50 have a chronic illness. Many of them have multiple chronic illnesses with standing doctor's appointments on the books. What should they do?

[01:11:20]JAY BUTLER:  Well, I think it's important to recognize, as has been stated earlier, these are not normal times. So it really does call for flexibility, recognizing that if you have a routine doctor's visit scheduled or if you have elective surgery, you may very well be contacted that it needs to be rescheduled and that is for all of our own good as well as for support of the health care system that may become very stressed if there's a big increase in the number of people who are sick with COVID-19.

[01:11:58] There's also been work with the insurance industry as well as Medicare and Medicaid to be able to loosen up some of the rules to be able to allow earlier refills so that people have better supplies of their prescription medication at home. So these are parts of how we adapt to these unusual times.

[01:12:22] And recognizing that people who have chronic illnesses, those will persist and we have to make sure that care is delivered. 

[01:12:36]BILL WALSH:  Okay. Jean, let's take another caller. Who do we have in the line? 

[01:12:41]JEAN SETZFAND:  I actually have a question coming from YouTube.

[01:12:47] The person is asking, how do I avoid scams? I have an elderly mom with me. And more importantly, if I am scammed, what are the actions? What actions should I take? 

[01:12:57]BILL WALSH:  Daniel Kaufman, you want to take that. 

[01:13:00]DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Oh yeah, absolutely. The first step: Go to ftc.gov/coronavirus or just ftc.gov and look for the link on coronavirus scams for lots of helpful information on the kinds of scams that are out there, how to avoid them. But you raised a really good question of what happens when you have fallen victim to scams. And we have also on the FTC website a lot of different information, and I can't go into all of it right now because sometimes it does depend. Was it through a credit card? Was it a wire transfer? Was it a prepaid credit card? But all of that information is available on the FTC website, at consumer.ftc.gov. Lots of helpful information to contact your credit company immediately to try to get a charge back. If it's a credit card. And finally, to report it, please go to ftc.gov/complaint so we can also provide helpful information to you as well. So it's ftc.gov/complaint and for more general consumer tips on what to do and when you're scammed, go to consumer.ftc.gov. We've got a wealth of helpful information there depending upon what the scam was and what payment mechanism you use. 

[01:14:14]BILL WALSH:  Okay. I heard you say earlier a use a credit card if that's possible, because that gives you some recourse, seems like a really good piece of advice.

[01:14:22]DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Yeah. We see a lot of scam artists trying to use gift cards. As soon as someone says send money via a gift card, don't do it. 

[01:14:30]BILL WALSH:  Got it. Administrator Robertson, how should older Americans who may be grandparents raising grandchildren help educate younger people in their homes about the importance of social distancing?

[01:14:44]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, absolutely, Bill. And I have to quickly acknowledge I was raised by my grandparents. So certainly a sensitive question for me. As we know, so many grandparents across this country are in a position of raising younger people. And you know, during this time, of course, presuming that the question focuses primarily on people under 18, we won't touch the whole, everybody partying on the beach during spring break. But for younger people, certainly, you know, we have a number of things we would suggest. You know, it's important to communicate and to have those family discussions. Try to have them in a comfortable place and, you know, encourage those family members to ask questions. And you know, sometimes you have to have a separate discussion with younger children. I think the main thing of course is to be calm and reassuring. You know, children are going to pick up on what you say, yes, but probably even more how you say it will influence them, how they feel in their anxieties. 

[01:15:40] You know, we want to avoid language that blames others and leads to any sort of stigmatization and pay attention to what children also are seeing and hearing on the media. While lots of it are certainly good resources. We have to be careful, sometimes even the volume of good information needs to be reduced because being so focused on one topic inevitably creates more anxiety. I'll also say that the CDC has a good resource on their website, on talking with kids. They have tips on there as well. We also encourage people just to be honest and accurate.

[01:16:18] You know, kids are going to hear a lot of different things and it's important that they trust you as a primary source. I think grandparents often just relationally have that trust. So you want to make sure that you're continuing to be honest and accurate. You know, talk to children about how, some of the stories that they're going to hear are going to be inaccurate. Rumors are not to be believed, et cetera. And I think that it's important as has been stressed by Dr. Butler and others that you teach the children about how important those everyday actions are to help reduce the spread of germs to stay away from people and other kids that are coughing and sneezing or sick, and what to do if they're going to cough and sneeze. You know, here's a tissue or their elbow, and you know, discuss any new actions that the schools are planning to take for those that remain in school or in daycare environments. We also, of course, stress hand washing, which I think is that common message we're all really trying to focus on.

[01:17:17] So again, I think those are some things we'd recommend, Bill. 

[01:17:19]BILL WALSH:  Yeah. Well, that's great advice. And you know, I think you're right, grandparents often have more credibility than parents. As a parent myself, I know that to be a fact. It's strange, I mean, how that message has gotten out there, that, yes, I mean we know that older people and those with chronic health conditions are more susceptible to this virus. But they're not the only ones susceptible. I mean, there’s a reason so many schools are being shut down, 

[01:17:50]JAY BUTLER:  Right. Absolutely. 

[01:17:52]BILL WALSH:  OK. Jean, let's start. Let's go back to our callers. Who do we have in the line? 

[01:17:56]JEAN SETZFAND:  We have Steve from Nevada. 

[01:18:00]BILL WALSH:  Hey, Steve, what's your question? 

[01:18:04]STEVE:  Hi. This is productive. Dr. Butler, it's two questions concerning diabetes. OK. So the first question is, I am an insulin diabetic. I'm turning 76 years old in May. All right. And I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, but the doctor put me on insulin and I have been on insulin over 30 years. That's number one. Number two, should I be tested, in Nevada. I have no symptom, just on the fact that I'm a diabetic. Are there any statistics? Does the CDC have any statistics on how many people with diabetes are getting coronavirus? 

[01:19:03]BILL WALSH:  OK. Two questions are about diabetes. Dr. Butler. 

[01:19:07]JAY BUTLER:  Yeah. Thanks, Steve. Those are great questions. And first of all, I've just got to say, congratulations on 30 years of managing your diabetes it sounds like relatively well. The question about testing, the short answer: We do recommend that people without symptoms not be tested because it's not clear that if the test were to return positive it will provide any useful information. And even more importantly, we don't want to, create any false sense of security. If a test comes back negative it doesn't mean that you don't have to continue to take the steps that you're already taking, such as a social distancing.

[01:19:55] Regarding statistics on how many diabetics become infected, the numbers are still coming together. I'm sure you're aware, this is only been fairly common in the United States for about two weeks now. What I can say is that it does appear that people with diabetes may be at higher risk of getting sicker and being hospitalized, which is pretty much identical to what was reported from China as well.

[01:20:26]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you very much. Um, Jean, who else do we have in the queue? 

[01:20:32]JEAN SETZFAND:  I have Terry from Iowa. 

[01:20:36]BILL WALSH:  Hey, Terry. What’s your question? 

[01:20:38]TERRY:  Well, it's kind of a hard question, I guess. I have a loved one in a nursing home and they are on their deathbed and nobody wants their loved ones to die alone. How do we go about making them understand that we would like to be with our parent that is in that condition?

[01:21:02]BILL WALSH:  Thank you so much, Terry. Administrator Robertson, do you want to take that one on? 

[01:21:06]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Wow, Terry. Yeah, that's a tough one. I have no easy answer, unfortunately, because striking the right balance between, again, being there for the end-of-life moments with a loved one, but not spreading or being susceptible to falling ill yourself because of those visits. That's going to make it difficult. Certainly we would ask that first and foremost you're going to want to work with the facility and make sure that there is an appreciation for what the facility is trying to do.

[01:21:39] Now we do understand, and I'll make this note for Terry, you know, we do understand that. The current guidance that has been provided by our peer agency, CMS, does permit palliative visits. According to the guidance provided just recently out of CMS, they should permit a visitation. And of course we would highly encourage it. Um, certainly Dr. Butler would stress that, you know, all proper precautions are taken, but I'm hopefully that answers Terry's question. 

[01:22:13]BILL WALSH:  So, um, let me just follow up on that. If she's having difficulty getting into the facility because of the restrictions, what should she do?

[01:22:22]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, fair question. And we would ask that you just immediately reach out to the ombudsman, who can be found through the Eldercare Locator. We have ombudsmen that cover every nursing facility in America. So that nursing home ombudsman can, on behalf of the resident, try to reach a resolution with the facility.

[01:22:45]BILL WALSH:  Would you mind just giving that website and phone number again? 

[01:22:50]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Absolutely: eldercare.acl.gov. The phone number is 1-800-677-1116 and again, Bill, that should put Terry and anyone else that's in that type of situation in contact with the ombudsman. Again, their primary role is to create resolution of issues and they certainly will jump all over this one.

[01:23:19]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you so much. And Terry, we'll be thinking about you. So many people are seeing their lives up-ended at this time and facing things they never imagined they would. So we are coming to the end of our tele-town hall. 

[01:23:43] Any closing thoughts or recommendations about what AARP members should understand most from our conversation today, doctor? About where do you want to go first? 

[01:23:53]JAY BUTLER:  Sure. Thank you for the invitation to be with you today, and I want to thank everybody for joining us, especially those who are called in with questions.

[01:24:04] And I hope the discussion has been helpful. As we've said a couple of times, these are very unusual times. While many of us in public health and in emergency response have gone through exercises and certainly have responded to earlier major epidemics, this one is unique and we live in unusual times.

[01:24:29] So I think more than anything, uh, we have to maintain hope and know that we are going to come through this. There will be another side of this. But for the next period of weeks to months, these are going to be very unusual times. So we really have to all stand together, I would say hand in hand, but that would violate social distancing.

[01:24:52] So let's all spend time together—at least six feet apart. And let me also close by thanking AARP for doing this virtually. Here in the, the room in Atlanta, we're all sitting at least six feet apart. And of course the virus can’t travel through the phone lines. So, thank you for hosting this event. 

[01:25:15]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you for being on. Deputy Director Kaufman from the Federal Trade Commission. 

[01:25:21]DANIEL KAUFMAN:  Yeah. Just want to make a few quick points and just reiterate some of what I've said. It is really important if you're looking to avoid scams and talk to friends and family about it, and keep in mind there's a myth that it is mostly older people who fall victim to two scans. It's just not true. Young and old, they're all vulnerable to scams at times. So please expand your population of who you talk to. 

[01:25:47] Please report scams to ftc.gov/complaint. If you feel at all as passionate about it as I do, we have a lot of staff really eager to do everything we can to help consumers during this time.

[01:25:59] And finally, if you want more information about scams and what to look for and what to be careful of: ftc.gov/coronavirus. And we also really appreciate the AARP putting this together. 

[01:26:11]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you for being here. And administrator Robertson from the Administration for Community Living. Any closing thoughts?

[01:26:19]LANCE ROBERTSON:  Yeah, I would say I'm confident that we're going to get through this. And I think in large part it's going to be because of the personal commitment, tenacity, and flexibility of everyone on this call. And thanks so much, AARP, for having this call.

[01:26:35] I would just again stress that when it comes to community-based services, which are so imperative as we pivot from this initial reaction to the virus into a more sustained cadence of, you know, the next days and weeks: How do we make sure folks are cared for? All of our services remain intact. Now, again, how some are delivered will vary. But, again, our commitment level remains very high. 

[01:26:57] I might ask one thing in closing though. Bill, you know, AARP is known for just a tremendous, tremendous posture of encouraging volunteerism. And what I can also say is that our network, I think could really use an infusion of volunteers. So for those listening, I would just really encourage you in connecting through our network and through our faith-based partners. There are so many opportunities for folks to volunteer and to do so in a wide variety of, of ways that could, balance the comfort that you need to have in volunteering, but also help meet the needs of so many Americans during this time that we'll need that help.

[01:27:37] Thank you. 

[01:27:37]BILL WALSH:  OK. Thank you for that and thanks to each of you for answering our questions. This has been a really informative discussion and thank you, AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in this discussion. If your question was not addressed, please go to aarp.org/coronavirus. 

[01:27:55] AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years.

[01:28:07] In the face of this crisis, AARP is providing information and, resources to help older people and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and prevent it from spreading to others. All of the resources referenced in today's tele-town hall, including a recording of today's Q&A can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus.

[01:28:30] That’s aarp.org/coronavirus. 

[01:28:34] That recording should be available tomorrow for everyone to hear and download and to share. 

[01:28:42] On our website, you'll find the latest updates as well as information tailored for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something new about the coronavirus to keep you and your loved ones healthy.

[01:28:53] Please be sure to tune in to our next AARP tele-town hall on March 26 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

[01:29:07]

 

BILL WALSH: Hola, soy Bill Walsh, vicepresidente de AARP y quiero darles la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre el coronavirus. Hoy hablaremos con los principales expertos sobre cómo usted puede mantenerse saludable y mantenerse informado. Y abordaremos sus preguntas. 

AARP, una organización sin fines de lucro y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores en Estados Unidos durante más de 60 años. Ante la epidemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP está proporcionando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan, a protegerse del virus y prevenir su propagación a otros. Le preguntaremos a los expertos sobre los últimos cambios para abordar los impactos en la salud relacionados con el coronavirus, las necesidades de cuidado familiar y lo que usted puede hacer para mantenerse a salvo de estafas y fraudes durante estos tiempos turbulentos. 

Esta es su oportunidad de aprender, hacer preguntas y obtener respuestas de los principales expertos. Si ya ha participado en uno de nuestras teleasambleas, sabe que esto es similar a un programa de radio. Y tiene la oportunidad de hacer preguntas en vivo. Si le gustaría hacer una pregunta sobre el impacto de la pandemia de coronavirus, presione asterisco 3 en el teclado de su teléfono para conectarse con un miembro del personal de AARP que anotará su nombre y pregunta, y lo colocará en turno para que usted pueda hacer su pregunta en vivo. Para hacer su pregunta, presione asterisco 3.

Antes de comenzar nuestra conversación, quisiéramos saber más sobre ustedes. Tómese un momento para decirnosqué es lo que más desea saber sobre el coronavirus actualmente. Presione 1 en el teclado de su teléfono si prefiere escuchar sobre preparación y prevención. Presione 2 si prefiere escuchar sobre Medicare y la cobertura de los seguros de salud. Presione 3 si prefiere escuchar sobre recursos locales. Y presione 4 si prefiere escuchar sobre el apoyo a sus seres queridos, incluidos familiares y amigos.

¿Qué información necesita más en este momento? Presione 1 para preparación y prevención, 2 para Medicare y cobertura de seguro, 3 para recursos locales y 4 para apoyo a seres queridos. Hola. Si recién se une, soy Bill Walsh de AARP, y quiero darle la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre el impacto de la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Estaremos hablando con expertos líderes y respondiendo sus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer su pregunta, presione asterisco 3. 

Nos acompaña hoy el Dr. Jay Butler, doctor en medicina y director adjunto de Enfermedades Infecciosas de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, CDC. También con nosotros está Lance Robertson, subsecretario para asuntos de envejecimiento y administrador de la Administración para la Vida Comunitaria. Y tenemos a Daniel Kaufman, director adjunto de la Oficina de Protección al Consumidor de la Comisión Federal de Comercio. 

AARP está convocando a este programa telefónico para proporcionar información sobre el coronavirus para ayudarlo a usted y a su familia a mantenerse saludables y seguros. Si bien consideramos que AARP desempeña un papel importante en brindar información sobre el virus, debe tener en cuenta que la mejor fuente de información médica y de salud son los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades. Puede contactarlos en www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. Este evento está siendo grabado y puede acceder a la grabación desde www.aarp.org/coronavirus 24 horas después del evento. 

Primero, hoy nos acompaña el Dr. Jay Butler, M.D., director adjunto de Enfermedades Infecciosas de los CDC. Él provee liderazgo a los tres Centros Nacionales de Enfermedades Infecciosas de los CDC, y ayuda en el avance de las prioridades de enfermedades infecciosas de la agencia. Gracias por acompañarnos hoy, Dr. Butler.

JAY BUTLER: Buenas tardes o buenos días a todos.

BILL WALSH: Muchas gracias por acompañarnos. Empecemos de inmediato. Hay mucha información nueva y más claridad, mientras que la preparación y la prevención se convierten en nuestra nueva normalidad. Cuéntenos, ¿qué estamos haciendo bien? ¿Y en qué necesitamos mejorar nuestra respuesta al coronavirus? 

JAY BUTLER: Bueno, creo que una de las cosas que estamos haciendo bien es tomar la amenaza en serio. Este es un virus que ni siquiera sabíamos que existía hasta hace solo tres meses, por lo que es bastante notable el progreso que se ha logrado, en términos de la comprensión de esta enfermedad y el virus en sí, los pasos que han sido tomados para frenar su propagación, y es todo un cambio. Esto será algo que la gente les contará a sus nietos: nuestros nietos les contarán a sus nietos, en el futuro. 

El progreso del virus en su propagación a nivel mundial ha reflejado lo que hemos visto en las pandemias de influenza en el pasado. Aunque es importante destacar que este coronavirus no es influenza. Pero es algo que realmente involucra a todas las partes del mundo. En este momento, Europa está más impactada, pero aquí en Estados Unidos, definitivamente, también está en aumento. Y una de las razones por las que estoy tan contento de poder hablar con ustedes hoy, sobre el enfoque del virus y la importancia de tomarlo en serio es, ya que hemos aprendido más sobre la COVID-19, está muy claro que la mayoría de las personas infectadas se recuperan, y se recuperan muy bien. Pero desafortunadamente, algunos se enferman gravemente y otros incluso mueren. Y el riesgo de una enfermedad más grave es mayor para las personas mayores y para las personas con enfermedades subyacentes, especialmente enfermedades cardíacas, pulmonares o renales crónicas, y las personas con diabetes.

Las intervenciones actuales representan una transición desde la fase inicial, que realmente se centró en la contención, es decir, cómo ralentizamos la entrada del virus en el país, reconociendo desde el principio que probablemente sería imposible evitar su ingreso, y ahora que está aquí, pasamos a la fase de mitigación. ¿Cuáles son los pasos que tomamos para frenar la propagación y distribuir el impacto de la pandemia durante el mayor tiempo posible, para que se pueda mantener la infraestructura y que, en particular, nuestro sistema de salud no se vea saturado por la carga de las personas que se enferman con la infección? Estas son partes de la respuesta en las que creo que podemos profundizar un poco más. 

Sé que en este momento hay mucha controversia. ¿Hace falta estar haciendo todas las cosas que estamos haciendo, particularmente en relación con el distanciamiento social, del que podemos hablar más adelante? Pero en este momento hay muchas incógnitas. Creo que lo que estamos haciendo es una forma de poder, en cierto sentido, hacer una pausa para poder evaluar cuál será el impacto de la pandemia en nuestro país y ser capaz de resolver cuál es la mejor manera de frenar esa propagación. Si damos una analogía, tal vez sea un poco como salir en su auto en una mañana muy fría, o si vive en el sur, cuando el sol le da directo, y pone la calefacción o el aire acondicionado en alto hasta que sepa cuál será la situación y cómo puede ajustarse a las condiciones climáticas dentro de su auto. Y luego baja la intensidad, según sea necesario. 

Creo que, en muchos sentidos, estamos tratando de dar pasos muy importantes, tratando de lograr el equilibrio adecuado entre cómo lograr el distanciamiento social, pero minimizar el aislamiento social y el impacto en cosas que también están relacionadas con la salud, como la economía y el acceso a los alimentos, las interacciones con nuestros seres queridos, que son importantes para nuestra salud mental. 

Todas estas cosas entran en estas decisiones importantes, donde tenemos que ver cuáles son los costos y también cuáles son los beneficios.

BILL WALSH: En París y cerca, creo que la gente ya está sintiendo la agitación. ¿Qué debemos hacer las personas para mejorar nuestra respuesta? ¿Y qué debe hacer el Gobierno para mejorar nuestra respuesta al coronavirus? 

JAY BUTLER: Creo que lo más importante que deben hacer las personas para mejorar la respuesta es mantenerse informados. Agradezco su referencia al sitio web de los CDC. Eso es www.cdc.gov/covid19. También hay muy buenos recursos disponibles en los sitios web de los departamentos de Salud Pública locales o estatales. Johns Hopkins University también tiene un sitio web muy bueno que proporciona mucha información y de amplio espectro, al igual que la Organización Mundial de la Salud, la OMS. Y luego, fíjense cómo pueden adaptarse mejor en su propia vida, particularmente para las personas mayores, aquellas con enfermedades subyacentes. Este es un buen momento para darse cuenta de que debe tomar medidas para ayudar a mantenerse seguro y también para retrasar la propagación de la infección. Si bien es posible que no corra el riesgo de una enfermedad más grave, es posible que pueda contribuir a la propagación. 

Por lo tanto, algunas de las medidas que se han tomado para minimizar la exposición mutua son muy importantes. 

BILL WALSH: Permítame retomar ese punto, doctor. Hemos visto una serie de noticias recientes donde las tiendas de comestibles están designando horarios especiales para que las personas mayores compren. ¿Cuál es el punto de vista de los CDC al respecto, dada su advertencia para que las personas practiquen el distanciamiento social? 

JAY BUTLER: Sí, no hay una posición oficial al respecto. Pero creo que es un buen ejemplo de cómo se están adaptando las empresas, más o menos siguiendo ese modelo de costos y beneficios. Si bien queremos que las personas puedan minimizar sus interacciones con el público y entre ellos tanto como sea posible, las personas necesitan comer. Y si se está quedando sin alimentos, o se está quedando sin suministros, y en particular si no tiene acceso a alguien que pueda ir a la tienda por usted, o si tiene servicios de entrega a domicilio disponibles, medidas como esta, son una manera de distribuir la cantidad de personas que están en la tienda en un momento dado. 

Por lo tanto, es una forma de proporcionar servicios, al mismo tiempo que apoya los conceptos de distanciamiento social. 

BILL WALSH: ¿Es seguro? ¿Es seguro que una persona mayor vaya al supermercado, incluso durante esas horas designadas?

JAY BUTLER: Sí, la palabra "seguro" es interesante porque hay muy pocas cosas, tal vez nada, que sean 100% seguras. Entonces, ¿es tan seguro como quedarse en su casa y no estar en contacto con otros? Probablemente no. ¿Es seguro en comparación con quedarse sin alimentos y tener problemas nutricionales? Bueno, hay dos costos y riesgos involucrados allí. ¿Cuál es más seguro? Realmente no puedo responder esa pregunta. No hay nada que sea completamente seguro o arriesgado. Tal vez no sea tan bueno como poder mantenerse socialmente distanciado, pero también es una muy buena opción si mantener provisiones en su hogar se está convirtiendo en un desafío. 

BILL WALSH: Muy bien. También hemos estado viendo mucho sobre servicios de entrega de alimentos, servicios de entrega de medicamentos. Creemos que podría ser un buen término medio para las personas, si esos servicios están disponibles en su área. Para aquellos de ustedes que acaban de unirse a nuestra conversación, soy Bill Walsh de AARP, y hoy estamos hablando con líderes expertos sobre el coronavirus. 

También tomamossus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta en cualquier momento, presione asterisco 3. Doctor, hemos escuchado que ha habido mucha discusión con respecto a las pruebas. Si necesita una prueba, ¿cómo funciona? ¿A donde debe ir? ¿Qué debería esperar? ¿Y cómo funciona el pago? 

JAY BUTLER: Bien. Comencemos con, ¿a dónde debe ir? Y quién debe hacerse la prueba, tal vez sea aún más importante. Las pruebas son más apropiadas para las personas que desarrollan síntomas de COVID-19, y que incluyen fiebre. Puede incluir tos, dolores musculares, dolor de cabeza, falta de aliento. Todas estas cosas son preocupantes. Realmente es principalmente una infección del tracto respiratorio. 

Sabemos que muchas cosas diferentes causan enfermedades respiratorias. Recién estamos llegando al final de la temporada de gripe. Entonces, solo porque desarrolle esos síntomas no significa que tenga COVID-19. Si desarrolla síntomas y desea hablar con su proveedor de atención médica, ese es el primer punto de contacto para tomar decisiones sobre si se evaluará o no, y si se puede indicar una prueba o no. Un proveedor de atención médica debe estar involucrado en la decisión. Y sé que en muchas partes del país, ahora hay lugares donde se puede pasar a hacer la prueba. Esa es, por supuesto, una oportunidad para poder hacerse las pruebas sin tener que ir a la clínica y potencialmente exponer a otras personas. Ahí es donde estar en contacto con su proveedor local es importante. 

Por supuesto, si de repente se enferma gravemente, y tiene síntomas de falta de aliento, dolor en el pecho, dificultad para respirar o nota que su cara o sus labios se están poniendo azules, ahí es cuando debe llamar al 911, para ser ingresado lo más rápido posible. Los departamentos de emergencia son una opción, pero creo que es muy importante que, a menos que esté muy enfermo, llame con anticipación para que se le aconseje sobre cómo interactuar con el sistema de salud de manera que todos se mantengan seguros. 

Ahora, con respecto al pago, creo que a muchos de nosotros nos complace saber que las pruebas de COVID-19 están cubiertas por la Parte B de Medicare cuando lo ordena un proveedor de atención médica. También se han tomado medidas para garantizar que los costos no sean una barrera para las pruebas. Y ahora hay una legislación que se está abriendo camino en el Congreso sobre las pruebas preliminares para COVID-19. También hay un proyecto de ley que recientemente aprobó el Congreso, la Ley de Respuesta al Coronavirus de Familias Primero que, entre otras cosas, requiere que la mayoría de los planes de seguros privados cubran las pruebas para COVID-19 sin costo compartido, al menos durante el período de emergencia. Algunos estados han adoptado requisitos similares para las aseguradoras que ellos regulan. Y muchas compañías de seguros privadas ya han ampliado voluntariamente la cobertura para incluir pruebas.

Y luego, lo último que mencionaré es que la cobertura de Medicaid generalmente está determinada por cada estado. Por lo tanto, visitar el sitio web del programa Medicaid de su estado es una buena manera de determinar si la cobertura de Medicaid también es una opción o no. 

BILL WALSH: Bueno. Permítame hacerle otra pregunta, doctor. ¿Por qué es tan importante la práctica del distanciamiento social en este momento, incluso entre las poblaciones que no tienen un riesgo tan alto? 

JAY BUTLER: Bueno. Me sabrá perdonar. Hablemos un minuto de lo que sabemos sobre la transmisión de esta infección. Parece que el modo principal de transmisión de este coronavirus, así como los otros seis coronavirus que anteriormente se sabía que causaban enfermedades en humanos, son las gotas respiratorias. Y con eso, quiero decir, cuando toso o estornudo, produzco un aerosol, y las gotas que contienen el virus pueden volar hasta cinco o seis pies de mi cuerpo. Así es como se transmiten la mayoría de las infecciones respiratorias. Y ahí es donde se vuelve muy importante poder mantener cierta distancia de otras personas que pueden toser o estornudar, que puede no tener nada que ver con el hecho de si están infectadas con la COVID-19. Pero brinda la posibilidad de propagar el virus.

Una de las cosas que se está haciendo evidente acerca de esta enfermedad, que es preocupante y realmente desafía nuestra capacidad de controlarla sin distanciamiento social, es que parece que las personas pueden transmitir la infección durante un corto período de tiempo previo al inicio de los síntomas. Además, sabemos que las personas que no tienen síntomas pueden estar infectadas. No sabemos qué papel jugarían en la propagación. Creo que está bien suponer que las personas que están tosiendo y estornudando tienen una mayor capacidad de propagar la infección. Pero sugiere que es importante que todos mantengamos una cierta distancia el uno del otro, particularmente en este momento donde la transmisión parece estar en aumento en Estados Unidos. 

Ahora, me preguntaba acerca de las personas que no tienen un riesgo tan alto de complicaciones, y esto es realmente importante. Y aunque nos hemos centrado mucho en enviar mensajes a las personas que están en alto riesgo, también queremos poder transmitir el mensaje a las personas más jóvenes, ya que pueden desempeñar un papel importante en la propagación de la infección. El distanciamiento social no solo se aplica a las personas que están en mayor riesgo, sino que realmente se aplica a todos nosotros, al menos por este período de tiempo. Soy abuelo y me encanta ver a mis nietos. Pero este es probablemente un buen momento, especialmente para las personas que están más avanzadas en años, las personas mayores de 75a 80 años, para conectarse con los nietos principalmente por teléfono o video llamada o formas que serían menos propensas a dar lugar a la exposición a COVID-19.

BILL WALSH: Muy bien, muchas gracias. Pasemos ahora al administrador Lance Robertson. El administrador Robertson fue nombrado para servir como subsecretario para asuntos de  envejecimiento y administrador de la Administración para la Vida Comunitaria en el 2017. Su visión para ACL se centra en cinco pilares: apoyar a las familias y cuidadores, proteger los derechos y prevenir el abuso, conectar a las personas con los recursos, expandir oportunidades de empleo, y fortalecer las redes de envejecimiento y discapacidad. Gracias por acompañarnos hoy.

LANCE ROBERSTON: Gracias, Bill. Un gusto estar aquí. 

BILL WALSH: Muy bien. Administrador Robertson, ¿qué sugerencias tiene para los cuidadores familiares, que son más de 40 millones de cuidadores no remunerados que están ayudando a los residentes de hogares de ancianos, sobre cómo pueden mantenerse en contacto con sus seres queridos cuando no pueden visitar en persona? ¿A quién deben contactar si tienen preguntas e inquietudes? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Bien, gracias, Bill. Ciertamente, es una pregunta común que recibimos con gran regularidad aquí en la Administración para la Vida Comunitaria. Y, por cierto, somos parte del Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos, muy honrados de trabajar junto a los CDC y CMS y muchos otros. Somos una organización federal relativamente nueva, debo agregar. Entonces, realmente quiero alentar a los oyentes a que nos visiten en www.acl.gov. www.acl.gov. Sin embargo, pasaré a responder a la pregunta porque, nuevamente, es una que ciertamente todos podemos apreciar. Y aunque, creo, todos entendemos las razones de las restricciones necesarias a las visitas a los centros de atención a largo plazo, no hay duda de que son muy difíciles para todos, y ciertamente para los propios residentes y para los miembros de la familia que los apoyan y abogan por ellos. Hay, por supuesto, cosas que puede hacer para que sea más fácil. 

Permítanme revisar una lista rápida de sugerencias. 

Primero, es importante asegurarse de que la instalación tenga su información de contacto actualizada. Además, asegúrese de leer cualquier información que la instalación le envíe. Y esto puede describir los sistemas que han configurado para ayudar a facilitar visitas virtuales o llamadas telefónicas. A continuación, si necesita asistencia del personal para comunicarse por teléfono o video chat, considere establecer una fecha y hora de rutina. Eso realmente ayudará a la instalación. Además, considere enviar tarjetas y notas alegres, no solo a su ser querido, sino también enviar un simple "gracias" a quizás otros residentes, pero ciertamente al personal, para expresar su gratitud ante el arduo trabajo que están haciendo.

Y finalmente, por supuesto, sea paciente. Por favor sea paciente. Las instalaciones, por supuesto, tienen poco personal, y este también es un momento difícil para ellos. Todos estamos aprendiendo en el camino. Pero, Bill, analicemos esto un poco. Si tiene un ser querido que es capaz de comunicarse verbalmente, lo más simple es, por supuesto, usar el teléfono y comunicarse de manera rutinaria. Como gerontólogos, una de nuestras preocupaciones, por supuesto, es el aburrimiento y el aislamiento. Entonces, piense en cómo puede participar de actividades mutuas. Si la conversación le resulta un poco difícil, tal vez juegue un juego de trivia, recuerden historias, trabajen juntos en un crucigrama, canten canciones, lean poesía u otros materiales, vean un programa de televisión al mismo tiempo y hagan comentarios. 

Nuevamente, ponga un poco de creatividad en cómo puede ayudar a prevenir tanto el aburrimiento como el aislamiento. Y para aquellos que son más astutos tecnológicamente, puede considerar varias plataformas que son populares ahora que ayudan con las interacciones cara a cara, como FaceTime, Messenger, Facebook, Zoom, etc. Y, por supuesto, cualquier interacción será muy valiosa. Pasemos rápidamente a aquellos que no pueden comunicarse verbalmente, porque sabemos que la separación es aún más difícil. Y es aún más difícil, sin duda, encontrar formas de conectarse. 

Nuevamente, algunos consejos que le ofreceríamos a sus oyentes, sería que soliciten a la instalación que establezca una hora para una llamada. Por ejemplo, si su mamá está mayormente alerta en las mañanas, escoja una hora en la mañana. Piense en la música que le gustaría y póngala de fondo o cántele directamente a su ser querido. Si su ser querido es espiritual o religioso, puede recurrir a su comunidad de fe y considerar rezar. Recuerde historias o lea un libro, como mencioné anteriormente. Quizás solo escuchar su voz realmente pueda brindarle consuelo, incluso si ese ser querido no puede verbalizarlo. Y luego, establezca un horario de rutina para hablar con el personal de las instalaciones, para que pueda mantenerse actualizado sobre cómo se está manejando su ser querido. Y, por supuesto, haga preguntas específicas, cosas como: "¿Están recibiendo ayuda para caminar según sea apropiado? ¿Están comiendo? ¿Qué tipo de actividades se ofrecen?" Eso es muy crítico. Y si tiene programada una conferencia de atención, solicite al centro que mantenga la hora programada y hágala por teléfono. Sabemos que están ocupados, pero es imperativo que permanezca vinculado como cuidador. 

BILL WALSH: Todo esto es muy interesante. Hemos recibido varias llamadas al centro de llamadas de AARP sobre este mismo problema, principalmente de miembros de la familia que sienten que se les está cortando la comunicación. ¿Las propias instalaciones tienen la obligación de mantener a las familias actualizadas regularmente sobre la condición de su ser querido y también sobre las condiciones de la instalación?

LANCE ROBERSTON: Sí, Bill, sin duda, tienen esa obligación. Esperamos que estas instalaciones, por supuesto, consideren que es una prioridad muy crítica para ellos, especialmente durante esta temporada. Sí, su trabajo se centra en el cuidado de ese residente. Pero es cierto que saben que la atención en general del residente y la familia de ese residente es lo que hará que este sea un período en que todos sobreviviremos. Ciertamente espero que si las personas tienen dificultades con eso, tengamos algunas formas en que podamos intervenir, o que alguien ayude, en nombre del miembro de la familia. Pero nuevamente, para ser claros, sí, una instalación debe permitir la comunicación regular con el residente, y sinceramente, debe ser una prioridad para ellos, en sus roles y obligaciones profesionales, comunicarse con la familia según sea necesario. 

BILL WALSH: Sí. AARP también tiene excelentes recursos en lo que respecta a esto, en www.aarp.org/elcoronavirus, algunos recursos específicamente para estos cuidadores familiares, preguntas para hacer a las instalaciones, cómo crear un plan de atención. Revísenlo. Y con suerte habrá material allí que sea útil y realizable. 

Administrador Robertson, estábamos hablando de cuidadores con seres queridos en un centro. ¿Qué pasa con aquellos con seres queridos que viven en sus propios hogares? Si necesitan recursos, como comidas a domicilio, cuidado de relevo o cuidado en el hogar en sus comunidades, ¿a quién contactan? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Sí, buena pregunta. Y, por supuesto, Bill, tenemos una red, de casi 20,000 proveedores en todo el país, que realizan gran parte de la prestación del servicio que consideramos "normal". Por supuesto, parte de cómo se brinda ese servicio ahora se ha modificado por razones de seguridad. Una vez más, aunque algunos de esos socios a nivel comunitario han llegado a sus límites, y en algunos casos se han cerrado, sin duda, tenemos sugerencias para los miembros de la familia, varias formas de navegar los próximos días, semanas, hasta que las cosas se vuelvan un poco más estandarizadas, en términos de operaciones. Porque nosotros, para ser honestos, Bill, tenemos que asegurarnos de que, los cuidadores familiares no se vean agotados de repente a causa de la presión que recae en él. 

BILL WALSH: Sí, absolutamente. 

LANCE ROBERSTON: Porque vemos una situación que se ha vuelto terriblemente frágil, no solo para la persona que necesita la atención, sino también para la persona que la brinda.

BILL WALSH: Estas personas están bajo mucho estrés, incluso en tiempos normales. Y como sabemos, estos no son tiempos normales. 

LANCE ROBERSTON: Absolutamente. Y para responder a su pregunta directamente, Bill, permítame recordarles a sus oyentes, en términos de acceso a qué proveedores hay, cada comunidad está cubierta por área de la Agencia de Envejecimiento. Y también tenemos nuestros Centros de recursos para personas mayores y discapacitados. Por lo tanto, mucho de eso, sinceramente, la mayoría de todo eso, se puede encontrar a través del Elder Care Locator. 

Ciertamente tenemos centros de llamadas. Tenemos centros de llamadas especializados, como el Centro de llamadas de Alzheimer, pero también el Localizador de relevo nacional. Y todos estos son financiados por nosotros. Y nuevamente, recursos muy, muy simples de encontrar, y diferentes formas de poder conectar a los oyentes que podrían necesitar esa ayuda. Puedo dar el número en caso de que tengan un bolígrafo a mano. Es un número que comunica fácilmente con el Eldercare Locator. Es un número gratuito: 1-800-677-1116. Y nuevamente, eso los conectará con sus recursos locales.

BILL WALSH: Muy bien, fantástico. Gracias. Para aquellos de ustedes que recién se unen a nuestra conversación, soy Bill Walsh de AARP. Y estamos hablando con el Dr. Jay Butler, de los CDC, y Lance Robertson, de la Administración para la Vida Comunitaria. También tomaremos sus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta en cualquier momento, presione asterisco 3 para conectarse con un miembro del personal de AARP para compartir sus preguntas. Y para obtener los últimos recursos de información sobre la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, visite www.aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

Es un placer para mí estar acompañado hoy por mi colega, Jean Setzfand, vicepresidenta sénior de Programas, de AARP. Jean me ayudará a dirigir la discusión del día de hoy. Bienvenida Jean. 

JEAN SETZFAND: Gracias, Bill, encantada de estar aquí en esta importante teleasamblea. 

BILL WALSH: Bueno, pasemos a algunas personas que nos han llamado. ¿Quién es el primer oyente que llama hoy?

JEAN SETZFAND: Tengo a Rose de Pensilvania. que tiene una pregunta. 

BILL WALSH: Muy bien. Hola Rose.

ROSE: Gracias por atender mi llamada. 

BILL WALSH: Muy bien. Adelante con su pregunta. 

ROSE: De acuerdo. Teniendo en cuenta que la COVID-19 ataca el sistema respiratorio, si tiene más de 65 años y tiene la vacuna contra la neumonía, ¿ayudaría eso si contrajera COVID-19? 

BILL WALSH: Dr. Butler, eso suena como una buena pregunta para usted.

JAY BUTLER: Sí, seguro que lo es. Y Rose, esa es una de las preguntas que a menudo hago al principio cuando consideramos cómo un nuevo patógeno respiratorio afecta la salud de todos nosotros. Como ya sabrá, hemos alentado a las personas a que se vacunen contra la influenza porque hay mucha influenza en este momento. Pero esa vacuna no proporcionará ninguna protección contra la COVID-19. Potencialmente puede representar algo de mejora si tiene la mala suerte de tener ambos virus a la vez. Y entonces, eso mismo podría pasar con el neumococo también. El neumococo es una bacteria que causa neumonía. COVID-19 está basada en un virus. El neumococo es una bacteria. Es posible que algunas personas que se enferman gravemente con COVID-19 desarrollen una neumonía bacteriana secundaria. Por lo tanto, es posible que la vacuna antineumocócica pueda brindar cierta protección contra eso. Pero no proporcionará ninguna protección directa contra la COVID-19. En pocas palabras, si está en el grupo de edad o tiene una de las enfermedades subyacentes para las cuales su proveedor de atención médica recomendaría la vacuna antineumocócica, es importante tenerla. 

BILL WALSH: Bueno. Muchas gracias. Muy bien, Jean, ¿quién es nuestro próximo oyente? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Muy bien, nuestra próxima llamada es de Eleanor de Carolina del Norte. 

BILL WALSH: Hola, Eleanor.

ELEANOR: Gracias. ¿Hola como está? Y gracias por atenderme. Deseo felicitarlo por cómo este programa es simplemente maravilloso. Mi pregunta es la siguiente: muchas personas mayores viven en complejos de apartamentos, y el distanciamiento social del que hablamos a menudo parece un poco más difícil en esos complejos de apartamentos. Por lo tanto, pregunto, ¿qué me recomendarían?

Y la segunda pregunta es, si las personas mayores desean mudarse a otro lugar, ¿cuál es su recomendación para mudarse de un estado a otro? ¿Me pueden dar algún consejo? Muchas gracias. 

BILL WALSH: Muy bien, gracias. Dr. Butler, ¿quiere responder? 

JAY BUTLER: Claro. De hecho, la pregunta me resulta familiar porque tengo una casa lejos de Atlanta, en realidad está en Anchorage, Alaska. Pero tengo un apartamento aquí en Atlanta porque aquí es donde trabajo. Y en mi complejo de apartamentos ha habido personas infectadas con COVID-19, y hay un número significativo de personas que también están en cuarentena después de haber estado expuestas. Así que, entiendo muy bien la pregunta. En términos de distanciamiento social, son algunos de los mismos conceptos. En la medida de lo posible, debe minimizar su exposición a otras personas y también practicar la higiene de manos, que no mencioné mucho antes. Hablé sobre las gotas respiratorias, pero también nos preocupa, y particularmente basándonos en lo que sabemos sobre los otros coronavirus, que las superficies pueden contaminarse y el virus puede sobrevivir al menos durante un período de minutos a horas. Y así, a medida que las manos se contaminan, esa puede ser otra forma de propagación del virus.

Por lo tanto, es muy importante, si regresa al apartamento después de, por ejemplo, sacar de basura al contenedor de basura, lavarse bien las manos, y eso significa unos 20 segundos con agua y jabón. Sé que puede parecer mucho tiempo, pero es muy importante que se limpien bien las manos. 20 segundos también pueden ser la cantidad de tiempo que generalmente lleva decir el alfabeto o cantar "Feliz cumpleaños" dos veces. Si es propenso a querer limpiarse las manos con poca agua o ligéramente este es probablemente el momento de usar uno de esos medios para ayudarle a reducir la velocidad y lavarse bien las manos.

Otra opción es usar desinfectante para manos a base de alcohol. Y aunque estos suministros son difíciles de conseguir en algunas partes del país en este momento, un desinfectante de manos con al menos un 60% de alcohol es una alternativa adecuada al lavado de manos. 

 BILL WALSH: Ella también...

JAY BUTLER: Con respecto a...

BILL WALSH: Oh, adelante. Lo siento, iba a hacer referencia a la segunda parte de su pregunta. Parecía estar preguntando acerca de mudarse de un complejo de apartamentos.

JAY BUTLER: Sí, gracias, Bill. Eso era justo lo que estaba por contestar. 

BILL WALSH: Genial. Gracias. 

JAY BUTELR: Con respecto a la decisión de mudarse o no a otra ubicación, realmente depende de su situación y de a dónde se mudará. Si bien las familias pueden brindar mucha atención, es importante considerar si el distanciamiento social se puede mantener o no donde vaya. 

La otra consideración es cómo va a llegar allí. Recomendamos que las personas con mayor riesgo, las personas mayores, las personas con enfermedades subyacentes, no viajen en avión si el viaje puede suspenderse hasta más adelante. 

BILL WALSH: Muy bien. Muchas gracias. Jean, ¿quién es nuestro próximo oyente? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Recibimos una llamada de Joel de Oregón. 

BILL WALSH: Hola, Joel. ¿Está ahí? 

JOEL: ¿Hola?

BILL WALSH: Hola, Joel. Adelante con su pregunta.

JOEL: Soy un veterano discapacitado de 74 años que vive solo y no tengo una fuente externa que me ayude a conseguir comida, y el banco de alimentos y la despensa a los que voy han estado cerrados durante dos semanas. [INAUDIBLE] ¿Hacer? [INAUDIBLE] que depende de las despensas de alimentos y los bancos de alimentos para sobrevivir. 

BILL WALSH: Bueno. Parece que Joel enfrenta dificultades reales para obtener fuentes locales de alimentos. Administrador Robertson, ¿quiere opinar sobre eso? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Absolutamente, Joel. Y gracias por su servicio, señor. Y ciertamente, ya sea a través de servicios financiados por el HHS o incluso del Departamento de Asuntos de Veteranos, queremos asegurarnos de que podamos satisfacer sus necesidades inmediatas. Como mencioné anteriormente, probablemente la forma más rápida y eficiente de conectarse con los recursos disponibles es a través del número de Elder Care Locator. Y con gusto repetiré ese número.

 Igualmente, también puede acceder a ellos en línea. Pero lo conectará con el área de la Agencia de Envejecimiento que presta servicios en su área allí en Oregón. Y si bien su proceso tradicional de entrega de comidas ha cambiado, las comidas en la mayor parte del país, que sepamos, no han dejado de llegar a los consumidores. Cómo se empaquetan y agrupan es diferente. La forma en que se entregan puede ser diferente. 

Pero, ciertamente, para nosotros, una prioridad es prevenir la inseguridad alimentaria. Ese número es 1-800-677-1116. De nuevo, 1-800-677-1116. Gracias Bill.

BILL WALSH: Bien. Muchas gracias por eso. Jean, ¿quién es el próximo? 

JEAN SETZFAND: El próximo llamado es de Diane de California. 

BILL WALSH: Muy bien, Diane, bienvenida. ¿Cuál es su pregunta?

DIANE: Hola. Gracias por atender mi llamada. Recientemente cuidé de unos niños, y me gustaría saber, ¿cuánto tiempo tardarían en aparecer los síntomas si me hubiese infectado? Estos niños son activos en la comunidad, y yo soy una persona mayor, y he estado aislada, excepto por aquella vez en que cuidé a los niños. Y antes de salir o hacer algo, quiero asegurarme de que no me he infectado.

BILL WALSH: Bueno, gracias por eso. Dr. Butler, ¿quiere opinar sobre eso? 

JAY BUTLER: Seguro que lo haré. Diane, está preguntando cuál es, lo que en medicina llamamos el período de incubación. En otras palabras, ¿cuánto tiempo transcurre entre la exposición a un agente infeccioso antes de que aparezcan los síntomas? 

En términos muy generales, para la COVID-19, creemos que es de aproximadamente 2 a 14 días. Pero en situaciones donde hay una exposición muy discreta, la gran mayoría de esas enfermedades ocurrirán entre cuatro y siete días después de la exposición. Recomendamos que, si alguien se pone en cuarentena, es decir, ha tenido una exposición, o le preocupa que haya estado expuesto y quiera evitar la exposición a otras personas, esto se extiende por un período de hasta 14 días después de esa última exposición.

BILL WALSH: Doctor, usted mencionó anteriormente la probabilidad de exposición a través de la transmisión aérea. Me pregunto si eso ha causado que D.C. cambie sus consejos sobre el uso de mascarillas.

JAY BUTLER: Sí, esa es una buena pregunta, Bill. Y, de hecho, permítanme distinguir la transmisión aérea de las gotas respiratorias. Y eso puede sonar muy técnico, pero es muy importante porque cuando decimos "transmisión aérea", estamos hablando de un virus que en realidad puede permanecer suspendido en el aire y transmitirse a distancias mucho más largas. 

En condiciones de laboratorio, esta familia de coronavirus, podemos hacer que lo haga. Pero en la naturaleza, eso no parece suceder muy a menudo, o en absoluto. Un ejemplo de una infección transmitida por el aire, es el sarampión, donde el virus realmente se puede propagar en una habitación. Creemos que para este virus, es mucho más probable que esté dentro de esa distancia de hasta seis pies. No quiere decir que la transmisión aérea no pueda ocurrir. La epidemiología sugiere que no es un modo común de propagación. 

Ahora, con respecto a su pregunta sobre las mascarillas. Recomendamos que los proveedores de atención médica sean los que usen mascarillas, particularmente en ciertos casos, porque el tipo de mascarilla que se usa es muy específica para la situación. Pero al mismo tiempo, los CDC no recomienda que todos las usen en la comunidad porque las mascarillas que se venden, particularmente las que funcionan como máscaras quirúrgicas, realmente no filtran el aire ni brindan protección. Además, no hay mucha evidencia de que el uso de mascarillas en la comunidad brinde protección contra los virus respiratorios. La única excepción a esto es que, si contacta a su proveedor y tiene síntomas, y se le pide que vaya, puede que lo reciban en el estacionamiento con una mascarilla quirúrgica y le pidan que se la ponga. En realidad, eso es para proteger a otros pacientes y al proveedor de atención médica. Esa es una instancia en la que la función de la mascarilla no es filtrar el aire, sino prevenir que la tos o estornudos, que pueden ser difíciles de controlar, puedan contaminar el ambiente o propagar la infección a otros. 

BILL WALSH: Bueno, lo entiendo. Muy bien, ¿qué tal si atendemos otra llamada? Jean, ¿a quién tenemos? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Tenemos a Deborah de Nueva York. 

BILL WALSH: Hola, Deborah. Adelante con tu pregunta. 

DEBORAH: Bien, solo quería saber cuáles podrían ser los recursos locales que puedo aprovechar. Y también, ¿qué sugerencias tiene para apoyar a mis seres queridos, dado que existe este distanciamiento social? ¿Cómo podemos apoyarnos desde lejos? 

BILL WALSH: Bien. Administrador Robertson, ¿escuchó esa pregunta? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Hola, Bill. Creo que escuché la mayor parte. Y es maravilloso saber de Nueva York. Estaba escuchando al gobernador Cuomo esta mañana. Y nuevamente, el compromiso que tienen allí para ayudar a erradicar esta enfermedad es muy admirable. Creo que la forma en que respondería la segunda parte de la pregunta, que entendí que era más sobre el cuidado a larga distancia... Y recibimos muchas preguntas sobre eso. 

Ahora, independientemente de la geografía, lo que entendemos es, oye, ¿cómo cuidas a alguien con quien quizás no estás físicamente cerca? Y nosotros, nuevamente, solo ofrecemos la sugerencia de llamadas telefónicas y conversaciones de video más frecuentes y regulares. Y donde tienes permiso, a veces los vecinos pueden ayudar. Por supuesto, todo eso debería hacerse bajo las precauciones prescritas por los CDC. Y nuevamente, el Elder Care Locator es maravilloso para identificar posibles apoyos para sus seres queridos en un área específica. Y ciertamente, allí puede encontrar el apoyo adecuado para usted también, como cuidador. Y creo que la pregunta del oyente, si la pregunta de Deborah era más sobre el cuidado de alguien en el mismo hogar, entonces obviamente el Dr. Butler podrá responder mejor. 

JAY BUTLER: Sí, gracias. Para continuar con esa pregunta sobre la atención en el mismo hogar, creo que lo importante es minimizar el contacto tanto como sea posible, particularmente con personas sintomáticas. Pero reconozca que dentro de los hogares, habrá exposición. También es importante limpiar las superficies al menos una vez al día. Y cuando hablo de limpiar y desinfectar, no es nada elaborado. Se ha demostrado que la gran mayoría de los desinfectantes domésticos pueden inactivar este coronavirus en particular, así como a toda la familia de los coronavirus. 

BILL WALSH: Administrador Robertson, otra cosa que creo que Deborah estaba tratando era los recursos hiperlocales. Recibimos muchas llamadas de personas que dicen: "¿Cómo puedo saber qué hay realmente cerca, en términos de entrega de alimentos y entrega de medicamentos recetados, cosas como esa?" ¿Qué consejo tiene para las personas que realmente buscan una variedad de recursos cerca de casa? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Sí, es una buena pregunta, Bill. Y nuevamente, tradicionalmente, Elder Care Locator es el repositorio de la mayor parte de eso. Sin embargo, creo que durante este tiempo sin precedentes, queremos reconocer que las comunidades locales están haciendo un trabajo excepcional. 

Por ejemplo, sé que, nuevamente, haciendo referencia a Nueva York, hay oficiales de policía que ahora entregan comidas. Y para eso, lo mejor puede ser llamar a su Departamento de Salud local. Sin embargo, cualquiera de las agencias de servicio social con las que lo pondríamos en contacto, nuestra expectativa es que ellos también estén al tanto de lo que sucede a medida que todo evoluciona día a día, cuando se trata de servicios sociales. Una vez más, su oficina de área de la Agencia de Envejecimiento que se puede encontrar a través del Elder Care Locator, seguirá siendo la fuente a la que señalaremos, en relación con la mayoría de los servicios que están sucediendo. 

El otro reconocimiento, creo que la comunidad basada en la fe está realmente ayudando. Entonces, pueden encontrar muchas iglesias y áreas locales que están haciendo un trabajo bastante excepcional. Pero de nuevo, nuestra esperanza es mantener un buen pulso sobre eso, como su proveedor líder de servicios sociales. Y nuevamente, el Elder Care Locator es un excelente recurso. 

BILL WALSH: ¿Y quiere darnos el contacto nuevamente para el Elder Care Locator? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Sí, absolutamente. Daré también el sitio web, que es simple. El sitio web es simplemente www.eldercare.acl.gov. www.eldercare.acl.gov. El número de teléfono es gratuito, 1-800-677-1116. Y muchas gracias, Bill, por ayudarnos a exponer ese recurso porque, a medida que pasen los días y las semanas, creo que vamos a ver un cambio dentro de nuestra sociedad donde las personas ahora estarán más interesadas en mantener los servicios necesarios. Todos recibimos un gran mensaje de nuestros amigos de los CDC sobre cómo tomar precauciones y hacer la cuarentena. Pero creo que llegará el día en que la gente esté lista para preguntar: "Oye, ¿de dónde vendrá mi próxima comida?" 

BILL WALSH: Bien. Hemos estado hablando mucho sobre preparación y prevención. Me gustaría pasar a otra dimensión del brote de coronavirus, y eso es el fraude y las estafas. Me gustaría traer de vuelta a mi coanfitriona, Jean Setzfand, vicepresidenta Sénior de Programas, aquí en AARP, para hablar de eso. Jean, ¿quieres continuar? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Claro. Muchas gracias, Bill. Hola a todos. Soy Jean Setzfand de AARP. Y nuevamente, estamos respondiendo preguntas sobre el coronavirus con los CDC, así como con la Administración para la Vida Comunitaria. Ambos están en línea para responder sus preguntas. Pero como dijo Bill, vamos a cambiar un poco para hablar un poco sobre mantenerse a salvo de estafas, así como del fraude, durante esta crisis. Pero como recordatorio, también puede hacer una pregunta al presionar el asterisco 3 en su teléfono. 

Permítanme dar la bienvenida a Daniel Kaufman a la conversación. Daniel es subdirector de la Oficina de Protección al Consumidor de la Comisión Federal de Comercio. La oficina trabaja para proteger a los consumidores contra las prácticas injustas, engañosas o fraudulentas, y también ayudará a supervisar todos los asuntos de la oficina relacionados con la privacidad, la seguridad de los datos y las prácticas de publicidad y mercadeo. Muchas gracias por acompañarnos hoy, Daniel. 

DANIEL: Gracias Jean. Estoy muy contento de estar aquí hoy. Y me disculpo, el ruido de bocinas proviene de mi vecindario. No estoy acostumbrado a trabajar desde casa, pero afortunadamente, creo que las bocinas de automóvil han dejado de sonar. 

JEAN SETZFAND: Muy bien. Estamos practicando la distancia social en nuestro evento de hoy. Así que, muchas gracias por eso. Daniel, desafortunadamente, el fraude nunca se toma vacaciones. Y parece estar particularmente presente en este momento, en momentos como este. Entiendo que la Comisión Federal de Comercio, la FTC, ya ha tomado medidas para evitar que las empresas vendan productos que afirman tratar o prevenir el coronavirus. ¿Puedes contarnos un poco más sobre esto? 

DANIEL KAUFMAN: Claro. Es interesante. Al principio, durante los tiempos difíciles, hay tantas personas que hacen cosas maravillosas que demuestran compasión, humanidad y cariño. No voy a hablar de nada de eso, desafortunadamente. En cambio, en la FTC, nos estamos enfocando en compañías e individuos que están tratando de aprovecharse de los consumidores en tiempos difíciles. Una de las primeras cosas que hicimos fue a principios de marzo. Lo hicimos junto con la FDA. Enviamos cartas de advertencia a siete compañías diferentes que promocionaban una variedad de productos que, según ellos, tratarían o evitarían el coronavirus. Vendían queso, aceites esenciales, plata coloidal. 

En su mayoría, se trata de empresas con las que probablemente no estamos familiarizados. Pero uno de ellos fue The Jim Bakker Show. Ahora, desde la perspectiva de la FTC, esta es una publicidad falsa. Para la FDA, estos son productos no aprobados y mal etiquetados. Me complace informar que, en estos tiempos, encontramos que las cartas de advertencia son una herramienta muy efectiva. Y las compañías en cuestión han cambiado sus reclamos. Ya no están haciendo estas afirmaciones. Pero seguimos monitoreando lo que están haciendo, y estamos buscando otras afirmaciones engañosas de coronavirus que hay dando vueltas.

Este es un asunto de salud pública realmente importante, y queremos recordarles a los consumidores que, en la medida en que se desarrollen tratamientos, no se enterará de eso por sitios web sospechosos que venden productos. Entonces, si se encuentra con estas cosas, denúncielas ante la FTC. Puede informar estas estafas en www.ftc.gov/complaint. 

JEAN SETZFAND: Eso es perfecto. Además de cuidar nuestra salud, también debemos estar atentos y protegernos de aquellos que actúan mal en este momento. Es importante que nos recuerde que debemos informar estos casos. ¿Sobre qué otra actividad de fraude está advirtiendo la Comisión Federal de Comercio, la FTC, a los consumidores? Y de nuevo, si puede contarnos sobre a dónde acudir para obtener más información al respecto y, lo que es más importante, para denunciar el presunto fraude. 

DANIEL KAUFMAN: Desde un nivel superior, llevo 21 años en la FTC. Y hemos visto una y otra vez, cuando hay una crisis de salud o una emergencia de salud, verá vendedores sin escrúpulos aprovechándose de los temores de los consumidores y vendiendo tratamientos falsos. Lo vimos con el ántrax, con el zika, y el ébola. Eso sucederá siempre. Y les daré información del sitio web de la FTC. Si desea ir a nuestro sitio web y obtener más información sobre las estafas que debe conocer, puede ir a www.ftc.gov/coronavirus, o simplemente ir a www.ftc.gov, verá un enlace muy destacado para las estafas de coronavirus. Si desea recibir alertas para los consumidores directamente de la FTC, puede visitar www.ftc.gov/subscribe. 

Tenemos una maravillosa división que no hace más que educación y divulgación al consumidor. Y están haciendo lo mejor que pueden para mantenerse al tanto de todas las estafas que existen. Pero déjeme contarle un poco sobre algunos de los otros tipos de estafas que estamos viendo. 

Correos electrónicos de suplantación de identidad ('phishing'). Estamos viendo muchos correos electrónicos falsos que se envían a los consumidores que usan encabezados sobre el coronavirus para que las personas los abran. Estos son correos electrónicos falsos que están llegando o que pretenden provenir, debo decir, de organizaciones legítimas e importantes como la Organización Mundial de la Salud o los CDC. Por lo tanto, les recordamos a los consumidores que no hagan clic en los enlaces cuando reciban esos correos electrónicos. No abran esos correos electrónicos. Descargarán virus o software dañino en su computadora. O intentarán obtener su información privada o la información de su tarjeta de crédito. 

Otra cosa que estamos viendo son estafas de caridad. Este es un momento difícil, y todos queremos ayudar. Pero queremos asegurarnos de que estamos ayudando a organizaciones benéficas, y no a los estafadores que fingen ser organizaciones benéficas. Hagan su tarea. Si reciben solicitudes de caridad, no se sientan presionados a dar. Puede colgar, conectarse a internet y donar a las organizaciones benéficas con las que se sienta cómodo. Puede hacer su tarea y asegurarse de que está donando a una organización benéfica en la que se sienta cómodo. 

Y también tenemos información al respecto, www.ftc.gov/charity. Hay muchos estafadores que usan nombres parecidos. Entonces, debe tener mucho cuidado con eso. Queremos que los consumidores generosos donen a las organizaciones adecuadas. Otra cosa que estamos viendo, un incremento de llamadas automatizadas que están pregonando una amplia variedad de cosas sobre el coronavirus. Ahora, es algo interesante. Ahora trabajo desde casa y recibo llamadas telefónicas de mis colegas durante todo el día, y contesto llamadas que generalmente no contesto. Y sabemos que muchos consumidores están pasando por esto. 

Estoy expuesto a muchas más llamadas automáticas de las que normalmente recibo. Y lo que aconsejo es, simplemente cuelgue. Tenga en mente que cualquiera que le haga una llamada automatizada, si está tratando de venderle un producto, ya está haciendo algo que es ilegal. Probablemente también estén tratando de venderle algo ilegal. 

Hay otras cosas que estamos viendo, y desearía que la lista no fuera tan larga, pero sabemos que siempre habrán estafadores tratando de aprovecharse de los consumidores durante estos tiempos difíciles. Estamos viendo productos no entregados. Hay una gran demanda de muchos productos diferentes en este momento, ya sean productos de limpieza o mascarillas. Y es bastante fácil configurar un sitio web que pretenda vender este tipo de productos. Y toman la información de pago de los consumidores, pero no los entregan. Una vez más, debe tener cuidado con quién está haciendo negocios, y también debe pagar con tarjeta de crédito. 

Uno de nuestros consejos recurrentes en la FTC es que no debe pagar mediante transferencia bancaria o tarjetas de regalo o cosas por el estilo. Esa es una señal segura de que algo huele mal. Estamos viendo ofertas en línea para vacunas. Y finalmente, otra cosa que quiero decir es que la Comisión de Bolsa y Valores ha estado advirtiendo a los consumidores sobre estafas de acciones. Los estafadores están anunciando que las acciones de una determinada compañía van a subir mucho porque tienen productos que pueden tratar el coronavirus, por lo que los precios están subiendo, la excitación crece. Los artistas del fraude están vendiendo, y luego a todos los demás les queda básicamente una acción extinta. Ese es el rango de estafas que estamos viendo. Pero estamos poniendo mucha información en nuestro sitio web, www.ftc.gov/es, para mantener a los consumidores al tanto de lo que estamos viendo y para esparcir la información lo más rápido posible. 

JEAN SETZFAND: Eso es realmente útil, Daniel. Y desafortunadamente, estamos luchando contra el virus, así como también tratamos de estar atentos contra las estafas y los estafadores. Y curiosamente, habló sobre esta amplia gama de diferentes estafas que existen. Y en AARP, en realidad hablamos mucho de eso, el primer paso de una estafa exitosa es llevar a la víctima a un estado emocional inestable. Creo que eso también se llama "estar bajo el éter". Los estafadores se están aprovechando de nuestros miedos en este momento. Si es así, ¿qué debemos hacer para estar atentos a algunas de estas tácticas, además de esta amplia gama de diferentes tipos de estafas? 

DANIEL KAUFMAN: Muchos de nosotros estamos ahora en ese estado emocional inestable. No se necesita mucho para llegar allí. Solo enciendo las noticias. Creo que una cosa importante a tener en cuenta es que, cuando se le presenta un sentido de urgencia, como "compre esto ahora", no lo haga. Hable con alguien que conozca y en quien confíe, y pregúntese "¿Tiene sentido?" Hemos descubierto que hablar con otras personas es un tema increíblemente efectivo. Otra cosa sobre la que hemos estado advirtiendo a los consumidores... Obviamente, se ha escuchado hablar mucho sobre que el presidente ha estado hablando de posiblemente enviar dinero a los consumidores en el país. Ya sea $ 1,000 o más, eso depende del Congreso, no de la FTC. Pero sabemos que cuando eso suceda, los estafadores estarán allí tratando de obtener ese dinero también. Eso también es algo a lo que debemos estar atentos, y estamos brindando información en nuestro sitio web y a los consumidores, de que, mirando hacia el futuro, anticipamos este otro tipo de estafas que se aprovecharán de los beneficios que existen. 

Desafortunadamente, los estafadores son muy creativos y harán todo lo posible para separar a las personas de su dinero ganado con tanto esfuerzo. 

JEAN SETZFAND: Muy bien. Eso es muy útil. Muchas gracias. Ahora vamos a tomar algunas llamadas en vivo. Tenemos muchas llamadas entrantes a través de nuestras líneas telefónicas, así como en línea a través de YouTube y Facebook. Entonces, Bill, déjame traerte de vuelta a la conversación para comenzar con algunas preguntas. 

BILL WALSH: Muy bien. Muchas gracias. Hemos visto tantos actos de compasión frente a este coronavirus. Es irritante escuchar algunas de las estafas que contó Daniel. Dio algunos buenos consejos sobre cómo estar alerta y estar atento. Estamos respondiendo sus preguntas sobre coronavirus con líderes clave en los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, la Comisión Federal de Comercio y la Administración para la Vida Comunitaria. Puede hacer su pregunta presionando asterisco 3 en su teléfono. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos en turno para preguntas? 

JEAN SETZFAND: En realidad voy a tomar una pregunta de nuestro Facebook. Parece que hay muchas preguntas sobre el virus y el medioambiente en este momento, preguntando cuando cambia la temperatura, ¿eso realmente afecta al virus? ¿Eso significa que las cosas van a mejorar? 

BILL WALSH: Dr. Butler, ¿quiere responder esa?

JAY BUTLER: Claro que sí. Se han planteado muchas preguntas sobre si este virus respiratorio se comportará o no como lo hacen muchos otros, y se volverá menos común durante los meses de verano. Lo vemos todos los años con gripe, e incluso lo vemos con el rinovirus, la causa del resfriado común. Por supuesto, actualmente, estamos hablando de un virus que ni siquiera sabíamos que existía hace tres meses. Y algunos de los análisis genéticos sugieren que es realmente un virus nuevo. Aunque está relacionado con el virus del SARS y algunos otros coronavirus que infectan a los animales, este es uno nuevo. 

En este momento, realmente no sabemos qué sucederá a medida que el clima se vuelva cálido. No quisiera prometerles que va a disminuir a medida que el clima se vuelva cálido. En general, debemos esperar lo mejor, pero prepararnos para lo peor. Creo que será una pregunta que será muy difícil de responder hasta que comience realmente abril y mayo, y veamos si la incidencia disminuye o no. Si observamos la experiencia en la pandemia de influenza del 2009, por supuesto, ese fue un virus que apareció por primera vez aquí en América del Norte y causó muchas infecciones durante abril y mayo. Pero a medida que el clima era más cálido, se volvió menos común, pero luego regresó en el otoño. Ciertamente existe ese patrón que podría ocurrir. Pero realmente no sabemos en este momento cómo se comportará la COVID-19. 

BILL WALSH: Gracias, doctor. Jean, ¿quién sigue? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Muy bien, tenemos una pregunta de Facebook sobre estafas. "Estoy preocupado por mis padres que están aislados en su casa en este momento. ¿Cómo los protejo?" 

BILL WALSH: Daniel, tienes la palabra. 

DANIEL KAUFMAN: Sí. Por favor hable con ellos. No hay nada más útil que tener una conversación y recordarles que si reciben llamadas telefónicas de la nada, son estafadores. Simplemente deben colgar. Asegúrese de hablar con ellos sobre estos temas, que estos son tiempos difíciles y que la gente tratará de aprovecharse de ellos. Es realmente esencial tener esa conversación. Según nuestra experiencia, cuando tienes esa conversación, cambian las cosas de manera bastante significativa, en términos del impacto en los consumidores y la probabilidad de que sean víctimas de fraude. Además, si tienen una cuenta de correo electrónico, regístrelos en www.ftc.gov/subscribe. Estamos brindando mucha información excelente a los consumidores que también puede ser muy útil. 

BILL WALSH: Bien, gracias por eso. Y quiero mencionar que AARP también tiene una línea de ayuda de vigilancia de fraudes con agentes que pueden atender su llamada, ese número es 877-908-3360. Bien, Jean, ¿a quién tenemos ahora? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Muy bien, tenemos una llamada, Helen de Míchigan.

BILL WALSH: Hola Helen, ¿cuál es tu pregunta? 

HELEN: Oh, mi pregunta es doble. En primer lugar, ¿es seguro buscar comida con el auto, ya sea a un restaurante o a un lugar de comida rápida? Y luego, la otra cosa, en cuanto a los riesgos de ser personas mayores, si tuvo un ataque cardíaco [INAUDIBLE] hace 20 a 15 años, desde entonces no tuvo problemas, la presión arterial alta que está bajo control con medicamentos, ¿aún se le considera en riesgo por los problemas de salud? 

BILL WALSH: Bien, Helen, gracias. Dr. Butler, eso suena como una pregunta para usted. 

JAY BUTLER: Sí, claro que lo es. Helen, no sé si estabas escuchando antes. Hablamos un poco antes sobre lo que significa estar seguro. Creo que la mejor manera de pensarlo es que es más seguro si puedes quedarte en casa por un período de tiempo, pero reconocemos que todos tienen razones importantes por las que pueden necesitar salir. Por lo tanto, ir al autoservicio es más seguro que ir a un restaurante donde habrá muchas personas y un período más prolongado de potencial exposición a los demás. Entonces, si hay que elegir entre retirar la comida en auto en lugar de ir al restaurante, es más seguro retirarla. Con respecto al riesgo, es importante reconocer que no hay un interruptor mágico que ponga a alguien en mayor riesgo, pero en general, cuanto mayor es uno, el riesgo es mayor, y cuanto más grave es la enfermedad cardíaca, mayor es el riesgo. 

En este momento, no podemos confirmar los tipos específicos de enfermedades cardíacas, pero creo que la situación que sería más preocupante cuando se trata de insuficiencia cardíaca congestiva. Esa parece ser una enfermedad que es particularmente probable que imponga un mayor riesgo de enfermedad grave. 

BILL WALSH: Bien, gracias. Para obtener la información y los recursos más recientes sobre el coronavirus, visite AARP.org/elcoronavirus. De nuevo, AARP.org/elcoronavirus. Jean, ¿quién sigue?

JEAN SETZFAND: Tenemos a Mary de Illinois. 

BILL WALSH: Hola Mary, ¿cuál es tu pregunta? 

MARY: Hola. ¿Pueden escucharme? 

BILL WALSH:  Sí podemos. Adelante. 

MARY: Oh, genial. Gracias. Mi primera pregunta es que mi madre vive en un centro de ancianos y quiero enviarle un paquete por correo, pero me pregunto porque escuché que el virus puede vivir en las superficies. Entonces, me pregunto sobre la seguridad del paquete. Y la segunda pregunta rápida es, escuché que después de que tuviste el coronavirus y te has recuperado, aún puedes ser portador durante un cierto tiempo, y quisiera saber si eso es cierto. 

BILL WALSH: Bien, gracias. Dr. Butler, ¿quiere abordar eso? 

JAY BUTLER: Claro que sí. Hola Mary. Y gracias. Esas son dos preguntas muy buenas. Anteriormente estábamos hablando de la supervivencia del virus en las superficies y hay dos formas de evaluarlo. Una es en condiciones óptimas de laboratorio. La otra es lo que sucede en la vida real y lo que podemos discernir de la transmisión del virus en los últimos tres meses. La probabilidad de transmisión por correo es extremadamente baja. Sabemos que hay mucha correspondencia, muchos productos que salen de China y salían de China al comienzo de la epidemia. Si el correo fuera una de las principales formas de propagación de la infección, habríamos visto aparecer más incidentes de la infección en partes remotas del mundo. 

En cambio, lo que vimos fue que la infección se propagó principalmente entre los viajeros que habían estado en Wuhan, China o en otras partes de China donde la enfermedad se estaba extendiendo, y luego salieron de China durante el período de incubación. Eso fue antes que se enfermaran. Luego se enfermaron cuando llegaron a sus casas y si hubo más transmisión en el hogar, fue principalmente a las personas con las que vivían.

Por lo tanto, se evidencia que la gota respiratoria es la forma más importante de propagación Entonces, pensando en lo que es importante para alguien que está en el hogar de ancianos, creo que el correo es completamente apropiado. Si bien hablamos de distanciamiento social, es muy importante que no creemos aislamiento social. Y recibir una tarjeta o un paquete, puede significar mucho para alguien que está en un centro de vida asistida. Creo que varias personas en la línea recuerdan el 2001, y esto no es anthrax. Entonces, es un virus que se transmite principalmente a través de la gota respiratoria. En términos de recuperación, esa es una pregunta muy importante para nosotros científicamente. Lo que sabemos sobre otros coronavirus es que hay un período de inmunidad después de la infección, pero puede no durar toda la vida, por lo que es posible que alguien vuelva a enfermarse, pero no sabemos respecto a la COVID -19. Parece muy poco probable que alguien se recupere y luego se enferme nuevamente después de un período de solo unas pocas semanas. 

En cuanto a la capacidad de transmitir la infección después de la recuperación, tenemos datos sobre la frecuencia con la que el virus persiste en los pacientes. En general, parece que la mayoría de las personas, una vez que pasa más de una semana después del inicio, más tres días después de que los síntomas se hayan resuelto, es muy poco probable que sean infecciosas. La única excepción a eso serían las personas que toman medicamentos inmunosupresores. Y aunque no tenemos muchos datos sobre eso, eso es algo que también vemos con la influenza. Entonces, por ejemplo, alguien, usualmente en una situación de hospital donde hay medicamentos inmunosupresores, muy poderosos, nosotros seríamos mucho más cuidadosos en términos de la posibilidad de la eliminación continua del virus después de la recuperación de la infección. 

BILL WALSH: Bien, gracias. Jean, ¿quién es el siguiente? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Nuestra siguiente llamada es de Lucia de Nueva York. 

BILL WALSH: Hola Lucia. ¿Cuál es tu pregunta?

LUCIA: Hola. Hola. ¿Me oyen bien? 

BILL WALSH: Claro que sí. Adelante. 

LUCIA: Gracias. Gracias por su tiempo. Qué conferencia tan maravillosa. Tengo una pregunta sobre cualquier precaución especial que debemos tomar para nuestros voluntarios, que son personas mayores, que entregan comidas o visitan a otros adultos mayores en sus hogares. Como proveedores de servicios, ¿qué precaución especial podemos tomar? No sé si usar mascarillas o equipo especial. Estamos tratando de averiguar y encontrar buena información sobre las personas que visitan a otras personas mayores en los hogares, que prestan servicios. 

BILL WALSH: Administrador Robertson, ¿quiere comenzar y tal vez el Dr. Butler pueda intervenir también? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Absolutamente, Bill. Sí, estaba pensando lo mismo porque realmente estábamos hablando de operaciones, pero también a medida que continuamos haciéndolo, señalando a todos la guía de contacto de los CDC, protegiéndonos, asegurándonos de no transmitir a otros, etc. Sabemos por supuesto, debido a la escasez de equipos de protección personal, en la actualidad, muchos de nuestros proveedores de servicios han tenido que buscar alternativas para la entrega sin este equipo, pero asegurándose de que la transacción siga siendo segura. 

Entonces, en algunos casos, en realidad están agrupando comidas de varios días, preparando una entrega única, asegurándose de que cuando ocurra el pase, las personas hayan usado guantes adecuadamente, etc. Pero ese producto se coloca en un lugar seguro para que el residente la obtenga y la utilice. Entonces, creo que nosotros continuamos buscando a nuestros amigos de los CDC para que nos guíen sobre cuál es el equilibrio entre garantizar servicios y continuar proporcionándolos a los más vulnerables del país, pero al mismo tiempo no aumentar la cantidad de exposición, así que espero que eso ayude con la pregunta de Lucia. 

BILL WALSH: Dr. Butler, ¿quiere opinar sobre eso? 

JAY BUTLER: Sí, claro que sí. En primer lugar, estoy totalmente de acuerdo con lo que se acaba de decir. Hay tres cosas que me gustaría destacar. Una es minimizar el contacto entre el personal de apoyo y el cliente que recibe los servicios. Entonces, ejemplos de eso es lo que acaban de escuchar; ser capaz de pasar lo que se está entregando, ya sea comida o lo que sea. Incluso podría ser cuestión de colocarlo en la puerta y hacer una llamada rápida para que la gente sepa que se entregó o simplemente abrir la puerta y pasarla, que el objetivo es minimizar el contacto tanto como sea posible. 

Las otras dos cosas importantes son la higiene de las manos y eso protegerá tanto a la persona que brinda los servicios como a la persona que los recibe. Y como dijimos anteriormente cuando hablamos de higiene de manos, eso significa lavarse las manos con agua y jabón durante 20 segundos o más o usar un desinfectante para manos a base de alcohol. Para las personas que realizan entregas, el desinfectante de manos realmente puede ser la mejor opción. 

Y finalmente, y quizás lo más importante, es asegurarse de que las personas de apoyo que brindan servicios no trabajen cuando estén enfermas. Creo que quizás todos tratamos de "hacernos los valientes" ante algún tipo de infección respiratoria y creemos que es bastante leve, pero este no es el momento para eso. A pesar de que la probabilidad de que sea COVID-19 puede ser baja, en algunas partes del país, todavía es mejor tomar precauciones especiales en este momento. Si estás enfermo, quédate en casa por favor. 

BILL WALSH: Bien, de lo que estábamos hablando; entregas y las precauciones que las personas deben tomar. Estamos recibiendo algunas preguntas de la gente acerca de ir al consultorio del médico. Muchas personas mayores de 50 años tienen enfermedades crónicas y muchas de ellas tienen múltiples enfermedades crónicas con citas médicas permanentes. ¿Que deberían hacer? 

JAY BUTLER: Bueno, creo que es importante reconocerlo, se ha dicho anteriormente. Estos no son tiempos normales, por lo que realmente requiere flexibilidad. Reconociendo que si tiene visitas de rutina al médico programadas o si se somete a una cirugía electiva, es muy posible que lo contactemos porque es necesario reprogramarla y, que eso es por nuestro propio bien y por el apoyo al sistema de atención médica que puede llegar a desbordarse si hay un gran aumento en el número de personas que están enfermas con la COVID-19. 

También se ha trabajado con la industria de seguros, así como con Medicare, Medicaid, para poder relajar algunas de las reglas para permitir reabastecimientos más tempranos para que las personas tengan mejores suministros de sus medicamentos recetados en casa. Esto es parte de cómo nos adaptamos a estos tiempos inusuales y reconocemos que hay personas que tienen enfermedades crónicas, las cosas persistirán y tenemos que asegurarnos de que se brinde atención de la mejor manera posible en estos momentos. 

BILL WALSH: Bien, Jean, tomemos otra llamada. ¿A quién tenemos en la línea? 

JEAN SETZFAND: De hecho, tengo una pregunta proveniente de YouTube. Es de "Wonder Blog" y la persona pregunta: "¿Cómo evito las estafas? Tengo una madre anciana conmigo y, lo que es más importante, si soy estafado, ¿cuáles son las medidas debo tomar?" 

BILL WALSH: Daniel Kaufman, ¿quiere responder eso? 

DANIEL KAUFMAN: Oh sí, absolutamente. Como primer paso, vaya a FTC.gov/elcoronavirus o simplemente FTC.gov/es y busque el enlace sobre estafas de coronavirus. Mucha información útil sobre los tipos de estafas que existen, cómo evitarlas, pero planteó una muy buena pregunta sobre qué sucede cuando es víctima de estafas. Y también tenemos en el sitio web de la FTC una gran cantidad de información diferente y no puedo explicar todo en este momento porque a veces depende de la situación. ¿Fue a través de una tarjeta de crédito? ¿Fue una transferencia bancaria? ¿Fue una tarjeta de crédito prepaga? Pero toda esa información está disponible en el sitio web de la FTC. Consumidor.FTC.gov. Mucha información útil para contactar a su compañía de crédito de inmediato para intentar recuperar su dinero si se trata de una tarjeta de crédito. 

Y finalmente, repórtelo por favor. FTC.gov/complaint. También podemos proporcionarle información útil. Entonces, es FTC.gov/complaint y para obtener consejos más generales del consumidor sobre qué hacer cuando es estafado, vaya a Consumidor.FTC.gov. Tenemos mucha información útil dependiendo de cuál fue la estafa y qué mecanismo de pago utilizó. 

BILL WALSH: De acuerdo. Antes aconsejó usar una tarjeta de crédito si es posible porque eso te da algún recurso. Parece un muy buen consejo. 

DANIEL KAUFMAN: Sí, vemos a muchos estafadores tratando de usar tarjetas de regalo y tan pronto como alguien diga "págame con una tarjeta de regalo", no lo haga. 

BILL WALSH: Entiendo. Administrador Robertson, ¿cómo deberían los adultos mayores del país, que pueden ser abuelos que crían nietos, ayudar a educar a los jóvenes en sus hogares sobre la importancia del distanciamiento social? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Sí, absolutamente, Bill. Y tengo que reconocer que mis abuelos me criaron, y ciertamente es una pregunta delicada para mí, ya que sabemos que muchos abuelos en todo el país están en condiciones de criar a jóvenes, y ya saben, durante este tiempo, por supuesto, suponiendo que esa pregunta se centra principalmente en personas menores de 18 años, no tocaremos el tema de todos los que estén de fiesta en la playa durante las vacaciones de primavera. Pero para las personas más jóvenes, hay una serie de cosas que sugeriríamos. 

Es importante comunicarse y tener discusiones familiares. Trate de estar en un lugar cómodo y aliente a esos miembros de la familia a hacer preguntas y, a veces, deberá tener una discusión por separado con los niños más pequeños. Creo que lo principal, por supuesto, es estar tranquilo y tranquilizar a los demás. Los niños van a entender lo que dices, sí, pero probablemente cómo lo digas influirá aún más en cómo manejan sus ansiedades. La idea es evitar un lenguaje que culpe a otros y que conduzca a cualquier tipo de estigmatización, y prestar atención a aquello que los niños también ven y escuchan en los medios. Muchos de ellos son ciertamente buenos recursos. Tenemos que tener cuidado, a veces incluso el volumen de buena información debe reducirse porque estar tan centrado en un tema inevitablemente crea más ansiedad. 

También diré que los CDC tienen una buena [INAUDIBLE] que tienen un buen recurso en su sitio web para hablar con los niños. Por lo tanto, también tienen consejos allí. También alentamos a las personas a ser honestas y precisas. Los niños van a escuchar muchas cosas diferentes y es importante que confíen en usted como fuente primaria y creo que los abuelos en general ya tienen esa confianza por la relación, por lo que debe asegurarse de seguir siendo honesto y preciso. Hable con los niños acerca de cómo algunas de las historias que van a escuchar serán inexactas, no se deben creer los rumores, etc. Y creo que es importante, como lo establecieron el Dr. Butler y los demás, que les enseñe a los niños lo importantes que son esas acciones cotidianas para ayudar a reducir la propagación de gérmenes. Ya saben, mantente alejado de las personas y otros niños que tosen y estornudan o están enfermos y qué hacer si van a toser y estornudar, usar un pañuelo de papel o el codo y discutir cualquier acción nueva que las escuelas planean tomar para aquellos que siguen asistiendo a la escuela o están en entornos de guardería. 

Por supuesto, también enfatizar el lavado de manos, que creo que es el mensaje común en el que realmente todos intentan concentrarse. Entonces esas creo que son algunas cosas que recomendamos, Bill. 

BILL WALSH: Sí. Bueno, ese es un gran consejo y creo que tienes razón; los abuelos a menudo tienen más credibilidad que los padres. Como padre, sé que es un hecho. Y es extraño. Me refiero a cómo ha llegado ese mensaje de que sabemos que las personas mayores y las personas con enfermedades crónicas de salud son más susceptibles a este virus, pero no son los únicos susceptibles. Quiero decir, hay una razón por la cual muchas escuelas están cerrando. 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Cierto, absolutamente. 

BILL WALSH: Sí. Bueno. Jean, volvamos a nuestras llamadas. ¿A quién tenemos en la línea? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Tenemos a Steve de Nevada.

BILL WALSH: Hola Steve. ¿Cuál es tu pregunta? 

STEVE: Hola. Hola. Esta es para el Dr. Butler. Estoy seguro, son dos preguntas sobre la diabetes. Bien, la primera pregunta es, soy un diabético con insulina. Cumplo 76 años en mayo. Bien. Me diagnosticaron diabetes tipo 2, pero el médico me dio insulina y la he estado usando durante más de 30 años. Ese es el número uno. Número dos, bueno, la pregunta es, ¿debería hacerme una prueba en Nevada? No tengo síntomas. Solo por el hecho de que soy diabético. 

De acuerdo, la segunda parte de la pregunta para el Dr. Butler sería: ¿hay alguna estadística? ¿Los CDC tienen alguna estadística sobre cuántas personas con diabetes contrajeron coronavirus? 

BILL WALSH: Bien, son dos preguntas sobre diabetes, Dr. Butler. 

JAY BUTLER: Sí, gracias Steve. Esas son buenas preguntas. Y antes que nada, solo quiero felicitarlo por los 30 años de manejo de su diabetes, suena relativamente bien. Con respecto a la pregunta sobre las pruebas, tengo una respuesta breve. Recomendamos que las personas sin síntomas no se realicen la prueba porque no está claro que si la prueba fuera positiva, proporcionará información útil y, lo que es más importante, no queremos crear una falsa sensación de seguridad si la prueba da resultado negativo. De que no tiene que seguir tomando las precauciones que ya está tomando, como el distanciamiento social. 

Con respecto a las estadísticas sobre cuántos diabéticos se infectan, los números aún se están trabajando, estoy seguro de que lo sabe, esto solo ha sido común en los Estados Unidos por aproximadamente dos semanas. Lo que sí puedo decir es que parece que las personas con diabetes pueden tener un mayor riesgo de enfermarse y ser hospitalizadas, lo que es idéntico a lo que también se informó desde China.

 BILL WALSH: Muy bien, muchas gracias. Jean, ¿a quién más tenemos? 

JEAN SETZFAND: Tengo a Terry de Iowa. 

BILL WALSH: Hola, Terry. ¿Cuál es tu pregunta? 

TERRY: Bueno. Es una pregunta difícil, supongo. Tengo a un ser querido en un hogar de ancianos y no dejan entrar a los visitantes y están en su lecho de muerte. Y nadie quiere que sus seres queridos mueran solos. ¿Cómo hacemos para que comprendan que nos gustaría estar con nuestros padres que están en esa condición? 

BILL WALSH: Muchas gracias, Terry. Administrador Robertson, ¿quiere responder a eso? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Cielos, Terry. Sí, esa es una pregunta difícil, desafortunadamente no tiene una respuesta fácil porque lograr el equilibrio adecuado entre estar presente para los últimos momentos de vida de un ser querido, y no enfermarse debido a esas visitas. Eso lo dificultará. Ciertamente, le pediríamos que, ante todo, trabaje en conjunto con la instalación y se asegure de apreciar lo que la instalación está tratando de hacer. 

Ahora, haré esta aclaración para Terry, entendemos que la guía actual que ha brindado nuestra agencia homóloga CMS permite visitas paliativas, por lo que si una persona está en esa etapa final de vida, las visitas paliativas, de acuerdo con la guía proporcionada recientemente por CMS, establece que se deberían permitir las visitas y, por supuesto, lo alentaríamos, y ciertamente el Dr. Butler lo enfatizaría, a asegurarse usted de que se tomen todas las precauciones adecuadas, pero con suerte eso responde a la pregunta de Terry. 

BILL WALSH: Entonces, para resumir. Si tiene dificultades para ingresar a las instalaciones debido a las restricciones, ¿qué debe hacer? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Sí, es una buena pregunta, y le pediríamos que se comunique de inmediato con el defensor del pueblo, que nuevamente se puede encontrar a través del Eldercare Locator . Tenemos un defensor del pueblo que cubre todos los centros de enfermería en Estados Unidos, por lo que quien sea el defensor, puede, en nombre del residente, tratar de llegar a una resolución con el centro. 

BILL WALSH: ¿le importaría proporcionar ese sitio web y el número de teléfono nuevamente? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Absolutamente. Es cuidado de ancianos. E-L-D-E-R CARE eldercare.acl.gov. eldercare.acl.gov. El número de teléfono es gratuito. 1-800-677-1116. Y de nuevo, ambos recursos, Bill, deberían poner a Terry y a cualquier otra persona que se encuentre en ese tipo de situación, en contacto con el defensor del pueblo, cuya función principal es la resolución de problemas y, sin duda ayudarán en este. 

BILL WALSH: De acuerdo. Muchas gracias. Y Terry, estaremos pensando en ti. Muchas personas están viendo cómo sus vidas se trastornan en este momento y enfrentan cosas que nunca imaginaron. Bien, nos estamos acercando al final de nuestro programa telefónico. Dr. Butler, Daniel Kaufman y administrador Robertson, ¿tienen alguna idea final o recomendación sobre lo principal que los miembros de AARP deberían entender de nuestra conversación de hoy? Dr. Butler, ¿quiere ir primero? 

JAY BUTLER: Claro, con gusto. Y Bill, gracias por la invitación para estar contigo hoy y quiero agradecer a todos por acompañarnos, especialmente a aquellos que nos hicieron preguntas. Y espero que la discusión haya sido útil. Como hemos dicho un par de veces, estos son tiempos muy inusuales. Si bien muchos de nosotros, en el campo de la salud y respuesta a emergencias, hemos pasado por ejercicios y ciertamente hemos respondido a epidemias importantes anteriores, esta es única y estamos viviendo en tiempos inusuales. Entonces, creo que más que nada, tenemos que mantener la esperanza y saber que vamos a superar esto. 

Veremos el otro lado de la moneda, pero durante el próximo período de semanas a meses, estos serán tiempos muy inusuales. Entonces, realmente tenemos que estar todos juntos, diría de la mano, pero eso violaría el distanciamiento social, así que unámonos todos al menos a 6 pies de distancia. Y permítanme terminar agradeciendo a la AARP por hacer esto de manera virtual desde mi sala. En Atlanta, todos estamos sentados al menos a 6 pies de distancia y, por supuesto, el virus no puede viajar a través de la línea telefónica, así que gracias, gracias por organizar este evento. 

BILL WALSH: De acuerdo. Gracias por participar. Director Adjunto Kaufman de la Comisión Federal de Comercio. 

DANIEL KAUFMAN: Sí. Solo quiero establecer ciertos puntos y reiterar algo de lo que he dicho. Es realmente importante, si usted espera y todos esperamos evitar las estafas, hablar con amigos y familiares al respecto y tener en cuenta de que existe el mito de que son principalmente las personas mayores las que son víctimas de estafas, y eso no es cierto. Jóvenes y mayores, todos son vulnerables a las estafas. Entonces, expanda el grupo de personas con quienes habla. Por favor reporte estafas. FTC.gov/complaint. Si se sienten tan apasionados como yo, tenemos mucho personal con muchas ganas de hacer todo lo posible para ayudar a los consumidores durante este tiempo. Y, por último, si desea obtener más información sobre las estafas y qué buscar y de qué tener cuidado, FTC.gov/coronavirus. Y también le agradecemos mucho a AARP por organizar esta teleasamblea. 

BILL WALSH: De acuerdo. Gracias por estar aquí. Administrador Robertson de la Administración para la Vida Comunitaria, ¿tiene algún argumento final? 

LANCE ROBERTSON: Sí Bill, diría que mientras vivimos esta temporada sin precedentes, estoy seguro de que vamos a superar esto y creo que una gran parte se debe a el compromiso personal, la tenacidad y la flexibilidad de todos en esta llamada y muchas gracias a AARP por organizar esta llamada. Solo quisiera enfatizar nuevamente que cuando se trata de servicios basados en la comunidad, que son tan imperativos a medida que pasamos de esta reacción inicial al virus, a una cadencia más sostenida los próximos días y semanas, y cómo nos aseguramos de que toda la gente está en buenas manos. Todos nuestros servicios permanecen intactos. 

Ahora, nuevamente, la forma en que se entregan algunos variará, pero nuestro nivel de compromiso sigue siendo muy alto. Aunque podría pedir una cosa para terminar, Bill. AARP es conocido por su increíble postura de alentar el voluntariado, y lo que también puedo decir es que a nuestra red, creo, le vendría bien una infusión de voluntarios. Entonces, para aquellos que escuchan, realmente los animo a que se conecten a través de nuestra red y a través de nuestros socios religiosos. Hay muchas oportunidades para que las personas se ofrezcan como voluntarios y lo hagan de una gran variedad de formas que podrían ofrecer el consuelo que hace falta en el voluntariado, pero también ayudando a satisfacer las necesidades de tantos en el país durante este tiempo, que todos necesitamos esa ayuda. Gracias. 

BILL WALSH: De acuerdo. Gracias por eso y gracias a cada uno de ustedes por responder nuestras preguntas. Esta ha sido una discusión realmente informativa. Y gracias a nuestros socios de AARP, voluntarios y oyentes por participar en esta discusión. Si su pregunta no fue respondida, por favor, consulten AARP.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP, una organización sin fines de lucro y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores en Estados Unidos durante más de 60 años. Ante esta crisis, AARP está proporcionando recursos de información para ayudar a las personas mayores y a quienes los cuidan, a protegerse del virus y evitar que se propague a otros. Todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia en el programa telefónico de hoy, incluida la grabación del evento de preguntas y respuestas de hoy, se pueden encontrar en AARP.org/elcoronavirus. AARP.org/elcoronavirus. 

Esa grabación debería estar disponible mañana para que todos la escuchen, descarguen y compartan. En nuestro sitio web, encontrará las últimas actualizaciones, así como información personalizada para adultos mayores y cuidadores familiares. Esperamos que hayan aprendido algo nuevo sobre el coronavirus para mantenerse sano usted y sus seres queridos. 

Asegúrese de sintonizar nuestra próxima teleasamblea en vivo, de AARP el 26 de marzo a la 1:00 PM EST. 

Gracias y que tengan un buen día. Esto concluye nuestro llamado.

Previous Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

  • June 11 – Coronavirus: Personal Resilience in the New Normal
  • May 21 – Coronavirus: Caring for Loved Ones in Care Facilities With Special Guests Susan Lucci and Jo Ann Jenkins
  • May 14 –  Coronavirus: Veterans & Staying at Home With Lifestyle Experts
  • May 7 – Coronavirus: Protecting Your Health & Bank Account and Managing Your Career, Business & Income
  • April 30 – Coronavirus: Caring for Parents, Kids & Grandkids
  • April 23 – Coronavirus: Supporting Loved Ones in Care Facilities and Disparate Impact on Communities
  • April 16 – Coronavirus: Telehealth
  • April 9 – Coronavirus: Coping and Maintaining Your Well-Being
  • April 2 – Coronavirus: Managing Your Money and Protecting Your Health
  • March 26 – Coronavirus: Protecting and Caring for Loved Ones
  • March 19  Coronavirus: Protect Your Health, Wealth and Loved Ones
  • March 10 – Coronavirus: Symptoms. How to Protect Yourself, and What It Means for Older Adults and Caregivers

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