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July 9 Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall

Experts answered questions about COVID-19 and how to protect your health and finances

Coronavirus: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

Bill Walsh: Hello. I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the 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 the global coronavirus pandemic AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Now recently we've been reminded just how persistent the coronavirus is. We've seen a spike in cases in certain parts of the country that has prompted some mayors and governors to mandate face masks be worn when people go outside. Unemployment remains high as companies struggle to figure out their next steps, and family caregivers, especially those with loved ones in nursing homes, continue to be frustrated by the lack of access and information.

Today, we'll talk with experts to answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to the global coronavirus pandemic around protecting your health, managing your finances and caring for loved ones. If you've participated in one of our tele-town halls, you know, this is similar to a radio talk show, and you have the opportunity to ask questions live. For those of you on the phone, if you'd like to ask a question, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected to an AARP staff member who will note your name and question, and place you in queue to ask that question live.

Joining us today is Penelope Wang, personal finance writer at Consumer Reports; Martha Dawson, doctor of nursing practice and president of the National Black Nurses Association; and Warren P. Hebert, Jr., doctor of nursing practice and assistant professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. We also will be joined by my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls today.

AARP is convening this tele-town hall to help you access information about the coronavirus. While we see an important role for AARP in providing information and 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 (CDC). It can be reached at cdc.gov/coronavirus. This event is being recorded, and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus, 24 hours after we wrap up. 

Now I'd like to welcome our special guests. Penelope Wang is a personal finance writer at Consumer Reports. She brings her expertise in working with job seekers and recruiters by providing personalized job search and career guidance to professionals to help them reach their full potential. Welcome, Penny.

Penelope Wang: Hi, Bill. Great to be here.

Bill Walsh: All right. Great to have you. Dr. Martha Dawson is the president of the Black Nurses Association. She has over 40 years of experience in nursing and health services and is a member of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing faculties since 2007. As president of the National Black Nurses Association, she is committed to fulfilling the NBNA mission to be the voice of Black nurses and ensuring equal access to professional development and perfect promotional opportunities. Welcome, Dr. Dawson.

Martha Dawson: Hello, it's great to be with you this evening.

Bill Walsh: All right. And finally, Dr. Warren P. Hebert, Jr., assistant professor at Loyola University of New Orleans. He has more than 40 years of nursing experience. He's an outspoken leader in home health care and health policy at the federal and state level to ensure outstanding patient care. Welcome, Dr. Hebert.

Warren Hebert: Bonjour from Cajun Country, Bill. Thank you for having us.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for being here. Thanks to all of you for being here today. Let's go ahead and get started, and just a reminder to our listeners, to ask your question please press *3 on your telephone keypad. Dr. Dawson, let's start with you. Let's talk about masks. Masks are an important issue right now and an area where the guidance has shifted from the early stages of the pandemic. There are a lot of questions about what kind are the most effective, how and when to wear a mask and if it's safe to reuse or wash them. Can you take a few minutes and tell us what we need to know about masks and their role in preventing the spread of COVID-19?

Martha Dawson: Well sure. There is a difference between face covering, which is the mask that we see the general public wearing, versus the N95 respirators and surgical masks that are used by health care workers. So, the mask that we use, the face mask with the general public, are designed to protect others. And that is why it is important that we all wear them. So when I'm wearing a mask, I'm actually protecting you, but if you're not wearing a mask and you speak, cough or sneeze, then you are exposing me. So to get the most out of it, we both need to be wearing a mask because the goal for wearing a face covering is to slow the spread of this virus, in addition to practicing social spacing and other preventive measures.

So when we're talking about the N95, which is the medical masks that are used, those are really about 95 perfect very effective in terms of preventing very small particles from being in the air and from you contacting those particles that are in the air. And, of course, the surgical masks are for large droplets, such as spray or blood or urine or body fluid. And the purpose of those really is to protect the health care workers and others who are high-risk workers from contacting any type of infection from patients or others.

Now the CDC does not recommend that the general public wear the N95. So the face covering that we're using, yes, we can wash those and we can reuse them. Because again, as I stated earlier, it's really about protecting each other and trying to prevent the spread of this virus at this time. If you want to know more information, you can actually go to www.nbna.org, and we do have some papers out there. If you just go to our coronavirus link, you can find more information on this topic.

Bill Walsh: OK, very good, Dr. Dawson. Thank you for that. Now I'd like to turn to you, Dr. Hebert. What is your advice for people who live with multiple generations under one roof where younger folks are venturing out more, or continuing to go to work or maybe caring for an older family member or interacting with them? What can they do to keep family members safe and protected, particularly given what we know about asymptomatic spread?

Warren Hebert: Bill, just a little background — as a home health nurse since 1985 and CEO of the HomeCare Association of Louisiana, we are advocating for families and those people who are receiving care regularly. So we're talking hospice, palliative care, home care, and these multigenerational families are much of the American family. One in 5 Americans, 64 million of us, lives in a multigenerational home, so this is a significant question. The older adults living in these multigenerational living spaces are, as we know, at higher risk for coronavirus exposure. They're more likely to contract the disease and have grave implications when they do get the illness.

So one of the first questions for a multigenerational family with older loved ones living with them is, are there other alternatives? Is there another older family member that they might live with who would have less outside activity and, as a result, less exposure within the household? Is there an area of the house with a separate room, and if you're lucky, perhaps a separate bathroom as well, where that older family member can be separate from daily activities. This sort of separation is something that has been shown to make a significant difference.

Asymptomatic spread, as you mentioned, is very important for us to be thinking hard about. The science that I've been reading indicates that the latest mutation is 10 times more contagious than the original version from Wuhan that first made the leap from animals to humans, and it's 10 times more contagious. It's happening at a time when society, and many of us personally, seem to be exhausted about the observances like handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks. So thank you for asking this critical question around the multigenerational families.

I'd add that 30 percent of Asian families are multigenerational homes and 27 percent of Hispanic families live in multigenerational homes. So it's important to know the ethnic aspects of care and the way families live.

Bill Walsh: Thanks for that. For the younger people who may be going out to work every day and returning home to a multigenerational family, what are the best practices for them when they're reentering the home so as not to spread the virus?

Warren Hebert: Well, certainly it's been well publicized that the distancing is important, staying at least six feet away. Some of the science is saying even farther than that, if you can. Handwashing on a regular basis throughout the day for younger people is very important, and it would also be important for younger people to know that wearing a mask when they're around a grandparent would be a really good thing. That hits home for us because we have 12 grandchildren between the ages of 3 and 13. So we need to be very cautious, and certainly teenagers and some folks in the younger 20s need to be aware of that, too.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that Dr. Hebert. Now the coronavirus pandemic has also impacted our wallets, and Penny, I'd like to bring you into the conversation here. There's a range of temporary measures that are expiring, including unemployment benefits, moratoriums on evictions and more. People may be facing some very tough choices ahead. If you are unable to pay monthly bills including credit cards, mortgage or rent or utilities, what are your options?

Penelope Wang: Yeah, that's a great question. And it's one millions of people are facing. So just before I respond, I want to put in a little bit of a caveat here that I'm a personal finance journalist. I'm not a financial pro or CAS expert, and just to make a small correction to the intro, I'm not a career expert either. So, I just want to preface that by making that point and to urge people to go to pros if they need individual advice.

So just to talk about the relief programs, some of them are still in place, and so it's important to make sure that you take advantage of them if you haven't already. And that includes unemployment, for which there are often very long waits to get your application processed. But that's still going to be available for a while, as well as the pandemic unemployment of $600 a week on top of that. There's also mortgage relief, which allows you to put off your payments for up to a year if you have a federally backed mortgage. And federal student loan payments are automatically suspended through September with no interest accruing. So make sure if you are eligible for any of those programs, that all of those relief measures are put in place for you.

For your other bills, you can still reach out to companies for accommodations. Banks are making some relief programs available for credit card holders, but you have to ask for it. So go to their websites; they'll have links for COVID-19 relief programs. I would also urge people to document any accommodations they get because companies are overwhelmed, and mistakes are pretty common. So you may need that in the case of a dispute.

Utilities are also in some areas offering accommodations, no cutoffs. So you need to check what's available in your area for that. The biggest quandary, I think, faces renters who in many areas have relief programs that are expiring or are about to expire, which have prevented evictions. And there aren't, unfortunately, easy answers to that. The best advice is to reach out to your landlord and see if you can make some kind of deal or get some kind of accommodation, because many landlords aren't eager to try and find new renters during a pandemic. So you may sometimes be able to work something out. And also just check the status of the relief programs in your area. There is a website called evictionlab, which keeps a list of local and regional relief programs. So check to see if there are any there that you can take advantage of.

Bill Walsh: OK, Penny, thank you for that. At AARP we tell people that this is the time to be an advocate for yourself and your loved one. And, I think if people are wondering whether their landlord, whether they're creditors are going to cut them some slack, ask. This is the time to really stand up for yourself and press the case.

Penelope Wang: Absolutely, you do need to be an advocate. And I should add that in many areas there are housing groups and legal aid groups that you may be able to turn to. There's a website called justshelter.org, and they may be able to point you toward some outside assistance if you need it.

Bill Walsh: OK. Very good. Thank you for sharing that. Dr. Dawson, throughout the pandemic we've received a lot of questions about the symptoms of COVID-19. Now this is sure to be an even more important question as people continue to venture out a bit more, and we look ahead to the fall during the traditional cold and flu season. How are COVID-19 symptoms different from the cold and flu, and what should people expect if they're concerned they might be experiencing them?

Martha Dawson: Well, people with COVID-19 have been put in a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness, and some have reported no symptoms at all. But usually the symptoms start appearing in 2 to 14 days after exposure, and some of those symptoms may be fever, chills, a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue and muscle or body aches. So a lot of them are very similar to the regular cold and flu, including having headaches. But a few things that are different is like a loss of taste or smell. And a lot of times you may not have the nausea and vomiting and diarrhea with some of your regular flues, but then again, you can.

So because this virus is so new, we have to pay attention to all of those symptoms that we're having. And then you just have to begin to monitor yourself to see whether or not those symptoms are going to get better, are they going to go away. But making sure that you at least have the equipment within your home such as a thermometer, just to check your temperature to see if you have a fever, not that you just feel warm. Because sometimes, especially with the way the temperature and the environment is during this time, you can have your air conditioning up or you can be outside, or come inside, and you become warm and those types of things. But it's very important for the young individuals to understand and know that many times symptoms in children and young adults are very different from what we have heard reported on the news to the older adults. So a lot of times the children will start complaining of headaches or nausea or having diarrhea or vomiting, and those types of things, when they're not complaining of anything else, like they don't have a cough, they don't have a running nose and their taste may still be there. Because we know as we get older, many times we start losing our taste anyway, so when we get something like COVID-19 in the older person, that probably is going to occur much sooner during the contact than with the younger person.

But some of the things they need to look at from an emergency standpoint is if they begin to have trouble breathing. If there is a persistent pain in their chest, if they start noticing that their fingernails or their lips are becoming blue. And if they're becoming more confused, or they have an inability to sleep and just staying awake, and then sometimes just the reverse, they can't stay awake. So we just have to monitor very closely for those signs and symptoms that may be a little bit unusual for the time of the year. But again, yes, as we began to move into the fall and we get into that flu and cold season, we really are going to have to pay much closer attention to what are the symptoms that may be presenting at this time.

One of the things that I will share is that I'm hearing from some of the medical community that some of our young adults that are in their 30s and 40s are presenting to the ER with no symptoms other than just complaining of paralysis, a weakness. And then, once they test the individuals, they test positive and then they're finding out that they may have blood clots in their legs and their lungs.

So again, the key thing is pay attention to where you're going. Stay away from crowds if you can. One of the things that I've been teaching, and the members of the National Black Nursing Association are educating the community on, is that we need to also practice our own self-tracing. So pay attention when you leave your home and where you go. So if you're out and you know, you go to two or three places, pay attention to the two or three places you went, so that if you do begin to feel ill, when you're talking to your health care provider, you can kind of let them know where you've been and who you've been around. Because that is very important in terms of tracing, making sure you know who you've been in contact with, whether any of those individuals had symptoms, because sometimes we just have to take care of ourselves. And so I really am trying to teach self-care at this time in terms of paying attention to what is taking place in your body and also paying attention to where you were at and who you're around.

Bill Walsh: Well, let me follow up on that, Dr. Dawson. You mentioned young people a number of times there, and we're seeing a lot more cases show themselves among younger populations as they're going to large gatherings and such. What are the risks and how can this spread among younger populations? How can that hurt older adults and those with underlying health conditions?

Martha Dawson: Well, the biggest problem with that is that if you're living, again, in a multigenerational household, and,let's say that you have a grandparent, you have a parent and then you have young children in the same household. So the kids can catch the virus. They may go three or four days of not having any symptoms, but at the same time they've been around grandma or granddaddy and they've been in their lap or hugging them or whatever, and the older parents then end up catching the virus. And because they do have those preexisting conditions such as heart disease, kidney failure or maybe diabetes, (inaudible) disease. Then they're going to probably have a more difficult time with the disease, and they are more likely to end up in the hospital than your younger patient.

So it's going to be very important that the younger generation accept some responsibility for also protecting their older parents and grandparents. So this becomes a family conversation. It's very important that individuals learn how to talk to them on their level, so they can understand what this disease is about. Some parents may have to make some very crucial decisions in terms of, especially as we are talking about opening the schools back up, whether or not they're going to allow their children to participate in contact sports. And I would say probably about 85 percent of all sports in this country are considered to be contact sports, especially the ones that we play during the fall and the winter season. Thinking primarily, if you're talking about football, basketball, soccer or baseball, even volleyball, it's almost impossible that you're not going to have contact with each other while you’re on the court.

So it's very important that we began to look at this and educate our younger population about the severity of this illness, and also help them to understand that it is not just today that we're concerned about your health, but we're concerned about the future because we don't know the long-term effects of this particular virus yet. It hasn't been around long enough for us to determine that. And we also don't know when we're going to have a vaccine developed to offset, you know, the continued spread of this virus.

So I think we have to really step back and if any time, this is a time for us to practice health education. So it's not just the treatment component of this virus that we have to be concerned about, we really have to focus on health promotion and health prevention. And that's why we talk about the handwashing, using the gel, cleaning off the counters in your home. Those are the promotion aspects. The prevention aspect, again, is more on the masks, using the masks and gel, staying away from large crowds. So health promotion and health prevention is your best protection at this time.

Bill Walsh: Thank you, Dr. Dawson for that. I want to mention two websites that Penny Wang had mentioned a little bit earlier on in our discussion when we were talking about paying rent. She had mentioned evictionlab.org and also justshelter.org, two resources if you're facing that particular challenge.

We are going to get to your live questions soon, but before we do that, I want to take a moment to update you on AARP's continuing fight for residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Since the start of this pandemic, more than 50,000 nursing home residents and staff have died. It is tragic and unacceptable. AARP is continuing to fight at all levels of government for residents and those of you with loved ones in these facilities. We are urging leaders to take action to address three critical topics: First, care facilities must have the personal protective equipment and testing they need to identify cases and prevent the spread of the virus, as well as adequate staffing to provide care. Second, safe virtual visitation between residents and their families must be made available. And third, Congress should not provide legal immunity to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities. Residents and their loved ones deserve the ability to hold facilities legally accountable when they suffer harm, neglect and even death.

While the situation is dire and we need this action, we are seeing some progress at the state level. For example, Nevada announced the National Guard units doing inspections will also provide personal protective equipment to nursing homes with insufficient supplies. Maryland, Indiana and other states announced they will publicly release data on positive COVID cases. In addition, in Alaska, Pennsylvania and Texas, AARP state offices have all successfully advocated for the purchase of technology to facilitate communications between nursing home residents and their loved ones. AARP members, volunteers and activists have made their voices heard and helped secure these important victories in our continued efforts to protect people who live and work in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. To learn more and make your voice heard on this important topic, please visit aarp.org/nursing homes.

It's now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Penny Wang, Dr. Martha Dawson and Dr. Warren Hebert. I'd now like to bring in my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your calls. Welcome, Jean.

Jean Setzfand: Thanks Bill. I'm happy to be here for this important conversation.

Bill Walsh: Very good. Well, let's take our first question. Who do we have on the line?

Jean Setzfand: Our first call is coming from Patricia in Florida.

Bill Walsh: Hey Patricia, go ahead with your question.

Patricia: Well, hi. We hear a lot about the risk to seniors for COVID, many of who do have preexisting conditions. But what about those of us who are over 65, who are in really good health, who do not have these comorbidities, as they talk about them, and maintain a normal weight and have healthy lifestyles. What is our risk factor just because of our age?

Bill Walsh: Right. Dr. Hebert, do you want to take that question?

Warren Hebert: Well, certainly, and I'd offer Dr. Dawson to pitch in as well. It's well documented that those over 65 are much more likely to experience and have a grave result as a result of the COVID-19 disease. So, many of us over 65 are also family caregivers. So it's important for you to know that you might also be in an age group that that has implications for you. We also know that those with chronic illnesses, diabetes, heart disease and other types of illness, are also much higher. So the things that we can do, I think, is to be even more vigilant related to our handwashing, our social distancing and wearing masks. And that's very important for those of us who are 65 and over, more so than the rest of the population, particularly since we seem to be at a point now where society is becoming exhausted at the news around COVID-19, but also handwashing, distancing and wearing masks. So that means it's even more important for those of us who are at high risk to take extra precautions. Thank you for asking.

Bill Walsh: Sure, Dr. Dawson, did you want to weigh in on that at all?

Martha Dawson: Yes, I would just weigh in a concern that is related to aging, and one of the things I'd like to do is refer this person back to the May 2020 AARP publication. They had a very good op-ed in there related to how our immune systems change as we age. So you may not necessarily have a pre-existing condition, but just because we're getting older, there are going to be certain things in our bodies that (inaudible) and mean that we’re vulnerable in how we handle infection much more differently than (inaudible).

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you, Dr. Dawson. Jean, who's our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Jo from Nevada City.

Bill Walsh: Hey Jo, go ahead with your call.

Jo: Oh, well, I spoke to someone already, but I'll tell you. What I called about was the stimulus check. I never received one. I receive my Social Security through my bank and, I make less than $14,000 a year and I never received a stimulus check. I have called irs.com. I've gotten on the internet several times, and each time what comes up is “we're investigating.” Well, now I'm hearing people talk about the second stimulus check when I never even got the first one. Do you know of any way that I can contact someone to find out why I haven't received one?

Bill Walsh: All right. Well, let's ask Penny Wang. Can you help Jo at all?

Penelope Wang: There's been a lot of complaints about late stimulus checks, and it sounds like you've done a lot of the standard maneuvers you're supposed to make to try to figure it out. Just for people who don't know, the standard advice is to go to the IRS's online payment tracker, "Get My Payment," which is supposed to show you the details of your payment schedule and how it's supposed to arrive. And there have been complaints that that app is slow or may not always update as promptly as it should, but that's the standard route. And that you should have received a letter, I think it's about 15 days after the payment is issued. That said, like a lot of agencies, the IRS is probably pretty overwhelmed, and if you didn't have a direct deposit account with them, that could slow things up since a paper check would have been issued instead. So you can reach out and try and contact them about your payment. It sounds like you may have done that, but I would certainly reach out and try again. Failing that, I guess my only suggestion is to contact one of your elected representatives — your congressman's office or senator's office — and see if perhaps they can help you with that. There are also groups that help older adults deal with a lot of these problems. And if you have a local agency, perhaps someone there can also help you take this on. It sounds like it just is going to take a lot more persistence to get the check.

Bill Walsh: Right. Yeah, and I was going to suggest that as well, call your local member of Congress. This is what they're paid to do, help constituents like Jo and others. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Arlene from Maryland.

Bill Walsh: Hey Arlene, go ahead with your question.

Arlene: Yes. I'm 65 years old and currently I'm staying with my son, but I'm getting ready to move with my daughter around about September or October, but I have a nephew that lives with my daughter who's tested positive for the COVID. I want to know, is it safe for me to move in with her despite him having the COVID? He tested positive in May.

Bill Walsh: Is he still showing symptoms?

Arlene: Yup. He still has like occasional shortness of breath. He has a clot or something in his lungs. And they've given him medicine for it. So, I want to know if it's safe for me to move with her, my daughter.

Bill Walsh: Let's ask our experts to weigh in on that. Dr. Hebert, do you want to take a first crack at it, and then Dr. Dawson weigh in as well?

Warren Hebert: Sure, thank you for the question, because this is an issue that folks are dealing with across the country and across the world. We talked a little bit earlier about multigenerational families, and it seems to me that you have the good fortune that you have a family member to live with. I would think that this is going to vary from one case to the next, you know, and some people who may have been diagnosed a couple of months back may no longer be contagious. So it would be important for you to be able to get that clear with the primary care provider that is caring for the nephew. The other thing that I would suggest that you do is to consider other alternatives. As we talked about a little earlier, is there another family member you have the alternative of visiting with? You know, perhaps someone who's got a home where you can keep the social distancing that you need to. But thank you for that very important question. You're not alone.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, Dr. Dawson, do you have any advice for Arlene? I'm sorry, go ahead.

Martha Dawson: I would suggest that if possible, you can delay moving in at this time. And the other thing that I would really recommend is that if you are going to relocate, get tested prior to relocating, so that you know what your status is prior to going into the home. And then hopefully you will have space within the home where the two of you can be separated as much as possible, and that includes having different bathrooms to use. So if you can delay maybe going until some of his symptoms subside, that would be much better. And he should be tested as well to make sure that he's negative at this time, as well as your daughter.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thank you both for that. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Diana from Kansas.

Bill Walsh: Hi Diana, go ahead with your question.

Diana: My question is on the federal loan programs that are available like for mortgages and school loans. Who do I contact?

Bill Walsh: OK, Penny, can you help Diana with that?

Penelope Wang: Sure. Well for federal student loans, that should happen automatically. The pause on payments should have taken place through the servicer for that loan. You should definitely check your account or contact that loan servicer and make sure that that is happening. I think in most cases it is, so there are some issues in terms of how those payments are being reported, which is a separate issue, which is to say everyone should be checking their credit reports to make sure that accommodations are being reflected properly. You can get free credit report checks from each of the three major credit agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax during the pandemic.

On the mortgage servicer, again, this is a situation where you need to check with your mortgage servicer. You need to double-check that it's a federal loan, which they should be able to tell you. In which case, again, those payments should be paused. But it requires a lot of follow-up on the part of consumers to make sure that all these relief accommodations are taking place the way they were dictated in the Cares Act.

Bill Walsh: Right. And I'll just remind listeners on that front about the sites that Penny had mentioned earlier, evictionlab.org and justshelter.org. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: We have a question coming in from YouTube and it's coming in from Jeff. Jeff is asking, “I was informed that a person I had close contact with yesterday had tested positive. How long should I wait before being tested?”

Bill Walsh: OK, Dr. Dawson, do you want to offer Jeff some advice there?

Martha Dawson: I would say at least give yourself two to three days, and at the same time monitor your symptoms. If you start having like a fever or anything like that, go ahead and get tested. We know that it takes anywhere from two to 14 days before you become symptomatic. It's best to wait a little while to test yourself because you don't want to go get tested and have a negative report, and the virus really has not spread through your system at this time. So wait two to three days before you go get tested.

Bill Walsh: And Dr. Dawson, what is the best way to get tested if people want to do that? Is it about calling their physician? Is it about calling a hospital?

Martha Dawson: There are multiple ways right now; we are doing a much better job with that. If you live by a CVS, some of your CVS's are actually doing the test. You can go to your primary care physician. You can go to the health department. And then, we have a lot of the freestanding urgent care centers that are also providing testing at this time. Don't go to the emergency room.

Bill Walsh: Don't go to the emergency room. OK. That's probably good advice, unless you have an emergency, then go to the emergency room.

Martha Dawson: Right, unless you have an emergency. Yes. But don't go there just for your routine testing.

Bill Walsh: OK. Very good. Jean, who's our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Randy from Maryland.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Randy.

Randy: Hi, my name is Randy, and I, first of all, thank AARP for doing this. My wife and I are in our mid-60s. We are caregivers for our grandmother, which will be 104 next week. And our aunt, which is 94 right now. And we've done a good job, nobody's sick, everybody's healthy, but the isolation has deteriorated them even worse than the coronavirus would have ever done. Prior to this, February, first week of March, they was on the second floor, run up and down the stairs. Their bedrooms was up there. They went to the local center, community center every day for a day break, you know, and they'll get back home at four o'clock in the afternoon. And friends, bingo, things like that. Now they've been sitting for months. Arthritis has set in. We moved them to the living room and the dining room, so they don't have to go up the stairs, but that's killing them. And we don't have an answer. One of the local centers has said, you know, try to keep them as busy. I don't know how to keep them busy! We're now the nurse, we're the dietician, we're everything, and we don't know what, and we're old ourselves.

Bill Walsh: Well, you're not old. You're only in your mid-60s, Randy, but let's ask our experts. So Dr. Hebert, you heard Randy's situation. Could you give them any advice?

Warren Hebert: You know, Randy, the first thing I want to say is thank you. There are, according to AARP information released as recently as May, 53 million family caregivers around the United States. And there are 7 to 8 million people like you and your wife, Randy, who are providing this care on a daily basis. So thank you. Family caregivers provide 90 percent of all care across the country for seniors and those with disability. And if you're providing care for someone who's aged, wow, 94 and 104. Good genes. But certainly the challenge you have related to trying to keep them active is something that perhaps was already being cared for because you were getting them out of the home to a senior center of some sort. But now the challenge that you've got is to add into the care that you're providing, 24/7, 365, things that help to keep them more active. I'm amazed that they were going up and down the stairs at 94 and 104. That is such a compliment to you and your wife in the care that you've been providing for them. The experts point out that the home is the safest place to be. So you're doing the right thing by having them at home.

Some things that might help would be video connections. Perhaps they've got friends or other family, and you can be intentional about connecting them either with FaceTime, Zoom or Skype, or one of the other things. That really makes a big difference because you obviously know that the isolation and the relationships are so very important. So you've taken a really big step there.

The other thing that I would add is as a home health nurse, early on in COVID-19 some family members were turning away a home health nurse or therapist, not only home health, but also hospice palliative care. I would suggest that the risk/reward of that is something that you need to consider. So if, Randy, they are getting care at home, know that having that person to go in and check on them is a very, very low risk compared to, as Dr. Dawson indicated a little bit earlier, if they need to go to the emergency room or urgent care or a hospital where they are 100 percent likely to be around someone who's been exposed to COVID-19. So doing those things around video, getting family members to call them, being intentional to pull together a cadre of support as you help this 94-year-old and 104-year-old, wow, extraordinary. Congratulations, and thanks to all of the family caregivers that are listening. Again, 53 million across the country and that's up from 43 million just 10 years ago. Thanks to AARP for the good work they do around family caregiving.

Bill Walsh: Well, thanks for that Dr. Hebert. I mean, family caregiving is a hard enough job in normal times, and as we all know, we're not living in normal times. Randy brought up the issue of isolation. It's something that we have been very concerned about since the outbreak of the pandemic. We've actually set up a service, maybe our listeners would be interested in, we call it AARP Friendly Voices and hundreds of our volunteers around the country have gotten trained, and they will make outbound calls to people who you think are isolated and would like to hear from somebody. Let me give you that number in case you might be interested. It's a free service. It's 1-888-281-0145. That's AARP Friendly Voices. So if a loved one you think would benefit from hearing a friendly voice and have a chat, please go ahead and use that free service.

Let’s turn back to our experts for answers to some of the most pressing coronavirus questions. Dr. Hebert, we know that self-care is important for family caregivers all of the time. How can people who are caring for loved ones during this trying time take care of their own health, their mental well-being, and their relationships?

Warren Hebert: Bill, as I indicated a little earlier, this is so critical. Ninety percent of care across the United States for seniors and those with disabilities are provided by family members in the home setting. Their self-care is vital. As, when they fall ill, it not only impacts them, but it impacts the care recipient and the rest of the family. I do a weekly program for family caregivers that I've done for 13 years, and every week almost I repeat what we hear on airplanes. If the oxygen mask falls from the ceiling, and you're seated next to someone who needs assistance, put on your own mask first. So related to these different aspects of self-care, first, our physical well-being is critical. Exercising, eating well, taking our own medications as they should and routine checkups with your primary care practitioner. And it's likely today that your checkup may very well be happening by telehealth or telemedicine for the foreseeable future. The other thing I would ask is, again, to ensure that if you've got people who are helping you, to allow them into the home to provide that assistance to you. Because that, again, helps you with nurses, therapists, etc., to keep people out of emergency rooms and hospitals.

The second thing that I would add is our own chronic illnesses as family caregivers. It's just very important, again, for you to keep up with your own self-care. The second is related to our mental health, what some of us called emotional hygiene, is just as important as washing your hands. Our mental well-being impacts our good judgment, and it also impacts what some call self-stewardship or our self-control. Some of the tips from a standpoint of our emotional well-being include the time that one spends with the news. If you limit that time to maybe once a day, or some of us have managed to do that even more seldom, then that'll help your mental well-being. You also benefit from time you spend that's intentional around relaxation, meditation or prayer. And we know that spending time in nature can be healing.

The final thing is social relationships are critical, and Randy pointed that out in the call earlier. Some argue that the social has a huge impact at the point that we're doing social distancing. We would do well today to even seek deeper relationships with family members, with friends and support groups during COVID-19. Support groups are vital. My father had dementia for seven years and for my siblings and my mom and I, it helped a lot to connect with support groups. My wife's parents had cancer. Our 29-year-old daughter has Down syndrome. So our support groups help us to stay connected with other families.

So the support groups, not only let you know that you're not by yourself, but it also helps you to broaden the range of diverse information and solutions that you might come to. And Bill, thank you for mentioning that number that AARP has for people to reach out. That can be very helpful.

Bill Walsh: Right. And I'm going to mention it again, just in case people didn't take it down. It was AARP Friendly Voices program. It's 888-281-0145. That's to get one of our trained volunteers to a call a loved one or someone you know who may be isolated in this crisis, who would just really benefit from a friendly voice. That's a free service. So Dr. Hebert, thank you for that good advice.

Penny, let's return to finances for just a moment. If your financial needs are larger than a few bills, what flexibility and risks are there to accessing funds that may be in retirement accounts?

Penelope Wang: Yes. There is a lot more flexibility in terms of tapping retirement accounts, which is both good and bad. You know, under normal circumstances, just to run through the background for a sec, it's normally difficult to get at your 401(k) or IRA money early, before age 59½, which is the official cutoff. If you do that, then you face a 10 percent penalty, and there's also fairly steep tax withholding. But, with the passage of the Cares Act following the pandemic, those rules have been relaxed temporarily. But just to note that even though the rules have changed on the federal level, your plan, your employer's plan may follow different options, so you need to check with your own plan to make sure what's available. But under the Cares Act, if you need to make a withdrawal because of a COVID-related issue, which could be you or a close family member is sick, or you've lost your job, or are furloughed, or your income is reduced, then they waive that 10 percent penalty, as well as the 20 percent tax withholding if you withdraw before age 59½. You will still owe taxes on that money since the contributions were made pretax, but the bill can be spread over three years. Normally when you make a withdrawal, you have to pay it all in that same year. You can take up to a $100,000 out of your account in the aggregate, assuming that you have that much in your account. You can repay it, then if you do it within three years, it will be treated like a rollover, and that means your usual annual contributions won't be limited because you put in a big chunk of money. So, there's also a temporary flexibility on loans from plans as well. The amount has been doubled to a $100,000, and you have a bit longer to pay it back.

That said, just because you can tap your accounts, it doesn't mean it's the best option. It's really a last resort since that money is meant to grow tax-free until retirement. So if you take out $10,000 now, and instead of letting it grow for say 30 years, you're giving up many times that, maybe $60,000 or more. So it does put a crimp in your retirement security. But these aren't normal times. A lot of people are really up against it. So if that's the situation you're in, and you have that money, it is an option. So, if you need to keep a roof over your head, pay your medical bills, whatever, then go ahead and do it, and just plan to try and save as much as you can in the future when things get better. And we all hope and pray and expect they will get better. So have a little faith and do what you need to do.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thanks, Penny. Dr. Dawson, a question for you. We continue to see the coronavirus is hitting people of color the hardest, particularly African Americans and Latinos. What are the causes of this, and what can be done to combat it?

Martha Dawson: You're absolutely correct. I would say that we're talking about the African American population and others of color have been affected anywhere from four to five times more than whites. So that translates to, for every 40 whites that may be hospitalized, you may have 178 Blacks that are being hospitalized. And this is due to several things. If I would say, first of all, it's where we live. Because we're living in those communities that have more polluted air, contaminated water, toxic (inaudible), there are still in homes with lead in the paint in houses, and then we already spoke about the multigenerational household. So all of these things kind of add to the stressors that now we have to deal with the COVID-19.

So we already kind of have these issues. And now when we say that you're living in a place like Flint, Michigan, where they're still trying to replace pipes that we know was the cause of lead in the water. And now you have to spend more money just to try to keep your counters clean, to make sure that you have your doorknobs and your light fixtures. So you're going a little bit above and beyond maybe some of your routine cleaning that maybe you did once a week. You almost need to do it daily now, especially if you have people who are going in and out of the home to work at some of these big box stores, which is another issue for many of the non-white populations in this country. They are considered to be essential workers, and so they are working in the grocery stores, they're working in environmental jobs, or factories such as your meatpacking plants and those things. Again, very impossible to do a lot of social distancing and frequent handwashing in those type of jobs. Yet still they're considered to be essential workers, but these jobs normally will pay less. And when you are in these jobs, many times you don't have sick leave, so that adds another stressor to these individuals in terms of not being able to take off if they're feeling bad.

And we know early on in this pandemic, we were hearing a lot of those stories about those individuals that were still being asked to come to work even after they had reports of some of their colleagues being infected. Even within the nursing communities, we were hearing some nurses report that when they were feeling sick on the unit, they were not being relieved to go downstairs to the ER to be tested or go somewhere to be tested, and then when they finally got tested, they were positive. Whereby that time they probably infected some of their colleagues, their relatives at home, but also even maybe some of the other patients they were taking care of. We also have this big issue now that I see emerging as we're talking about getting ready to reopen the schools — the fact that many of our rural and inner-city schools are not in the best conditions to start with. And again, they're going to have limited toileting facilities for the students to use. And are they going to have the manpower to actually have the frequent cleaning of those areas that need to be cleaned, you know? Yes, we can say we're going to have gel, we're going to have gloves for these individuals, but again, when you're talking about a first, a second, or third grader, it's very difficult to tell those kids not to touch each other. I mean, they're used to this social contact. There used to being interactive. And so are we going to have enough faculty members in those locations to be able to do this?

So when we are talking about the fact that our Black and brown individuals are being infected more, that is because we have this systemic racism that has been placed in terms of housing, education, job opportunities, and just, in general, the big gap that we have in wages and the type of jobs that these individuals hold.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, a lot of challenges there that will no doubt extend well beyond the coronavirus moment that we're in. Thank you for that, Dr. Dawson. Penny, back to finances with you. There is still a lot of financial uncertainty and unique challenges ahead. Are there certain personal finance moves that people should outright avoid at this time?

Penelope Wang: Yes, absolutely. There are a lot of risks and possible missteps that people could take at a time like this. And just to pick up on something that Dr. Dawson was talking about, these risks sort of point out the disadvantages of large parts of the population who were struggling even before the pandemic; lower income of people of color who don't have access to a lot of the financial options that many other people do. And so these people are particularly at risk if they're falling short of money, falling victim to payday loans, the high-cost, short-term loans, which have enormous interest rates. Many people end up sinking further into debt when they opt for one of these. Unfortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Board pulled back the regulation that would have required these lenders to make sure people could afford to pay back these loans before giving them. So that is definitely something to avoid. There's also a huge risk of falling victim to just outright scammers, frauds, people offering too-good-to-be-true kinds of options. I know AARP is certainly monitoring a lot of that as it affects older Americans.

So, the best option is to try and take control of the money yourself. Know where you stand. Get a handle on your budget, and seek out trustworthy advice or help because there is free or low-cost advice if you're having financial challenges. For example, there's a group of financial planners called XY Planning Network, and they're offering free sessions to those who are impacted by COVID-19. I also would suggest reaching out, if you're facing debt, to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at fcc.org. It's a nonprofit that offers free low-cost help to consumers to get on top of their finances, and they can help you negotiate with lenders if you're in that kind of situation.

So the key is, if you need advice, to find trustworthy advice and make sure that the organizations are looking out for your interests.

Bill Walsh: Yes, thank you for that, Penny. I appreciate it. We're going to get to more listener questions in just a moment, but first a word about coronavirus fraud. This is something Penny just referenced. As if Americans didn't have enough on their minds, scammers are continuing to use the headlines as opportunities to steal money or sensitive personal information. The FBI is warning that scammers are advertising fake coronavirus antibody testing. Their goal is to obtain sensitive personal information that they can use in identity theft or medical insurance fraud. Scammers may claim the test is FDA-approved, they may even offer a cash incentive to lure unsuspecting consumers. The agency recommends consulting your doctor before taking it any COVID-19 antibody test at home, and it warns against sharing personal or health information with anyone other than a known or trusted medical professional. Visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more about these and other scams, or you can call the Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360.

Now it's time to address more of your questions with Penny Wang, Dr. Martha Dawson and Dr. Warren Hebert. Jean, who do we have on the line now?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Caroline from Kansas.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Caroline, go ahead with your question.

Caroline: Yes, my husband is 72 years old. I'm 70. We live in our own home. We do have a downstairs and upstairs with separate bathrooms. Steven was diagnosed positive a week ago, last Thursday as a matter of fact, and so he's been in the hospital. He has asthma. They put him on [remdesivir] just yesterday. I had a total hip replacement on the 15th, had a negative test on the 12th pre-surgery and then a negative on July 2. But when I took care of him over the weekend, July 4, I tested positive on Monday.

Bill Walsh: Oh geez.

Caroline: My question being, since I've had surgery and have gone through this, I do have a few some symptoms not near like Steven has. They want to send him home next Tuesday. How do I disinfect the house? What recommendations would there be? Should I leave the home? It's an open-ended question. I'm just kind of unsure as to what to do next.

Bill Walsh: Wow. Well, Caroline, first of all, you've got a lot on your plate right now. Let's turn to our experts and see if they can provide any advice. Dr. Dawson, do you have any suggestions for Caroline?

Martha Dawson: Well, I would say that she really needs to think through this process with him coming home in terms of, I don't know whether they have anyone that assist them at this time, like a daughter or a son, or someone who can at least come over and make sure that the house is cleaned. I would suggest that, first of all, to clean your house, don't try to do it yourself. See if you can contact maybe a company to try to do that for you to make sure that, because you sound as if you may have a mid-size home, so that they can do the surfaces and they can do the door knobs, and all of the things that you need to have done prior to him coming in. And if there's a way that the two of you can remain separated, I think that would be good. And then, again, I may follow the suggestion that was made earlier, and that is that you may want to reach out to hospice or palliative care to see if someone else can come in and at least check on you all. Because I'm just really concerned about the fact that you just recently have had surgery and now you are positive. And the fact that both of you are in your 70s at this time. I think you're going to need to do some care planning, and even reaching out to the social services department at the hospital where he is. And begin to ask them some of the same questions. Then if you can, contact either a home health agency or a palliative care agency and inquire about what type of services could they provide in terms of them coming in the home and still keeping themselves safe as well.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that, Dr. Dawson. I just want to reiterate two websites that Penny had mentioned earlier related to managing finances. The XYPlanningNetwork.com and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. That website is nfcc.org. OK, Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: We have a question coming from Facebook, and this one's coming from Kimberly. She's asking, “With the stock market dropping, should you close your 401(k) or leave it alone?”

Bill Walsh: Hmm. Penny, do you have some advice on that?

Penelope Wang: Yeah, I can certainly understand the concern with the market the way it is now. It's really tempting for people, especially those who are older and approaching retirement, to pull their money out or get out of the stock market. But that's not a good long-term strategy. The market, in fact, has dropped a lot the beginning of the year. It has rebounded, which just points out that you really can't predict, there's no crystal ball what the market is going to do. So the best solution is to have a long-term asset allocation that you stick with over the long term and keep adding money, and if you have a free employer match in your 401(k), definitely do not give that up. That's free money. But it also points to another thing which is to have emergency savings set aside that you can tap, especially for people who are in or near retirement, that can pay the bills. It doesn't require you to pull money out of stocks that may be dropping in value just to meet your expenses.

Again, this points to the importance of long-term financial planning, having a plan and sticking with it. For people who are in or near retirement where a bear market could pose a real threat to their retirement security, you should try and plan to have as much as a year's worth of expenses set aside in cash so you can ride out a prolonged downturn, which is what we saw back in 2008, 2009 and we hope we won't see again. But it's always possible. That's a lot of money for people to put aside, so you should at least put aside as much as you can and keep some money in bonds if you need to tap that as well while you're in retirement.

Over the long term, have an automatic plan to add savings to that cash horde, until it's where you need it to be. I would also suggest, and I've mentioned this before, the advantage of talking to a planner for people approaching retirement or moving into retirement. That's a really dicey time, and it's good to get a second opinion. I would just call out a couple of other places you can try to find a fee-only advisor. One would be the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, napfa.org, and also the Garrett Planning Network, garrettplanningnetwork.com. An advisor can be expensive, but some, particularly those at the Garrett Network offer by-the-hour fees or one-time consultations. So it can be a really worthwhile use of your money to make sure that your retirement plan can really withstand all the uncertainty that we're facing right now.

Bill Walsh: OK, Penny. Thank you very much for that. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Sue from Colorado.

Bill Walsh: Hi, Sue, go ahead with your question.

Sue: OK, thank you. I have a question that I know pertains to plenty of people that are listening. I’m getting up there. I'm a little high risk, and I have like a double whammy. I have immunosuppressant stuff going on, too, from cancer and all that. So as a grandparent, I live close to my kids in Colorado. We all live near each other. There's three total. And like, I don't know if it's OK to see my daughter who's always been really thoughtful and thinking about me and very considerate. So she has an almost 2-year-old, so she's, of course, trying to get out and do things with him to entertain them, because it's a nightmare. She swears she's social distancing. I believe her, I trust her, she always wears a mask. I just don't know if it's safe to go to my own daughter's house with my grandson. It's awful.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, it sounds awful. Dr. Hebert, I wonder if you have any advice for Sue or others in her situation?

Warren Hebert: Sue, I love ya. Bill and I talked earlier with the other guests before the program started, and he heard that I have 12 grandchildren, and nine of them live within 10 minutes of us. The other three are only 90 minutes away. And one of the hardest things for us about COVID for my wife and I is not interacting as frequently with our grandchildren. So this is an issue that many grandparents are dealing with across the country. So for about two months, we didn't have any contact at all, other than the fact that we all got a lot better with FaceTime and Zoom and that sort of thing. And believe me, that offers some really hilarious moments with the grandkids. We found a lot of joy in that. I think that's important for you to do that with the grandkids.

When you are going to be engaging with them, you're certainly hitting on the right point as you indicate that your daughter is distancing and that your daughter wears a mask. Those are things that are important for you. The other thing that I would mention is visiting outside. The science indicates clearly that if we are outside, there's better airflow, the virus does not survive as long in sunlight, so I would encourage you that when you do make your visits, make them outside.

What we did initially with our grandchildren is, we happen to have a swimming pool, and that's one of the reasons we get to see them often. So initially we'd tell the kids, hey, bring them over to swim, and we would stay in the house, and we'd visit through the screen, and then we even ordered pizza for them. And they're eating outside at the table, it's out on our patio, and we're eating inside, but we're having these great conversations. The children are just as curious, depending on their age, about what's going on.

So I'll get back to something we talked about earlier, and that is relationships. Our social relationships, even though we're physically distancing, the social relationships are more critical now than ever. So whatever you can do to deepen those relationships and find some joy in the midst of this adventure that we find ourselves in, will help you to deepen your relationship with your grandchildren. But I really feel the pain that you're feeling about being away from the grandkids. That's been a real challenge for us, too.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, thank you for that, Dr. Hebert. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Carol from Illinois.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Carol, go ahead with your question.

Carol: Yes, I was concerned about paper and how the virus reacts to simple paper, in particular, my newspaper and my mail. If it should be sanitized before I open it, if it should sit for a day or so? I've noticed that my mail carrier is not wearing a mask and not wearing gloves and that concerns me that they might be infected. I just don't know if I should set the mail aside for three days or what?

Bill Walsh: Well, Carol, thanks for that question. Let's ask one of our experts. Dr. Dawson, do you have any thoughts on that?

Martha Dawson: Well, I'm just going to speak from my own personal experience. For the mail that comes in my mailbox, I've not had any problem with it, and so I have been touching those things. But when I order something that has to be delivered by FedEx or any big box stores or anything, I generally go ahead and try to spray those with a little Lysol, wipe them off and then take the packets out of the paper outside my home before I bring the packet in. Then I usually take whatever paper and I go ahead and put it into the recycling bin. So I would say that if you are a little afraid, just go to the dollar store, and they usually have these little very thin gloves that you can get about a hundred for a dollar. So you can get your two packets and you can actually open your mail and then go ahead and discard them, because I do, when I open my mail, I discard the envelopes and things like that immediately, and then just touch what is inside, the paper. I've heard different evidence in terms of how long the virus can remain active on cardboard and paper and stuff like that. So I would just say it's always best to be a safe versus sorry, so if you want to get some small gloves to use to open your mail and read your paper, and then discard those things immediately that you don't have to keep. I would suggest that you do that.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thank you for that, Dr. Dawson. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: We actually have a follow-up question to that question from YouTube and Amy from YouTube is asking, "What about take-out food? Is that safe?”

Bill Walsh: Dr. Dawson, can you extend your answer to take-out food? I know a lot of people are turning to deliveries these days as well as a takeout.

Martha Dawson: Again, I'm going to say that you have to do that on a personal level. For me, I've been avoiding both going to the restaurant and ordering take-out food at this time. And that's just my own safety factor, because I'm at that 60-year age, as well. And so, what I would like to do is protect myself as much as possible. But again, if you're going to do the take-out food, I would try to do the same thing. Hopefully, they would deliver it in two boxes — one that is where your food is, and then an outer box. And you can remove your food from the outer box, and then bring the other box inside. So I think I've not really heard anything in terms of evidence or anything on the news about people contracting it that way, not to say that someone hasn't, but I just have not heard that. So I'm thinking that it's probably much more safer than one may think.

Bill Walsh: Yeah. And I've heard a lot of restaurants using that as a competitive advantage, talking about the precautions that they take as they prepare the food, as they package it up and how they deliver it. I know we look for those sorts of assurances whenever we are looking for deliveries or take-out food.

Martha Dawson: Yes. And I would definitely pay attention to if the person’s coming to my home with gloves on, are they wearing a mask? I kind of think if they're doing this when they're delivering the food to me, they're probably practicing that in terms of preparing the food, as well. And that's one of the CDC guidelines for the restaurants is to make sure that they're using gloves, and that they're having masks on and things like that.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you very much for that. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Elizabeth from Michigan.

Bill Walsh: Hi Elizabeth. Go ahead with your question.

Elizabeth: I don't know that, am I live right now?

Bill Walsh: You are, go ahead with your question.

Elizabeth: Oh OK. I'm sorry, I didn't understand how this works.

Bill Walsh: All right.

Elizabeth: I had a follow-up question to the caregivers with the elderly parents at home. Is there any steps that we should be taking too? I am my mother's caregiver. We live together in an apartment. And I'm wondering if there's any steps that should be taken for preparing or talking to home-health-care workers or respite-care workers, which I really need because I have no break. And I occasionally have some work hours I'd like to do, and I haven't had anybody come in yet for three months. So what's the protocol for engaging people to come in and making sure everything stays safe?

Bill Walsh: Yeah, it's a great question. Thank you, Elizabeth. Dr. Hebert, I wonder if you can make any suggestions to Elizabeth about how to screen home-health-care workers or respite-care workers?

Warren Hebert: Elizabeth, we also receive outside care. We're very fortunate in that our daughter has Medicaid. So when all of this began, we, too, made the decision that the caregivers wouldn't be coming into our house. So I think that that's a prudent choice that you made early on in the situation. Related to your bringing those folks back in, some things that come to mind for me is number one, what's the current state of COVID-19 in your particular geographic area? If the incidence at this point is very low, then you can have a degree of confidence that maybe you can take that next step. If it's high, you might want to consider even asking that question.

The second thing that I would do is to look within family and people that you already know. And if that's an alternative for you instead of bringing in people from outside, then that could be a good next step for you so that you get a little bit of a break, and we call that respite when it comes to family caregiving. Related to screening those organizations that would provide this, I think that the things that you would do are the same things that AARP has been suggesting that people do for other caregivers like perhaps in a nursing home setting. The one thing you want to do is find out from the company, what are they doing related to screening and taking temperatures every day. You would also ask, are there people working for the company who have tested positive for COVID-19. And the federal regulations are being pushed right now to make it mandatory that these things are reported so that you, as a family member who have that responsibility, can get a transparent answer related to that.

The other thing that I would do would be to talk with them about their access to personal protective equipment. If they have the personal protective equipment that they need, and they're able to be prudent in the way that they're using that, it limits the likelihood that you and your mother would be likely to get something. And again, I'll add that the home is the safest place for you to receive care. That one person that's coming in is being screened, they're likely to have their temperature [taken], if they got access to personal protective equipment, then the risk-reward for you receiving that care from them at home versus having to go into an urgent care center or an emergency room or a hospital where you are pretty much 100 percent guaranteed that you're going to be around people who have been exposed to coronavirus. So the home's the safest place for you to be, and those are some of the steps that I would take to make sure that you're getting someone to come into the house that's well prepared and able to provide you with safe and high quality care.

Bill Walsh: Great. Thank you, Dr. Hebert for that. Jean, one other question from a caller.

Jean Setzfand: Sure, we have Nancy from Tennessee.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Nancy, go ahead with your question.

Nancy: My son has been laid off since about six to eight weeks, and he was laid off where he was working, and they laid off the ones that had, was in high risk more, and he has had asthma, and so that's the reason he got laid off. Well, not the reason he got laid off, but you know, he was in high risk. So, he hasn't been able to get his unemployment. When he calls about it, they tell him they are behind, and they've hired a lot of people to catch up with that, and they're investigating. I just wonder how he can get it, because he had to get his retirement out to live on, and he still hasn't gotten his unemployment. And he calls every week to turn it in. He calls them about every day, and he don't get no real answer. He gets a machine, I think, most of the time.

Bill Walsh: OK, well, Penny Wang. What advice might you have for Nancy?

Penelope Wang: Yeah, well, I have a lot of sympathy. My own son had to apply quite a few times. Again, it's a situation where these agencies are just overwhelmed. And it sounds like he's doing all the right things, he's being persistent. Again, it might be worth a call to your congressman's office or a local elected official to see if they have any contacts or ways to intervene. I'm sorry, I don't have any immediate solution, but he will get the money at some point. It's hard to wait, but I would start reaching out to other folks, other agencies, members of Congress to see if somebody else can advocate for you.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that. Penny, Dr. Dawson and Dr. Hebert, we're near the end of our show. Any closing thoughts or recommendations that AARP members should understand most from our conversation today? Penny, do you want to start?

Penelope Wang: I guess what I would say is in a situation where so much seems out of your control, it's important to control whatever you can. And in terms of your finances, that means staying on top of your spending, trying to save if you're in a position to do that and just realize that we will move through this economic cycle and, at some point, things will improve. So the thing is to make sure that you will be in good enough shape to take advantage of the growth opportunities that do come in the future, and they will be there.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you, Penny Wang for that. Dr. Dawson, any closing thoughts in the couple minutes we have left?

Martha Dawson: Yes, I was (inaudible) continue to pay very close attention to the promotion of health and the prevention of illness — all of those things that we learned over the years about having good handwashing before you handle your food and after going to your restroom, making sure that you're getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water. The National Black Nursing Association has 118 chapters in 36 states, and we are working very closely with community agencies, such as sororities, fraternities, elected officials, Urban League, and we're out in the community also doing things like making sure that people have thermometers and other equipment they need to monitor their health, but also making sure that they have food security. So if you want to go to our website, again, that website is www.nbna.org, and you can actually find all of the chapters listed there. We're more than willing to reach out to you and to help with the education, putting you in contact with where you can get testing, making sure you have someone who can do a telephone triage, a contact with you, just so you can have that social interaction. So this is a time that we need each other, and we have to depend on each other. So do reach out to your faith-based organizations and other community organizations so that we can all get through this together.

Bill Walsh: All right, Dr. Dawson. Thank you very much, and very quickly, Dr. Hebert, any closing thoughts?

Warren Hebert: Put on your own mask first. That is always important for the family caregiver, but it's even more important today. The home is the safest place to be. So do whatever you can to make sure that you're receiving care in the home setting, whether it's telehealth, telemedicine from your primary care practitioner or other visits from home health hospice or palliative care. And the last thing is to know that we benefit from time in rest and relaxation, meditation or prayer, or spending time in nature. These things really help us to make sure that we're emotionally well and that we can be at our best when it comes to making decisions. And deeper relationships with family members and friends, even in the midst of COVID, can happen via phone, via video and other ways to help us actually find joy in the midst of a very difficult situation. Thank you so much, Bill.

Bill Walsh: All right. Well, thank you, Dr. Hebert, Dr. Dawson and Penny Wang for your time and your good advice for our listeners. This has been a really informative discussion today. I also want to thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in the discussion. 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, we're providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus, prevent its spread to others, while taking care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of today's Q&A event can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus starting tomorrow, July 10. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not addressed, and you'll find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help you and your family protect themselves and stay healthy. Please be sure to tune in next week, Thursday, July 16, at 7:00 p.m. ET for a special bilingual coronavirus event, the health and financial security of Latinos. Thank you, and have a good day. This concludes our call.

Bill Walsh:  Hello. I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the 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 the global coronavirus pandemic AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Now recently we've been reminded just how persistent the coronavirus is. We've seen a spike in cases in certain parts of the country that has prompted some mayors and governors to mandate face masks be worn when people go outside. Unemployment remains high as companies struggle to figure out their next steps, and family caregivers, especially those with loved ones in nursing homes, continue to be frustrated by the lack of access and information.

[00:00:56] Today, we'll talk with experts to answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to the global coronavirus pandemic around protecting your health, managing your finances and caring for loved ones. If you've participated in one of our tele-town halls, you know, this is similar to a radio talk show, and you have the opportunity to ask questions live. For those of you on the phone, if you'd like to ask a question, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected to an AARP staff member who will note your name and question, and place you in queue to ask that question live.

[00:01:32] Joining us today is Penelope Wang, personal finance writer at Consumer Reports; Martha Dawson, doctor of nursing practice and president of the National Black Nurses Association; and Warren P. Hebert, Jr., doctor of nursing practice and assistant professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. We also will be joined by my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls today.

[00:02:23] AARP is convening this tele-town hall to help you access information about the coronavirus. While we see an important role for AARP in providing information and 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 [CDC]. It can be reached at cdc.gov/coronavirus. This event is being recorded, and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus, 24 hours after we wrap up.

[00:03:11] Now I'd like to welcome our special guests. Penelope Wang is a personal finance writer at Consumer Reports. She brings her expertise in working with job seekers and recruiters by providing personalized job search and career guidance to professionals to help them reach their full potential. Welcome, Penny.

[00:03:31]Penelope Wang:  Hi, Bill. Great to be here.

[00:03:34]Bill Walsh:  All right. Great to have you. Dr. Martha Dawson is the president of the Black Nurses Association. She has over 40 years of experience in nursing and health services and is a member of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing faculties since 2007. As president of the National Black Nurses Association, she is committed to fulfilling the NBNA mission to be the voice of Black nurses and ensuring equal access to professional development and perfect promotional opportunities. Welcome, Dr. Dawson.

[00:04:06]Martha Dawson:  Hello, it's great to be with you this evening.

[00:04:08]Bill Walsh:  All right. And finally, Dr. Warren P. Hebert, Jr., assistant professor at Loyola University of New Orleans. He has more than 40 years of nursing experience. He's an outspoken leader in home health care and health policy at the federal and state level to ensure outstanding patient care. Welcome, Dr. Hebert.

[00:04:29]Warren Hebert:  Bonjour from Cajun Country, Bill. Thank you for having us.

[00:04:31]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for being here. Thanks to all of you for being here today. Let's go ahead and get started, and just a reminder to our listeners, to ask your question please press *3 on your telephone keypad. Dr. Dawson, let's start with you. Let's talk about masks. Masks are an important issue right now and an area where the guidance has shifted from the early stages of the pandemic. There are a lot of questions about what kind are the most effective, how and when to wear a mask and if it's safe to reuse or wash them. Can you take a few minutes and tell us what we need to know about masks and their role in preventing the spread of COVID-19?

[00:05:10]Martha Dawson:  Well sure. There is a difference between face covering, which is the mask that we see the general public wearing, versus the N95 respirators and surgical masks that are used by health care workers. So, the mask that we use, the face mask with the general public, are designed to protect others. And that is why it is important that we all wear them. So when I'm wearing a mask, I'm actually protecting you, but if you're not wearing a mask and you speak, cough or sneeze, then you are exposing me. So to get the most out of it, we both need to be wearing a mask because the goal for wearing a face covering is to slow the spread of this virus, in addition to practicing social spacing and other preventive measures.

[00:06:06] So when we're talking about the N95, which is the medical masks that are used, those are really about 95 perfect very effective in terms of preventing very small particles from being in the air and from you contacting those particles that are in the air. And, of course, the surgical masks are for large droplets, such as spray or blood or urine or body fluid. And the purpose of those really is to protect the health care workers and others who are high-risk workers from contacting any type of infection from patients or others.

[00:06:47] Now the CDC does not recommend that the general public wear the N95. So the face covering that we're using, yes, we can wash those and we can reuse them. Because again, as I stated earlier, it's really about protecting each other and trying to prevent the spread of this virus at this time. If you want to know more information, you can actually go to www.nbna.org, and we do have some papers out there. If you just go to our coronavirus link, you can find more information on this topic.

[00:07:25]Bill Walsh:  OK, very good, Dr. Dawson. Thank you for that. Now I'd like to turn to you, Dr. Hebert. What is your advice for people who live with multiple generations under one roof where younger folks are venturing out more, or continuing to go to work or maybe caring for an older family member or interacting with them? What can they do to keep family members safe and protected, particularly given what we know about asymptomatic spread?

[00:07:53]Warren Hebert:  Bill, just a little background — as a home health nurse since 1985 and CEO of the HomeCare Association of Louisiana, we are advocating for families and those people who are receiving care regularly. So we're talking hospice, palliative care, home care, and these multigenerational families are much of the American family. One in 5 Americans, 64 million of us, lives in a multigenerational home, so this is a significant question. The older adults living in these multigenerational living spaces are, as we know, at higher risk for coronavirus exposure. They're more likely to contract the disease and have grave implications when they do get the illness.

[00:08:39] So one of the first questions for a multigenerational family with older loved ones living with them is, are there other alternatives? Is there another older family member that they might live with who would have less outside activity and, as a result, less exposure within the household? Is there an area of the house with a separate room, and if you're lucky, perhaps a separate bathroom as well, where that older family member can be separate from daily activities. This sort of separation is something that has been shown to make a significant difference.

[00:09:18] Asymptomatic spread, as you mentioned, is very important for us to be thinking hard about. The science that I've been reading indicates that the latest mutation is 10 times more contagious than the original version from Wuhan that first made the leap from animals to humans, and it's 10 times more contagious. It's happening at a time when society, and many of us personally, seem to be exhausted about the observances like handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks. So thank you for asking this critical question around the multigenerational families.

[00:09:59] I'd add that 30 percent of Asian families are multigenerational homes and 27 percent of Hispanic families live in multigenerational homes. So it's important to know the ethnic aspects of care and the way families live.

[00:10:18]Bill Walsh:  Thanks for that. For the younger people who may be going out to work every day and returning home to a multigenerational family, what are the best practices for them when they're reentering the home so as not to spread the virus?

[00:10:32]Warren Hebert:  Well, certainly it's been well publicized that the distancing is important, staying at least six feet away. Some of the science is saying even farther than that, if you can. Handwashing on a regular basis throughout the day for younger people is very important, and it would also be important for younger people to know that wearing a mask when they're around a grandparent would be a really good thing. That hits home for us because we have 12 grandchildren between the ages of 3 and 13. So we need to be very cautious, and certainly teenagers and some folks in the younger 20s need to be aware of that, too.

[00:11:11]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that Dr. Hebert. Now the coronavirus pandemic has also impacted our wallets, and Penny, I'd like to bring you into the conversation here. There's a range of temporary measures that are expiring, including unemployment benefits, moratoriums on evictions and more. People may be facing some very tough choices ahead. If you are unable to pay monthly bills including credit cards, mortgage or rent or utilities, what are your options?

[00:11:41]Penelope Wang:  Yeah, that's a great question. And it's one millions of people are facing. So just before I respond, I want to put in a little bit of a caveat here that I'm a personal finance journalist. I'm not a financial pro or CAS expert, and just to make a small correction to the intro, I'm not a career expert either. So, I just want to preface that by making that point and to urge people to go to pros if they need individual advice.

[00:12:11] So just to talk about the relief programs, some of them are still in place, and so it's important to make sure that you take advantage of them if you haven't already. And that includes unemployment, for which there are often very long waits to get your application processed. But that's still going to be available for a while, as well as the pandemic unemployment of $600 a week on top of that. There's also mortgage relief, which allows you to put off your payments for up to a year if you have a federally backed mortgage. And federal student loan payments are automatically suspended through September with no interest accruing. So make sure if you are eligible for any of those programs, that all of those relief measures are put in place for you.

[00:13:07] For your other bills, you can still reach out to companies for accommodations. Banks are making some relief programs available for credit card holders, but you have to ask for it. So go to their websites; they'll have links for COVID-19 relief programs. I would also urge people to document any accommodations they get because companies are overwhelmed, and mistakes are pretty common. So you may need that in the case of a dispute.

[00:13:43] Utilities are also in some areas offering accommodations, no cutoffs. So you need to check what's available in your area for that. The biggest quandary, I think, faces renters who in many areas have relief programs that are expiring or are about to expire, which have prevented evictions. And there aren't, unfortunately, easy answers to that. The best advice is to reach out to your landlord and see if you can make some kind of deal or get some kind of accommodation, because many landlords aren't eager to try and find new renters during a pandemic. So you may sometimes be able to work something out. And also just check the status of the relief programs in your area. There is a website called evictionlab, which keeps a list of local and regional relief programs. So check to see if there are any there that you can take advantage of.

[00:14:48]Bill Walsh:  OK, Penny, thank you for that. At AARP we tell people that this is the time to be an advocate for yourself and your loved one. And, I think if people are wondering whether their landlord, whether they're creditors are going to cut them some slack, ask. This is the time to really stand up for yourself and press the case.

[00:15:13]Penelope Wang:  Absolutely, you do need to be an advocate. And I should add that in many areas there are housing groups and legal aid groups that you may be able to turn to. There's a website called justshelter.org, and they may be able to point you toward some outside assistance if you need it.

[00:15:34]Bill Walsh:  OK. Very good. Thank you for sharing that. Dr. Dawson, throughout the pandemic we've received a lot of questions about the symptoms of COVID-19. Now this is sure to be an even more important question as people continue to venture out a bit more, and we look ahead to the fall during the traditional cold and flu season. How are COVID-19 symptoms different from the cold and flu, and what should people expect if they're concerned they might be experiencing them?

[00:16:05]Martha Dawson:  Well, people with COVID-19 have been put in a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness, and some have reported no symptoms at all. But usually the symptoms start appearing in 2 to 14 days after exposure, and some of those symptoms may be fever, chills, a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue and muscle or body aches. So a lot of them are very similar to the regular cold and flu, including having headaches. But a few things that are different is like a loss of taste or smell. And a lot of times you may not have the nausea and vomiting and diarrhea with some of your regular flues, but then again, you can.

[00:16:55] So because this virus is so new, we have to pay attention to all of those symptoms that we're having. And then you just have to begin to monitor yourself to see whether or not those symptoms are going to get better, are they going to go away. But making sure that you at least have the equipment within your home such as a thermometer, just to check your temperature to see if you have a fever, not that you just feel warm. Because sometimes, especially with the way the temperature and the environment is during this time, you can have your air conditioning up or you can be outside, or come inside, and you become warm and those types of things. But it's very important for the young individuals to understand and know that many times symptoms in children and young adults are very different from what we have heard reported on the news to the older adults. So a lot of times the children will start complaining of headaches or nausea or having diarrhea or vomiting, and those types of things, when they're not complaining of anything else, like they don't have a cough, they don't have a running nose and their taste may still be there. Because we know as we get older, many times we start losing our taste anyway, so when we get something like COVID-19 in the older person, that probably is going to occur much sooner during the contact than with the younger person.

[00:18:17] But some of the things they need to look at from an emergency standpoint is if they begin to have trouble breathing. If there is a persistent pain in their chest, if they start noticing that their fingernails or their lips are becoming blue. And if they're becoming more confused, or they have an inability to sleep and just staying awake, and then sometimes just the reverse, they can't stay awake. So we just have to monitor very closely for those signs and symptoms that may be a little bit unusual for the time of the year. But again, yes, as we began to move into the fall and we get into that flu and cold season, we really are going to have to pay much closer attention to what are the symptoms that may be presenting at this time.

[00:19:08] One of the things that I will share is that I'm hearing from some of the medical community that some of our young adults that are in their 30s and 40s are presenting to the ER with no symptoms other than just complaining of paralysis, a weakness. And then, once they test the individuals, they test positive and then they're finding out that they may have blood clots in their legs and their lungs.

[00:19:35] So again, the key thing is pay attention to where you're going. Stay away from crowds if you can. One of the things that I've been teaching, and the members of the National Black Nursing Association are educating the community on, is that we need to also practice our own self-tracing. So pay attention when you leave your home and where you go. So if you're out and you know, you go to two or three places, pay attention to the two or three places you went, so that if you do begin to feel ill, when you're talking to your health care provider, you can kind of let them know where you've been and who you've been around. Because that is very important in terms of tracing, making sure you know who you've been in contact with, whether any of those individuals had symptoms, because sometimes we just have to take care of ourselves. And so I really am trying to teach self-care at this time in terms of paying attention to what is taking place in your body and also paying attention to where you were at and who you're around.

[00:20:41]Bill Walsh:  Well, let me follow up on that, Dr. Dawson. You mentioned young people a number of times there, and we're seeing a lot more cases show themselves among younger populations as they're going to large gatherings and such. What are the risks and how can this spread among younger populations? How can that hurt older adults and those with underlying health conditions?

[00:21:05]Martha Dawson:  Well, the biggest problem with that is that if you're living, again, in a multigenerational household, and,let's say that you have a grandparent, you have a parent and then you have young children in the same household. So the kids can catch the virus. They may go three or four days of not having any symptoms, but at the same time they've been around grandma or granddaddy and they've been in their lap or hugging them or whatever, and the older parents then end up catching the virus. And because they do have those preexisting conditions such as heart disease, kidney failure or maybe diabetes, [inaudible] disease. Then they're going to probably have a more difficult time with the disease, and they are more likely to end up in the hospital than your younger patient.

[00:22:03] So it's going to be very important that the younger generation accept some responsibility for also protecting their older parents and grandparents. So this becomes a family conversation. It's very important that individuals learn how to talk to them on their level, so they can understand what this disease is about. Some parents may have to make some very crucial decisions in terms of, especially as we are talking about opening the schools back up, whether or not they're going to allow their children to participate in contact sports. And I would say probably about 85 percent of all sports in this country are considered to be contact sports, especially the ones that we play during the fall and the winter season. Thinking primarily, if you're talking about football, basketball, soccer or baseball, even volleyball, it's almost impossible that you're not going to have contact with each other while you’re on the court.

[00:23:10] So it's very important that we began to look at this and educate our younger population about the severity of this illness, and also help them to understand that it is not just today that we're concerned about your health, but we're concerned about the future because we don't know the long-term effects of this particular virus yet. It hasn't been around long enough for us to determine that. And we also don't know when we're going to have a vaccine developed to offset, you know, the continued spread of this virus.

[00:23:43] So I think we have to really step back and if any time, this is a time for us to practice health education. So it's not just the treatment component of this virus that we have to be concerned about, we really have to focus on health promotion and health prevention. And that's why we talk about the handwashing, using the gel, cleaning off the counters in your home. Those are the promotion aspects. The prevention aspect, again, is more on the masks, using the masks and gel, staying away from large crowds. So health promotion and health prevention is your best protection at this time.

[00:24:26]Bill Walsh:  Thank you, Dr. Dawson for that. I want to mention two websites that Penny Wang had mentioned a little bit earlier on in our discussion when we were talking about paying rent. She had mentioned evictionlab.org and also justshelter.org, two resources if you're facing that particular challenge.

[00:24:58] We are going to get to your live questions soon, but before we do that, I want to take a moment to update you on AARP's continuing fight for residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Since the start of this pandemic, more than 50,000 nursing home residents and staff have died. It is tragic and unacceptable. AARP is continuing to fight at all levels of government for residents and those of you with loved ones in these facilities. We are urging leaders to take action to address three critical topics: First, care facilities must have the personal protective equipment and testing they need to identify cases and prevent the spread of the virus, as well as adequate staffing to provide care. Second, safe virtual visitation between residents and their families must be made available. And third, Congress should not provide legal immunity to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care facilities. Residents and their loved ones deserve the ability to hold facilities legally accountable when they suffer harm, neglect and even death.

[00:26:11] While the situation is dire and we need this action, we are seeing some progress at the state level. For example, Nevada announced the National Guard units doing inspections will also provide personal protective equipment to nursing homes with insufficient supplies. Maryland, Indiana and other states announced they will publicly release data on positive COVID cases. In addition, in Alaska, Pennsylvania and Texas, AARP state offices have all successfully advocated for the purchase of technology to facilitate communications between nursing home residents and their loved ones. AARP members, volunteers and activists have made their voices heard and helped secure these important victories in our continued efforts to protect people who live and work in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. To learn more and make your voice heard on this important topic, please visit aarp.org/nursing homes.

[00:27:11] It's now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Penny Wang, Dr. Martha Dawson and Dr. Warren Hebert. I'd now like to bring in my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your calls. Welcome, Jean.

[00:27:34]Jean Setzfand:  Thanks Bill. I'm happy to be here for this important conversation.

[00:27:37]Bill Walsh:  Very good. Well, let's take our first question. Who do we have on the line?

[00:27:42]Jean Setzfand:  Our first call is coming from Patricia in Florida.

[00:27:46]Bill Walsh:  Hey Patricia, go ahead with your question.

[00:27:48]Patricia:  Well, hi. We hear a lot about the risk to seniors for COVID, many of who do have preexisting conditions. But what about those of us who are over 65, who are in really good health, who do not have these comorbidities, as they talk about them, and maintain a normal weight and have healthy lifestyles. What is our risk factor just because of our age?

[00:28:18]Bill Walsh:  Right. Dr. Hebert, do you want to take that question?

[00:28:22]Warren Hebert:  Well, certainly, and I'd offer Dr. Dawson to pitch in as well. It's well documented that those over 65 are much more likely to experience and have a grave result as a result of the COVID-19 disease. So, many of us over 65 are also family caregivers. So it's important for you to know that you might also be in an age group that that has implications for you. We also know that those with chronic illnesses, diabetes, heart disease and other types of illness, are also much higher. So the things that we can do, I think, is to be even more vigilant related to our handwashing, our social distancing and wearing masks. And that's very important for those of us who are 65 and over, more so than the rest of the population, particularly since we seem to be at a point now where society is becoming exhausted at the news around COVID-19, but also handwashing, distancing and wearing masks. So that means it's even more important for those of us who are at high risk to take extra precautions. Thank you for asking.

[00:29:41]Bill Walsh:  Sure, Dr. Dawson, did you want to weigh in on that at all?

[00:29:45]Martha Dawson:  Yes, I would just weigh in a concern that is related to aging, and one of the things I'd like to do is refer this person back to the May 2020 AARP publication. They had a very good op-ed in there related to how our immune systems change as we age. So you may not necessarily have a pre-existing condition, but just because we're getting older, there are going to be certain things in our bodies that [inaudible] and mean that we’re vulnerable in how we handle infection much more differently than [inaudible].

[00:30:28]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you, Dr. Dawson. Jean, who's our next caller?

[00:30:34]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Jo from Nevada City.

[00:30:38]Bill Walsh:  Hey Jo, go ahead with your call.

[00:30:41]Jo:  Oh, well, I spoke to someone already, but I'll tell you. What I called about was the stimulus check. I never received one. I receive my Social Security through my bank and, I make less than $14,000 a year and I never received a stimulus check. I have called irs.com. I've gotten on the internet several times, and each time what comes up is “we're investigating.” Well, now I'm hearing people talk about the second stimulus check when I never even got the first one. Do you know of any way that I can contact someone to find out why I haven't received one?

[00:31:23]Bill Walsh:  All right. Well, let's ask Penny Wang. Can you help Jo at all?

[00:31:30]Penelope Wang:  There's been a lot of complaints about late stimulus checks, and it sounds like you've done a lot of the standard maneuvers you're supposed to make to try to figure it out. Just for people who don't know, the standard advice is to go to the IRS's online payment tracker, "Get My Payment," which is supposed to show you the details of your payment schedule and how it's supposed to arrive. And there have been complaints that that app is slow or may not always update as promptly as it should, but that's the standard route. And that you should have received a letter, I think it's about 15 days after the payment is issued. That said, like a lot of agencies, the IRS is probably pretty overwhelmed, and if you didn't have a direct deposit account with them, that could slow things up since a paper check would have been issued instead. So you can reach out and try and contact them about your payment. It sounds like you may have done that, but I would certainly reach out and try again. Failing that, I guess my only suggestion is to contact one of your elected representatives — your congressman's office or senator's office — and see if perhaps they can help you with that. There are also groups that help older adults deal with a lot of these problems. And if you have a local agency, perhaps someone there can also help you take this on. It sounds like it just is going to take a lot more persistence to get the check.

[00:33:17]Bill Walsh:  Right. Yeah, and I was going to suggest that as well, call your local member of Congress. This is what they're paid to do, help constituents like Jo and others. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:33:30]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Arlene from Maryland.

[00:33:34]Bill Walsh:  Hey Arlene, go ahead with your question.

[00:33:38]Arlene:  Yes. I'm 65 years old and currently I'm staying with my son, but I'm getting ready to move with my daughter around about September or October, but I have a nephew that lives with my daughter who's tested positive for the COVID. I want to know, is it safe for me to move in with her despite him having the COVID? He tested positive in May.

[00:34:10]Bill Walsh:  Is he still showing symptoms?

[00:34:14]Arlene:  Yup. He still has like occasional shortness of breath. He has a clot or something in his lungs. And they've given him medicine for it. So, I want to know if it's safe for me to move with her, my daughter.

[00:34:37]Bill Walsh:  Let's ask our experts to weigh in on that. Dr. Hebert, do you want to take a first crack at it, and then Dr. Dawson weigh in as well?

[00:34:49]Warren Hebert:  Sure, thank you for the question, because this is an issue that folks are dealing with across the country and across the world. We talked a little bit earlier about multigenerational families, and it seems to me that you have the good fortune that you have a family member to live with. I would think that this is going to vary from one case to the next, you know, and some people who may have been diagnosed a couple of months back may no longer be contagious. So it would be important for you to be able to get that clear with the primary care provider that is caring for the nephew. The other thing that I would suggest that you do is to consider other alternatives. As we talked about a little earlier, is there another family member you have the alternative of visiting with? You know, perhaps someone who's got a home where you can keep the social distancing that you need to. But thank you for that very important question. You're not alone.

[00:35:46]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, Dr. Dawson, do you have any advice for Arlene? I'm sorry, go ahead.

[00:35:50]Martha Dawson:  I would suggest that if possible, you can delay moving in at this time. And the other thing that I would really recommend is that if you are going to relocate, get tested prior to relocating, so that you know what your status is prior to going into the home. And then hopefully you will have space within the home where the two of you can be separated as much as possible, and that includes having different bathrooms to use. So if you can delay maybe going until some of his symptoms subside, that would be much better. And he should be tested as well to make sure that he's negative at this time, as well as your daughter.

[00:36:37]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thank you both for that. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

[00:36:43]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Diana from Kansas.

[00:36:46]Bill Walsh:  Hi Diana, go ahead with your question.

[00:36:50]Diana:  My question is on the federal loan programs that are available like for mortgages and school loans. Who do I contact?

[00:37:00]Bill Walsh:  OK, Penny, can you help Diana with that?

[00:37:04]Penelope Wang:  Sure. Well for federal student loans, that should happen automatically. The pause on payments should have taken place through the servicer for that loan. You should definitely check your account or contact that loan servicer and make sure that that is happening. I think in most cases it is, so there are some issues in terms of how those payments are being reported, which is a separate issue, which is to say everyone should be checking their credit reports to make sure that accommodations are being reflected properly. You can get free credit report checks from each of the three major credit agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax during the pandemic.

[00:37:54] On the mortgage servicer, again, this is a situation where you need to check with your mortgage servicer. You need to double-check that it's a federal loan, which they should be able to tell you. In which case, again, those payments should be paused. But it requires a lot of follow-up on the part of consumers to make sure that all these relief accommodations are taking place the way they were dictated in the Cares Act.

[00:38:24]Bill Walsh:  Right. And I'll just remind listeners on that front about the sites that Penny had mentioned earlier, evictionlab.org and justshelter.org. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:38:39]Jean Setzfand:  We have a question coming in from YouTube and it's coming in from Jeff. Jeff is asking, “I was informed that a person I had close contact with yesterday had tested positive. How long should I wait before being tested?”

[00:38:54]Bill Walsh:  OK, Dr. Dawson, do you want to offer Jeff some advice there?

[00:38:59]Martha Dawson:  I would say at least give yourself two to three days, and at the same time monitor your symptoms. If you start having like a fever or anything like that, go ahead and get tested. We know that it takes anywhere from two to 14 days before you become symptomatic. It's best to wait a little while to test yourself because you don't want to go get tested and have a negative report, and the virus really has not spread through your system at this time. So wait two to three days before you go get tested.

[00:39:34]Bill Walsh:  And Dr. Dawson, what is the best way to get tested if people want to do that? Is it about calling their physician? Is it about calling a hospital?

[00:39:44]Martha Dawson:  There are multiple ways right now; we are doing a much better job with that. If you live by a CVS, some of your CVS's are actually doing the test. You can go to your primary care physician. You can go to the health department. And then, we have a lot of the freestanding urgent care centers that are also providing testing at this time. Don't go to the emergency room.

[00:40:08]Bill Walsh:  Don't go to the emergency room. OK. That's probably good advice, unless you have an emergency, then go to the emergency room.

[00:40:14]Martha Dawson:  Right, unless you have an emergency. Yes. But don't go there just for your routine testing.

[00:40:20]Bill Walsh:  OK. Very good. Jean, who's our next caller?

[00:40:24]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Randy from Maryland.

[00:40:26]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Randy.

[00:40:28]Randy:  Hi, my name is Randy, and I, first of all, thank AARP for doing this. My wife and I are in our mid-60s. We are caregivers for our grandmother, which will be 104 next week. And our aunt, which is 94 right now. And we've done a good job, nobody's sick, everybody's healthy, but the isolation has deteriorated them even worse than the coronavirus would have ever done. Prior to this, February, first week of March, they was on the second floor, run up and down the stairs. Their bedrooms was up there. They went to the local center, community center every day for a day break, you know, and they'll get back home at four o'clock in the afternoon. And friends, bingo, things like that. Now they've been sitting for months. Arthritis has set in. We moved them to the living room and the dining room, so they don't have to go up the stairs, but that's killing them. And we don't have an answer. One of the local centers has said, you know, try to keep them as busy. I don't know how to keep them busy! We're now the nurse, we're the dietician, we're everything, and we don't know what, and we're old ourselves.

[00:41:42]Bill Walsh:  Well, you're not old. You're only in your mid-60s, Randy, but let's ask our experts. So Dr. Hebert, you heard Randy's situation. Could you give them any advice?

[00:41:53]Warren Hebert:  You know, Randy, the first thing I want to say is thank you. There are, according to AARP information released as recently as May, 53 million family caregivers around the United States. And there are 7 to 8 million people like you and your wife, Randy, who are providing this care on a daily basis. So thank you. Family caregivers provide 90 percent of all care across the country for seniors and those with disability. And if you're providing care for someone who's aged, wow, 94 and 104. Good genes. But certainly the challenge you have related to trying to keep them active is something that perhaps was already being cared for because you were getting them out of the home to a senior center of some sort. But now the challenge that you've got is to add into the care that you're providing, 24/7, 365, things that help to keep them more active. I'm amazed that they were going up and down the stairs at 94 and 104. That is such a compliment to you and your wife in the care that you've been providing for them. The experts point out that the home is the safest place to be. So you're doing the right thing by having them at home.

[00:43:15] Some things that might help would be video connections. Perhaps they've got friends or other family, and you can be intentional about connecting them either with FaceTime, Zoom or Skype, or one of the other things. That really makes a big difference because you obviously know that the isolation and the relationships are so very important. So you've taken a really big step there.

[00:43:42] The other thing that I would add is as a home health nurse, early on in COVID-19 some family members were turning away a home health nurse or therapist, not only home health, but also hospice palliative care. I would suggest that the risk/reward of that is something that you need to consider. So if, Randy, they are getting care at home, know that having that person to go in and check on them is a very, very low risk compared to, as Dr. Dawson indicated a little bit earlier, if they need to go to the emergency room or urgent care or a hospital where they are 100 percent likely to be around someone who's been exposed to COVID-19. So doing those things around video, getting family members to call them, being intentional to pull together a cadre of support as you help this 94-year-old and 104-year-old, wow, extraordinary. Congratulations, and thanks to all of the family caregivers that are listening. Again, 53 million across the country and that's up from 43 million just 10 years ago. Thanks to AARP for the good work they do around family caregiving.

[00:44:59]Bill Walsh:  Well, thanks for that Dr. Hebert. I mean, family caregiving is a hard enough job in normal times, and as we all know, we're not living in normal times. Randy brought up the issue of isolation. It's something that we have been very concerned about since the outbreak of the pandemic. We've actually set up a service, maybe our listeners would be interested in, we call it AARP Friendly Voices and hundreds of our volunteers around the country have gotten trained, and they will make outbound calls to people who you think are isolated and would like to hear from somebody. Let me give you that number in case you might be interested. It's a free service. It's 1-888-281-0145. That's AARP Friendly Voices. So if a loved one you think would benefit from hearing a friendly voice and have a chat, please go ahead and use that free service.

[00:46:06] Let’s turn back to our experts for answers to some of the most pressing coronavirus questions. Dr. Hebert, we know that self-care is important for family caregivers all of the time. How can people who are caring for loved ones during this trying time take care of their own health, their mental well-being, and their relationships?

[00:46:30]Warren Hebert:  Bill, as I indicated a little earlier, this is so critical. Ninety percent of care across the United States for seniors and those with disabilities are provided by family members in the home setting. Their self-care is vital. As, when they fall ill, it not only impacts them, but it impacts the care recipient and the rest of the family. I do a weekly program for family caregivers that I've done for 13 years, and every week almost I repeat what we hear on airplanes. If the oxygen mask falls from the ceiling, and you're seated next to someone who needs assistance, put on your own mask first. So related to these different aspects of self-care, first, our physical well-being is critical. Exercising, eating well, taking our own medications as they should and routine checkups with your primary care practitioner. And it's likely today that your checkup may very well be happening by telehealth or telemedicine for the foreseeable future. The other thing I would ask is, again, to ensure that if you've got people who are helping you, to allow them into the home to provide that assistance to you. Because that, again, helps you with nurses, therapists, etc., to keep people out of emergency rooms and hospitals.

[00:48:01] The second thing that I would add is our own chronic illnesses as family caregivers. It's just very important, again, for you to keep up with your own self-care. The second is related to our mental health, what some of us called emotional hygiene, is just as important as washing your hands. Our mental well-being impacts our good judgment, and it also impacts what some call self-stewardship or our self-control. Some of the tips from a standpoint of our emotional well-being include the time that one spends with the news. If you limit that time to maybe once a day, or some of us have managed to do that even more seldom, then that'll help your mental well-being. You also benefit from time you spend that's intentional around relaxation, meditation or prayer. And we know that spending time in nature can be healing.

[00:49:03] The final thing is social relationships are critical, and Randy pointed that out in the call earlier. Some argue that the social has a huge impact at the point that we're doing social distancing. We would do well today to even seek deeper relationships with family members, with friends and support groups during COVID-19. Support groups are vital. My father had dementia for seven years and for my siblings and my mom and I, it helped a lot to connect with support groups. My wife's parents had cancer. Our 29-year-old daughter has Down syndrome. So our support groups help us to stay connected with other families.

[00:49:49] So the support groups, not only let you know that you're not by yourself, but it also helps you to broaden the range of diverse information and solutions that you might come to. And Bill, thank you for mentioning that number that AARP has for people to reach out. That can be very helpful.

[00:50:07]Bill Walsh:  Right. And I'm going to mention it again, just in case people didn't take it down. It was AARP Friendly Voices program. It's 888-281-0145. That's to get one of our trained volunteers to a call a loved one or someone you know who may be isolated in this crisis, who would just really benefit from a friendly voice. That's a free service. So Dr. Hebert, thank you for that good advice.

[00:50:36] Penny, let's return to finances for just a moment. If your financial needs are larger than a few bills, what flexibility and risks are there to accessing funds that may be in retirement accounts?

[00:50:52]Penelope Wang:  Yes. There is a lot more flexibility in terms of tapping retirement accounts, which is both good and bad. You know, under normal circumstances, just to run through the background for a sec, it's normally difficult to get at your 401[k] or IRA money early, before age 59½, which is the official cutoff. If you do that, then you face a 10 percent penalty, and there's also fairly steep tax withholding. But, with the passage of the Cares Act following the pandemic, those rules have been relaxed temporarily. But just to note that even though the rules have changed on the federal level, your plan, your employer's plan may follow different options, so you need to check with your own plan to make sure what's available. But under the Cares Act, if you need to make a withdrawal because of a COVID-related issue, which could be you or a close family member is sick, or you've lost your job, or are furloughed, or your income is reduced, then they waive that 10 percent penalty, as well as the 20 percent tax withholding if you withdraw before age 59½. You will still owe taxes on that money since the contributions were made pretax, but the bill can be spread over three years. Normally when you make a withdrawal, you have to pay it all in that same year. You can take up to a $100,000 out of your account in the aggregate, assuming that you have that much in your account. You can repay it, then if you do it within three years, it will be treated like a rollover, and that means your usual annual contributions won't be limited because you put in a big chunk of money. So, there's also a temporary flexibility on loans from plans as well. The amount has been doubled to a $100,000, and you have a bit longer to pay it back.

[00:53:15] That said, just because you can tap your accounts, it doesn't mean it's the best option. It's really a last resort since that money is meant to grow tax-free until retirement. So if you take out $10,000 now, and instead of letting it grow for say 30 years, you're giving up many times that, maybe $60,000 or more. So it does put a crimp in your retirement security. But these aren't normal times. A lot of people are really up against it. So if that's the situation you're in, and you have that money, it is an option. So, if you need to keep a roof over your head, pay your medical bills, whatever, then go ahead and do it, and just plan to try and save as much as you can in the future when things get better. And we all hope and pray and expect they will get better. So have a little faith and do what you need to do.

[00:54:15]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thanks, Penny. Dr. Dawson, a question for you. We continue to see the coronavirus is hitting people of color the hardest, particularly African Americans and Latinos. What are the causes of this, and what can be done to combat it?

[00:54:31]Martha Dawson:  You're absolutely correct. I would say that we're talking about the African American population and others of color have been affected anywhere from four to five times more than whites. So that translates to, for every 40 whites that may be hospitalized, you may have 178 Blacks that are being hospitalized. And this is due to several things. If I would say, first of all, it's where we live. Because we're living in those communities that have more polluted air, contaminated water, toxic [inaudible], there are still in homes with lead in the paint in houses, and then we already spoke about the multigenerational household. So all of these things kind of add to the stressors that now we have to deal with the COVID-19.

[00:55:29] So we already kind of have these issues. And now when we say that you're living in a place like Flint, Michigan, where they're still trying to replace pipes that we know was the cause of lead in the water. And now you have to spend more money just to try to keep your counters clean, to make sure that you have your doorknobs and your light fixtures. So you're going a little bit above and beyond maybe some of your routine cleaning that maybe you did once a week. You almost need to do it daily now, especially if you have people who are going in and out of the home to work at some of these big box stores, which is another issue for many of the non-white populations in this country. They are considered to be essential workers, and so they are working in the grocery stores, they're working in environmental jobs, or factories such as your meatpacking plants and those things. Again, very impossible to do a lot of social distancing and frequent handwashing in those type of jobs. Yet still they're considered to be essential workers, but these jobs normally will pay less. And when you are in these jobs, many times you don't have sick leave, so that adds another stressor to these individuals in terms of not being able to take off if they're feeling bad.

[00:56:58] And we know early on in this pandemic, we were hearing a lot of those stories about those individuals that were still being asked to come to work even after they had reports of some of their colleagues being infected. Even within the nursing communities, we were hearing some nurses report that when they were feeling sick on the unit, they were not being relieved to go downstairs to the ER to be tested or go somewhere to be tested, and then when they finally got tested, they were positive. Whereby that time they probably infected some of their colleagues, their relatives at home, but also even maybe some of the other patients they were taking care of. We also have this big issue now that I see emerging as we're talking about getting ready to reopen the schools — the fact that many of our rural and inner-city schools are not in the best conditions to start with. And again, they're going to have limited toileting facilities for the students to use. And are they going to have the manpower to actually have the frequent cleaning of those areas that need to be cleaned, you know? Yes, we can say we're going to have gel, we're going to have gloves for these individuals, but again, when you're talking about a first, a second, or third grader, it's very difficult to tell those kids not to touch each other. I mean, they're used to this social contact. There used to being interactive. And so are we going to have enough faculty members in those locations to be able to do this?

[00:58:34] So when we are talking about the fact that our Black and brown individuals are being infected more, that is because we have this systemic racism that has been placed in terms of housing, education, job opportunities, and just, in general, the big gap that we have in wages and the type of jobs that these individuals hold.

[00:58:59]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, a lot of challenges there that will no doubt extend well beyond the coronavirus moment that we're in. Thank you for that, Dr. Dawson. Penny, back to finances with you. There is still a lot of financial uncertainty and unique challenges ahead. Are there certain personal finance moves that people should outright avoid at this time?

[00:59:26]Penelope Wang:  Yes, absolutely. There are a lot of risks and possible missteps that people could take at a time like this. And just to pick up on something that Dr. Dawson was talking about, these risks sort of point out the disadvantages of large parts of the population who were struggling even before the pandemic; lower income of people of color who don't have access to a lot of the financial options that many other people do. And so these people are particularly at risk if they're falling short of money, falling victim to payday loans, the high-cost, short-term loans, which have enormous interest rates. Many people end up sinking further into debt when they opt for one of these. Unfortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Board pulled back the regulation that would have required these lenders to make sure people could afford to pay back these loans before giving them. So that is definitely something to avoid. There's also a huge risk of falling victim to just outright scammers, frauds, people offering too-good-to-be-true kinds of options. I know AARP is certainly monitoring a lot of that as it affects older Americans.

[01:01:03] So, the best option is to try and take control of the money yourself. Know where you stand. Get a handle on your budget, and seek out trustworthy advice or help because there is free or low-cost advice if you're having financial challenges. For example, there's a group of financial planners called XY Planning Network, and they're offering free sessions to those who are impacted by COVID-19. I also would suggest reaching out, if you're facing debt, to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at fcc.org. It's a nonprofit that offers free low-cost help to consumers to get on top of their finances, and they can help you negotiate with lenders if you're in that kind of situation.

[01:01:55] So the key is, if you need advice, to find trustworthy advice and make sure that the organizations are looking out for your interests.

[01:02:21]Bill Walsh:  Yes, thank you for that, Penny. I appreciate it. We're going to get to more listener questions in just a moment, but first a word about coronavirus fraud. This is something Penny just referenced. As if Americans didn't have enough on their minds, scammers are continuing to use the headlines as opportunities to steal money or sensitive personal information. The FBI is warning that scammers are advertising fake coronavirus antibody testing. Their goal is to obtain sensitive personal information that they can use in identity theft or medical insurance fraud. Scammers may claim the test is FDA-approved, they may even offer a cash incentive to lure unsuspecting consumers. The agency recommends consulting your doctor before taking it any COVID-19 antibody test at home, and it warns against sharing personal or health information with anyone other than a known or trusted medical professional. Visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more about these and other scams, or you can call the Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360.

[01:03:50] Now it's time to address more of your questions with Penny Wang, Dr. Martha Dawson and Dr. Warren Hebert. Jean, who do we have on the line now?

[01:04:06]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Caroline from Kansas.

[01:04:10]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Caroline, go ahead with your question.

[01:04:12]Caroline:  Yes, my husband is 72 years old. I'm 70. We live in our own home. We do have a downstairs and upstairs with separate bathrooms. Steven was diagnosed positive a week ago, last Thursday as a matter of fact, and so he's been in the hospital. He has asthma. They put him on [remdesivir] just yesterday. I had a total hip replacement on the 15th, had a negative test on the 12th pre-surgery and then a negative on July 2. But when I took care of him over the weekend, July 4, I tested positive on Monday.

[01:04:58]Bill Walsh:  Oh geez.

[01:04:58]Caroline:  My question being, since I've had surgery and have gone through this, I do have a few some symptoms not near like Steven has. They want to send him home next Tuesday. How do I disinfect the house? What recommendations would there be? Should I leave the home? It's an open-ended question. I'm just kind of unsure as to what to do next.

[01:05:23]Bill Walsh:  Wow. Well, Caroline, first of all, you've got a lot on your plate right now. Let's turn to our experts and see if they can provide any advice. Dr. Dawson, do you have any suggestions for Caroline?

[01:05:36]Martha Dawson:  Well, I would say that she really needs to think through this process with him coming home in terms of, I don't know whether they have anyone that assist them at this time, like a daughter or a son, or someone who can at least come over and make sure that the house is cleaned. I would suggest that, first of all, to clean your house, don't try to do it yourself. See if you can contact maybe a company to try to do that for you to make sure that, because you sound as if you may have a mid-size home, so that they can do the surfaces and they can do the door knobs, and all of the things that you need to have done prior to him coming in. And if there's a way that the two of you can remain separated, I think that would be good. And then, again, I may follow the suggestion that was made earlier, and that is that you may want to reach out to hospice or palliative care to see if someone else can come in and at least check on you all. Because I'm just really concerned about the fact that you just recently have had surgery and now you are positive. And the fact that both of you are in your 70s at this time. I think you're going to need to do some care planning, and even reaching out to the social services department at the hospital where he is. And begin to ask them some of the same questions. Then if you can, contact either a home health agency or a palliative care agency and inquire about what type of services could they provide in terms of them coming in the home and still keeping themselves safe as well.

[01:07:23]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that, Dr. Dawson. I just want to reiterate two websites that Penny had mentioned earlier related to managing finances. The XYPlanningNetwork.com and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. That website is nfcc.org. OK, Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:07:48]Jean Setzfand:  We have a question coming from Facebook, and this one's coming from Kimberly. She's asking, “With the stock market dropping, should you close your 401[k] or leave it alone?”

[01:08:01]Bill Walsh:  Hmm. Penny, do you have some advice on that?

[01:08:06]Penelope Wang:  Yeah, I can certainly understand the concern with the market the way it is now. It's really tempting for people, especially those who are older and approaching retirement, to pull their money out or get out of the stock market. But that's not a good long-term strategy. The market, in fact, has dropped a lot the beginning of the year. It has rebounded, which just points out that you really can't predict, there's no crystal ball what the market is going to do. So the best solution is to have a long-term asset allocation that you stick with over the long term and keep adding money, and if you have a free employer match in your 401[k], definitely do not give that up. That's free money. But it also points to another thing which is to have emergency savings set aside that you can tap, especially for people who are in or near retirement, that can pay the bills. It doesn't require you to pull money out of stocks that may be dropping in value just to meet your expenses.

[01:09:26] Again, this points to the importance of long-term financial planning, having a plan and sticking with it. For people who are in or near retirement where a bear market could pose a real threat to their retirement security, you should try and plan to have as much as a year's worth of expenses set aside in cash so you can ride out a prolonged downturn, which is what we saw back in 2008, 2009 and we hope we won't see again. But it's always possible. That's a lot of money for people to put aside, so you should at least put aside as much as you can and keep some money in bonds if you need to tap that as well while you're in retirement.

[01:10:12] Over the long term, have an automatic plan to add savings to that cash horde, until it's where you need it to be. I would also suggest, and I've mentioned this before, the advantage of talking to a planner for people approaching retirement or moving into retirement. That's a really dicey time, and it's good to get a second opinion. I would just call out a couple of other places you can try to find a fee-only advisor. One would be the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, napfa.org, and also the Garrett Planning Network, garrettplanningnetwork.com. An advisor can be expensive, but some, particularly those at the Garrett Network offer by-the-hour fees or one-time consultations. So it can be a really worthwhile use of your money to make sure that your retirement plan can really withstand all the uncertainty that we're facing right now.

[01:11:16]Bill Walsh:  OK, Penny. Thank you very much for that. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:11:21]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Sue from Colorado.

[01:11:25]Bill Walsh:  Hi, Sue, go ahead with your question.

[01:11:27]Sue:  OK, thank you. I have a question that I know pertains to plenty of people that are listening. I’m getting up there. I'm a little high risk, and I have like a double whammy. I have immunosuppressant stuff going on, too, from cancer and all that. So as a grandparent, I live close to my kids in Colorado. We all live near each other. There's three total. And like, I don't know if it's OK to see my daughter who's always been really thoughtful and thinking about me and very considerate. So she has an almost 2-year-old, so she's, of course, trying to get out and do things with him to entertain them, because it's a nightmare. She swears she's social distancing. I believe her, I trust her, she always wears a mask. I just don't know if it's safe to go to my own daughter's house with my grandson. It's awful.

[01:12:39]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, it sounds awful. Dr. Hebert, I wonder if you have any advice for Sue or others in her situation?

[01:12:47]Warren Hebert:  Sue, I love ya. Bill and I talked earlier with the other guests before the program started, and he heard that I have 12 grandchildren, and nine of them live within 10 minutes of us. The other three are only 90 minutes away. And one of the hardest things for us about COVID for my wife and I is not interacting as frequently with our grandchildren. So this is an issue that many grandparents are dealing with across the country. So for about two months, we didn't have any contact at all, other than the fact that we all got a lot better with FaceTime and Zoom and that sort of thing. And believe me, that offers some really hilarious moments with the grandkids. We found a lot of joy in that. I think that's important for you to do that with the grandkids.

[01:13:35] When you are going to be engaging with them, you're certainly hitting on the right point as you indicate that your daughter is distancing and that your daughter wears a mask. Those are things that are important for you. The other thing that I would mention is visiting outside. The science indicates clearly that if we are outside, there's better airflow, the virus does not survive as long in sunlight, so I would encourage you that when you do make your visits, make them outside.

[01:14:07] What we did initially with our grandchildren is, we happen to have a swimming pool, and that's one of the reasons we get to see them often. So initially we'd tell the kids, hey, bring them over to swim, and we would stay in the house, and we'd visit through the screen, and then we even ordered pizza for them. And they're eating outside at the table, it's out on our patio, and we're eating inside, but we're having these great conversations. The children are just as curious, depending on their age, about what's going on.

[01:14:36] So I'll get back to something we talked about earlier, and that is relationships. Our social relationships, even though we're physically distancing, the social relationships are more critical now than ever. So whatever you can do to deepen those relationships and find some joy in the midst of this adventure that we find ourselves in, will help you to deepen your relationship with your grandchildren. But I really feel the pain that you're feeling about being away from the grandkids. That's been a real challenge for us, too.

[01:15:09]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, thank you for that, Dr. Hebert. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:15:14]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Carol from Illinois.

[01:15:19]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Carol, go ahead with your question.

[01:15:21]Carol:  Yes, I was concerned about paper and how the virus reacts to simple paper, in particular, my newspaper and my mail. If it should be sanitized before I open it, if it should sit for a day or so? I've noticed that my mail carrier is not wearing a mask and not wearing gloves and that concerns me that they might be infected. I just don't know if I should set the mail aside for three days or what?

[01:16:09]Bill Walsh:  Well, Carol, thanks for that question. Let's ask one of our experts. Dr. Dawson, do you have any thoughts on that?

[01:16:17]Martha Dawson:  Well, I'm just going to speak from my own personal experience. For the mail that comes in my mailbox, I've not had any problem with it, and so I have been touching those things. But when I order something that has to be delivered by FedEx or any big box stores or anything, I generally go ahead and try to spray those with a little Lysol, wipe them off and then take the packets out of the paper outside my home before I bring the packet in. Then I usually take whatever paper and I go ahead and put it into the recycling bin. So I would say that if you are a little afraid, just go to the dollar store, and they usually have these little very thin gloves that you can get about a hundred for a dollar. So you can get your two packets and you can actually open your mail and then go ahead and discard them, because I do, when I open my mail, I discard the envelopes and things like that immediately, and then just touch what is inside, the paper. I've heard different evidence in terms of how long the virus can remain active on cardboard and paper and stuff like that. So I would just say it's always best to be a safe versus sorry, so if you want to get some small gloves to use to open your mail and read your paper, and then discard those things immediately that you don't have to keep. I would suggest that you do that.

[01:17:43]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thank you for that, Dr. Dawson. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:17:49]Jean Setzfand:  We actually have a follow-up question to that question from YouTube and Amy from YouTube is asking, "What about take-out food? Is that safe?”

[01:17:57]Bill Walsh:  Dr. Dawson, can you extend your answer to take-out food? I know a lot of people are turning to deliveries these days as well as a takeout.

[01:18:08]Martha Dawson:  Again, I'm going to say that you have to do that on a personal level. For me, I've been avoiding both going to the restaurant and ordering take-out food at this time. And that's just my own safety factor, because I'm at that 60-year age, as well. And so, what I would like to do is protect myself as much as possible. But again, if you're going to do the take-out food, I would try to do the same thing. Hopefully, they would deliver it in two boxes — one that is where your food is, and then an outer box. And you can remove your food from the outer box, and then bring the other box inside. So I think I've not really heard anything in terms of evidence or anything on the news about people contracting it that way, not to say that someone hasn't, but I just have not heard that. So I'm thinking that it's probably much more safer than one may think.

[01:19:11]Bill Walsh:  Yeah. And I've heard a lot of restaurants using that as a competitive advantage, talking about the precautions that they take as they prepare the food, as they package it up and how they deliver it. I know we look for those sorts of assurances whenever we are looking for deliveries or take-out food.

[01:19:32]Martha Dawson:  Yes. And I would definitely pay attention to if the person’s coming to my home with gloves on, are they wearing a mask? I kind of think if they're doing this when they're delivering the food to me, they're probably practicing that in terms of preparing the food, as well. And that's one of the CDC guidelines for the restaurants is to make sure that they're using gloves, and that they're having masks on and things like that.

[01:19:58]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you very much for that. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:20:07]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Elizabeth from Michigan.

[01:20:11]Bill Walsh:  Hi Elizabeth. Go ahead with your question.

[01:20:21]Elizabeth:  I don't know that, am I live right now?

[01:20:23]Bill Walsh:  You are, go ahead with your question.

[01:20:25]Elizabeth:  Oh OK. I'm sorry, I didn't understand how this works.

[01:20:28]Bill Walsh:  All right.

[01:20:30]Elizabeth:  I had a follow-up question to the caregivers with the elderly parents at home. Is there any steps that we should be taking too? I am my mother's caregiver. We live together in an apartment. And I'm wondering if there's any steps that should be taken for preparing or talking to home-health-care workers or respite-care workers, which I really need because I have no break. And I occasionally have some work hours I'd like to do, and I haven't had anybody come in yet for three months. So what's the protocol for engaging people to come in and making sure everything stays safe?

[01:21:21]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, it's a great question. Thank you, Elizabeth. Dr. Hebert, I wonder if you can make any suggestions to Elizabeth about how to screen home-health-care workers or respite-care workers?

[01:21:36]Warren Hebert:  Elizabeth, we also receive outside care. We're very fortunate in that our daughter has Medicaid. So when all of this began, we, too, made the decision that the caregivers wouldn't be coming into our house. So I think that that's a prudent choice that you made early on in the situation. Related to your bringing those folks back in, some things that come to mind for me is number one, what's the current state of COVID-19 in your particular geographic area? If the incidence at this point is very low, then you can have a degree of confidence that maybe you can take that next step. If it's high, you might want to consider even asking that question.

[01:22:23] The second thing that I would do is to look within family and people that you already know. And if that's an alternative for you instead of bringing in people from outside, then that could be a good next step for you so that you get a little bit of a break, and we call that respite when it comes to family caregiving. Related to screening those organizations that would provide this, I think that the things that you would do are the same things that AARP has been suggesting that people do for other caregivers like perhaps in a nursing home setting. The one thing you want to do is find out from the company, what are they doing related to screening and taking temperatures every day. You would also ask, are there people working for the company who have tested positive for COVID-19. And the federal regulations are being pushed right now to make it mandatory that these things are reported so that you, as a family member who have that responsibility, can get a transparent answer related to that.

[01:23:30] The other thing that I would do would be to talk with them about their access to personal protective equipment. If they have the personal protective equipment that they need, and they're able to be prudent in the way that they're using that, it limits the likelihood that you and your mother would be likely to get something. And again, I'll add that the home is the safest place for you to receive care. That one person that's coming in is being screened, they're likely to have their temperature [taken] , if they got access to personal protective equipment, then the risk-reward for you receiving that care from them at home versus having to go into an urgent care center or an emergency room or a hospital where you are pretty much 100 percent guaranteed that you're going to be around people who have been exposed to coronavirus. So the home's the safest place for you to be, and those are some of the steps that I would take to make sure that you're getting someone to come into the house that's well prepared and able to provide you with safe and high quality care.

[01:24:36]Bill Walsh:  Great. Thank you, Dr. Hebert for that. Jean, one other question from a caller.

[01:24:42]Jean Setzfand:  Sure, we have Nancy from Tennessee.

[01:24:45]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Nancy, go ahead with your question.

[01:24:48]Nancy:  My son has been laid off since about six to eight weeks, and he was laid off where he was working, and they laid off the ones that had, was in high risk more, and he has had asthma, and so that's the reason he got laid off. Well, not the reason he got laid off, but you know, he was in high risk. So, he hasn't been able to get his unemployment. When he calls about it, they tell him they are behind, and they've hired a lot of people to catch up with that, and they're investigating. I just wonder how he can get it, because he had to get his retirement out to live on, and he still hasn't gotten his unemployment. And he calls every week to turn it in. He calls them about every day, and he don't get no real answer. He gets a machine, I think, most of the time.

[01:25:52]Bill Walsh:  OK, well, Penny Wang. What advice might you have for Nancy?

[01:25:58]Penelope Wang:  Yeah, well, I have a lot of sympathy. My own son had to apply quite a few times. Again, it's a situation where these agencies are just overwhelmed. And it sounds like he's doing all the right things, he's being persistent. Again, it might be worth a call to your congressman's office or a local elected official to see if they have any contacts or ways to intervene. I'm sorry, I don't have any immediate solution, but he will get the money at some point. It's hard to wait, but I would start reaching out to other folks, other agencies, members of Congress to see if somebody else can advocate for you.

[01:26:48]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that. Penny, Dr. Dawson and Dr. Hebert, we're near the end of our show. Any closing thoughts or recommendations that AARP members should understand most from our conversation today? Penny, do you want to start?

[01:27:07]Penelope Wang:  I guess what I would say is in a situation where so much seems out of your control, it's important to control whatever you can. And in terms of your finances, that means staying on top of your spending, trying to save if you're in a position to do that and just realize that we will move through this economic cycle and, at some point, things will improve. So the thing is to make sure that you will be in good enough shape to take advantage of the growth opportunities that do come in the future, and they will be there.

[01:27:41]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you, Penny Wang for that. Dr. Dawson, any closing thoughts in the couple minutes we have left?

[01:27:47]Martha Dawson:  Yes, I was [inaudible] continue to pay very close attention to the promotion of health and the prevention of illness — all of those things that we learned over the years about having good handwashing before you handle your food and after going to your restroom, making sure that you're getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water. The National Black Nursing Association has 118 chapters in 36 states, and we are working very closely with community agencies, such as sororities, fraternities, elected officials, Urban League, and we're out in the community also doing things like making sure that people have thermometers and other equipment they need to monitor their health, but also making sure that they have food security. So if you want to go to our website, again, that website is www.nbna.org, and you can actually find all of the chapters listed there. We're more than willing to reach out to you and to help with the education, putting you in contact with where you can get testing, making sure you have someone who can do a telephone triage, a contact with you, just so you can have that social interaction. So this is a time that we need each other, and we have to depend on each other. So do reach out to your faith-based organizations and other community organizations so that we can all get through this together.

[01:29:22]Bill Walsh:  All right, Dr. Dawson. Thank you very much, and very quickly, Dr. Hebert, any closing thoughts?

[01:29:28]Warren Hebert:  Put on your own mask first. That is always important for the family caregiver, but it's even more important today. The home is the safest place to be. So do whatever you can to make sure that you're receiving care in the home setting, whether it's telehealth, telemedicine from your primary care practitioner or other visits from home health hospice or palliative care. And the last thing is to know that we benefit from time in rest and relaxation, meditation or prayer, or spending time in nature. These things really help us to make sure that we're emotionally well and that we can be at our best when it comes to making decisions. And deeper relationships with family members and friends, even in the midst of COVID, can happen via phone, via video and other ways to help us actually find joy in the midst of a very difficult situation. Thank you so much, Bill.

[01:30:26]Bill Walsh:  All right. Well, thank you, Dr. Hebert, Dr. Dawson and Penny Wang for your time and your good advice for our listeners. This has been a really informative discussion today. I also want to thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in the discussion. 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, we're providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus, prevent its spread to others, while taking care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of today's Q&A event can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus starting tomorrow, July 10. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not addressed, and you'll find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help you and your family protect themselves and stay healthy. Please be sure to tune in next week, Thursday, July 16, at 7:00 p.m. ET for a special bilingual coronavirus event, the health and financial security of Latinos. Thank you, and have a good day. This concludes our call.

[01:32:02]

Bill Walsh: Hola, soy Bill Walsh, vicepresidente de AARP y quiero darles la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre el coronavirus. AARP, una organización de membresía, sin fines de lucro y no partidista ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores del país durante más de 60 años. Ante la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP está proporcionando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan.

Recientemente, hemos visto, nos han recordado cuán persistente es el coronavirus. Hemos visto un aumento en los casos, en ciertas partes del país que ha llevado a algunos alcaldes y gobernadores a exigir que se usen mascarillas faciales cuando la gente sale.

El desempleo sigue siendo alto a medida que las empresas luchan por descubrir sus próximos pasos, y los cuidadores familiares, especialmente aquellos con seres queridos en hogares de ancianos, continúan frustrados por la falta de acceso e información.

Hoy hablaremos con expertos para responder algunas de las preguntas más frecuentes relacionadas con la pandemia mundial de coronavirus en torno a la protección de su salud, la gestión de sus finanzas y el cuidado de sus seres queridos.

Si has participado en alguna de nuestras teleasambleas, sabes que es similar a un programa de entrevistas de radio y tienes la oportunidad de hacer preguntas en vivo. Para aquellos de ustedes al teléfono, si desean hacer una pregunta, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono para conectarse con un miembro del personal de AARP que anotará su nombre y pregunta, y los ubicarán en una lista para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Entonces, para hacer una pregunta, simplemente presionen * 3.

Hola, si recién te unes, soy Bill Walsh con AARP y quiero darte la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre cómo puedes proteger tu salud, administrar tus finanzas y cuidar de tus seres queridos durante la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Estaremos hablando con expertos líderes y respondiendo tus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer tu pregunta, presiona * 3.

Hoy nos acompañan Penélope Wang, escritora sobre finanzas personales en Consumer Reports, Martha Dawson, doctora en Práctica de Enfermería y presidenta de la Asociación Nacional de Enfermeras Negras, y Warren P. Hebert, Jr., doctor en Práctica de Enfermería y profesor adjunto en Loyola University en Nueva Orleans. También nos acompañará mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, quien ayudará a facilitar sus llamadas hoy.

AARP está convocando esta teleasamblea para ayudarlos a acceder a información sobre el coronavirus. Si bien vemos que AARP cumple un papel importante en el suministro de información y defensa relacionada con el virus, deben tener en cuenta que la mejor fuente de información médica y de salud son los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, CDC. Se les puede contactar en cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Este evento está siendo grabado y puedes acceder a la grabación en aarp.org/elcoronavirus, 24 horas después de finalizar, aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Nuevamente, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP.

Ahora, me gustaría dar la bienvenida a nuestros invitados especiales. Penélope Wang es escritora de finanzas personales en Consumer Reports. Ella aporta su experiencia en el trabajo con buscadores de empleo y reclutadores al proporcionar búsqueda de empleo personalizada y orientación profesional a los profesionales, para ayudarlos a alcanzar su máximo potencial. Bienvenida Peni.

Penélope Wang: Hola Bill, genial estar aquí.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, es genial tenerte. La Dra. Martha Dawson es presidenta de la Asociación de Enfermeras Negras, Tiene más de 40 años de experiencia en servicios de enfermería y salud, y es miembro de la Facultad de Enfermería de University of Alabama en Birmingham desde el 2007. Como presidenta de la Asociación Nacional de Enfermeras Negras, está comprometida a cumplir la misión de NBNA de ser la voz de las enfermeras negras y garantizar el acceso equitativo al desarrollo profesional y las oportunidades de promoción. Bienvenida Dra. Dawson.

Martha Dawson: Hola, un placer estar con ustedes esta noche.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, y finalmente, Dr. Warren P. Hebert, Jr., profesor adjunto de Loyola University en Nueva Orleans. Tiene más de 40 años de experiencia en enfermería. Es un líder abierto en atención médica domiciliaria y política de salud a nivel federal y estatal, para garantizar una excelente atención al paciente. Bienvenido Dr. Hebert.

Warren P. Hebert: ¡Bonjour! Desde el país Cajun, Bill, gracias por invitarnos.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por estar aquí. Gracias a todos ustedes por estar aquí hoy. Vamos a comenzar, y un simple recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, para hacer su pregunta, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono.

Dra. Dawson, comencemos con usted. Hablemos de las mascarillas. Las mascarillas son un tema importante en este momento en un área donde la orientación ha cambiado desde las primeras etapas de la pandemia. Hay muchas preguntas sobre cuáles son las más efectivas. ¿Cómo y cuándo usar una mascarilla y si es seguro reutilizarla o lavarla? ¿Podría tomarse unos minutos y decirnos lo que necesitamos saber sobre las mascarillas y su papel en la prevención de la propagación de la COVID-19?

Martha Dawson: Claro. Hay una diferencia entre la cobertura facial, que son las mascarillas que vemos que utiliza el público en general, y los respiradores N-95 y las mascarillas quirúrgicas que usan los trabajadores de la salud. Entonces, las mascarillas que utilizamos, las mascarillas faciales para el público en general están diseñadas para proteger a los demás y es por eso que es importante que todos las usemos. Entonces, cuando estoy usando una mascarilla, en realidad te estoy protegiendo a ti. Pero si no estás usando una, y hablas, toses o estornudas, entonces me estás exponiendo. Por lo tanto, para aprovecharla al máximo, ambos debemos usar una mascarilla porque el objetivo de usar una cubierta facial es reducir la propagación de este virus, además de practicar el espaciamiento social y otras medidas preventivas.

Entonces, cuando hablamos del N-95, que son las mascarillas médicas que se usan, en realidad son aproximadamente un 95% efectivas en términos de evitar que tú inhales las partículas muy pequeñas que pueden estar en el aire y, por supuesto, las mascarillas quirúrgicas son para gotas grandes como aerosol, sangre, orina o fluidos corporales. Y el propósito de estas realmente es proteger a los trabajadores de la salud y a otros que las usan, que son trabajadores de alto riesgo, de contraer cualquier tipo de infección de pacientes u otros.

Ahora, los CDC no recomiendan que el público general use las N-95. Entonces, los cobertores de boca que estamos usando, sí, podemos lavarlos, y podemos reutilizarlos porque nuevamente, como dije anteriormente, esto realmente se trata de protegerse mutuamente y tratar de prevenir la propagación de este virus, en este momento.

Si deseas obtener más información, puedes ir a www.nbna.org y tenemos algunos documentos disponibles. Si vas a nuestro enlace sobre el coronavirus puedes encontrar más información sobre este tema.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Dra. Dawson, gracias. Ahora me gustaría recurrir a usted, Dr. Hebert. ¿Cuál es su consejo para las personas que viven con varias generaciones bajo un mismo techo? Donde las personas más jóvenes salen más, continúan yendo a trabajar o tal vez cuidan a un miembro mayor de la familia o interactúan con ellos. ¿Qué pueden hacer para mantener a los miembros de la familia seguros y protegidos? Particularmente dado lo que sabemos sobre la propagación asintomática.

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Bill, a modo de contexto, como enfermero de salud en el hogar desde 1985, y CEO de la Asociación de Cuidado en el Hogar de Luisiana, estamos abogando por las familias y las personas que reciben atención regularmente. Entonces, estamos hablando de cuidados paliativos, cuidados en el hogar y estas familias multigeneracionales son gran parte de las familias en Estados Unidos.

Una de cada cinco personas en EE.UU.; 64 millones de nosotros, vivimos en un hogar multigeneracional. Entonces esta es una pregunta importante. Los adultos mayores que viven en estos espacios multigeneracionales tienen, como sabemos, un mayor riesgo de exposición al coronavirus. Son más propensos a contraer la enfermedad y tienen graves implicaciones cuando la contraen. Entonces, una de las primeras preguntas para una familia multigeneracional, con seres queridos mayores que viven con ellos, es ¿hay otras alternativas? ¿Hay algún miembro mayor de la familia con el que podrían vivir, que tanga menos actividad externa y, como resultado, menos exposición dentro del hogar? ¿Hay un área de la casa con una habitación separada? Y si tiene suerte, quizás también un baño separado, donde ese miembro mayor de la familia pueda estar separado de las actividades diarias.

Este tipo de separación es algo que se ha demostrado que hace una diferencia significativa. La propagación asintomática, como mencionaste, es muy importante que pensemos mucho en eso. Los sitios que he estado leyendo indican que la última mutación es 10 veces más contagiosa que la versión original de Wuhan, que dio el primer salto de los animales a los humanos. Y esta versión 10 veces más contagiosa, está ocurriendo en un momento en que la sociedad y muchos de nosotros, personalmente, parecemos estar exhaustos por las prácticas como el lavado de manos, el distanciamiento social y el uso de mascarillas.

Así que gracias por hacer esta pregunta crítica en torno a las familias multigeneracionales. Añadiría que el 30% de las familias asiáticas son hogares multigeneracionales y el 27% de las familias hispanas viven en hogares multigeneracionales. Por lo tanto, es importante conocer los aspectos étnicos de la atención y la forma en que viven las familias.

Bill Walsh: Gracias por eso, para las personas más jóvenes que van a trabajar todos los días y regresan a casa con una familia multigeneracional. ¿Cuáles son las mejores prácticas para ellos cuando vuelven a entrar en la casa, para que no se propague el virus?

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Ciertamente ha sido bien publicitado que el distanciamiento es importante. Mantenerse al menos a seis pies de distancia. Parte de la ciencia dice aún más que eso si es posible.

El lavado de manos regularmente durante todo el día para las personas más jóvenes es muy importante, y también sería importante que las personas más jóvenes sepan que usar una mascarilla cuando están cerca de un abuelo, sería realmente una buena idea.

Bill Walsh: Claro.

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Eso nos afecta porque tenemos 12 nietos entre las edades de 3-13. Por lo tanto, debemos ser muy cautelosos y, desde luego, los adolescentes y las personas menores de 20 años también deben ser conscientes de eso.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Dr. Hebert. Ahora, la pandemia de coronavirus también ha afectado nuestras billeteras y Peni, me gustaría traerte a la conversación ahora. Hay una variedad de medidas temporales que están expirando. Incluyendo beneficios de desempleo, moratoria sobre desalojos y más. Puede que las personas deban afrontar decisiones muy difíciles en el futuro si no pueden pagar facturas mensuales, incluidas tarjetas de crédito, hipotecas o alquileres y servicios públicos. ¿Qué opciones hay?

Penélope Wang: Esa es una buena pregunta y es una que enfrentan millones de personas. Pero antes de responder, solo quiero advertir que soy una periodista de finanzas personales. No soy una experta en finanzas o impuestos, solo para hacer una pequeña corrección a la introducción. Tampoco soy una experta profesional. Así que como introducción quería aclarar ese punto e instar a las personas a ir a profesionales si necesitan asesoramiento individual.

Entonces, respecto a los programas de ayuda, algunos de ellos todavía están activos y, por lo tanto, es importante asegurarse de aprovecharlos, si aún no lo ha hecho. Y eso incluye el desempleo, para el cual hay largas esperas para procesar las solicitudes, pero seguirá disponible por un tiempo.

Sumado al desempleo por pandemia, de $600 por semana, también hay alivio hipotecario, que te permite posponer tus pagos hasta por un año si tienes una hipoteca respaldada por el Gobierno federal. Y los pagos de préstamos federales para estudiantes se suspenden automáticamente hasta septiembre, sin intereses acumulados. Por lo tanto, asegúrate de que si eres elegible para cualquiera de esos programas, que todas esas medidas de ayuda se hayan implementado.

Para tus otras facturas, aún puedes comunicarte con las empresas para solicitar excepciones. Los bancos están poniendo a disposición algunos programas de ayuda para los titulares de tarjetas de crédito, pero debes solicitarlos. Visita su sitio web, tendrán enlaces para los programas de ayuda por la COVID-19. También aconsejaría a las personas a documentar cualquier arreglo que obtengan porque las empresas están abrumadas y los errores son bastante comunes. Por lo tanto, es posible que lo necesites en caso de disputa.

Los servicios públicos también están ofreciendo arreglos en algunas áreas, sin cortes. Por lo tanto, debes verificar qué hay disponible en tu área. El mayor dilema, creo, se centra en torno a inquilinos que en muchas áreas tienen programas de ayuda que están por expirar, que han evitado los desalojos. Y desafortunadamente no hay respuestas fáciles para eso. El mejor consejo es comunicarte con tu arrendador y ver si puedes llegar a algún tipo de acuerdo o a algún tipo de arreglo porque muchos arrendadores no están ansiosos por tratar de encontrar nuevos inquilinos durante una pandemia. Entonces, a veces, podrían llegar a un acuerdo. Y también verifica el estado de los programas de ayuda en tu área. Hay un sitio web llamado Eviction Lab, que mantiene una lista de programas de ayuda local y regional. Por lo tanto, verifica si hay alguno que puedas aprovechar.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Peni, gracias por eso, ya sabes, en AARP, le decimos a la gente que este es el momento de abogar por ti y tus seres queridos. Y saben, creo que si las personas se preguntan si su arrendador, si sus acreedores están dispuestos a ayudarlos, pregunten. Este es el momento de defenderte y presionar.

Penélope Wang: Absolutamente. Debes ser un defensor y quiero agregar que en muchas áreas, existen grupos de vivienda y grupos de asistencia legal a los que puedes recurrir. Hay un sitio web llamado justshelter.org y ellos pueden orientarte hacia alguna ayuda externa si la necesitas.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo, muy bien. Gracias por compartirlo. Dra. Dawson, a lo largo de la pandemia, hemos recibido muchas preguntas sobre los síntomas de COVID-19, ahora, seguramente será una pregunta aún más importante a medida que las personas continúen aventurándose un poco más, y miramos hacia el futuro hasta el otoño, durante la tradicional temporada de resfriados y gripe. ¿En qué se diferencian los síntomas de COVID-19 del resfriado y la gripe, y qué deben esperar las personas si les preocupa que puedan estar experimentándolo?

Martha Dawson: Las personas con COVID-19 han reportado una amplia gama de síntomas. Desde síntomas leves hasta enfermedades graves, y algunos no han reportado ningún síntoma, pero generalmente los síntomas comienzan a aparecer 2 a 14 días después de la exposición. Y algunos de esos síntomas pueden ser fiebre, escalofríos, tos, falta de aliento o dificultad para respirar, fatiga y dolores musculares o corporales.

Por lo tanto, muchos de ellos son muy similares al resfriado y la gripe regulares, incluidos los dolores de cabeza, pero algunas cosas son diferentes como una pérdida de sabor u olfato. Y muchas veces es posible que no tengas náuseas y vómitos, y diarrea con una gripe regular, pero otras, puede que sí.

Entonces, dado que este virus es tan nuevo, tenemos que prestar atención a todos los síntomas que tenemos y luego solo debes comenzar a controlarte, para ver si esos síntomas mejorarán o no o si van a desaparecer. Pero asegurándote de tener al menos el equipo en tu hogar, como un termómetro solo para controlar tu temperatura, para ver si tienes fiebre. No es que solo te sientas acalorado, porque a veces, ya sabes, especialmente con cómo son la temperatura y el ambiente durante este tiempo, puedes tener el aire acondicionado encendido, o puedes estar afuera o entrar y te calientas y ese tipo de cosas.

Pero es muy importante que las personas jóvenes entiendan y sepan que muchas veces los síntomas en niños y adultos jóvenes son muy diferentes de lo que escuchamos en las noticias para los adultos mayores. Muchas veces, los niños comenzarán a quejarse de dolores de cabeza, náuseas, diarrea, vómitos y ese tipo de cosas. Cuando no se quejan de otra cosa. No tienen tos, no tienen secreción nasal y puede que no pierdan el sentido del gusto, porque sabemos que a medida que envejecemos, muchas veces comenzamos a perder nuestro gusto de todos modos.

Entonces, cuando tenemos algo como COVID-19 en una persona mayor, probablemente ocurrirá mucho antes durante el contacto que con una persona más joven, pero algunas de las cosas que necesitan ver desde un punto de vista de emergencia es si comienzan a tener dificultad para respirar. Si tienen un dolor persistente en el pecho, si comienzan a notar que sus uñas o sus labios se están poniendo azules, y si su mente se confunde. O tienen una incapacidad para dormir, y simplemente permanecen despiertos, y a veces lo completamente opuesto. No pueden permanecer despiertos.

Por lo tanto, solo tenemos que vigilar muy de cerca esos tipos de síntomas, eso, tal vez un poco inusuales para la época del año, pero nuevamente, sí, a medida que comenzamos a avanzar hacia el otoño, y entramos en la temporada de gripe y resfrío, realmente tendremos que prestar mucha más atención a los otros síntomas que se pueden presentar en este momento.

Una de las cosas que compartiré es que he escuchado de algunas de las comunidades médicas, que algunos de nuestros adultos jóvenes que tienen entre 30 y 40 años se presentan a la sala de emergencias sin síntomas, aparte de quejarse de parálisis, o debilidad y luego, una vez que evalúan a las personas, dan positivo y luego descubren que pueden tener coágulos de sangre en las piernas o en los pulmones. Así que de nuevo, lo clave es prestar atención a dónde vas, mantenerte alejado de las multitudes si puedes.

Una de las cosas que les he estado enseñando a los miembros de la Asociación Nacional de Enfermeras Negras o a la comunidad es que también debemos practicar nuestro propio seguimiento. Así que presta atención cuando sales de casa y a dónde vayas. Así que si sales y sabes que irás a dos o tres lugares, presta atención a los dos o tres lugares a los que fuiste. De modo que si comienzas a sentirte enfermo, cuando hables con tu proveedor de atención médica, puedes hacerle saber dónde has estado y con quién has estado porque eso es muy importante en términos de rastros, y asegurarse de saber con quién has estado en contacto y si cualquiera de esas personas presentaba síntomas porque a veces solo tenemos que cuidarnos nosotros mismos, por lo que realmente estoy tratando de enseñar autocuidado en este momento. En términos de prestar atención a lo que está sucediendo en tu cuerpo y también prestar atención a dónde te encuentras y con quién te encuentras.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, déjeme hacer un seguimiento de eso, Dra. Dawson, usted mencionó a los jóvenes varias veces, y estamos viendo muchos más casos mostrarse entre las poblaciones más jóvenes cuando van a reuniones concurridas. ¿Cuáles son los riesgos y cómo puede propagarse entre las poblaciones más jóvenes? ¿Cómo puede eso dañar a los adultos mayores y a aquellos con enfermedades subyacentes?

Martha Dawson: El mayor problema con eso es que si vives, nuevamente, en un hogar multigeneracional y digamos que tienes abuelos, tienes un padre y luego tienes niños pequeños en el mismo hogar. Los niños pueden contraer el virus, y pueden pasar tres o cuatro días sin tener ningún síntoma, pero al mismo tiempo, han estado cerca de la abuela o el abuelo, y han estado en el regazo o abrazándolos, lo que sea y los padres mayores terminan contrayendo el virus. Y debido a que tienen esas enfermedades preexistentes, como enfermedad cardíaca, insuficiencia renal o tal vez diabetes, una enfermedad leve, entonces probablemente pasarán un momento más difícil con la enfermedad y tienen más probabilidades de terminar en el hospital que los pacientes más jóvenes.

Por lo tanto, será muy importante que la generación más joven asuma cierta responsabilidad, pero también proteja a sus padres y abuelos mayores. Entonces esto se convierte en una conversación familiar. Por lo tanto, es muy importante que las personas aprendan a hablar, en su nivel, para que puedan comprender de qué se trata esta enfermedad y algunos padres pueden tener que tomar algunas decisiones cruciales en términos de, especialmente porque estamos hablando de abrir las escuelas de nuevo, que permitan o no que sus hijos participen en deportes de contacto. Y diría que probablemente alrededor del 85% de nuestros deportes en este país se consideran deportes de contacto. Especialmente los que jugamos durante el otoño y la temporada de invierno. Estoy pensando principalmente si hablamos de fútbol americano, baloncesto, fútbol o béisbol, incluso voleibol. Es casi imposible que no tengan contacto entre sí mientras estén en la cancha.

Por lo tanto, es muy importante que comencemos a analizar esto y educar a nuestra población más joven sobre la gravedad de esta enfermedad y también ayudarlos a comprender "No solo hoy nos preocupa tu salud", sino que nos preocupa el futuro porque aún no conocemos los efectos a largo plazo de este virus en particular. No ha existido el tiempo suficiente como para que podamos determinar eso, y tampoco sabemos cuándo vamos a desarrollar una vacuna para compensar, ya sabes, la propagación continua del virus.

Así que creo que realmente tenemos que dar un paso atrás y si hay un momento en que debemos practicar educación para la salud... Entonces, no es solo la parte del tratamiento del virus por lo que tenemos que preocuparnos, sino que debemos enfocarnos en la promoción de la salud y prevención de salud, y ahí es donde hablamos sobre el lavado de manos, usar el gel. Limpiar las encimeras de tu hogar. Esos son los aspectos de promoción. El aspecto preventivo, nuevamente, es usar mascarillas, usar el gel mantenerse alejados de grandes multitudes. Por lo tanto, la promoción de la salud y la prevención de la salud son tu mejor protección en este momento.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias Dra. Dawson, y como recordatorio para que nuestros oyentes hagan sus preguntas en vivo, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono.

También quiero mencionar los sitios web que Peni Wang mencionó hace un rato cuando hablábamos de pagar el alquiler. Ella mencionó evictionlab.org y también justshelter.org, dos recursos si estás enfrentando ese desafío en particular.

Pronto responderemos a sus preguntas en vivo, pero antes de hacerlo, quiero tomarme un momento para actualizarlos sobre la lucha continua de AARP por los residentes y el personal en hogares de ancianos y otros centros de cuidado a largo plazo.

Desde el comienzo de esta pandemia, más de 50,000 residentes y personal de hogares de ancianos han muerto. Es trágico e inaceptable. AARP continúa luchando en todos los niveles de Gobierno por los residentes y aquellos con seres queridos en estas instalaciones. Instamos a los líderes a tomar medidas para abordar tres temas críticos.

Primero, los centros de atención deben tener el equipo de protección personal y las pruebas que necesitan para identificar casos y prevenir la propagación del virus, así como personal adecuado para brindar atención. En segundo lugar, las visitas virtuales seguras entre los residentes y sus familias deben estar disponibles. Y tercero, el Congreso no debe proporcionar inmunidad legal a hogares de ancianos, centros de vida asistida y otros centros de cuidado a largo plazo. Los residentes y sus seres queridos merecen la capacidad de responsabilizar legalmente a las instalaciones cuando sufren daños, negligencia e incluso la muerte. Si bien la situación es grave y necesitamos esta acción, estamos viendo algunos progresos a nivel estatal.

Por ejemplo, Nevada anunció que la Unidad de la Guardia Nacional realiza inspecciones al mismo tiempo que proporciona equipos de protección personal a hogares de ancianos con suministros insuficientes. Maryland, Indiana y otros estados anunciaron que divulgarán públicamente datos sobre casos positivos de COVID-19 Además, en Alaska, Pensilvania y Texas, las oficinas estatales de AARP han abogado con éxito por la compra de tecnología para facilitar las comunicaciones entre los residentes de hogares de ancianos y sus seres queridos.

Los socios, voluntarios y activistas de AARP se han hecho escuchar y han ayudado a asegurar estas importantes victorias en nuestros continuos esfuerzos para proteger a las personas que viven y trabajan en hogares de ancianos y otros centros de atención a largo plazo. Para obtener más información y hacerse escuchar sobre este importante tema, visite aarp.org/nursinghomes.

Ahora es el momento de responder sus preguntas sobre el coronavirus con Peni Wang, la Dra. Martha Dawson y el Dr. Warren Hebert. Presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y compartir tu pregunta. Ahora me gustaría traer a mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, para ayudar a facilitar sus llamadas. Bienvenida Jean.

Jean Setzfand: Gracias Bill, me alegra estar aquí para esta importante conversación.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, bueno, tomemos nuestra primera pregunta. ¿A quién tenemos en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra primera llamada es de de Patricia en Florida.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Patricia, adelante con tu pregunta.

Patricia: Hola, escuchamos mucho sobre el riesgo que presenta la COVID para las personas mayores, muchas de las cuales, ya sabes, tienen condiciones preexistentes, pero ¿qué pasa con aquellos de nosotros que tenemos más de 65 años, que gozamos de muy buena salud, que no tenemos estas comorbilidades de las que hablan, mantenemos un peso normal y tenemos un estilo de vida saludable? ¿Cómo funciona? ¿Cuál es nuestro factor de riesgo solo por nuestra edad?

Bill Walsh: Bien. Dr. Hebert, ¿quiere responder esa pregunta?

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Claro que sí, y también le ofrecería a la Dra. Dawson que intervenga. Está bien documentado que las personas mayores de 65 años tienen muchas más probabilidades de experimentar y tener un resultado grave como resultado de la enfermedad de la COVID-19. Muchos de nosotros, mayores de 65 años, también somos cuidadores familiares. Por lo tanto, es importante que sepas que también podrías estar en un grupo de edad y que eso tiene implicaciones para ti. También sabemos que las personas con enfermedades crónicas, diabetes, enfermedades cardíacas y otros tipos de enfermedades también son muchas más.

Entonces, creo que lo que podemos hacer es estar más atentos a nuestro lavado de manos, nuestro distanciamiento social y el uso de máscaras, y eso es muy importante para quienes tenemos 65 años o más. Más que el resto de la población, particularmente porque parece que estamos en un punto en el que la sociedad está agotada de ver las noticias sobre COVID-19, pero también sobre el lavado de manos, el distanciamiento y el uso de máscaras. Eso significa que es aún más importante, para aquellos de nosotros que presentamos un alto riesgo, tomar precauciones adicionales. Gracias por preguntar.

Bill Walsh: Claro, Dra. Dawson, ¿quería opinar sobre esto?

Martha Dawson: Sí, solo quisiera aportar algo respecto a la enfermedad y la edad y una de las cosas que quisiera hacer es remitir a esta persona a la publicación de la AARP de mayo del 2020. Tenían una muy buena [INAUDIBLE] relacionada con cómo nuestras enfermedades pueden cambiar la [INAUDIBLE] edad. Por lo tanto, es posible que no tengas una enfermedad preexistente, pero solo porque estamos envejeciendo, habrá ciertas cosas en nuestro cuerpo que cambiarán y eso quiere decir que probablemente manejaremos la infección de una manera mucho más diferente que [INAUDIBLE].

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias Dra. Dawson. Jean, ¿quién es nuestro próximo oyente?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo oyente es Joe de la ciudad de Nevada.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Joe, adelante con tu llamada.

Joe: Oh, ya hablé con alguien pero te lo diré. Llamé preguntando por el cheque de estímulo, nunca recibí uno. Recibí mi Seguro Social a través de mi banco y recibo menos de $14,000 al año y nunca recibí un cheque de estímulo. Llamé a irs.com, navegué por internet varias veces y cada vez que aparece dice "Estamos investigando". Bueno, ahora escucho a la gente hablar sobre el segundo cheque de estímulo cuando ni siquiera recibí el primero. ¿Conocen alguna forma de contactarme con alguien para averiguar por qué no he recibido uno?

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, bueno, preguntémosle a Peni Wang. ¿Puedes ayudar a Joe?

Penélope Wang: Ha habido muchas quejas sobre los cheques de estímulo tardíos y parece que ya has hecho muchas de las maniobras estándar que se supone que debes hacer para tratar de resolverlo.

Solo para las personas que no saben, el consejo estándar es ir al rastreador de pagos en línea del IRS, "Recibir mi pago", que se supone que te mostrará los detalles de tu calendario de pagos y cómo se supone que debe llegar. Y ha habido quejas de que esa aplicación es lenta, o que no siempre se actualiza como debería, pero esa es la ruta estándar y deberías haber recibido una carta. Creo que son unos 15 días después de emitido el pago.

Dicho esto, como muchas agencias, el IRS probablemente esté bastante abrumado y si no tienes una cuenta de depósito directo con ellos, eso podría retrasar las cosas ya que en su lugar se habría emitido un cheque de papel. Por lo tanto, puedes comunicarte y tratar de contactarlos acerca de tu pago. Parece que ya has hecho todo eso, pero ciertamente me acercaría e intentaría nuevamente.

Supongo que mi única sugerencia es contactar a uno de tus representantes electos, la oficina de tu congresista o la oficina del senador y ver si tal vez puedan ayudarte con eso. También hay grupos que ayudan a los adultos mayores a lidiar con muchos de estos problemas y, si tienes una agencia local, tal vez alguien allí pueda ayudarte a enfrentar esto. Parece que simplemente requerirá mucha más persistencia obtener el cheque.

Bill Walsh: Claro. Sí, iba a sugerir eso también. Llama a tu miembro local del Congreso. Para esto se les paga, ayudar a los electores como Joe y otros. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Arleen de Maryland.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Arleen. Adelante con tu pregunta.

Arleen: Sí. Sí. Tengo 65 años y actualmente vivo con mi hijo, pero me estoy preparando para mudarme con mi hija alrededor de septiembre u octubre, pero tengo un sobrino que vive con mi hija que dio positivo a COVID. Quiero saber si es seguro para mí mudarme con ella, a pesar de que él haya tenido COVID. Dio positivo en mayo.

Bill Walsh: ¿Sigue mostrando síntomas?

Arleen: Sí, tiene dificultad para respirar, tiene un coágulo, o algo en el pulmón, y le han dado medicamentos para eso. Entonces, quiero decir, no sé si es seguro para mí, quiero saber si es seguro que me mude con ella, mi hija.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Bueno. Pidamos a nuestros expertos que opinen al respecto. Dr. Hebert, ¿quiere comenzar y luego la Dra. Dawson puede intervenir también?

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Claro. Gracias por la pregunta porque este es un problema con el que la gente está lidiando en todo el país y en todo el mundo. Hablamos un poco antes sobre las familias multigeneracionales y me parece que tienes la buena suerte de tener un miembro de la familia con quien vivir. Creo que esto va a variar de un caso a otro.

Algunas personas que han sido diagnosticadas hace un par de meses, puede que ya no sean contagiosas. Por lo tanto, sería importante para ti poder aclarar eso con el proveedor de atención primaria que atiende a tu sobrino. La otra cosa que sugeriría que hagas es considerar otras alternativas.

Como mencionamos hace un rato, ¿hay otro miembro de la familia con el que tengas la alternativa de visitar? Ya sabes, tal vez alguien que tenga un hogar donde puedas mantener la distancia social que necesitas, pero gracias por esa pregunta tan importante. No estás sola.

Bill Walsh: Sí. Dra. Dawson, ¿tiene algún consejo para Arleen? Sí, lo siento, adelante.

Martha Dawson: Sugeriría que si es posible, puede retrasar la mudanza en este momento y lo otro que realmente recomendaría es que si vas a reubicarte, realices una prueba antes de reubicarte para que sepas cuál es tu estado, previo a entrar a la casa. Y luego, con suerte, tendrán espacio dentro de la casa donde los dos pueden separarse tanto como sea posible, y eso incluye tener diferentes baños para usar. Entonces, si puedes retrasar tal vez la ida hasta que desaparezcan algunos de sus síntomas, eso sería mucho mejor, y él también debería hacerse una prueba, para asegurarse de ser negativo en este momento, así como a su hija.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias a los dos por eso. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos a continuación en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Diana de Kansas.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Diana, adelante con tu pregunta.

Diana: Mi pregunta es sobre los programas de préstamos federales que están disponibles, como hipotecas y préstamos escolares. ¿Con quién me comunico?

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Peni, ¿puedes ayudar a Diana con eso?

Penélope Wang: Bueno, para los préstamos federales para estudiantes, la pausa en el pago debería suceder automáticamente. Debería haber tenido lugar a través del administrador de ese préstamo. Definitivamente debes verificar tu cuenta o comunicarte con el administrador de préstamos y asegurarte de que eso esté sucediendo.

Creo que en la mayoría de los casos es así. Por lo tanto, hay algunos problemas en términos de cómo se informan los pagos, que es un tema separado, es decir, todos deberían verificar su informe de crédito para asegurarse de que las adaptaciones se reflejen correctamente. Puedes obtener cheques de informes de crédito gratuitos de cada una de las tres principales agencias de crédito, Experian, TransUnion y Equifax, durante la pandemia.

En el administrador hipotecario, nuevamente, esta es una situación en la que debes consultar con tu administrador hipotecario. Debes verificar que sea un préstamo federal y ellos deberían poder informarte. En ese caso, nuevamente, esos pagos deben pausarse, pero se requiere mucho seguimiento por parte de los consumidores para asegurarse de que todas estas adaptaciones de alivio se realicen de la manera en que se dictaron en la ley CARES.

Bill Walsh: Correcto, y solo les recordaré a los oyentes en ese sentido, sobre los sitios que Peni mencionó anteriormente, evictionlab.org y justshelter.org. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos una pregunta que viene de YouTube y viene de Jeff. Jeff pregunta: "Me informaron que una persona con la que estuve en contacto cercano ayer, había dado positivo. ¿Cuánto tiempo debo esperar antes de hacerme la prueba?"

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Dra. Dawson, ¿quiere ofrecerle algunos consejos a Jeff?

Martha Dawson: Diría que al menos te des dos o tres días y, al mismo tiempo, controla tus síntomas. Si comienzas a tener algo, como fiebre, algo así, ve y hazte la prueba, pero al menos, sabemos que toma entre 2 y 14 días antes de que se vuelva sintomático. Es mejor esperar un poco para hacer el examen porque no querrás hacerte la prueba y tener un informe negativo cuando el virus realmente no se ha propagado por tu sistema hasta este momento. Espera dos o tres días antes de hacerte la prueba.

Bill Walsh: Y Dra. Dawson, ¿cuál es la mejor manera de hacerse la prueba si la gente quiere hacer eso? ¿Debe de llamar a su médico? ¿Debe de llamar a un hospital?

Martha Dawson: Hay muchas maneras en este momento, gracias a Dios que estamos haciendo un trabajo mucho mejor con eso. Si vives con un CVS, algunos CVS de hecho están haciendo la prueba. Puedes acudir a tu médico de atención primaria. Puedes acudir al departamento de salud, y luego tenemos muchos de los centros de atención de urgencia independientes que también ofrecen pruebas en este momento. No vayas a la sala de emergencias.

Bill Walsh: No vayas a la sala de emergencias, de acuerdo. Probablemente sea un buen consejo, a menos que tengas una emergencia, en ese caso ve a la sala de emergencias.

Martha Dawson: ¡Correcto! A menos que tengas una emergencia. Sí, pero no vayas solo para una prueba [INAUDIBLE].

Bill Walsh: Claro. Bueno, muy bien. Jean, ¿quién sigue?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo oyente es Randy de Maryland.

Randy: Hola, mi nombre es Randy y en primer lugar, gracias AARP, por hacer esto. Mi esposa y yo tenemos más de 60 años, cuidamos a nuestra abuela, que cumplirá 104 años la próxima semana, y nuestra tía, que ahora tiene 94 años. Y hemos hecho un buen trabajo, nadie está enfermo, todos están sanos, pero el aislamiento las ha deteriorado aún más de lo que lo haría el coronavirus.

Antes de este febrero, la primera semana de marzo estaban en el segundo piso, subiendo y bajando las escaleras, sus habitaciones estaban allí arriba. Iban al centro local, al centro comunitario todos los días o al mediodía, ya sabes, y llegaban a casa a las 4:00 p.m., y amigos, bingo, cosas así. Ahora, han estado sentadas durante meses. La artritis ha comenzado, las trasladamos a la sala de estar y al comedor, para que no tengan que subir las escaleras, pero eso las está matando. Y no tenemos una respuesta. En uno de los centros locales, dijeron: "Sabes, trata de mantenerlas ocupadas". No sé cómo mantenerlas ocupadas, no con la enfermera, con el dietista, todo. No sabemos qué... Y nosotros mismos somos viejos.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, no eres viejo. Apenas tienes más de 60 años, Randy, pero vamos a preguntarle a nuestros expertos. Entonces, Dr. Hebert, escuchó la situación de Randy. ¿Podría darle algún consejo?

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Sabes, Randy, lo primero que quiero decir es gracias. Según la información de AARP publicada recientemente en mayo, de 53 millones de cuidadores familiares en Estados Unidos, hay entre 7 y 8 millones de personas como usted y su esposa, Randy, que brindan esta atención a diario. Así que gracias.

Los cuidadores familiares brindan el 90% de toda la atención en todo el país para las personas mayores y las personas con discapacidad, y si está brindando atención a alguien de edades avanzadas, 94 y 104. Buenos genes, pero ciertamente el desafío que ha relacionado con intentar mantenerlas activas es algo con lo que quizás ya se enfrentaban, porque las llevaban de la casa a un centro para personas mayores de algún tipo, pero ahora el desafío que tienen es agregar a la atención que están brindando 24/7, 365, cosas que ayudan a mantenerlas más activas.

Estoy sorprendido de que subieran las escaleras a los 94 y 104 años. Eso es un gran cumplido para usted y su esposa, y la atención que les han estado brindando. Los expertos señalan que el hogar es el lugar más seguro para estar. Entonces estás haciendo lo correcto al tenerlas en casa. Algunas cosas que podrían ayudar serían las conexiones de video. Tal vez tienen amigos u otra familia, y puede tener la intención de conectarlos con FaceTime, Zoom o Skype o una de las otras cosas.

Eso realmente hace una gran diferencia porque obviamente sabe que el aislamiento y las relaciones son muy importantes. Entonces está dando un gran paso allí. La otra cosa que agregaría es que, como enfermero de salud en el hogar, a principios de COVID-19, algunos miembros de la familia rechazaban a una enfermera o terapeuta de salud en el hogar, no solo en el hogar sino también en cuidados paliativos. Sugeriría que el riesgo-recompensa de eso es algo que debe considerar.

Entonces Randy, si están recibiendo atención en el hogar, sepan que tener a esa persona para que las revise es un riesgo muy, muy bajo en comparación con, como la Dra. Dawson indicó hace un momento, si necesitan ir a la sala de emergencias, atención de urgencia u hospital, donde es 100% probable que estén cerca de alguien que ha estado expuesto a COVID-19. Entonces, hacer esas cosas, en términos del video, hacer que miembros de la familia los llamen, con la intención de reunir un [INAUDIBLE] de apoyo para ayudar a estas personas de 94 y 104 años. ¡Guauu! Extraordinario. Felicitaciones y gracias a todos los cuidadores familiares que están escuchando. Nuevamente, 53 millones en todo el país y eso es más que 43 millones hace solo 10 años. Gracias a AARP por el buen trabajo que hacen en torno al cuidado familiar.

Bill Walsh: Gracias, Dr. Hebert. Quiero decir, el cuidado familiar es un trabajo bastante difícil, en tiempos normales y, como todos sabemos, no vivimos en tiempos normales y Randy trajo el tema del aislamiento. Es algo que nos ha preocupado mucho desde el estallido de la pandemia.

Realmente configuramos un servicio, tal vez nuestros oyentes puedan estar interesados, lo llamamos la Voz Amiga de AARP, y cientos de nuestros voluntarios en todo el país se han capacitado, y harán llamadas externas a las personas que tú crees que están aisladas y les gustaría conectar con alguien.

Déjame darte ese número, en caso de que te interese. Es un servicio gratuito, es 1888-281-0145, 888-281-0145. Eso es: La Voz Amiga de AARP, si crees que un un ser querido se beneficiaría al escuchar una voz amigable y tener una conversación, adelante por favor, usa ese servicio gratuito. Gracias por todas esas preguntas y a modo de recordatorio, si tienes una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono para sumarte a la lista.

Volvamos a nuestros expertos para obtener respuestas a algunas de las preguntas más urgentes sobre el coronavirus. Dr. Hebert, sabemos que el autocuidado es importante para los cuidadores familiares todo el tiempo, ¿cómo pueden las personas que cuidan a sus seres queridos en este momento difícil, cuidar su propia salud? ¿Su bienestar mental y sus relaciones?

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Bill, como indiqué hace un rato, esto es muy crítico. El 90% de la atención en Estados Unidos para personas mayores y con discapacidades es brindada por miembros de la familia en el hogar. Su autocuidado es vital. Como cuando enferman, no solo les afecta a ellos, sino que también afecta al receptor de la atención y al resto de la familia.

Tengo un programa semanal para cuidadores familiares que he hecho durante 13 años y cada semana, casi, repito lo que escuchamos en los aviones. "Si la máscara de oxígeno cae del techo y estás sentado al lado de alguien que necesita ayuda, primero ponte tu propia máscara". Entonces, en relación con estos diferentes aspectos del cuidado personal, primero, nuestro bienestar físico es crítico. Hacer ejercicio, comer bien, tomar nuestros propios medicamentos como debería ser y chequeos de rutina con tu médico de atención primaria. Y es probable que hoy tu chequeo tome lugar por telesalud o telemedicina en el futuro previsible.

La otra cosa que pediría es, nuevamente, asegurarse que si ustedes tienen personas que los están ayudando, que les permitan ingresar a su hogar para brindarles esa asistencia porque eso, nuevamente, la asistencia de enfermeras, terapeutas, etc., ayudan a mantener a las personas fuera de las salas de emergencia de los hospitales. La segunda cosa que agregaría es que nuestras propias enfermedades crónicas como cuidadores familiares... Es muy importante, una vez más, que te mantengas al día con tu propio cuidado personal.

El segundo está relacionado con nuestra salud mental. Lo que algunos de nosotros llamamos higiene emocional es tan importante como lavarse las manos. Nuestro bienestar mental afecta nuestro buen juicio y también afecta lo que algunos llaman autogestión, o nuestro autocontrol. Algunos de los consejos desde el punto de vista de nuestro bienestar emocional incluyen el tiempo que uno pasa con las noticias. Si limitas ese tiempo a tal vez una vez al día, o si algunos de nosotros hemos logrado hacerlo aún más raramente, eso ayudará a tu bienestar mental. También te beneficias del tiempo que le dedicas a la relajación, la meditación o la oración. Y sabemos que pasar tiempo en la naturaleza puede ser curativo.

Lo último es que las relaciones sociales son críticas, y Randy lo señaló en la llamada anterior. Algunos sostienen que lo social tiene un gran impacto en tanto estamos cumpliendo un distanciamiento social. Tenemos que esforzarnos hoy incluso para buscar relaciones más profundas con miembros de la familia, amigos y grupos de apoyo durante COVID-19. Los grupos de apoyo son vitales. Mi padre tuvo demencia durante siete años y mis hermanos, y mi madre y yo... Nos ayudó mucho conectarnos con grupos de apoyo. Los padres de mi esposa tuvieron cáncer. Nuestra hija de 29 años tiene síndrome de Down.

Entonces, nuestros grupos de apoyo nos ayudan a mantenernos conectados con nuestras familias. Por lo tanto, los grupos de apoyo no solo te hacen ver que no estás solo, sino que también te ayudan a ampliar la gama de información y soluciones diversas a las que puedes llegar. Y Bill, gracias por mencionar ese número que AARP tiene para que las personas puedan comunicarse. Eso puede ser muy útil.

Bill Walsh: Claro, y lo mencionaré de nuevo, en caso de que la gente no lo haya anotado Es el Programa la Voz Amiga de AARP al: 888-281-0145. Eso es para que uno de nuestros voluntarios capacitados llame a un ser querido o alguien que conozcas, que pueda estar aislado en esta crisis, que realmente se beneficiaría de escuchar una voz amigable. Es un servicio gratuito. Entonces, Dr. Hebert, gracias por ese buen consejo.

Peni, volvamos a las finanzas por un momento. Si tus necesidades financieras van más allá de unas pocas facturas, ¿qué flexibilidad y riesgos existen para acceder a los fondos que pueden estar en las cuentas de jubilación?

Penélope Wang: Sí. Hay mucha más flexibilidad en términos de usar cuentas de jubilación, lo cual es bueno y malo. Ya sabes, en circunstancias normales, solo para establecer los antecedentes por un segundo, normalmente es difícil obtener tu dinero de 401k o IRA temprano, antes de los 59.5 años, que es el límite oficial. Si haces eso, entonces enfrentas una multa del 10% y también hay una retención de impuestos bastante pronunciada, pero con la aprobación de la ley CARES, después de la pandemia, esas reglas se han relajado temporalmente.

Pero solo para tener en cuenta, a pesar de que las reglas han cambiado a nivel federal, el plan de tu empleador puede haber seguido diferentes opciones. Por lo tanto, debes verificar tu propio plan para asegurarte de que esté disponible, pero según la Ley CARES, si necesitas hacer un retiro debido a un problema relacionado con la COVID-19, que podría ser que tú o un familiar cercano está enfermo, O has perdido tu trabajo, o estás suspendido o tus ingresos se vieron reducidos, entonces no cobran a esa multa del 10%, así como a la retención de impuestos del 20% si se retira antes de los 59.5 años.

Aún deberás impuestos sobre ese dinero, ya que las contribuciones se hicieron antes de impuestos, pero la factura puede pagarse a lo largo de tres años. Normalmente, cuando realizas una extracción, debes pagarlo todo en el mismo año. Puede tomar hasta $100,000 de tu cuenta en total, suponiendo que tengas tanto en tu cuenta. Y puedes devolverlo, y si lo haces dentro de los tres años, se tratará como una transferencia y eso significa que tus contribuciones anuales habituales no se limitarán porque inviertes una gran cantidad de dinero.

Y bueno, también hay flexibilidad temporal en los préstamos, el monto se ha duplicado a $100,000 y tienes un poco más de tiempo para pagarlo. Dicho esto, solo porque puedes usar dinero de tu cuenta, no significa que sea la mejor opción, es realmente un último recurso, ya que ese dinero está destinado a crecer libre de impuestos hasta la jubilación.

Entonces, si sacas $10,000 ahora, y en lugar de dejar que crezca, por ejemplo, por 30 años, estarás renunciando a muchas veces eso, tal vez $60,000 o más. Por lo tanto, solo pone un [INAUDIBLE] en tu seguridad de jubilación, pero estos no son tiempos normales. Mucha gente está realmente en contra, así que si esa es la situación en la que te encuentras y tienes ese dinero, es una opción.

Entonces, si necesitas mantener un techo sobre tu cabeza, pagar tus facturas médicas, lo que sea, entonces adelante, hazlo y simplemente planea tratar de ahorrar tanto como puedas en el futuro cuando las cosas mejoren, y todos tenemos fe y rezamos, y esperamos que mejoren. Así que ten un poco de fe y haz lo que necesites hacer.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias Peni. Dra. Dawson, una pregunta para usted. Continuamos viendo que el Coronavirus está golpeando a las personas de color con más fuerza, particularmente a los afroamericanos y latinos. ¿Cuáles son las causas de esto y qué se puede hacer para combatirlo?

Martha Dawson: Tienes toda la razón. Diría que estamos hablando de que la población afroamericana y otras de color se han visto afectadas entre 4 y 5 veces más que la blanca. Eso se traduce en que, por cada 40 blancos que pueden ser hospitalizados, puedes tener 178 negros que están siendo hospitalizados, y esto se debe a varias cosas. Y diría en primer lugar, que es por dónde vivimos porque vivimos en esas comunidades que tienen más aire contaminado, agua contaminada, hogares tóxicos, todavía hay hogares con plomo en la pintura dentro de las casas.

Y luego ya hablamos sobre los hogares multigeneracionales. Entonces, todas estas cosas se suman a los factores estresantes que ahora tenemos que enfrentar con la COVID-19. Así que ya tenemos estos problemas y ahora cuando decimos que estás viviendo en un lugar como Flint, Míchigan, donde todavía están tratando de reemplazar las tuberías que sabemos que estaban causando plomo en el agua, y ahora tienes que gastar más dinero solo para tratar de mantener tus repisas limpias.

Asegurarte de tener las manijas de las puertas y las lámparas. Por lo tanto, va un poco más allá de la limpieza rutinaria que hacías una vez por semana. Casi debes hacerlo a diario ahora, especialmente si tienes personas que entran y salen de la casa para trabajar en algunas de estas grandes tiendas, lo cual es otro problema para muchas de las poblaciones no blancas en este país.

Se les considera trabajadores esenciales, por lo que están trabajando en una tienda de comestibles, están trabajando en trabajos ambientales o en fábricas, como plantas empacadoras de carne y esas cosas. Nuevamente, es muy imposible lograr mucho distanciamiento social y lavarse las manos con frecuencia en ese tipo de trabajos, pero aun así, se consideran trabajadores esenciales, pero estos trabajos normalmente pagarán menos, y cuando estás en estos trabajos, muchas veces no tienes licencia por enfermedad.

Eso agrega otro factor de estrés a estas personas, en términos de que no puedes irte si te sientes mal. Y sabemos al principio de la pandemia que estábamos escuchando muchas de esas historias sobre aquellas personas a las que todavía se les pedía que fueran a trabajar, incluso después de que tenían informes de que algunos de sus colegas estaban infectados. Incluso dentro de la comunidad de enfermería.

Escuchábamos a algunas enfermeras informar que cuando se sentían enfermas en la unidad, no les permitían bajar a la sala de emergencias para hacerse la prueba, o ir a algún lugar para hacerse la prueba. Y luego, cuando finalmente se hicieron la prueba, dieron positivo, pero para ese momento, probablemente ya infectaron a algunos de sus colegas, sus familiares en el hogar, pero incluso tal vez también a algunos de los otros pacientes que estaban atendiendo.

Y también tenemos este gran problema ahora que veo surgir a medida que nos preparamos para reabrir las escuelas, y es el hecho de que muchas de nuestras escuelas rurales y urbanas no están en las mejores condiciones para empezar. Y de nuevo, van a poner límites [INAUDIBLE] en las instalaciones, como el uso de los estudiantes. ¿Y van a tener la mano de obra para hacer esas limpiezas frecuentes de esas áreas que necesitan ser limpiadas? Sabes, sí, podemos decir que vamos a tener gel, vamos a tener guantes para esto, pero de nuevo, cuando hablas de un alumno de 1º, 2º o 3º grado, es muy difícil decirles a esos niños que no se toquen entre sí. Quiero decir, están acostumbrados al contacto social. Están acostumbrados a interactuar y, por lo tanto, ¿vamos a tener suficientes miembros del colegio en esos lugares para poder hacer esto?

Entonces, cuando hablamos del hecho de que estamos diciendo que nuestros individuos negros y marrones están siendo más afectados, eso es porque tenemos este racismo sistémico que se ha colocado en términos de vivienda, educación, oportunidades de trabajo y, en general, la gran brecha que tenemos en salarios y los tipos de trabajos que tienen estas personas.

Bill Walsh: Ahora, muchos desafíos que sin duda se extenderán mucho más allá de la situación en la que nos encontramos con el coronavirus. Gracias, Dra. Dawson.

Peni, volviendo a las finanzas contigo, todavía hay mucha incertidumbre financiera y desafíos únicos por delante, ¿hay ciertos movimientos de finanzas personales que la gente debería evitar por completo en este momento?

Penélope Wang: Sí, absolutamente hay muchos riesgos y posibles pasos en falso que la gente puede tomar en un momento como este, y solo para, ya sabes, retomar algo de lo que la Dra. Dawson estaba hablando. Estos riesgos apuntan, ya sabes, a las desventajas de grandes partes de la población que ya tenían dificultades incluso antes de la pandemia.

Menores ingresos, personas de color que no tienen acceso a muchas de las opciones financieras que muchas otras personas tienen, por lo que estas personas están particularmente en riesgo si no tienen suficiente dinero. Caen en préstamos de pago, préstamos de alto costo y corto plazo que tienen enormes tasas de interés y muchas personas terminan hundiéndose aún más en deudas cuando optan por uno de estos, y desafortunadamente, la Junta de Protección Financiera del Consumidor retiró la regulación que habría requerido que estos prestamistas se aseguraran de que las personas puedan pagar estas cosas antes de dárselas. Entonces, eso definitivamente es algo para evitar.

También hay grandes riesgos de invertir en estafadores, fraudes, personas que ofrecen opciones demasiado buenas para ser ciertas, y sé que AARP ciertamente está monitoreando mucho de eso, ya que afecta a los adultos mayores del país Entonces, ya sabes, la mejor opción es intentar tomar el control del dinero tú mismo. Ten en cuenta tu situación, controla tu presupuesto y busca asesoramiento o ayuda de confianza, porque hay asesoramiento gratuito o de bajo costo si tienes problemas financieros. Por ejemplo, hay un grupo de planificadores financieros llamado XY Planning Network, y están ofreciendo sesiones gratuitas a aquellos afectados por la COVID-19.

También sugiero contactar, si tienes deudas, a la National Foundation for Credit Counseling, nfcc.org. Es una organización sin fines de lucro que ofrece ayuda gratuita y de bajo costo a los consumidores para que controlen sus finanzas, y pueden ayudarte a negociar con los prestamistas si te encuentras en ese tipo de situación. Por lo tanto, la clave es, si necesitas asesoramiento, busca un consejo confiable y asegúrate de que las organizaciones aboguen por tus intereses. Bill, ¿estás ahí?

Bill Walsh: Sí, gracias Peni. Lo aprecio, y solo un recordatorio para nuestros oyentes. Si tienes alguna pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Vamos a responder más preguntas de los oyentes en un momento, pero primero, unas palabras sobre el fraude y el Coronavirus.

Esto es algo que Peni acaba de mencionar. Ya saben, como si las personas en el país no tuvieran suficiente en qué pensar, los estafadores continúan usando los titulares como oportunidades para robar dinero o información personal confidencial. El FBI advierte que los estafadores están anunciando falsas pruebas de anticuerpos de coronavirus. Su objetivo es obtener información personal confidencial que puedan usar para el robo de identidad o el fraude de seguros médicos.

Los estafadores pueden afirmar que la prueba está aprobada por la FDA, e incluso pueden ofrecer un incentivo en efectivo para atraer a los consumidores desprevenidos, la agencia recomienda consultar a su médico antes de hacerse cualquier prueba de anticuerpos de COVID-19 en el hogar, y advierte contra el intercambio de información personal o de salud con cualquier otra persona que no sea un profesional médico conocido o de confianza. Visite aarp.org/fraude, para obtener más información sobre estas y otras estafas, o puedes llamar a la Red contra el fraude, de AARP al 877-908-3360, repito 877-908-3360.

Ahora es el momento de responder más de sus preguntas con Peni Wang, la Dra. Martha Dawson y el Dr. Warren Hebert. Presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos en la línea ahora?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es Caroline de Kansas.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Caroline, sigue con tu pregunta.

Caroline: Sí, mi esposo tiene 72 años, yo tengo 70. Vivimos en nuestra propia casa, tenemos una planta baja y una planta alta con baños separados. David fue diagnosticado positivo hace una semana, y el jueves pasado, de hecho, ha estado en el hospital. Tiene asma, le dieron Redis, Remdes, ¿Redisivil? Justo ayer, y tuve un reemplazo total de cadera el 15, tuve un resultado negativo el 12, antes de la cirugía y luego otro negativo el 2 de julio, pero cuando lo atendí durante el fin de semana, 4 de julio, di positivo el lunes.

Bill Walsh: Cielos.

Caroline: Mi pregunta es que, desde que me operaron y pasé por esto, tengo algunos síntomas. No tan grave como Steven. Quieren enviarlo a casa el próximo martes. ¿Cómo desinfecto la casa? ¿Qué recomendaciones tienen? ¿Debería irme de la casa? Pregunta abierta. Solo no sé qué hacer a continuación.

Bill Walsh: Entiendo. ¡Guauu! Bueno, Caroline, antes que nada, tienes mucho en tus manos en este momento. Veamos si nuestros expertos pueden brindar algún consejo. Dra. Dawson, ¿tiene alguna sugerencia para Caroline?

Martha Dawson: Bueno, yo diría que ella realmente necesita pensar en este proceso de él volviendo a casa en términos de... No sé si tienen a alguien que pueda ayudarlos en este momento, como una hija o un hijo, alguien que al menos pueda pasar y asegurarse de que la casa esté limpia. Porque sugeriría, en primer lugar, limpiar tu casa, pero no intentes hacerlo tú.

Fíjate si puedes ponerte en contacto con una empresa que haga eso, para asegurarte de que... Porque parece que puedes tener un [INAUDIBLE] en casa. Para que puedan hacer las superficies, y puedan hacer los pomos de las puertas y todas las cosas que deben hacerse antes de que él entre.

Y si hay una manera de que los dos puedan permanecer separados, creo que sería bueno, y de nuevo, podrías seguir esa sugerencia que se hizo anteriormente. Es decir, es posible que quieras comunicarte con hospicio o cuidados paliativos. Fíjate si alguien más puede venir y al menos controlarlos a ambos y ayudarlos porque realmente me preocupa el hecho de que recientemente te has sometido a una cirugía y ahora has dado positivo, y el hecho que ambos tienen 70 años en este momento.

Creo que necesitarás planificar un poco la atención e incluso comunicarte con el departamento de servicios sociales del hospital donde él se encuentra. Y haz algunas de las mismas preguntas y si no puedes comunicarte, ya sea con una agencia de salud en el hogar o una agencia de cuidados paliativos, y preguntar qué tipo de servicios podrían proporcionar, en términos de que vayan al hogar y aún mantenerse a salvo ellos también.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias Dra. Dawson. Solo quería reiterar dos sitios web que Peni había mencionado anteriormente, relacionados con la gestión de las finanzas. El xyplanningnetwork.com y la National Foundation for Credit Counseling, ese sitio web es nfcc.org. Bien, Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos una pregunta de Facebook. Y viene de Kimberly, ella pregunta: "Con la caída del mercado de valores, ¿debería uno cerrar su 401k o dejarla quieta?

Bill Walsh: Peni, ¿tienes algún consejo al respecto?

Penélope Wang: Sí, ciertamente puedo entender esa preocupación con los mercados como están ahora, es realmente tentador para las personas, especialmente aquellos que son mayores y se están acercando a la jubilación, ya sabes, sacar su dinero o salir del mercado de valores, pero esa no es una buena estrategia a largo plazo.

El mercado, de hecho, ha caído mucho. A principios de año, se recuperó, lo que indica que realmente no puedes predecir, no hay bola de cristal, lo que va a hacer el mercado. Por lo tanto, la mejor solución es tener una asignación de activos a largo plazo y mantenerla a largo plazo y seguir agregando dinero, y si tienes una 401k emparejada por tu empleador, definitivamente no renuncies a eso. Eso es dinero gratis, pero también apunta a otra cosa que es tener ahorros de emergencia apartados que usas si, especialmente las personas que están o están cerca de jubilarse, puedes pagar las facturas. No requiere que retires dinero de acciones que pueden estar perdiendo valor solo para cubrir tus gastos.

Nuevamente, esto apunta a la importancia de la planificación financiera a largo plazo, tener un plan y apegarse a él. Y para las personas que se encuentran jubiladas o cerca de estarlo, donde un mercado bajista podría representar una amenaza real para su seguridad de jubilación, deben tratar de planear tener lo equivalente a hasta un año de gastos apartado en efectivo, para que puedan sobrevivir un período prolongado de recesión, que es lo que vimos en el 2008-2009, y esperamos volver a ver, pero siempre es posible.

Se trata de mucho dinero el que las personas deben apartar, por lo que al menos debes apartar tanto como puedas y mantener algo de dinero en bonos si necesitas aprovechar eso también, mientras estás jubilado. Y, a largo plazo, tener un plan automático para agregar ahorros a ese efectivo hasta llegar a donde lo necesites.

También sugeriría y mencioné esto antes, la ventaja de hablar con un planificador. Entonces, las personas que se acercan a la jubilación, o se pasan a la jubilación, es un momento realmente peligroso y es bueno obtener una segunda opinión. Simplemente llamaría a un par de otros lugares, puedes intentar encontrar un asesor familiar.

Una sería la Asociación Nacional de Asesores Financieros Personales, napfa.org, y también la Garrett Planning Network, garrettplanningnetwork.com. Un asesor puede ser costoso, pero algunos, en particular los de Garett Network, ofrecen tarifas por hora o consultas únicas. Por lo tanto, puede ser un uso realmente valioso de tu dinero para asegurarte de que tu plan de jubilación realmente pueda soportar toda la incertidumbre que enfrentamos en este momento.

Bill Walsh: Bien, Peni, muchas gracias por eso. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra siguiente llamada es de Sue de Colorado.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Sue, adelante con tu pregunta.

Sue: Sí, hola. Bueno gracias. Tenía una pregunta que les incumbe a muchas personas que están escuchando. Por supuesto, ya sabes, soy un poco de alto riesgo y tengo un doble golpe, también tengo cuestiones inmunosupresoras cáncer y todo eso. ¿Sabes? Entonces, como abuela, vivo cerca de, ya lo han escuchado antes, de mis hijos en Colorado. Todos vivimos cerca el uno del otro, son tres en total, y no sé si está bien ver a mi hija. Quien siempre ha sido realmente considerada y ha pensado en mí, y muy considerada, ya sabes. Y tiene un niño de casi dos años, por lo que, por supuesto, está tratando de salir y hacer cosas con ellos que los entretengan porque es una pesadilla. Y ella jura que se está distanciando socialmente, le creo, confío en ella, y ella siempre usa una máscara, y simplemente no sé si es seguro ir a la casa de mi propia hija, ya sabes, con mi nieto.

Bill Walsh: Claro. Dr. Hebert, me pregunto si tiene algún... Sí, suena horrible. Dr. Hebert, me pregunto si tiene algún consejo para Sue u otros en su situación.

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Sue... Te quiero. Bill y yo hablamos con los otros invitados antes de que comenzara el programa, y ​​escuchó que tengo 12 nietos y nueve de ellos viven en de un radio de 10 minutos de nosotros. Los otros tres están a solo 90 minutos de distancia y una de las cosas más difíciles para nosotros acerca de la COVID, para mi esposa y para mí, es no interactuar con tanta frecuencia con nuestros nietos. Entonces, este es un problema que muchos abuelos estamos enfrentando en todo el país. Entonces, durante aproximadamente dos meses, no tuvimos ningún contacto, aparte del hecho de que todos mejoramos mucho con FaceTime y Zoom, y ese tipo de cosas, y créanme, eso dio lugar a algunos momentos realmente divertidos con los nietos, y disfrutamos mucho de eso.

Creo que es importante que hagas eso con los nietos. Cuando vas a interactuar con ellos, ciertamente es un buen punto. Como indicas que tu hija se está distanciando y que tu hija usa una máscara. Esas son cosas que son importantes para ti. La otra cosa que mencionaría es una visita afuera. La ciencia indica, claramente, que si estamos afuera, hay un mejor flujo de aire. El virus no sobrevive tanto tiempo, ya sabes, a la luz del sol y eso.

Así que te aconsejo a que cuando hagas tus visitas, las hagas afuera. Lo que hicimos inicialmente con nuestros nietos es que teníamos una piscina, y esa es una de las razones por las que los vemos a menudo. Entonces, inicialmente, les dijimos a los niños: "Oigan, tráiganlos a nadar", y nos quedaríamos en la casa, y los visitaríamos a través de la ventana, y luego incluso les pedimos pizza. Y ellos estarían comiendo afuera en la mesa, en nuestro patio, y nosotros comeríamos adentro, pero manteniendo excelentes conversaciones. Y, ya sabes, los niños son igual de curiosos, dependiendo de su edad, sobre lo que está sucediendo. Entonces, volveré a algo de lo que hablamos antes y son las relaciones.

Nuestras relaciones sociales, a pesar de que estamos distanciados físicamente, las relaciones sociales son más críticas ahora que nunca. Entonces, cualquier cosa que puedas hacer para profundizar esa relación y encontrar algo de alegría en medio de esta aventura en la que nos encontramos, te ayudará a profundizar la relación con tus nietos, pero yo realmente siento el dolor que tú sientes por estar lejos de los nietos. Ese también ha sido un verdadero desafío para nosotros.

Bill Walsh: Sí. Gracias por eso Dr. Hebert. Jean, ¿quién sigue?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra siguiente llamada es de Carol de Illinois.

Bill Walsh: Hola Carol, adelante con tu pregunta.

Carol: Sí. Me preocupaba el papel y cómo, puede reaccionar el virus al papel simple, en particular mi periódico y mi correo. Si se debe desinfectar antes de abrirlo. ¿Si debería dejarlo un día más o menos?

Bill Walsh: Sí.

Carol: Me di cuenta de que mi cartero no usa una mascarilla, no usa guantes, y por eso me preocupa que puedan estar infectados. Solo que no lo sé.

Bill Walsh: Sí.

Carol: Si debo dejar el correo afuera por tres días, o qué.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, Carol, gracias por esa pregunta. Vamos a preguntarle a uno de nuestros expertos. Dra. Dawson, ¿tiene alguna idea al respecto?

Martha Dawson: Solo voy a hablar desde mi propia experiencia personal. Con el correo que llega a mi buzón, no he tenido ningún problema con él, por lo que he estado tocando esas cosas. Pero cuando pido algunas cosas que deben ser entregadas por FedEx o cualquier tienda grande, o cualquier otra cosa, en general, trato de rociarlos con un poco de Lysol y limpiarlos, y luego saco el paquete del papel afuera de mi casa, antes de entrar el paquete. Y luego generalmente tomo el papel y lo pongo en la papelera de reciclaje.

Entonces, diría que si tienes un poco de miedo, solo ve a la tienda de baratijas, y generalmente tienen estos guantes muy delgados, que puedes conseguir alrededor de 100 por $1. Entonces, puedes comprar dos paquetes y puedes abrir tu correo y luego descartarlo, porque lo hago, cuando abro mi correo.

Desecho los sobres y cosas así inmediatamente y luego toco lo que está dentro del papel. He escuchado diferentes pruebas en términos de cuánto tiempo el virus puede permanecer activo en cartón y papel, y cosas así. Así que solo diría que siempre es mejor estar seguro, que lamentarse. Entonces, si deseas comprar unos guantes pequeños para usar, abre tu correo, llega al papel, y luego deseche esas cosas de inmediato, que no tienes que guardar. Te sugiero que hagas eso.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias por eso Dra. Dawson. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima pregunta?

Jean Setzfand: En realidad tenemos una pregunta de seguimiento de YouTube, y Amy de YouTube pregunta: "¿Qué hay de la comida para llevar? ¿Es segura?"

Bill Walsh: Dra. Dawson, ¿puede extender su respuesta a la comida para llevar? Sé que mucha gente está recurriendo a las entregas en estos días, así como a la comida para llevar.

Martha Dawson: Nuevamente, voy a decir que tienes que tomar eso a nivel personal. En mi caso, he estado evitando ambos, ir al restaurante y ordenar comida para llevar por el momento. Y eso es solo, mi propio factor de seguridad porque también tengo 60 años. Entonces, lo que me gustaría es protegerme lo más posible, pero una vez más, si vas a ordenar comida para llevar, trataría de hacer lo mismo. Con suerte, te lo entregarían en dos cajas. Una que es donde está tu comida, y luego otra caja, y puedes quitar tu comida de la otra caja, y luego entrar la otra caja. Creo que realmente no he escuchado nada, en términos de evidencia o nada en las noticias sobre personas que lo contraigan de esa manera. No quiere decir que no se haya escuchado, pero yo no he escuchado eso. Así que estoy pensando que probablemente sea mucho más seguro de lo que piensan.

Bill Walsh: Sí, y he oído que muchos restaurantes usan eso como una ventaja competitiva. Hablar sobre las precauciones que toman mientras preparan la comida, la empaquetan y cómo la entregan. Y sé que buscamos ese tipo de garantías cuando buscamos comida a domicilio o para llevar.

Martha Dawson: Sí, y definitivamente prestaría atención a "¿La persona que viene a mi casa usa guantes, está usando una mascarilla? Sabes, porque creo que si hacen esto cuando me entregan la comida, probablemente practican eso cuando preparan la comida también. Y esa es una de las pautas de los CDC en los restaurantes, es asegurarse de que estén usando guantes, que tengan máscaras y cosas así.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, muchas gracias por eso y para nuestros oyentes, solo un recordatorio, si deseas hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3. Jean, ¿quién es nuestro próximo oyente?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra oyente es Elizabeth de Michigan.

Bill Walsh: Hola Elizabeth, adelante con tu pregunta.

Elizabeth: No sé, ¿se supone que...? ¿Estoy en vivo ahora?

Bill Walsh: Sí. Adelante con tu pregunta.

Elizabeth: Lo siento, no entendía cómo funciona esto.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien.

Elizabeth: Tenía una pregunta de seguimiento a los cuidadores con los padres ancianos en el hogar. ¿Hay algún paso que debamos tomar para...? Yo soy la cuidadora de mi madre. Vivimos juntas, en un apartamento. Y me pregunto si hay algún paso que deba tomarse para prepararse o hablar con los trabajadores de atención médica a domicilio o los trabajadores de cuidado de relevo, lo que realmente necesito porque no tengo descanso, y ocasionalmente tengo algunas horas de trabajo que me gustaría tomar, y no he tenido a nadie que haya venido todavía, durante tres meses. Entonces, ¿cuál es el protocolo para que vengan personas y asegurarse de que todos estén a salvo?

Bill Walsh: Esa es una buena pregunta. Gracias Elizabeth. Dr. Hebert, me pregunto si puede hacerle alguna sugerencia a Elizabeth sobre cómo evaluar a los trabajadores de atención médica a domicilio o los trabajadores de cuidado de relevo.

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Elizabeth, nosotros también recibimos atención externa. Somos muy afortunados porque nuestra hija tenía Medicaid, así que cuando todo esto comenzó, también tomamos la decisión de que los cuidadores no vendrían a nuestra casa. Así que creo que esa es una elección prudente, la que tomaste desde el principio en esta situación. Con respecto a traer de vuelta a esas personas, algunas cosas que me vienen a la mente, son primero, ¿cuál es el estado actual de COVID-19 en tu área geográfica particular? Si la incidencia en este punto es muy baja, puedes tener un grado de confianza de que tal vez puedas dar el siguiente paso. Quizás quieras considerar, ya sabes, incluso hacer esa pregunta.

La segunda cosa que haría es fijarme dentro de la familia y las personas que ya conoces, y si eso es una alternativa para ti en lugar de traer personas del exterior. Y ese podría ser un buen próximo paso para ti, para que puedas descansar un poco, y a eso lo llamamos tomar un respiro, cuando se trata del cuidado familiar. En relación con la evaluación de las organizaciones que proporcionarían esto, creo que las cosas que haría son las mismas cosas que AARP había sugerido que las personas hagan por otros cuidadores, como quizás en un hogar de ancianos. Lo único que debes hacer es averiguarlo en la empresa. ¿Qué están haciendo en relación con la detección y la toma de temperaturas todos los días?

También preguntaría: "¿Hay personas que trabajan para la empresa que hayan dado positivo para COVID-19?" Y se está presionando en regulaciones federales ahora para que sea obligatorio. Que estas cosas se informen para que tú, como miembro de la familia que tiene esa responsabilidad, puedas obtener una respuesta transparente relacionada con eso. La otra cosa que haría sería hablar con ellos sobre su acceso a equipo de protección personal.

Si tienen el equipo de protección personal que necesitan, y pueden ser prudentes en la forma en que lo usan, limita la probabilidad de que tú y tu madre puedan contagiarse de algo. Y nuevamente, agregaré que el hogar es el lugar más seguro para recibir atención. Esa persona única que ingresa está siendo examinada, es probable que tenga temperatura, tenga acceso a equipos de protección personal.

Entonces, la relación de riesgo y recompensa de que recibas esa atención de ellos, en el hogar, en lugar de tener que ir a un centro de atención de urgencias, una sala de emergencias o un hospital donde está casi 100% garantizado de que estarás rodeada de personas que han estado expuestas al coronavirus. Por lo tanto, la casa es el lugar más seguro para estar, y esos son algunos de los pasos que seguiría. Para asegurarte de que quien entre a tu casa, está bien preparado y puede brindarte atención segura y de alta calidad.

Bill Walsh: Genial, gracias Dr. Hebert. Jean, ¿otra pregunta de un oyente?

Jean Setzfand: Claro. Tenemos a Nancy de Tennessee.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Nancy, adelante con tu pregunta.

Nancy: Mi hijo fue despedido, hace 6 a 8 semanas, y fueron despedidos de donde trabajaba, de 3 a 4 personas, y despidieron a los que tenían mayor riesgo, y él sí tiene asma. Entonces esa es la razón por la que fue despedido, o bueno, no la razón por la que fue despedido, pero ya sabes. Estaba en alto riesgo. Y no ha podido obtener su dinero de desempleo. Llama, le dicen que están atrasados, y contrataron a mucha gente para ponerse al día con eso, y están investigando, y me pregunto cómo puede conseguirlo porque tuvo que usar de su jubilación para vivir y aún no ha conseguido su desempleo. Y llama a todas, ya sabes, todas las semanas para averiguar. Los llama todos los días y no recibe una respuesta real, lo atiende la máquina, creo que la mayoría del tiempo.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Peni Wang, ¿qué consejo le darías a Nancy?

Penélope Wang: Sí, bueno, simpatizo con ella. Mi propio hijo tuvo que solicitar varias veces. Nuevamente, es una situación en la que estas agencias están abrumadas, y parece que él está haciendo todo lo correcto, está siendo persistente. Una vez más, podría valer la pena llamar a la oficina de su congresista o al funcionario electo local para ver si tienen algún contacto o formas de intervenir. Lo siento, no tengo soluciones inmediatas, pero él recibirá el dinero en algún momento. Es difícil esperar, pero comenzaría a comunicarme con otras personas, otras agencias, miembros del Congreso para ver si alguien más puede abogar por él.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias. Peni, Dra. Dawson y Dr. Hebert, estamos cerca del final de nuestro show. ¿Alguna idea o recomendación final sobré qué deberían comprender principalmente los socios de AARP de nuestra conversación de hoy? Peni, ¿quieres, quieres empezar?

Penélope Wang: Pues claro. Supongo que lo que diría, ya sabes, es que en una situación en la que algo parece estar fuera de tu control, es importante controlar todo lo que puedas y en términos de tus finanzas. Eso significa mantenernos atentos a nuestros gastos. Trata de ahorrar, si estás en condiciones de hacerlo, y ten en cuenta que atravesaremos este ciclo económico y, en algún momento, las cosas mejorarán. Por lo tanto, lo importante es asegurarse de que estarás en buena forma para aprovechar las oportunidades de crecimiento, que pueden llegar en un futuro, y llegarán.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Peni Wang por eso. Dra. Dawson, ¿tiene alguna idea final en los dos minutos que nos quedan?

Martha Dawson: Sí, les diría a todos que sigan prestando mucha atención a la promoción de la prevención de enfermedades en la salud. Todas esas cosas que aprendimos a lo largo de los años acerca de lavarse bien las manos antes de manipular la comida y después, ya sabes, al ir al baño. Asegúrate de descansar lo suficiente y beber mucha agua. Y la Asociación Nacional de Enfermeras Negras, tenemos 118 capítulos en 36 estados, y estamos trabajando muy de cerca con agencias comunitarias como la fraternidad de Rotarios, funcionarios electos, liga urbana, y también estamos en la comunidad, haciendo cosas como asegurarnos de que las personas tengan termómetros y otros equipos que necesitan para controlar su salud, pero también asegurándonos de que tengan seguridad alimentaria.

Así que, si deseas visitar nuestro sitio web, nuevamente, ese sitio web es www.nbna.org y de hecho puedes encontrar todos los capítulos enumerados allí, y estamos más que dispuestos a comunicarnos contigo y ayudarte ya sea con educación, poniéndote en contacto con dónde puedes hacerte la prueba. Asegurándonos de tener a alguien que pueda hacer un triaje telefónico. Un contacto contigo, solo para que puedas tener esa interacción social. Este es un momento en el que nos necesitamos unos a otros, y tenemos que depender el uno del otro. Así que comunícate con tus organizaciones religiosas y otras organizaciones comunitarias para que todos podamos superar esto juntos.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Dra. Dawson, muchas gracias y muy rápido, Dr. Hebert, ¿tiene alguna idea final?

Warren P. Hebert, Jr.: Pónganse primero su propia mascarilla. Eso siempre es importante para el cuidador familiar, pero hoy es aún más importante. El hogar es el lugar más seguro para estar, así que haz todo lo posible para asegurarte de recibir atención en el hogar. Ya sea telemedicina, telemedicina de tu médico de atención primaria o visitas desde un hospicio de salud en el hogar o cuidados paliativos.

Y lo último es saber que nos beneficiamos del tiempo y el descanso, y la relajación, la meditación o la oración. O pasar tiempo en la naturaleza. Estas cosas realmente nos ayudan a asegurarnos de que estamos emocionalmente bien y de que podemos dar lo mejor de nosotros cuando se trata de tomar decisiones, y profundizar tus relaciones con familiares y amigos, incluso en medio de COVID, puede ocurrir a través del teléfono, de video y otras formas que nos ayudan a encontrar la alegría, en medio de una situación muy difícil. Muchas gracias Bill.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias Dr. Hebert, Dra. Dawson y Peni Wang, por su tiempo y sus buenos consejos para nuestros oyentes. Esta ha sido una discusión realmente informativa. También quería agradecerles a ustedes, nuestros socios de AARP, voluntarios y oyentes por participar en la discusión.

AARP, una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro y no partidista ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores del país durante más de 60 años. Ante esta crisis, estamos proporcionando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan a protegerse del virus, y prevenir la propagación a otros, mientras se cuidan ellos. Todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia hoy, incluida una grabación del evento de preguntas y respuestas de hoy, se pueden encontrar en aarp.org/elcoronavirus, a partir de mañana, 10 de julio.

Nuevamente, esa dirección web es aarg.org/elcoronavirus. Visita esa página si tu pregunta no fue abordada y encontrarás las últimas actualizaciones, así como información creada específicamente para adultos mayores y cuidadores familiares. Esperamos que hayas aprendido algo que pueda ayudarte a ti y a tu familia a protegerse y mantenerse saludables.

Asegúrate de sintonizar la próxima semana, el jueves 16 de julio a las 7:00 p.m., hora del este, para un evento especial bilingüe de coronavirus, la salud y seguridad financiera de los latinos. Gracias y que tengan un buen día.

Esto concluye nuestro llamado.

Coronavirus: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

Thursday, July 9, at 1 p.m. ET

 Listen to a replay of the live event above.

This live Q&A event addressed some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from members and users over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Experts provided information on how to stay safe, protect loved ones and access health resources as hospital and nursing home visitation bans and physical distancing measures are lifted. Managing your finances in this economy was also covered.

The Experts:

  • Penelope Wang, Personal Finance Writer, Consumer Reports
  • Martha Dawson, DNP, President, Black Nurses Association
  • Warren P. Hebert, Jr. DNP, RN, Nursing Professor, Loyola University of New Orleans, and CEO, HomeCare Association of Louisiana


For the latest coronavirus news and advice, go to AARP.org/coronavirus.


Replay previous AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

  • July 23 - Coronavirus: Navigating the New Normal
  • July 16 - The Health and Financial Security of Latinos
  • July 9 - Coronavirus: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
  • June 18 and 20 - Strengthening Relationships Over Time and  LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections
  • 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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