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July 23 Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall

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

                                             

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. The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives, including our work, relationships, health, finances and even how we have fun and relax. So much of our time these days is spent adapting to what has been called the new normal, which is really just a. way of describing the constantly changing world we all find ourselves in. Today, we’ll talk with experts about how to navigate the new normal so you can stay safe, connected with loved ones and spot misinformation.

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 joining us on the phone, if you’d like to ask a question about the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask that question live. To ask your question, please press *3.

            Hello. If you’re just joining, I’m Bill Walsh with AARP and I want to welcome you to this important discussion on how to stay safe, stay connected with loved ones in your communities, and spot misinformation during the global coronavirus pandemic. We are talking today with leading experts and taking your questions live. To ask your question, please press *3.

            Joining us today is Steven C. Johnson, M.D., professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Donna Benton, Ph.D., director of the Family Caregiving Center at the University of Southern California; Alex Mahadevan, senior multimedia reporter for MediaWise at the Poynter Institute; and Jamie Richards, park ranger at the National Park Service. We’ll also 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. 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. Again, to ask your question, please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member.

            Now I would like to welcome our special guests. Steven C. Johnson, M.D., is a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has decades of experience treating infectious diseases. Dr. Johnson is a member of the Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents living with HIV, and the National Institutes of Health panel on the management of COVID-19. Welcome, Dr. Johnson.

Steven Johnson: Thank you for having me.

Bill Walsh: All right. We’re delighted you’re here. Donna Benton, Ph.D., is the director of the Family Caregiving Center at the University of Southern California. She has over 30 years’ experience working with family caregivers and communities. Her publications focus on research in elder abuse and minority caregiving. Welcome back, Dr. Benton.

Donna Benton: Thank you for having me.

Bill Walsh: All right. Thanks for being here. I’d also like to welcome Jamie Richards, who’s a park ranger for the National Park Service in Yosemite National Park. She’s a Colorado native and has served in many parks across the National Park Service for the past 10 years, including Fort Sumter National Monument, Rocky Mountain National Park, Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite. Welcome, Jamie.

Jamie Richards: Thank you for having me.

Bill Walsh: OK. And finally, Alex Mahadevan is a senior multimedia reporter for MediaWise at the Poynter Institute. His reporting focuses on fact-checking, as part of the institute’s overall mission to champion freedom of expression, civil dialogue and compelling journalism to help citizens participate in healthy democracies. Welcome, Alex.

Alex Mahadevan: Really happy to be here. Thanks.

Bill Walsh: All right, thank you all for joining us today. Let’s go ahead and get started with our discussion, and just a reminder to our listeners, to ask your question just press *3 on your telephone keypad. Let’s start with Dr. Johnson and Dr. Benton. Dr. Johnson, we’re seeing spikes in new cases and increased hospitalizations in many regions of the country. What’s driving this and what do older adults need to do to stay safe from the virus?

Steven Johnson: Yeah, thanks, thanks for that question. I do think in some ways we’re still in the initial wave of COVID-19, although we’re seeing it now in different regions of the country. If you recall, it was most common in the Northeastern United States, Seattle, those areas. And now we’re seeing really a surge in cases in the southern United States, like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. So part of this is just the ongoing spread. There could be some effect from the fact that we’re reopening and perhaps some kind of complacency, the need to kind of make balanced public health decisions with economic decisions, things like that.

In terms of how older adults can protect themselves, it really is kind of the basics that we’ve been talking about all along: masking in the public, social distancing, you know, at least 6 feet apart, frequent handwashing, avoiding other persons who are ill with a respiratory illness, and limiting contact with crowds, especially indoors. So I think those kinds of basic things still apply to prevent acquisition of this infection.

Bill Walsh: All right, Dr. Johnson. Thank you. Dr. Benton I’d like to turn to you. What should someone do if they need to provide care for a family member and have no help or they’ve lost their help during the pandemic? How can they get help? Are there resources available?

Donna Benton: Yes, actually now there are some resources and, of course, with anything, you’re going to be following those same guidelines and asking anyone who comes into your home to follow those guidelines and be very mindful of the surfaces that they touch within your home if you do ask them in. But you can check with, generally, your local area agency on aging or the department of aging in your state. They are, have expanded quite a bit to help many older adults find someone, or family members actually to find someone to help them in the home with things that maybe they aren’t able to do for their family member or that they had help before. If their previous help is somebody that they have a very good relationship with and they can talk to, you can try to set up safety protocols so that perhaps you’ll feel more comfortable allowing that person back in your home. AARP has recently put out very nice guidelines of how to bring someone into your home safely and it’s, I like the way it’s laid out. It has about eight points to look at: how you have your surfaces, where people are cleaning, of course, keeping masks and gloves, and how do you keep social distancing. But it has some really nice points in the article, and I found that on the AARP COVID website.

Bill Walsh: All right. Thank you very much for that, Dr. Benton. And for our listeners, that site you were referencing was aarp.org/coronavirus. And you also mentioned a resource to help people get help, local area agencies on aging. So that’s something for folks to follow up on. OK, thank you for that, Dr. Benton.

Dr. Johnson, back to you. People are looking and hoping and really waiting for a vaccine and other treatments. We know there’s a lot of work going on across the world. What’s the latest news on a potential vaccine and treatments?

Steven Johnson: Yeah, I may talk about these in reverse, starting with treatments just because that’s where I think we already have some advances. Just to educate the audience, we’re looking at two types of medications. We’re looking at medications that directly inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19, but we’re also looking at medications that may alter the amount of inflammation that the body responds with, because we think some individuals have an exaggerated inflammatory response, which actually can be harmful. So in terms of treatments we know of an anti-inflammatory medication, a steroid called dexamethasone, and that has been shown at a very large British trial to be associated with a reduced death rate among individuals who require oxygen support, including those on a ventilator. And there are many other medications in that category that are being studied. In terms of the inhibition of the virus itself, there is a medication called remdesivir, r-e-m-d-e-s-i-v-i-r, that is not FDA approved, but has been made available to hospitals by the FDA through a process called the emergency use authorization. And that drug has also shown clinical improvement in people that are hospitalized with COVID-19. So those are two medications that tend to be given to most people who are hospitalized with COVID-19, and we expect this list of therapeutics to grow over time.

            Now turning to vaccines, there’s obviously a lot of interest in that, and one of the biggest areas of interest is how long it will take to get a vaccine. I would start by saying several things. First of all, the time that it took from identification of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, to the first vaccine injected in humans was the shortest time on record for any infectious disease. So that’s a great thing. Secondly, there are literally hundreds of candidates, vaccine candidates, that have been proposed or are in early study. Third, there has been unprecedented governmental involvement and that includes money. And there have been cross-company collaborations among pharmaceutical companies, which doesn’t always happen in the medical business. Despite all that, you know, it takes a while to study vaccines. There are typically initial trials called phase 1 trials to make sure that a vaccine is safe, make sure it stimulates the immune system; phase 2 trials to work on the dose, to work on whether you need more than one vaccine administration. And then the large phase 3 trials, which look for effectiveness. And we really have already heard reports of phase 1 and phase 2 trials and there’s actually phase 3 trials that are starting.

            So I think, you know, the fact of trying to have an effective vaccine this fall I think is incredibly optimistic but I do think, you know, early 2021 or sometime during that year is realistic. The final caveat I would say is that not all vaccine trials are successful. So you may go through a large trial and have the vaccine be ineffective, and you have to proceed to the next candidate.

Bill Walsh: Got it. Thanks for that, Dr. Johnson, I really appreciate it. I know it’s on the top of a lot of our listeners’ minds. Dr. Benton had mentioned a moment ago some resources about how to find help if you’re a family caregiver, and I wanted to give our listeners a few other resources. One is the Eldercare Locator. There’s a toll-free number for that. The Eldercare Locator can be found at 1-800-677-1116. Again, this is for family caregivers if they’re looking for some help in taking care of their loved ones, the Eldercare Locator, 1-800-677-1116. You can also look online at eldercare.acl.gov. That’s the Administration for Community Living, eldercare.acl.gov.

            And with that, Dr. Benton, I had, I wanted to get back to you with another question on caregiving. For people who are lacking social connections as they, you know, continue to remain safe and stay at home, how can they maintain a healthy emotional state and prevent isolation and loneliness?

Donna Benton: Yes, you know, that’s a really excellent question. And one of the things that ... let me start with a quote from Maya Angelou. And she said, “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” And during this time right now while we’re going through these changes, sometimes we feel that we have to withdraw, and I like this quote because it’s, what it’s saying is we’re going to have experienced changes emotionally, socially during this time, but you can still find a way to be yourself during this time, and you don’t have to necessarily begin to withdraw. We may have to find new outlets for expression to keep ourselves from becoming lonely or isolated. So, for example, there are new phone programs that, where before we didn’t have as many people doing volunteer calling every day, and maybe this is the time to accept and reach out and say, you know what, I heard about this phone-calling program, and they’re actually almost in every state, I’d like someone to call me once or twice a week. A brand-new person who you can talk to and chitchat with and talk about, you know, movies or whatever, or eat lunch with and talk with. So it may not be in your normal social network but — and it may be a new way of engaging for you — but you can try that. Maybe where before, yes, we could go out and get out to museums and that was maybe your big outing. So maybe you can begin to look online. Use your phone, go online if you’re using the internet in any way, and look at museums online. They’ve actually added more of those online tours of national and international museums. I think that it’s going to be very, very important.

            We also have to look in and make sure that as we begin to feel isolated or depressed, we have to acknowledge that first, before we even are able to reach out. And it’s not abnormal for us to begin to feel more isolated and depressed if we’re not able to do our normal going out for groceries or if you’ve got to, if you went out to movies or things like that. So first, you acknowledge that you are feeling lonely, depressed, and then go ahead and make some new appointments with — not appointments, but call your friends, set up — I just had, I was talking to someone, and they said that they’re doing virtual happy hours, and the way that they try to make it fun is they change the background on Zoom to different bar backgrounds. Now that may not be what you’re doing, you know, if you’re not using Zoom, but you can try to change things up a little in your normal conversations, and don’t always spend your conversations talking about the coronavirus. Try to go back a little bit to the time before coronavirus, discussions on things that really gave you joy, and they’re still out there, and look for those.

Bill Walsh: Thank you for that, Dr. Benton, and adding to what you said. I wanted to let our listeners know that AARP has created a resource to combat isolation during the pandemic. We call it AARP Friendly Voices and basically it’s a free service where you can have one of our trained AARP volunteers call you, or call a loved one and just check in on them from time to time. I’ll give you that toll-free number if folks are interested. It’s 1-888-281-0145, that’s the AARP Friendly Voices program, 888-281-0145. Or you can find them online at aarpcommunityconnections.org. Some terrific resources there to connect with, you know, groups within your community, whether you need, you know, food deliveries or prescriptions or rides. You can plug into your local community and find resources there, and you can also get a free friendly phone call from a friendly AARP volunteer to check in on your loved ones.

            OK, so thank you Doctors Benton and Johnson for those words of advice. And as a reminder to our listeners, to ask your question please press *3 on your telephone keypad. We’re going to get to your live questions soon, but before we do that, we want to make a, take a moment to hear a bit about your top concerns during the new normal.

We’ve got a quick poll for you here. So what is your greatest concern with the new normal under the coronavirus pandemic? Press *1 on your telephone keypad if your greatest concern is being able to care for your family members and loved ones during the pandemic. Press 2 on your telephone keypad if your greatest concern is having enough money to maintain your lifestyle and pay your bills. Press 3 on your telephone keypad if your greatest concern is staying safe and protected from the virus and press 4 if your greatest concern is being able to get back to normal social activities. So what is your greatest concern during this new normal we’re all living through right now? Press 1 for caring for your loved ones, 2 for having enough money, 3 for staying safe and protected and 4 for getting back to normal social activities. Thank you for taking the time to share your views with us and we’ll provide the results shortly.

            Before we get to your live questions, I wanted to update you all on AARP’s continuing fight for residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities around the country. The people who live in these facilities make up just less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. But residents and staff account for more than 44 percent of COVID-19 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 56,000 nursing home residents and staff have died from COVID-19. It’s tragic and it’s unacceptable. AARP is continuing to fight at all levels of government for residents and those of you with loved ones in these facilities. We’re calling on federal and state leaders to pass urgent legislation with robust funding to save lives.

            We have five priorities I just wanted to go through with you very quickly. First, facilities must provide regular ongoing testing and adequate personal protective equipment for residents and staff. Second, we need transparency and accountability, with daily public reporting of cases and deaths in facilities, and better communication with families. Third, family members need the ability to visit virtually with their loved ones in nursing homes, even when nursing homes begin allowing in-person visits again. Fourth, residents need better care. That means adequate staffing and access to in-person advocates, known as long-term care ombudsmen. And finally, nursing homes and long-term care facilities that harm residents should be held accountable. They should not be given blanket immunity. Thousands of AARP members, volunteers and activists have made their voices heard on this issue. To learn more and make your voice heard, please visit aarp.org/nursinghomes. We hope that you can act now to help save lives and help stop this national tragedy.

            It’s now time for your questions with Dr. Steven Johnson, Dr. Donna Benton. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member to share your question. And remember to stick around, because later we’ll hear from two more guests, Alex Mahadevan of the Poynter Institute and Jamie Richards of the National Park Service. Now, I’d like to bring in my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your calls. Welcome, Jean.

Jean Setzfand: Hi, Bill, glad to be here.

Bill Walsh: OK. Well, let’s take our first question.

Jean Setzfand: All right. Our first question is actually coming from Bill in New Jersey.

Bill Walsh: All right, Bill, go ahead with your question.

Bill: OK, well my question is, OK, you know, once this pandemic is over are we going to be able to get back to normal living and like doing the things that we once did, because, yeah, I’m just hearing everything all over this map, you know. They’re talking about like how some of the states want to do, are thinking about doing lockdowns again, and if you do that it’s going to tank the economy. I mean I know we got to be safe here and stuff like that but, yeah, I’m just concerned about, you know, are we going to be able to get back to the normal and going to church full-time and all that stuff?

Bill Walsh: Yeah, no, I hear you. Dr. Johnson, maybe you can help with this. I mean Bill is like a lot of us, frustrated with this new normal. Are we ever going to get back to the old normal or something like it?

Steven Johnson: Well, I’d certainly like to think so. The question is the timing of that. Earlier we talked about the promise of vaccines, the promise of treatments. If we can actually develop an effective vaccine and roll it out to where a large percentage of the population is protected from this disease, then I think we can get back to how life was prior to six months ago. The other area is treatments. You know the reason why this is such a concern is that a portion of individuals get very, very sick, get placed on a ventilator and die. So if we can develop treatments that actually prevent that from happening, in other words not necessarily prevent the infection from occurring but prevent the severe manifestations, then that also can move us towards a, back to a near normal situation. But, you know, I think we have months to go. I’d like to think that sometime in 2021 we’ll have a combination of vaccines or treatments that will allow us to get back to our former life.

Bill Walsh: All right, Dr. Johnson, thanks for that. Jean, who’s our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Mary from Massachusetts.

Bill Walsh: Hi, Mary. Go ahead with your question.

Mary: Oh, hi. After the last call I don’t know if this one is in the same category. OK, I’m 77, live on the Cape Cod and as you all know, down here it’s like a zoo on the weekends. So both my husband and I tend to stay clear of all beach-going unless it’s like in the middle of the week and it’s like after 5 o’clock. There’s a book called Swimming at Suppertime, which my daughter got for me, that’s when we go for swimming, at 5 o’clock, after the [inaudible] gone to sleep. Here’s the question: Every August my daughter and the two grandkids in the backseat and me in the front seat with the daughter, we go to Hillsdale, New York, which is right on the border between Lenox, Massachusetts, or Great Barrington, Mass., and all the country, little towns in New York; right on the border there. Here’s the thing. My son is in the natural food business, he works on the, sort of on the front lines and he’s a diabetic and I’m prediabetic. He will not be working the week that we’re there, but he may have to go in to work once or twice or something like that. OK. The grandkids are really looking forward to this because they’ve had no school to speak of for like three months and they’re bored. They call me with two or three times a day, “Grandma, I’m bored.” You know what I mean?

Bill Walsh: Yeah, yeah.

Mary: My daughter has to work, she’s a librarian. Here’s the thing. How safe is it for me to go from Cape Cod, Massachusetts — it’s a like a five- or six-hour drive, and we might have to make a couple of pit stops at McDonald’s to get something for the kids for lunch. As long as we avoid the crowds like you people all just said — thank you so much, all of you — and we avoid the crowds and do the masking thing, do you think it would be safe to stay with Tom? He usually takes us to a beautiful falls, Opeepenokee Falls or something like that on the border of Connecticut and Massachusetts. It’s all on the border —

Bill Walsh: Yeah, yeah.

Mary: Anyway, is it safe to go to a place like that? And there’s also a couple of beaches that the grandkids like with a raft, but they’re mostly, like, kids. But would someone like me, should I not go out and swim on the raft with the kids, or I would stay on the blanket, you know what I mean? I’m curious. Is there any precautions I should take with this trip which we do, this is the only time the whole family gets together, one week in August, and it’s kind of a, a really important time for the grandkids, this year particularly.

Bill Walsh: Well, let’s hear from our experts about that. Mary wants to go on a trip to see some of her family. Dr. Benton, can you talk about what precautions she should be taking?

Donna Benton: Well, I mean, I think we have to keep the same precautions that the doctor was speaking to. Especially ’cause you’re going to be in a closed car, and I’ll let the doctor talk more about, you know, how you have to do that, but I imagine you’re going to have to wear masks the entire time you’re in the car because I don’t know about the whole environment. But what I’m hearing from you really is the importance of having this interaction with your family and keeping up a tradition that has really brought closeness for your family. So I think that there’s always that balance of weighing this closeness with your family, and if you’re really able to be very strict on the precautions to try to minimize the chances of contracting the virus. And it sounds like, I think you said your son, or your son-in-law, has to go in to work and hopefully the job — he will be able to have those personal protective equipment, PPEs, during the time that he goes from the job and maybe stay a little more isolated. So, but what I’m really hearing is that you really want to get back to a tradition that helps your family stay close and connected.

Bill Walsh: She also asked about going out to the beach, and we have somebody from the National Park Service on later. You know, people, it would seem like a good time to visit some of these great outdoor places. What precautions should people take when they’re at the beach or a national park where these are outdoor spaces. Is there still a danger of contracting COVID-19 there?

Steven Johnson: This is Dr. Johnson. I’ll weigh in here. First of all, I think the discussion that we’re having is very similar to discussions I’ve had with a lot of my patients and family and friends, and that is, we’re trying to create kind of a bubble of relatives or friends that we, you know, perceive to be safe to socialize with and travel with and so on. So I think it’s important for the caller to kind of look back not only at her own family but who she’s going to visit, make sure that there’s been no high-risk exposures among those individuals in the two weeks prior to taking that trip. Make sure no one has a respiratory illness, make sure no one has had an overt contact with somebody with COVID-19. I think, I think that should be discussed prior to taking on a trip. If you’re traveling in a car, certainly a mask is helpful, even when you’re among family and friends. If you stop for gas and food, strict handwashing. It’s safer to pick up food as opposed, I think, to eat inside at a restaurant right now. Some people might disagree with that. And then in terms of the relative you’re visiting, you know, the same kind of set of questions; how careful are they being and so on. And I think, you know, it’s —we’re really trying to think of a probability of safety, and I think if you kind of go ahead through these questions, I think it’s helpful to kind of reach a degree of comfort. I will mention that Bill mentioned the CDC website, and there is guidance at cdc.gov on advice for travel. So I would encourage you to look at that. And then I just wanted to comment about the beach. In general we think activities outdoors are quite a bit safer than activities indoors. And so, if you were able to go to the beach and maintain some social distance, then I think that’s a good activity and a safe activity.

Bill Walsh: OK. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Benton, thank you both for that. Jean, who’s the next caller on the line?

Jean Setzfand: We have Mitra from New Jersey.

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

Mitra: Hi, thank you. It’s Mitra Kelly in New Jersey, and my mother-in-law is, that’s OK, my mother-in-law is in Florida in assisted living and she has dementia. And so right away we noticed that this lockdown and not seeing the relatives who live there, and seeing no one, has started to really cognitively make her depressed. So what we started doing was sending cards, magazines, snacks and, it’s hard getting a phone call through to her. It’s not a very expensive nursing home so you’re not going to get a lot of people running a phone to her to cheer her up every day and put her on the line. They’re overworked. What else can we do, with this going on through Christmas at this point, to just keep her cognitively from getting depressed because there’s an extra challenge of dementia and she was not socially engaged there that much. So is there anything else you could think of because it’s kind of a helpless feeling, and it looks like it’s just never ending. When you consider that the employees come and go, and we really don’t know who’s going and coming with COVID, so this could go on a long time.

Bill Walsh: Sure. Dr. Benton, I wonder if you have any words of advice for Mitra?

Donna Benton: Well, first of all, Mitra, I want to say that you’ve already started to do some very creative things that I’m sure have made a difference for your relative. And I understand that, like you said, you know, the phone is not necessarily working. I know that maybe, talking with some of the nursing homes, I’ve seen some very creative solutions for some nursing homes where they’ve put different types of hazmat-type suits available so that families can come in, and they’re beginning to try to find safe ways to allow limited number of family members to come in or to have outdoor visiting time. So you may want to begin to talk with the nursing home administration so that they can look at ways that you can have socially, I mean physically, distanced visits that might be outdoors from the facilities when you come into the neighborhood for a visit. I’ve had other relatives where they’ve, their relative has been taken to where at least there’s a big window, and they can kind of talk to each other. You know they put the relative on one side and they’re on the other side of the window and then they are able to see each other through the window and have some conversations. But I’ve seen more where they’ve gone out and met out on the lawn together safely with the distancing. And so it’s a matter of negotiating and talking with the nursing home. I think that they may not— they may be very scared like anyone else, and they’re being very, very cautious, but if they can find a way to allow visits for your relative, and you need to express your concern about her mental health because that is very critical.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that, Dr. Benton. And, you know, one thing, we get so many calls and letters about these types of issues, and our message is this is the time to really be an advocate for your loved ones, whether they’re in assisted living or a nursing home. And we published a piece on our website that folks might want to check out. It’s the seven questions to ask the facility operators if your loved one is there and it’s, these are reasonable questions about the kind of precautions they’re taking, the kinds of communications they’ve made available to your loved ones, egress and access of staff and others. So check that out on aarp.org/coronavirus for some tips there.

            Let’s turn back to our experts for a couple of other questions and a reminder to our listeners, if you want to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad. Let’s see here. You know, a pandemic, an economic downturn in an election year is a perfect storm for misinformation. Alex Mahadevan of the Poynter Institute, you specialize in spotting misinformation online and setting the record straight, what do you do to be prepared to identify misinformation?

Alex Mahadevan: Well, a great question because we are in an unprecedented time right now. I would say, first of all, be in tune with your emotions when you’re browsing the internet. If something hits you with, like, an emotional wallop, whether it’s anger, sadness or laugh-out-loud joy, you might want to do some more investigating before you share what you see. See, false information flourishes by triggering emotions. So keep those feelings in check before hitting that like or share button. Look for red flags with what you see online. Is that headline really inflammatory, or does an article not have an author or date? Do you see a lot of typos? Then you’re probably going to want to stop before sharing. And really, lastly, everyone online, we just want to help out our friends and family. So we might be more likely to share something that sounds helpful, like a post that says boiling oranges and pepper prevents coronavirus. Well, stop. How would you check that out? So how you check something out, we use the five W’s: who, what, when, where and why. You use your favorite search engine to find out more about who posted about orange peels. Did they seem trustworthy? No? Then don’t share it. You always want to look for government and official sources first, then ask, does the post say why orange peels stop COVID-19? No? Then you need to dig deeper. Just keep on searching and finding other news sources to find out more about this orange peel, and they’re probably all saying it’s bogus. And, you know, all those tips that I just talked about, they’re for identifying misinformation but they also help in avoiding scams. This is, like I said, an unprecedented time. It leaves a huge opportunity for scammers to take advantage of you. So be alert and use some of those tips. Official sources like I mentioned, the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have great resources on COVID-19 scams and, of course, AARP. So really above all, I like to say, don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions when you see something online, or keep on asking. It’s a, it’s sort of like Columbo used to say, “Just one more thing.”

Bill Walsh: OK. Very good. Well, thank you, Alex. And on the topic of scams, if you’re concerned that something may be a scam, please visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more and take action. You can also call the Fraud Watch Network helpline at 877-908-3360. That’s 877-908-3360. Now, Alex, if you’re genuinely concerned about a friend or a family member sharing or posting misinformation, are there ways to engage them without risking the relationship? What are the most effective ways to begin to have that dialogue?

Alex Mahadevan: So, first off, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s your job to fact-check everyone around you all the time. That’s just not the case. But as we’ve come to know, sharing false information can be really harmful. Think about the election that’s coming up. It’s a huge election. Bad folks might use false information to make voting confusing and that affects our democracy. And how about all the stories about people who drank household cleaners because they thought it might prevent coronavirus. So really this is a matter of life and death at this point. So it really is important to do your best to prevent the spread of misinformation. So how to do that? Ask yourself, first, why are you having this conversation with a friend or family member? Are you calling out harmful misinformation or are you just planning to sort of voice your own opinion or make a baseless argument? Make sure you are doing this for a good reason.

            You want to go into a conversation like this assuming that the person that shared whatever they shared had good intentions. Like I said before, we all just want to help. That’s why we share things online. So stay open-minded to the fact that they also might have information that you don’t. And when you actually go to do it, do it privately and in a safe place. Don’t do it over text. I mean, how many times have you gotten an email and misinterpreted what someone said because you might’ve thought they meant one thing and actually meant another. So try to do it in person or over the phone. Do it personally. Try to be relaxed. And when you do it, cite specific sources and try to use data when you can. Try your best to leave emotion out of it and talk about why this is such a huge problem because of the things I mentioned. Accept that you can only do your best, though. Use the best sources and approach in the kindest way possible but know that in the end, you won’t always be able to change the way someone views something. So just do your best.

Bill Walsh: All right. Thanks for that, Alex, and I wanted to let our listeners know that your company, MediaWise, has partnered with AARP to develop a program called Fact Tracker to help people spot misinformation. Alex will be joining us for a webinar on August 6 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time focused on how to sort fact from fiction online. If you’re listening and you want to learn more and register, please visit learn.aarp.org for that webinar.

            Now let’s turn to Jamie Richards of the National Park Service to hear more about engaging safely outdoors. It takes, Jamie, it takes only a quick glance in virtually every national park to realize that older adults are a large constituency of attendees and volunteers. Are there changes to the programs and experiences in the parks in light of coronavirus? What can people expect if they’re planning a national park visit?

Jamie Richards: Well, thank you very much for having me today. It’s a pleasure to be with you all. So I am a ranger at Yosemite National Park, but I’ve had extensive experience working at parks across the country. And we have over 419 units of the National Park Service. This includes our national parks, national monuments and memorials, seashores, lakeshores, battlefield historical sites, the places that tell the story of America. And if you’re looking to get out this summer and go out and visit your national parks, and not just your national parks but any of your public lands, either local parks, state parks, U.S. Forest Service lands, BLM [Bureau of Land Management] lands, it’s a really good time right now to take the extra time and do some serious trip planning. A lot of places have been impacted as far as what services are available, what operations are available, and so one of the absolute best things that you should do for you and your family as you’re planning your trip: Take that extra time; find the website for the national park that you want to visit. Take the time to call the information line at the ranger station. Talk to an actual ranger that works in that unit. Ask the questions like, I’m planning a trip in this time. What are the main things that I need to know right now? These small steps will help you make sure that you have a fun and successful visit with your family, and to make sure that you don’t have any unexpected surprises.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thanks for that, Jamie. And are there are also ways to enjoy national parks experiences and programs remotely during the pandemic?

Jamie Richards: So, we are working very hard to bring your public lands and your national parks to you in this very weird world that we’re living in under COVID-19. So many of your favorite, not only national parks but, I know, a lot of museums and other cultural sites are posting a lot of great content and interviews with experts on their websites. Some have dedicated Facebook pages, YouTube channels. We’re really working to bring your public lands to you wherever you are anywhere in the world. So here in Yosemite National Park, for instance, we have a lot of great videos on our website. We have opportunities where you can engage with rangers in Facebook Live programs, where we have a ranger doing a program just like you do it at a visitor center or out in one of our meadows. You can talk to an expert in your national park and get a very personal experience without having to travel from the comfort of your home. And right now, where we have a lot of people that can’t travel very far, we’re really working to make sure that you know your public lands are here for you, and we’re working to bring them to you in many different ways.

Bill Walsh: All right, Jamie, thank you so much for that. Dr. Johnson, let’s give it back to you. You know, at the start of the pandemic, many elective or noncritical procedures like surgery or dental visits were canceled or rescheduled. Now we’re seeing those pick back up again a bit. [inaudible] as they return to these medical appointments and procedures?

Steven Johnson: Yeah. And I would mention that I primarily work here at the University of Colorado Hospital, and we have been, we have kind of returned to elective surgeries and procedures over the last several weeks. And so, here’s a few things you can expect. First of all, it’s very likely that you may get tested prior to a procedure or surgery. And by tests, that would be the nasal pharyngeal swab for the virus itself, the so-called PCR test. That’s, well, that’s partially to protect the health care team, but also to protect the patient. If you had asymptomatic or presymptomatic COVID-19, you would not want to undergo a major surgery. You’ll see all health care workers wearing masks; patients in the facility, when they’re walking on the wards, wearing masks. You’ll probably see a reduced visitation policy, maybe limited to a small number of family members. So I think the room where there’s seven family members crammed in with a patient, I think that’s discouraged. You know, for outpatient procedures or outpatient visits, we do temperature screenings and symptom screenings at the front desk prior to them coming to the clinic. We had the waiting room spaced for social distancing, and we’re also limiting the amount of time that patients sit in the waiting room. There may be some enhanced cleaning techniques for rooms. Hospitals tend to be clean places to begin with, but I know that we have a type of cleaning now where we let the exam room be vacant for a period of time. And I’d just like to end by saying that one of the side effects of this epidemic is individuals putting off needed procedures and potentially delaying the diagnosis of serious diseases like heart disease, cancer and so on. So there is a downside of postponing these procedures. So I, for one, am very happy that our patients are back getting these screening tests and procedures.

Bill Walsh: OK, Dr. Johnson. Thanks for that. And Dr. Benton, as I mentioned earlier, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s still a lot of work to be done to protect residents and staff in these facilities. Looking forward, do you think there are fundamental changes coming for the industry? Will we start to see more resources and support going to help people remain in their homes?

Donna Benton: There definitely has been more policy that is directed toward getting people so that they don’t for, particularly if they’re going in for like short-term rehab, so that you have more discharged straight to home, with community support in the home. So I do think that there absolutely has been a change in trying to have more home- and community-based services. And so that the nursing home, the skilled nursing facilities really become a place where there’s actually maybe more room because, you know, in some facilities there’s overcrowding in the beds. The layout of the facilities may not be conducive for the long run, for these types of epidemics. And so, yes, and as people get moved more back to the community, or in some way either to their home, to some other lower skilled care facility with bringing in people into the home, I think that that’s going to be overall helpful for us as we age because we’ll have more options to live in the community and to strengthen social ties in our community and not have to make those changes, you know, rough transitions. And sometimes when we go into the hospital, if we want rehab, we may go to the skilled nursing facility because you’re there every day and, you know, it feels like it might just be a faster recovery. But I think when we get to go home, we recover because we have that emotional support and know what’s going on in our home. Plus when we do rehab in your home you know that you’re going to be able to navigate your home once you get back because that’s where you’re rehabilitating, that’s where you’re getting better. So you know that you’re actually setting yourself up to be better in your own home.

Bill Walsh: All right, Dr. Benton. Thank you for that. I hope you’re right. We’re in desperate need of home- and community-based services in this country and hopefully this is a trigger for that. Now it’s time to address more of your questions with Dr. Steven Johnson, Dr. Donna Benton, Jamie Richards and Alex Mahadevan. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member.

            Before we get back to your questions. I want to share the responses to the poll question I posed earlier. It’s clear that there are a range of concerns related to the new normal with the coronavirus. Based on the poll many of you answered earlier, it looks like 52 percent of you said that staying safe and protected is the topic that you are most concerned about, followed by the 28 percent of you who selected getting back to normal social activities. So thank you very much for participating in that poll. We’ve certainly heard this reinforced in your questions today. Now let’s get back to more of those questions. Jean, who do we have on the line right now?

Jean Setzfand: Our caller is Carrie from Michigan.

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

Carrie: Thank you. My question is about the masks. There are so many masks. I wanted to know about the quality of the masks, what to look for, for the ones that are most effective and the best by the cost, and where to find them.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thanks for that. Dr. Johnson, do you want to field that question from Carrie about masks? What are the best quality ones and where she can find them?

Steven Johnson: Yeah, I think you know the recommendations currently for the general public are cloth masks. There is guidance at the CDC website in terms of the type of masks that are effective in preventing either the generation or receiving the kind of droplets that are associated with the transmission. You know, the types of masks that we wear in the hospital, surgical masks or the N95 masks, are usually for certain situations whether it’s close medical contact or a surgery or procedures where you may generate an aerosol or things like that. So cloth masks are fine. Again, Bill, I don’t know if we can, I can quickly look to kind of try to find that specific link on the CDC that describes the best quality of masks.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, I’ll ask our staff to look that up for us, and I’ll let the listeners know.

Steven Johnson: Thank you.

Bill Walsh: All right. And thank you, Carrie, for that question. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

Jean Setzfand: We have Anne from California.

Bill Walsh: Hi, Anne. Go ahead with your question.

Anne: Yes. I’m going to be 93 next week. I’ve been very sheltered because my family really don’t want me to go out, but I do go to doctor’s appointments and do go to grocery stores. I have a very close couple that want to take me out for my birthday to a restaurant, and they say, of course, they’re also in their 90s, and her husband’s 94 and he goes out quite a bit and does a lot of things. And they want to take me to an outdoor brunch for my birthday. And my kids are not happy with it. How do you feel about the situation, being my age and being outdoors in a restaurant with people that, I haven’t really been to any restaurants or gone any place?

Bill Walsh: Sure. Well, happy birthday in advance if we don’t talk to you before next week. But Dr. Benton, I wonder if you have some words of advice for Anne in talking to her kids about their concerns about going out.

Donna Benton: In talking to your kids, I think what’s important is it sounds like you have thought through all of the things that you’re going to need to stay physically distant at the restaurant, making sure that, and really making, you know, if your friends have checked out and you know, like, you’re going to be wearing masks, you’ll only be removing that mask when you’re eating, and you really want to keep covered. You want to make sure that the staff at the restaurant are also keeping, have their masks, that there’s, you know, now they’re putting the alcohol right there on the table so you can wipe your hands regularly. So I think in that sense, being able to tell your kids that it’s important that you be able to celebrate your birthday, and that you’re feeling that you’ve taken the precautions that are necessary and understanding of how you’ve checked out the restaurant, that might be helpful for them. And then, there are articles, and you know I’ll turn to Dr. Johnson for the kind of risk-balance things, but maybe also sharing some of the articles about the safety of being in more of an outdoor restaurant. I know people are using drive-throughs or takeout for the meals and then bringing that into your home. But you might want to, I mean that’s how I would share with my kids.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that. And a few moments ago, Dr. Johnson was talking about masks and I wanted to give our listeners a reference. They can find out what the Centers for Disease Control is saying about masks on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus, and there they will find a tab on masks with the official government recommendations. All right, Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Melissa from Virginia.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Melissa. Go ahead.

Melissa: I wondered if the person from the National Park Service could tell what places are closed, what national parks are closed? My second question is if the Grand Canyon is going to be open in the foreseeable future?

Bill Walsh: OK. I think if I heard her correctly, Melissa was asking a question about national parks and which are open and what might be the protocol going forward? Jamie, do you want to tackle that one?

Jamie Richards: Absolutely. So, to my knowledge all national park units have full, have reopened, meaning I don’t believe there’s any parks that are fully closed at this time. The National Park Service beginning, so a lot of parks started to do a phased close in March and many parks, you know, that were closing down did a phased reopening in mid- to early June. So right now, Grand Canyon is open, Yellowstone is open, Yosemite is open. All the big parks, all your historical parks are open. Now there are some places that parts of the parks are closed. So a lot of our indoor visitor centers are closed. Indoor museums are closed depending on the geographic location of that place. So the best thing to do is to think about what park you want to go to and then the National Park Service has a really great website that you can start with, www.nps.gov, and you can go to the map of the United States and see all 419 units. You can click on the park or the region of the parks that you want to learn more about, and you’ll get all the details on the website about what’s closed in that particular park, what’s open. For instance, some visitor centers might be closed but the park itself is open. There might be limited hours. So it’s really important to do some research and identify the exact parks you want to go to. You know another really important message is, you know, when you’re getting out there, do the things that are good for you. You want to recreate responsibly. So if Grand Canyon is open but, you know, take the time to understand your personal concerns, follow the CDC guidelines, and do everything that you need to do to keep you and your family safe when you go into our national parks.

Jean Setzfand: All right, I think we might’ve missed, lost Bill for a second, but thank you so much for that. And our next question actually is coming from Facebook for Alex. Alex, there’s a question here asking about misinformation probably related to face masks. If they, if somebody finds a request for a link related to face masks that looks dubious, what should they do? Should they report it? What are some actions they can take?

Alex Mahadevan: Well, great question, because we are seeing a lot of that from our end here at MediaWise. If they are a close friend or family member, you might want to consider reaching out to them personally over the phone and in person and talking to them about why they may have posted that, and use some of the lessons we talked about today in talking to them about why it’s not correct and the harm it could do. If it’s a viral image or something that you’re seeing sort of posted all over the place, what you can do is click the little three dots on the top right of the post, you’ll click report, and then report it as false news. And then what’ll happen then is our colleagues at PolitiFact, which is under the Poynter Institute with us, might fact-check it, and then Facebook might actually flag it. So then the next time someone shares it, everyone who sees it is going to see a big old notice on it that it is false information.

Bill Walsh: All right. Great advice. Thanks for that, Alex. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Phyllis from Arizona.

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

Phyllis: All right. My husband has heart disease and diabetes along with Paget’s disease. He’s been very concerned about getting out for any kind of activity, including going to physician appointments that I think are very important for him. What kind of arguments can I make with him about getting him to take those steps to receive treatment but in a safe environment?

Bill Walsh: Right. Dr. Johnson, do you want to address that one?

Steven Johnson: Sure. I think this is a common question in terms of whether it’s safe to seek care in clinic facilities now. And in general, I think it is very safe. As Bill mentioned at the top of the hour, I have a focus on people living with HIV and so we’ve been very careful kind of with that population in terms of making sure that returning to the clinic is a safe approach. I do think with your husband’s diabetes, other medical problems, that those are risk factors for more severe COVID-19 disease. But, of course, the illnesses that you mentioned are also serious illnesses and need medical follow-up. I would first maybe have him review his concerns with his doctor directly because then you’ll actually know what that particular clinic or facility has done to make the experience safe. I think if he is traveling from his home in a private vehicle and going directly to a clinic and then going directly home, I actually personally think that’s a very safe environment, and just to reiterate a point I mentioned earlier is that we’re concerned about individuals putting off appointments for serious diseases, and then ending up with a complication of that disease. The one final point I’ll mention is that we still are doing a lot of telehealth visits, and I think telehealth is something that may stay to some degree even after the coronavirus epidemic. And so your husband could potentially start with a telehealth visit and then talk about his concerns with his doctor.

Bill Walsh: Dr. Johnson, you mentioned telehealth there at the end. Maybe you could talk a little bit about what that is and how, you know, somebody like Phyllis or her husband could access a telehealth visit.

Steven Johnson: Yeah, I think many outpatient programs are offering telehealth visits for primary care and specialty care. It is actually, I think, in the midst of the epidemic in Colorado, in April or May, I think over 50 percent of our outpatient visits in our clinic were telehealth. It involves a video and an audio connection. Like an in-clinic visit, it typically involves or reviews symptoms, a review of medications, find out how someone has done since the last visit. It’s fairly common as part of a telehealth visit to then make a determination, do you need blood work, do you need a procedure and so on. Some of our patients have been more comfortable with doing a telehealth visit and then having a relatively short visit to the hospital for blood work as opposed to a full visit. So I think telehealth works well. It works less well for certain medical issues where you need a physical exam. And, but I think going forward, I think you’ll see a mixture of telehealth and in-clinic as just part of the new normal.

Bill Walsh: Yeah. And we saw early on in the crisis that Medicare began covering telehealth visits, so I think that that’s good news for a lot of our members and maybe a lot of listeners on the call today. Just a reminder to our listeners, if you’d like to ask a question, press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member and to get into the queue. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: I have another question coming from Facebook and this one’s coming from Dorothy and she’s asking, “Patients in nursing homes, retirement homes suffering from dementia need to be able to visit families. Is there some special clothing or masks available for this purpose?” This individual is saying that she hasn’t been able to see her husband for four and a half months. Dementia is getting progressively worse each day. It’s a major problem and it needs to be addressed immediately.

Bill Walsh: Dr. Benton, do you want to try to take that on? What precaution should folks be taking if they’re visiting loved ones with dementia?

Donna Benton: Right. I think that, you know, this is, it’s such a heartbreak not being able to see your loved one. And we know with dementia it’s progressive, so repeating and being able to see the person becomes very critical. Again, as we discussed earlier, I think you really have to be that advocate. Talk to the nursing home and talk to them about how they are going to allow you to come into the facility safely or meet with your loved one outside on the lawn. It’s going to probably be the general face mask; I’m not aware of any special clothing that you can wear to go into a nursing facility, no more than what they’re doing for their regular staffing. So I think that it’s, you know, it’s the handwashing, it’s the distancing, it’s wearing the face mask, and hopefully all of those are the things that they’ve been doing in the facility. So I would really make that special appeal within the facility and advocate so that you can have a visit.

Bill Walsh: And I imagine the facility has established their own protocols for what visitors should be using. So a call to the facility in advance probably makes a lot of sense. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Holly from Colorado.

Bill Walsh: All right, Holly, are you on the line?

Holly: Yes.

Bill Walsh: OK, go ahead with your question.

Holly: This has to do with the misinformation. If you could repeat the sources online that you use, and also kind of a step process on what is the best way to help people rationally look at what they’re doing or back off from really increased dangerous things that they insist upon sending on. Is there a way to kind of nip some of that in the bud and in a way where people will actually stop and look at what they’re doing.

Bill Walsh: Right. Well, Alex Mahadevan, that sounds like a question for you. Can you give us some of those resources you mentioned earlier and then talk about some of the ways you can approach somebody about misinformation and not passing it on. Alex, are you with us? Right. It sounds like Alex may not be there right now. We’ll try to get him back. Jean, do we have another caller in the queue?

Jean Setzfand: Yes, we do. This call is coming from Lynette in New York.

Bill Walsh: All right. Lynette, welcome to the show. Go ahead with your question.

Lynette: Thank you. If you’re at an outside birthday party with about 14 people, and you practice social distancing, does everyone have to also wear a mask? And the same question, if it’s just two of you but from two different households but you’re outside social distancing, do you also have to wear a mask?

Bill Walsh: OK. Dr. Johnson, do you have thoughts on that?

Steven Johnson: Yeah. Could you repeat the question? I got cut off briefly.

Bill Walsh: Oh, OK, yeah. Lynette from New York was asking about attending an outdoor event with about 14 people. If they’re social distancing, she’s wondering, do you still have to wear a mask?

Steven Johnson: I think, you know, if you can social distance 6 feet or greater, you know, I think it’s reasonable to not wear a mask in that setting. I don’t think it’s wrong to wear a mask, but the primary mode of transmission that we are concerned about is this droplet transmission, which typically is within a meter or so of the patient who’s infected. So, I think if it’s a generous distance, I think it’s fine. I think I would use your judgment if you’re kind of walking between folks and things like that. It’s probably reasonable to wear a mask during that time.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, one thing I’ll add having attended an outdoor event recently was people start off social distancing and then move closer. They kind of fade back to what they know and the old normal. And so ultimately at our outdoor gathering, people were wearing masks and that ended up providing an extra layer of protection, which I think was smart. Jean, who else is in the queue for a question?

Jean Setzfand: Our next call is coming from Sophie in Florida.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Sophie. Welcome to the show. What is your question?

Sophie : Thank you so much. I’d like to thank everyone for doing such a wonderful job in providing us with this forum and addressing our questions and concerns. Yes, my brother who supersedes me by four years had two strokes, an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke, I believe that’s how you pronounce it, on the same given day. So he’s currently — he was first, at first hospitalized but then he was discharged and now he’s at a skilled nursing facility. All of this stuff, you have to remember, like, I went from knowing nothing about all of this stuff to, like, being thrown in. And not that I’m not capable of learning about it, but it’s like it’s coming out at me in every direction. Throw in the COVID-19 and it’s just adding another layer of complicating the whole situation. So my question is, he’s currently at a long-term facility, a long-term care facility, and it seems that every time I speak to the staff, they’re constantly morphing their guidelines, their restrictions. At first my mother, my elderly mother, and I were able to go and visit my brother on a daily basis, but through his window. They call them window visits, OK. Now it’s changed where we cannot do it on a daily basis. We can only do it once, twice a week. It could be either, it has to be first of all set up with the activities director over there and it’s very difficult getting a hold of her and, you know, ’cause she seems like she has her hands full. OK. So are they allowed to restrict us with going there, you know, and mandating it? It’s just going to be twice a week. It could be either two window visits or split up between one virtual visit and one window visit or two virtual visits.

Bill Walsh: Sure. OK, thanks, Sophie. Dr. Benton, I wonder if you would take a crack at this. It sounds like the long-term care facility where Sophie’s brother is, is shifting their guidelines and obviously it’s very frustrating to the family. She asked if they’re able to do this. And what advice do you have for her?

Donna Benton: You know, I think the laws, I don’t know that each state may have its own laws and regulations, but I know that in most states you do have an ombudsman. And so I think that that’s important, to check with the ombudsmen. Most of those ombudsmen are still, you’re able to call the ombudsman service and you can ask about that, and also so that you have another mediator for yourself, an advocate for you and your family member. So I would suggest using the ombudsman because if they’re changing the — maybe they’re trying to refine, you know, on the good side, maybe they’re trying to tighten up their practices. They may be short-staffed. So there might be reasons that they’re doing this. On the other side they may not really be understanding how frustrating this is for family members. And so speaking to the director for the skilled nursing facility I think is also very important. But looking for whoever’s the regulator for your particular, in your state. But I always like to start, if you have an ombudsman, start with your ombudsman, then you can go to the licensing and ask what are the regulations about continuing to change the policies.

Bill Walsh: OK, very good. So suggesting for Sophie, start with the ombudsman in the state where your brother is. Folks can get information about ombudsmen at the National Consumer Voice, that is www.theconsumervoice.org. I wanted to return to one of our guests, Alex, are you back with us on the line? Hi, Alex, are you there?

Alex Mahadevan: Can you hear me?

Bill Walsh: Yes, I can. Can you hear us? Are you on the line?

Alex Mahadevan: I can, yes, I am on the line.

Bill Walsh: Very good. We had a caller earlier, Holly from Colorado, who was asking about if you could repeat that some of the resources that you had mentioned about spotting misinformation online, and also some tips about how to talk to somebody who, about spreading misinformation, and how to urge them to not do that.

Alex Mahadevan: Yeah, and it is an awesome question. So the two sources that I listed were more for the COVID-19 scams. That’s the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. When it comes to identifying misinformation though, I would definitely send people to PolitiFact. That is our colleagues and fact-checkers that have an entire section devoted to not only fact-checking coronavirus claims and posts, but also on advice on how to go about fact-checking it. So that’s like my number one resource that I visit. As far as talking to family members and friends who share this misinformation, I think really the first step is helping them understand why they might have shared what they shared. So approach them and say, Hey, I know you’re trying to help out and you know posts like this happen to do really well on Facebook, so that’s why you might’ve wanted to share it. Then explain why it’s incorrect and cite sources, be very specific, and try not to get too emotional. And then, finally, talk about, Hey, you know, here’s why this is incorrect; here’s how I found out it was incorrect. Then sort of talk about the consequences I mentioned, you know, how this can affect what they might be sharing, could affect the health of you, of your grandkids, of other family members. So really that’s the step-by-step process that I would use if I had a family member sharing this information.

Bill Walsh: OK, very good. And that site that Alex referred to, PolitiFact, can be found at politifact.com. That’s politifact.com. Thank you very much for that, Alex. Jean who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Verna from Washington, D.C.

Bill Walsh: OK, go ahead with your question.

Verna: Hello? Yes. Hi, this is Verna. I’m calling and this question is for Jamie Richards. I overheard her part of the conversation talking about the national parks. And I remember several years ago I was sent an email and I’m not sure whether it was from AARP or some other organization, where I had a finite time that I had to send in to apply to get a free pass to enter the national parks, any national park, with my car. And that once that finite time was over, and I don’t know if this has occurred under the Trump administration or prior to the Trump administration, but I do know that I was told that from that point on, that anyone wanting to go into the national parks that did not have that pass would be charged. So my, and the charge was as much as, if I’m not mistaken, $70 per car. So my question is, point is, whether or not the Trump administration in the face of the coronavirus, in the face of all of this unemployment, and people being under financial straits that they have been under, as well as folks wanting to get out because they’ve been cloistered in their homes for months, I want to know if the Trump administration, specifically the Department of the Interior, has rolled back those charges for people to enter the national parks. These are our parks. We should be able to go in them for free.

Bill Walsh: Yeah. Thank you, Verna. Jamie Richards of the National Park Service, do you have any answers to Verna’s questions?

Jamie Richards: I do. Verna, thank you so much for that question. So I think that you probably were linking a couple of different programs together. So let me just talk about national park fee policy real quick. So of the 419 national parks in our system, there’s only about 125 that actually charge fees. The rest of our parks are free. So the big parks — Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone — the big parks are in one tiered bracket of fees. So a person driving into those big national parks pays $35, and that pass is valid for up to seven days. All passes for national parks are valid for seven days. There are some parks that are more like the historical parks that have just a day fee or an hourly fee. So like a visit to Alcatraz in California or perhaps going to some of the historical sites in the Boston area. So what you’d really want to do is figure, you know, which parks you want to go to figure out what that park’s fee structure is. Many of our historical sites, particularly in Washington, D.C., are free and they’re there for your use, so please get out and enjoy your national parks.

There was a policy that was discussed several years ago that talked about increasing national park fees, increasing fees from 35 to a higher bracket. That policy never was implemented. So there was a proposal that was put out. There was discussion about raising park fees up to $70 for the year. That did not happen. However, many of you that are on this call today qualify for either your Golden Age National Park Service Senior Pass, which is a pass that’s valid for individuals 62 and older. And you also have the Access Pass, which is a pass that’s available for anyone with a permanent disability, and that’s a pass that’s free. So, if you are looking to plan a trip to your national park, you or someone in your family is 62 or older or has a permanent disability, you do qualify for a pass. The senior pass is a life, you know, you pay a set fee — I believe it’s at $70 —and that pass is good for your lifetime. So, please take the time to go onto the National Park Service website and look at what park you want to travel to and the different fee policies that are related to those parks.

Bill Walsh: OK. And I think you mentioned a website earlier, www.nps.gov, to find out about the status of the various parks, how much of them are open and presumably also the fees that are being charged there. Let’s take one more question from our callers. Jean.

Jean Setzfand: All right. Our last caller is Grace from California.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Grace.

Grace: Hi, how are you today? So glad that you guys are doing this program, it’s really wonderful. Thank you so much. And my question today is, if I need to research a nursing home for myself or for a loved one before I actually go in and even speak to someone, what’s the best resource for doing that?

Bill Walsh: OK, Dr. Benton, do you have some suggestions for Grace?

Donna Benton: Yes, there is a government website that, which, I don’t have it memorized, but that gives you a chance to look at your, at nursing homes and it has like a nursing home compare which gives you ratings and the most recent, whether or not they pass certain criteria for standards within the nursing home. I don’t know if maybe you guys can research that really quickly for—

Bill Walsh: We’re looking that up now.

Donna Benton: So, great. So I always say, you know, you can start there locally. Sometimes I think it’s also good to talk to friends, family who may have used a nursing home recently because they can actually tell you what’s going on. You can talk to the ombudsmen and get their take on the nursing homes that they are responsible for. And so that they can give you some information. So there’s different sources that you want to do. So you can start with the website. You can talk to people that you know, who have been, used the facility because they can, you know, really give you a different level of insight. And you can talk to the ombudsmen that work in the different facilities. And I think you need to do due diligence across all three. And, of course, if you have time, you want to visit the places yourself, which is, of course, difficult now with COVID because we can’t go into the facilities, but I think you can still have those discussions and ask about what are their—

Bill Walsh: Thank you, Doctor. Great. Well, thank you for that. And, Grace, our crack staff here at AARP reminds me that on Medicare.gov, the Nursing Home Compare tool, that’s medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare. You can also look at the Medicare agency website, which is www.cms.gov, to look at data and inspection results of particular nursing homes in your community. So that’s, I think, maybe a good place to start along with the resources that Dr. Benton mentioned.

            All right, well, thank you, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Benton, Jamie and Alex. I wonder if you all have any closing thoughts or recommendations that AARP members should understand from our conversation today. Dr. Johnson, why don’t we start with you?

Steven Johnson: Yeah, I think despite the fact we’re six months into this, I think getting back to basics is important; you know, wearing masks in the public, washing your hands, avoiding individuals who are ill with a respiratory illness. The other thing I’d like to emphasize is, despite all this, if you have underlying medical problems, make sure to follow up with your doctors so you do not delay care.

Bill Walsh: OK. Dr. Johnson, thank you so much for that. Dr. Benton, any closing thoughts?

Donna Benton: I think that it’s just going to be important for us to keep our spirits up anyway we can. Look for a way to find joy in the things around us, and continue to keep our connections with family, friends, and make some new friends.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thank you for that. Jamie Richards of the National Park Service, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

Jamie Richards: You know especially with COVID-19, it’s a great time to get out into your national parks and enjoy the places that we all love. When you do go into your parks, please remember to follow the CDC guidance. Wear your mask, keep your distance, know your physical limits and recreate responsibly. That way you can have a safe and fun time in your national parks.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thank you, Jamie. And Alex Mahadevan, any closing thoughts from you?

Alex Mahadevan: Yeah. So above all, along with everything I said, just when you see something suspicious online, stop before you share. In terms of sources, to follow up on some of the tips we talked about today, it’s been mentioned the aarp.org/factchecker, or fact tracker, I believe Bill can provide that URL, on August 5, I’ll be talking with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the PolitiFact Facebook about coronavirus misinformation. You can find PolitiFact on Facebook. And in August head to poynter.org/newsu, that’s p-o-y-n-t-e-r.o-r-g/n-e-w-s-u, where I will be debuting two classes where you can learn how to identify misinformation online. So thank you for having me.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for joining, and you can check out aarp.org for tips on how you can spot inaccurate news, and look for our fact tracker, a program coming soon. This has been a really informative discussion. I want to thank each of our guests for answering our questions. And thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in this 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 precautions to protect themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of the question and answer event, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus starting July 24. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not addressed, and you will find the latest updates as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please be sure to tune in in two weeks, Thursday August 6 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time for another discussion focused on your more frequently asked questions related to the coronavirus. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

 

 

 

Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall, July 23, 2020

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. The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives, including our work, relationships, health, finances and even how we have fun and relax. So much of our time these days is spent adapting to what has been called the new normal, which is really just a. way of describing the constantly changing world we all find ourselves in. Today, we’ll talk with experts about how to navigate the new normal so you can stay safe, connected with loved ones and spot misinformation.

[00:00:57] 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 joining us on the phone, if you’d like to ask a question about the coronavirus pandemic, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask that question live. To ask your question, please press *3.

[00:01:26] Hello. If you’re just joining, I’m Bill Walsh with AARP and I want to welcome you to this important discussion on how to stay safe, stay connected with loved ones in your communities, and spot misinformation during the global coronavirus pandemic. We are talking today with leading experts and taking your questions live. To ask your question, please press *3.

[00:01:49] Joining us today is Steven C. Johnson, M.D., professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Donna Benton, Ph.D., director of the Family Caregiving Center at the University of Southern California; Alex Mahadevan, senior multimedia reporter for MediaWise at the Poynter Institute; and Jamie Richards, park ranger at the National Park Service. We’ll also be joined by my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand who will help facilitate your calls today.

[00:02:24] 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. 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. Again, to ask your question, please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member.

[00:03:07] Now I would like to welcome our special guests. Steven C. Johnson, M.D., is a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has decades of experience treating infectious diseases. Dr. Johnson is a member of the Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents living with HIV, and the National Institutes of Health panel on the management of COVID-19. Welcome, Dr. Johnson.

[00:03:37]Steven Johnson:  Thank you for having me.

[00:03:39]Bill Walsh:  All right. We’re delighted you’re here. Donna Benton, Ph.D., is the director of the Family Caregiving Center at the University of Southern California. She has over 30 years’ experience working with family caregivers and communities. Her publications focus on research in elder abuse and minority caregiving. Welcome back, Dr. Benton.

[00:03:59]Donna Benton:  Thank you for having me.

[00:04:00]Bill Walsh:  All right. Thanks for being here. I’d also like to welcome Jamie Richards, who’s a park ranger for the National Park Service in Yosemite National Park. She’s a Colorado native and has served in many parks across the National Park Service for the past 10 years, including Fort Sumter National Monument, Rocky Mountain National Park, Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite. Welcome, Jamie.

[00:04:26]Jamie Richards:  Thank you for having me.

[00:04:28]Bill Walsh:  OK. And finally, Alex Mahadevan is a senior multimedia reporter for MediaWise at the Poynter Institute. His reporting focuses on fact-checking, as part of the institute’s overall mission to champion freedom of expression, civil dialogue and compelling journalism to help citizens participate in healthy democracies. Welcome, Alex.

[00:04:48]Alex Mahadevan:  Really happy to be here. Thanks.

[00:04:50]Bill Walsh:  All right, thank you all for joining us today. Let’s go ahead and get started with our discussion, and just a reminder to our listeners, to ask your question just press *3 on your telephone keypad. Let’s start with Dr. Johnson and Dr. Benton. Dr. Johnson, we’re seeing spikes in new cases and increased hospitalizations in many regions of the country. What’s driving this and what do older adults need to do to stay safe from the virus?

[00:05:16]Steven Johnson:  Yeah, thanks, thanks for that question. I do think in some ways we’re still in the initial wave of COVID-19, although we’re seeing it now in different regions of the country. If you recall, it was most common in the Northeastern United States, Seattle, those areas. And now we’re seeing really a surge in cases in the southern United States, like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. So part of this is just the ongoing spread. There could be some effect from the fact that we’re reopening and perhaps some kind of complacency, the need to kind of make balanced public health decisions with economic decisions, things like that.

[00:06:02] In terms of how older adults can protect themselves, it really is kind of the basics that we’ve been talking about all along: masking in the public, social distancing, you know, at least 6 feet apart, frequent handwashing, avoiding other persons who are ill with a respiratory illness, and limiting contact with crowds, especially indoors. So I think those kinds of basic things still apply to prevent acquisition of this infection.

[00:06:39]Bill Walsh:  All right, Dr. Johnson. Thank you. Dr. Benton I’d like to turn to you. What should someone do if they need to provide care for a family member and have no help or they’ve lost their help during the pandemic? How can they get help? Are there resources available?

[00:06:57]Donna Benton:  Yes, actually now there are some resources and, of course, with anything, you’re going to be following those same guidelines and asking anyone who comes into your home to follow those guidelines and be very mindful of the surfaces that they touch within your home if you do ask them in. But you can check with, generally, your local area agency on aging or the department of aging in your state. They are, have expanded quite a bit to help many older adults find someone, or family members actually to find someone to help them in the home with things that maybe they aren’t able to do for their family member or that they had help before. If their previous help is somebody that they have a very good relationship with and they can talk to, you can try to set up safety protocols so that perhaps you’ll feel more comfortable allowing that person back in your home. AARP has recently put out very nice guidelines of how to bring someone into your home safely and it’s, I like the way it’s laid out. It has about eight points to look at: how you have your surfaces, where people are cleaning, of course, keeping masks and gloves, and how do you keep social distancing. But it has some really nice points in the article, and I found that on the AARP COVID website.

[00:08:31]Bill Walsh:  All right. Thank you very much for that, Dr. Benton. And for our listeners, that site you were referencing was aarp.org/coronavirus. And you also mentioned a resource to help people get help, local area agencies on aging. So that’s something for folks to follow up on. OK, thank you for that, Dr. Benton.

[00:08:54] Dr. Johnson, back to you. People are looking and hoping and really waiting for a vaccine and other treatments. We know there’s a lot of work going on across the world. What’s the latest news on a potential vaccine and treatments?

[00:09:10]Steven Johnson:  Yeah, I may talk about these in reverse, starting with treatments just because that’s where I think we already have some advances. Just to educate the audience, we’re looking at two types of medications. We’re looking at medications that directly inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19, but we’re also looking at medications that may alter the amount of inflammation that the body responds with, because we think some individuals have an exaggerated inflammatory response, which actually can be harmful. So in terms of treatments we know of an anti-inflammatory medication, a steroid called dexamethasone, and that has been shown at a very large British trial to be associated with a reduced death rate among individuals who require oxygen support, including those on a ventilator. And there are many other medications in that category that are being studied. In terms of the inhibition of the virus itself, there is a medication called remdesivir, r-e-m-d-e-s-i-v-i-r, that is not FDA approved, but has been made available to hospitals by the FDA through a process called the emergency use authorization. And that drug has also shown clinical improvement in people that are hospitalized with COVID-19. So those are two medications that tend to be given to most people who are hospitalized with COVID-19, and we expect this list of therapeutics to grow over time.

[00:10:54] Now turning to vaccines, there’s obviously a lot of interest in that, and one of the biggest areas of interest is how long it will take to get a vaccine. I would start by saying several things. First of all, the time that it took from identification of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, to the first vaccine injected in humans was the shortest time on record for any infectious disease. So that’s a great thing. Secondly, there are literally hundreds of candidates, vaccine candidates, that have been proposed or are in early study. Third, there has been unprecedented governmental involvement and that includes money. And there have been cross-company collaborations among pharmaceutical companies, which doesn’t always happen in the medical business. Despite all that, you know, it takes a while to study vaccines. There are typically initial trials called phase 1 trials to make sure that a vaccine is safe, make sure it stimulates the immune system; phase 2 trials to work on the dose, to work on whether you need more than one vaccine administration. And then the large phase 3 trials, which look for effectiveness. And we really have already heard reports of phase 1 and phase 2 trials and there’s actually phase 3 trials that are starting.

[00:12:33] So I think, you know, the fact of trying to have an effective vaccine this fall I think is incredibly optimistic but I do think, you know, early 2021 or sometime during that year is realistic. The final caveat I would say is that not all vaccine trials are successful. So you may go through a large trial and have the vaccine be ineffective, and you have to proceed to the next candidate.

[00:13:05]Bill Walsh:  Got it. Thanks for that, Dr. Johnson, I really appreciate it. I know it’s on the top of a lot of our listeners’ minds. Dr. Benton had mentioned a moment ago some resources about how to find help if you’re a family caregiver, and I wanted to give our listeners a few other resources. One is the Eldercare Locator. There’s a toll-free number for that. The Eldercare Locator can be found at 1-800-677-1116. Again, this is for family caregivers if they’re looking for some help in taking care of their loved ones, the Eldercare Locator, 1-800-677-1116. You can also look online at eldercare.acl.gov. That’s the Administration for Community Living, eldercare.acl.gov.

[00:14:06] And with that, Dr. Benton, I had, I wanted to get back to you with another question on caregiving. For people who are lacking social connections as they, you know, continue to remain safe and stay at home, how can they maintain a healthy emotional state and prevent isolation and loneliness?

[00:14:24]Donna Benton:  Yes, you know, that’s a really excellent question. And one of the things that ... let me start with a quote from Maya Angelou. And she said, “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” And during this time right now while we’re going through these changes, sometimes we feel that we have to withdraw, and I like this quote because it’s, what it’s saying is we’re going to have experienced changes emotionally, socially during this time, but you can still find a way to be yourself during this time, and you don’t have to necessarily begin to withdraw. We may have to find new outlets for expression to keep ourselves from becoming lonely or isolated. So, for example, there are new phone programs that, where before we didn’t have as many people doing volunteer calling every day, and maybe this is the time to accept and reach out and say, you know what, I heard about this phone-calling program, and they’re actually almost in every state, I’d like someone to call me once or twice a week. A brand-new person who you can talk to and chitchat with and talk about, you know, movies or whatever, or eat lunch with and talk with. So it may not be in your normal social network but — and it may be a new way of engaging for you — but you can try that. Maybe where before, yes, we could go out and get out to museums and that was maybe your big outing. So maybe you can begin to look online. Use your phone, go online if you’re using the internet in any way, and look at museums online. They’ve actually added more of those online tours of national and international museums. I think that it’s going to be very, very important.

[00:16:34] We also have to look in and make sure that as we begin to feel isolated or depressed, we have to acknowledge that first, before we even are able to reach out. And it’s not abnormal for us to begin to feel more isolated and depressed if we’re not able to do our normal going out for groceries or if you’ve got to, if you went out to movies or things like that. So first, you acknowledge that you are feeling lonely, depressed, and then go ahead and make some new appointments with — not appointments, but call your friends, set up — I just had, I was talking to someone, and they said that they’re doing virtual happy hours, and the way that they try to make it fun is they change the background on Zoom to different bar backgrounds. Now that may not be what you’re doing, you know, if you’re not using Zoom, but you can try to change things up a little in your normal conversations, and don’t always spend your conversations talking about the coronavirus. Try to go back a little bit to the time before coronavirus, discussions on things that really gave you joy, and they’re still out there, and look for those.

[00:17:51]Bill Walsh:  Thank you for that, Dr. Benton, and adding to what you said. I wanted to let our listeners know that AARP has created a resource to combat isolation during the pandemic. We call it AARP Friendly Voices and basically it’s a free service where you can have one of our trained AARP volunteers call you, or call a loved one and just check in on them from time to time. I’ll give you that toll-free number if folks are interested. It’s 1-888-281-0145, that’s the AARP Friendly Voices program, 888-281-0145. Or you can find them online at aarpcommunityconnections.org. Some terrific resources there to connect with, you know, groups within your community, whether you need, you know, food deliveries or prescriptions or rides. You can plug into your local community and find resources there, and you can also get a free friendly phone call from a friendly AARP volunteer to check in on your loved ones.

[00:19:04] OK, so thank you Doctors Benton and Johnson for those words of advice. And as a reminder to our listeners, to ask your question please press *3 on your telephone keypad. We’re going to get to your live questions soon, but before we do that, we want to make a, take a moment to hear a bit about your top concerns during the new normal.

[00:19:24] We’ve got a quick poll for you here. So what is your greatest concern with the new normal under the coronavirus pandemic? Press *1 on your telephone keypad if your greatest concern is being able to care for your family members and loved ones during the pandemic. Press 2 on your telephone keypad if your greatest concern is having enough money to maintain your lifestyle and pay your bills. Press 3 on your telephone keypad if your greatest concern is staying safe and protected from the virus and press 4 if your greatest concern is being able to get back to normal social activities. So what is your greatest concern during this new normal we’re all living through right now? Press 1 for caring for your loved ones, 2 for having enough money, 3 for staying safe and protected and 4 for getting back to normal social activities. Thank you for taking the time to share your views with us and we’ll provide the results shortly.

[00:20:29] Before we get to your live questions, I wanted to update you all on AARP’s continuing fight for residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities around the country. The people who live in these facilities make up just less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. But residents and staff account for more than 44 percent of COVID-19 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 56,000 nursing home residents and staff have died from COVID-19. It’s tragic and it’s unacceptable. AARP is continuing to fight at all levels of government for residents and those of you with loved ones in these facilities. We’re calling on federal and state leaders to pass urgent legislation with robust funding to save lives.

[00:21:19] We have five priorities I just wanted to go through with you very quickly. First, facilities must provide regular ongoing testing and adequate personal protective equipment for residents and staff. Second, we need transparency and accountability, with daily public reporting of cases and deaths in facilities, and better communication with families. Third, family members need the ability to visit virtually with their loved ones in nursing homes, even when nursing homes begin allowing in-person visits again. Fourth, residents need better care. That means adequate staffing and access to in-person advocates, known as long-term care ombudsmen. And finally, nursing homes and long-term care facilities that harm residents should be held accountable. They should not be given blanket immunity. Thousands of AARP members, volunteers and activists have made their voices heard on this issue. To learn more and make your voice heard, please visit aarp.org/nursinghomes. We hope that you can act now to help save lives and help stop this national tragedy.

[00:22:32] It’s now time for your questions with Dr. Steven Johnson, Dr. Donna Benton. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member to share your question. And remember to stick around, because later we’ll hear from two more guests, Alex Mahadevan of the Poynter Institute and Jamie Richards of the National Park Service. Now, I’d like to bring in my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your calls. Welcome, Jean.

[00:23:02]Jean Setzfand:  Hi, Bill, glad to be here.

[00:23:04]Bill Walsh:  OK. Well, let’s take our first question.

[00:23:07]Jean Setzfand:  All right. Our first question is actually coming from Bill in New Jersey.

[00:23:13]Bill Walsh:  All right, Bill, go ahead with your question.

[00:23:16]Bill:  OK, well my question is, OK, you know, once this pandemic is over are we going to be able to get back to normal living and like doing the things that we once did, because, yeah, I’m just hearing everything all over this map, you know. They’re talking about like how some of the states want to do, are thinking about doing lockdowns again, and if you do that it’s going to tank the economy. I mean I know we got to be safe here and stuff like that but, yeah, I’m just concerned about, you know, are we going to be able to get back to the normal and going to church full-time and all that stuff?

[00:24:10]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, no, I hear you. Dr. Johnson, maybe you can help with this. I mean Bill is like a lot of us, frustrated with this new normal. Are we ever going to get back to the old normal or something like it?

[00:24:23]Steven Johnson:  Well, I’d certainly like to think so. The question is the timing of that. Earlier we talked about the promise of vaccines, the promise of treatments. If we can actually develop an effective vaccine and roll it out to where a large percentage of the population is protected from this disease, then I think we can get back to how life was prior to six months ago. The other area is treatments. You know the reason why this is such a concern is that a portion of individuals get very, very sick, get placed on a ventilator and die. So if we can develop treatments that actually prevent that from happening, in other words not necessarily prevent the infection from occurring but prevent the severe manifestations, then that also can move us towards a, back to a near normal situation. But, you know, I think we have months to go. I’d like to think that sometime in 2021 we’ll have a combination of vaccines or treatments that will allow us to get back to our former life.

[00:25:46]Bill Walsh:  All right, Dr. Johnson, thanks for that. Jean, who’s our next caller?

[00:25:51]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Mary from Massachusetts.

[00:25:54]Bill Walsh:  Hi, Mary. Go ahead with your question.

[00:25:56]Mary:  Oh, hi. After the last call I don’t know if this one is in the same category. OK, I’m 77, live on the Cape Cod and as you all know, down here it’s like a zoo on the weekends. So both my husband and I tend to stay clear of all beach-going unless it’s like in the middle of the week and it’s like after 5 o’clock. There’s a book called Swimming at Suppertime, which my daughter got for me, that’s when we go for swimming, at 5 o’clock, after the [inaudible] gone to sleep. Here’s the question: Every August my daughter and the two grandkids in the backseat and me in the front seat with the daughter, we go to Hillsdale, New York, which is right on the border between Lenox, Massachusetts, or Great Barrington, Mass., and all the country, little towns in New York; right on the border there. Here’s the thing. My son is in the natural food business, he works on the, sort of on the front lines and he’s a diabetic and I’m prediabetic. He will not be working the week that we’re there, but he may have to go in to work once or twice or something like that. OK. The grandkids are really looking forward to this because they’ve had no school to speak of for like three months and they’re bored. They call me with two or three times a day, “Grandma, I’m bored.” You know what I mean?

[00:27:13]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, yeah.

[00:27:14]Mary:  My daughter has to work, she’s a librarian. Here’s the thing. How safe is it for me to go from Cape Cod, Massachusetts — it’s a like a five- or six-hour drive, and we might have to make a couple of pit stops at McDonald’s to get something for the kids for lunch. As long as we avoid the crowds like you people all just said — thank you so much, all of you — and we avoid the crowds and do the masking thing, do you think it would be safe to stay with Tom? He usually takes us to a beautiful falls, Opeepenokee Falls or something like that on the border of Connecticut and Massachusetts. It’s all on the border —

[00:27:50]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, yeah.

[00:27:51]Mary:  Anyway, is it safe to go to a place like that? And there’s also a couple of beaches that the grandkids like with a raft, but they’re mostly, like, kids. But would someone like me, should I not go out and swim on the raft with the kids, or I would stay on the blanket, you know what I mean? I’m curious. Is there any precautions I should take with this trip which we do, this is the only time the whole family gets together, one week in August, and it’s kind of a, a really important time for the grandkids, this year particularly.

[00:28:20]Bill Walsh:  Well, let’s hear from our experts about that. Mary wants to go on a trip to see some of her family. Dr. Benton, can you talk about what precautions she should be taking?

[00:28:31]Donna Benton:  Well, I mean, I think we have to keep the same precautions that the doctor was speaking to. Especially ’cause you’re going to be in a closed car, and I’ll let the doctor talk more about, you know, how you have to do that, but I imagine you’re going to have to wear masks the entire time you’re in the car because I don’t know about the whole environment. But what I’m hearing from you really is the importance of having this interaction with your family and keeping up a tradition that has really brought closeness for your family. So I think that there’s always that balance of weighing this closeness with your family, and if you’re really able to be very strict on the precautions to try to minimize the chances of contracting the virus. And it sounds like, I think you said your son, or your son-in-law, has to go in to work and hopefully the job — he will be able to have those personal protective equipment, PPEs, during the time that he goes from the job and maybe stay a little more isolated. So, but what I’m really hearing is that you really want to get back to a tradition that helps your family stay close and connected.

[00:29:46]Bill Walsh:  She also asked about going out to the beach, and we have somebody from the National Park Service on later. You know, people, it would seem like a good time to visit some of these great outdoor places. What precautions should people take when they’re at the beach or a national park where these are outdoor spaces. Is there still a danger of contracting COVID-19 there?

[00:30:12]Steven Johnson:  This is Dr. Johnson. I’ll weigh in here. First of all, I think the discussion that we’re having is very similar to discussions I’ve had with a lot of my patients and family and friends, and that is, we’re trying to create kind of a bubble of relatives or friends that we, you know, perceive to be safe to socialize with and travel with and so on. So I think it’s important for the caller to kind of look back not only at her own family but who she’s going to visit, make sure that there’s been no high-risk exposures among those individuals in the two weeks prior to taking that trip. Make sure no one has a respiratory illness, make sure no one has had an overt contact with somebody with COVID-19. I think, I think that should be discussed prior to taking on a trip. If you’re traveling in a car, certainly a mask is helpful, even when you’re among family and friends. If you stop for gas and food, strict handwashing. It’s safer to pick up food as opposed, I think, to eat inside at a restaurant right now. Some people might disagree with that. And then in terms of the relative you’re visiting, you know, the same kind of set of questions; how careful are they being and so on. And I think, you know, it’s —we’re really trying to think of a probability of safety, and I think if you kind of go ahead through these questions, I think it’s helpful to kind of reach a degree of comfort. I will mention that Bill mentioned the CDC website, and there is guidance at cdc.gov on advice for travel. So I would encourage you to look at that. And then I just wanted to comment about the beach. In general we think activities outdoors are quite a bit safer than activities indoors. And so, if you were able to go to the beach and maintain some social distance, then I think that’s a good activity and a safe activity.

[00:32:26]Bill Walsh:  OK. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Benton, thank you both for that. Jean, who’s the next caller on the line?

[00:32:33]Jean Setzfand:  We have Mitra from New Jersey.

[00:32:41]Bill Walsh:  Hi, Mitra, go ahead with your question.

[00:32:44]Mitra:  Hi, thank you. It’s Mitra Kelly in New Jersey, and my mother-in-law is, that’s OK, my mother-in-law is in Florida in assisted living and she has dementia. And so right away we noticed that this lockdown and not seeing the relatives who live there, and seeing no one, has started to really cognitively make her depressed. So what we started doing was sending cards, magazines, snacks and, it’s hard getting a phone call through to her. It’s not a very expensive nursing home so you’re not going to get a lot of people running a phone to her to cheer her up every day and put her on the line. They’re overworked. What else can we do, with this going on through Christmas at this point, to just keep her cognitively from getting depressed because there’s an extra challenge of dementia and she was not socially engaged there that much. So is there anything else you could think of because it’s kind of a helpless feeling, and it looks like it’s just never ending. When you consider that the employees come and go, and we really don’t know who’s going and coming with COVID, so this could go on a long time.

[00:33:51]Bill Walsh:  Sure. Dr. Benton, I wonder if you have any words of advice for Mitra?

[00:33:57]Donna Benton:  Well, first of all, Mitra, I want to say that you’ve already started to do some very creative things that I’m sure have made a difference for your relative. And I understand that, like you said, you know, the phone is not necessarily working. I know that maybe, talking with some of the nursing homes, I’ve seen some very creative solutions for some nursing homes where they’ve put different types of hazmat-type suits available so that families can come in, and they’re beginning to try to find safe ways to allow limited number of family members to come in or to have outdoor visiting time. So you may want to begin to talk with the nursing home administration so that they can look at ways that you can have socially, I mean physically, distanced visits that might be outdoors from the facilities when you come into the neighborhood for a visit. I’ve had other relatives where they’ve, their relative has been taken to where at least there’s a big window, and they can kind of talk to each other. You know they put the relative on one side and they’re on the other side of the window and then they are able to see each other through the window and have some conversations. But I’ve seen more where they’ve gone out and met out on the lawn together safely with the distancing. And so it’s a matter of negotiating and talking with the nursing home. I think that they may not— they may be very scared like anyone else, and they’re being very, very cautious, but if they can find a way to allow visits for your relative, and you need to express your concern about her mental health because that is very critical.

[00:35:46]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that, Dr. Benton. And, you know, one thing, we get so many calls and letters about these types of issues, and our message is this is the time to really be an advocate for your loved ones, whether they’re in assisted living or a nursing home. And we published a piece on our website that folks might want to check out. It’s the seven questions to ask the facility operators if your loved one is there and it’s, these are reasonable questions about the kind of precautions they’re taking, the kinds of communications they’ve made available to your loved ones, egress and access of staff and others. So check that out on aarp.org/coronavirus for some tips there.

[00:36:33] Let’s turn back to our experts for a couple of other questions and a reminder to our listeners, if you want to ask your question, please press *3 on your telephone keypad. Let’s see here. You know, a pandemic, an economic downturn in an election year is a perfect storm for misinformation. Alex Mahadevan of the Poynter Institute, you specialize in spotting misinformation online and setting the record straight, what do you do to be prepared to identify misinformation?

[00:37:10]Alex Mahadevan:  Well, a great question because we are in an unprecedented time right now. I would say, first of all, be in tune with your emotions when you’re browsing the internet. If something hits you with, like, an emotional wallop, whether it’s anger, sadness or laugh-out-loud joy, you might want to do some more investigating before you share what you see. See, false information flourishes by triggering emotions. So keep those feelings in check before hitting that like or share button. Look for red flags with what you see online. Is that headline really inflammatory, or does an article not have an author or date? Do you see a lot of typos? Then you’re probably going to want to stop before sharing. And really, lastly, everyone online, we just want to help out our friends and family. So we might be more likely to share something that sounds helpful, like a post that says boiling oranges and pepper prevents coronavirus. Well, stop. How would you check that out? So how you check something out, we use the five W’s: who, what, when, where and why. You use your favorite search engine to find out more about who posted about orange peels. Did they seem trustworthy? No? Then don’t share it. You always want to look for government and official sources first, then ask, does the post say why orange peels stop COVID-19? No? Then you need to dig deeper. Just keep on searching and finding other news sources to find out more about this orange peel, and they’re probably all saying it’s bogus. And, you know, all those tips that I just talked about, they’re for identifying misinformation but they also help in avoiding scams. This is, like I said, an unprecedented time. It leaves a huge opportunity for scammers to take advantage of you. So be alert and use some of those tips. Official sources like I mentioned, the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have great resources on COVID-19 scams and, of course, AARP. So really above all, I like to say, don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions when you see something online, or keep on asking. It’s a, it’s sort of like Columbo used to say, “Just one more thing.”

[00:39:22]Bill Walsh:  OK. Very good. Well, thank you, Alex. And on the topic of scams, if you’re concerned that something may be a scam, please visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more and take action. You can also call the Fraud Watch Network helpline at 877-908-3360. That’s 877-908-3360. Now, Alex, if you’re genuinely concerned about a friend or a family member sharing or posting misinformation, are there ways to engage them without risking the relationship? What are the most effective ways to begin to have that dialogue?

[00:40:10]Alex Mahadevan:  So, first off, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s your job to fact-check everyone around you all the time. That’s just not the case. But as we’ve come to know, sharing false information can be really harmful. Think about the election that’s coming up. It’s a huge election. Bad folks might use false information to make voting confusing and that affects our democracy. And how about all the stories about people who drank household cleaners because they thought it might prevent coronavirus. So really this is a matter of life and death at this point. So it really is important to do your best to prevent the spread of misinformation. So how to do that? Ask yourself, first, why are you having this conversation with a friend or family member? Are you calling out harmful misinformation or are you just planning to sort of voice your own opinion or make a baseless argument? Make sure you are doing this for a good reason.

[00:41:07] You want to go into a conversation like this assuming that the person that shared whatever they shared had good intentions. Like I said before, we all just want to help. That’s why we share things online. So stay open-minded to the fact that they also might have information that you don’t. And when you actually go to do it, do it privately and in a safe place. Don’t do it over text. I mean, how many times have you gotten an email and misinterpreted what someone said because you might’ve thought they meant one thing and actually meant another. So try to do it in person or over the phone. Do it personally. Try to be relaxed. And when you do it, cite specific sources and try to use data when you can. Try your best to leave emotion out of it and talk about why this is such a huge problem because of the things I mentioned. Accept that you can only do your best, though. Use the best sources and approach in the kindest way possible but know that in the end, you won’t always be able to change the way someone views something. So just do your best.

[00:42:14]Bill Walsh:  All right. Thanks for that, Alex, and I wanted to let our listeners know that your company, MediaWise, has partnered with AARP to develop a program called Fact Tracker to help people spot misinformation. Alex will be joining us for a webinar on August 6 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time focused on how to sort fact from fiction online. If you’re listening and you want to learn more and register, please visit learn.aarp.org for that webinar.

[00:42:48] Now let’s turn to Jamie Richards of the National Park Service to hear more about engaging safely outdoors. It takes, Jamie, it takes only a quick glance in virtually every national park to realize that older adults are a large constituency of attendees and volunteers. Are there changes to the programs and experiences in the parks in light of coronavirus? What can people expect if they’re planning a national park visit?

[00:43:15]Jamie Richards:  Well, thank you very much for having me today. It’s a pleasure to be with you all. So I am a ranger at Yosemite National Park, but I’ve had extensive experience working at parks across the country. And we have over 419 units of the National Park Service. This includes our national parks, national monuments and memorials, seashores, lakeshores, battlefield historical sites, the places that tell the story of America. And if you’re looking to get out this summer and go out and visit your national parks, and not just your national parks but any of your public lands, either local parks, state parks, U.S. Forest Service lands, BLM [Bureau of Land Management] lands, it’s a really good time right now to take the extra time and do some serious trip planning. A lot of places have been impacted as far as what services are available, what operations are available, and so one of the absolute best things that you should do for you and your family as you’re planning your trip: Take that extra time; find the website for the national park that you want to visit. Take the time to call the information line at the ranger station. Talk to an actual ranger that works in that unit. Ask the questions like, I’m planning a trip in this time. What are the main things that I need to know right now? These small steps will help you make sure that you have a fun and successful visit with your family, and to make sure that you don’t have any unexpected surprises.

[00:44:47]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thanks for that, Jamie. And are there are also ways to enjoy national parks experiences and programs remotely during the pandemic?

[00:44:58]Jamie Richards:  So, we are working very hard to bring your public lands and your national parks to you in this very weird world that we’re living in under COVID-19. So many of your favorite, not only national parks but, I know, a lot of museums and other cultural sites are posting a lot of great content and interviews with experts on their websites. Some have dedicated Facebook pages, YouTube channels. We’re really working to bring your public lands to you wherever you are anywhere in the world. So here in Yosemite National Park, for instance, we have a lot of great videos on our website. We have opportunities where you can engage with rangers in Facebook Live programs, where we have a ranger doing a program just like you do it at a visitor center or out in one of our meadows. You can talk to an expert in your national park and get a very personal experience without having to travel from the comfort of your home. And right now, where we have a lot of people that can’t travel very far, we’re really working to make sure that you know your public lands are here for you, and we’re working to bring them to you in many different ways.

[00:46:06]Bill Walsh:  All right, Jamie, thank you so much for that. Dr. Johnson, let’s give it back to you. You know, at the start of the pandemic, many elective or noncritical procedures like surgery or dental visits were canceled or rescheduled. Now we’re seeing those pick back up again a bit. [inaudible] as they return to these medical appointments and procedures?

[00:46:30]Steven Johnson:  Yeah. And I would mention that I primarily work here at the University of Colorado Hospital, and we have been, we have kind of returned to elective surgeries and procedures over the last several weeks. And so, here’s a few things you can expect. First of all, it’s very likely that you may get tested prior to a procedure or surgery. And by tests, that would be the nasal pharyngeal swab for the virus itself, the so-called PCR test. That’s, well, that’s partially to protect the health care team, but also to protect the patient. If you had asymptomatic or presymptomatic COVID-19, you would not want to undergo a major surgery. You’ll see all health care workers wearing masks; patients in the facility, when they’re walking on the wards, wearing masks. You’ll probably see a reduced visitation policy, maybe limited to a small number of family members. So I think the room where there’s seven family members crammed in with a patient, I think that’s discouraged. You know, for outpatient procedures or outpatient visits, we do temperature screenings and symptom screenings at the front desk prior to them coming to the clinic. We had the waiting room spaced for social distancing, and we’re also limiting the amount of time that patients sit in the waiting room. There may be some enhanced cleaning techniques for rooms. Hospitals tend to be clean places to begin with, but I know that we have a type of cleaning now where we let the exam room be vacant for a period of time. And I’d just like to end by saying that one of the side effects of this epidemic is individuals putting off needed procedures and potentially delaying the diagnosis of serious diseases like heart disease, cancer and so on. So there is a downside of postponing these procedures. So I, for one, am very happy that our patients are back getting these screening tests and procedures.

[00:48:54]Bill Walsh:  OK, Dr. Johnson. Thanks for that. And Dr. Benton, as I mentioned earlier, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s still a lot of work to be done to protect residents and staff in these facilities. Looking forward, do you think there are fundamental changes coming for the industry? Will we start to see more resources and support going to help people remain in their homes?

[00:49:22]Donna Benton:  There definitely has been more policy that is directed toward getting people so that they don’t for, particularly if they’re going in for like short-term rehab, so that you have more discharged straight to home, with community support in the home. So I do think that there absolutely has been a change in trying to have more home- and community-based services. And so that the nursing home, the skilled nursing facilities really become a place where there’s actually maybe more room because, you know, in some facilities there’s overcrowding in the beds. The layout of the facilities may not be conducive for the long run, for these types of epidemics. And so, yes, and as people get moved more back to the community, or in some way either to their home, to some other lower skilled care facility with bringing in people into the home, I think that that’s going to be overall helpful for us as we age because we’ll have more options to live in the community and to strengthen social ties in our community and not have to make those changes, you know, rough transitions. And sometimes when we go into the hospital, if we want rehab, we may go to the skilled nursing facility because you’re there every day and, you know, it feels like it might just be a faster recovery. But I think when we get to go home, we recover because we have that emotional support and know what’s going on in our home. Plus when we do rehab in your home you know that you’re going to be able to navigate your home once you get back because that’s where you’re rehabilitating, that’s where you’re getting better. So you know that you’re actually setting yourself up to be better in your own home.

[00:51:22]Bill Walsh:  All right, Dr. Benton. Thank you for that. I hope you’re right. We’re in desperate need of home- and community-based services in this country and hopefully this is a trigger for that. Now it’s time to address more of your questions with Dr. Steven Johnson, Dr. Donna Benton, Jamie Richards and Alex Mahadevan. Please press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member.

[00:51:50] Before we get back to your questions. I want to share the responses to the poll question I posed earlier. It’s clear that there are a range of concerns related to the new normal with the coronavirus. Based on the poll many of you answered earlier, it looks like 52 percent of you said that staying safe and protected is the topic that you are most concerned about, followed by the 28 percent of you who selected getting back to normal social activities. So thank you very much for participating in that poll. We’ve certainly heard this reinforced in your questions today. Now let’s get back to more of those questions. Jean, who do we have on the line right now?

[00:52:32]Jean Setzfand:  Our caller is Carrie from Michigan.

[00:52:35]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Carrie, go ahead with your question.

[00:52:38]Carrie:  Thank you. My question is about the masks. There are so many masks. I wanted to know about the quality of the masks, what to look for, for the ones that are most effective and the best by the cost, and where to find them.

[00:52:52]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thanks for that. Dr. Johnson, do you want to field that question from Carrie about masks? What are the best quality ones and where she can find them?

[00:53:02]Steven Johnson:  Yeah, I think you know the recommendations currently for the general public are cloth masks. There is guidance at the CDC website in terms of the type of masks that are effective in preventing either the generation or receiving the kind of droplets that are associated with the transmission. You know, the types of masks that we wear in the hospital, surgical masks or the N95 masks, are usually for certain situations whether it’s close medical contact or a surgery or procedures where you may generate an aerosol or things like that. So cloth masks are fine. Again, Bill, I don’t know if we can, I can quickly look to kind of try to find that specific link on the CDC that describes the best quality of masks.

[00:54:07]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, I’ll ask our staff to look that up for us, and I’ll let the listeners know.

[00:54:11]Steven Johnson:  Thank you.

[00:54:13]Bill Walsh:  All right. And thank you, Carrie, for that question. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

[00:54:18]Jean Setzfand:  We have Anne from California.

[00:54:21]Bill Walsh:  Hi, Anne. Go ahead with your question.

[00:54:23]Anne:  Yes. I’m going to be 93 next week. I’ve been very sheltered because my family really don’t want me to go out, but I do go to doctor’s appointments and do go to grocery stores. I have a very close couple that want to take me out for my birthday to a restaurant, and they say, of course, they’re also in their 90s, and her husband’s 94 and he goes out quite a bit and does a lot of things. And they want to take me to an outdoor brunch for my birthday. And my kids are not happy with it. How do you feel about the situation, being my age and being outdoors in a restaurant with people that, I haven’t really been to any restaurants or gone any place?

[00:55:16]Bill Walsh:  Sure. Well, happy birthday in advance if we don’t talk to you before next week. But Dr. Benton, I wonder if you have some words of advice for Anne in talking to her kids about their concerns about going out.

[00:55:32]Donna Benton:  In talking to your kids, I think what’s important is it sounds like you have thought through all of the things that you’re going to need to stay physically distant at the restaurant, making sure that, and really making, you know, if your friends have checked out and you know, like, you’re going to be wearing masks, you’ll only be removing that mask when you’re eating, and you really want to keep covered. You want to make sure that the staff at the restaurant are also keeping, have their masks, that there’s, you know, now they’re putting the alcohol right there on the table so you can wipe your hands regularly. So I think in that sense, being able to tell your kids that it’s important that you be able to celebrate your birthday, and that you’re feeling that you’ve taken the precautions that are necessary and understanding of how you’ve checked out the restaurant, that might be helpful for them. And then, there are articles, and you know I’ll turn to Dr. Johnson for the kind of risk-balance things, but maybe also sharing some of the articles about the safety of being in more of an outdoor restaurant. I know people are using drive-throughs or takeout for the meals and then bringing that into your home. But you might want to, I mean that’s how I would share with my kids.

[00:56:57]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that. And a few moments ago, Dr. Johnson was talking about masks and I wanted to give our listeners a reference. They can find out what the Centers for Disease Control is saying about masks on the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus, and there they will find a tab on masks with the official government recommendations. All right, Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:57:28]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Melissa from Virginia.

[00:57:32]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Melissa. Go ahead.

[00:57:35]Melissa:  I wondered if the person from the National Park Service could tell what places are closed, what national parks are closed? My second question is if the Grand Canyon is going to be open in the foreseeable future?

[00:57:58]Bill Walsh:  OK. I think if I heard her correctly, Melissa was asking a question about national parks and which are open and what might be the protocol going forward? Jamie, do you want to tackle that one?

[00:58:14]Jamie Richards:  Absolutely. So, to my knowledge all national park units have full, have reopened, meaning I don’t believe there’s any parks that are fully closed at this time. The National Park Service beginning, so a lot of parks started to do a phased close in March and many parks, you know, that were closing down did a phased reopening in mid- to early June. So right now, Grand Canyon is open, Yellowstone is open, Yosemite is open. All the big parks, all your historical parks are open. Now there are some places that parts of the parks are closed. So a lot of our indoor visitor centers are closed. Indoor museums are closed depending on the geographic location of that place. So the best thing to do is to think about what park you want to go to and then the National Park Service has a really great website that you can start with, www.nps.gov, and you can go to the map of the United States and see all 419 units. You can click on the park or the region of the parks that you want to learn more about, and you’ll get all the details on the website about what’s closed in that particular park, what’s open. For instance, some visitor centers might be closed but the park itself is open. There might be limited hours. So it’s really important to do some research and identify the exact parks you want to go to. You know another really important message is, you know, when you’re getting out there, do the things that are good for you. You want to recreate responsibly. So if Grand Canyon is open but, you know, take the time to understand your personal concerns, follow the CDC guidelines, and do everything that you need to do to keep you and your family safe when you go into our national parks.

[01:00:31]Jean Setzfand:  All right, I think we might’ve missed, lost Bill for a second, but thank you so much for that. And our next question actually is coming from Facebook for Alex. Alex, there’s a question here asking about misinformation probably related to face masks. If they, if somebody finds a request for a link related to face masks that looks dubious, what should they do? Should they report it? What are some actions they can take?

[01:01:03]Alex Mahadevan:  Well, great question, because we are seeing a lot of that from our end here at MediaWise. If they are a close friend or family member, you might want to consider reaching out to them personally over the phone and in person and talking to them about why they may have posted that, and use some of the lessons we talked about today in talking to them about why it’s not correct and the harm it could do. If it’s a viral image or something that you’re seeing sort of posted all over the place, what you can do is click the little three dots on the top right of the post, you’ll click report, and then report it as false news. And then what’ll happen then is our colleagues at PolitiFact, which is under the Poynter Institute with us, might fact-check it, and then Facebook might actually flag it. So then the next time someone shares it, everyone who sees it is going to see a big old notice on it that it is false information.

[01:02:08]Bill Walsh:  All right. Great advice. Thanks for that, Alex. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

[01:02:13]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Phyllis from Arizona.

[01:02:17]Bill Walsh:  Hi Phyllis. Go ahead with your question.

[01:02:19]Phyllis:  All right. My husband has heart disease and diabetes along with Paget’s disease. He’s been very concerned about getting out for any kind of activity, including going to physician appointments that I think are very important for him. What kind of arguments can I make with him about getting him to take those steps to receive treatment but in a safe environment?

[01:02:49]Bill Walsh:  Right. Dr. Johnson, do you want to address that one?

[01:02:53]Steven Johnson:  Sure. I think this is a common question in terms of whether it’s safe to seek care in clinic facilities now. And in general, I think it is very safe. As Bill mentioned at the top of the hour, I have a focus on people living with HIV and so we’ve been very careful kind of with that population in terms of making sure that returning to the clinic is a safe approach. I do think with your husband’s diabetes, other medical problems, that those are risk factors for more severe COVID-19 disease. But, of course, the illnesses that you mentioned are also serious illnesses and need medical follow-up. I would first maybe have him review his concerns with his doctor directly because then you’ll actually know what that particular clinic or facility has done to make the experience safe. I think if he is traveling from his home in a private vehicle and going directly to a clinic and then going directly home, I actually personally think that’s a very safe environment, and just to reiterate a point I mentioned earlier is that we’re concerned about individuals putting off appointments for serious diseases, and then ending up with a complication of that disease. The one final point I’ll mention is that we still are doing a lot of telehealth visits, and I think telehealth is something that may stay to some degree even after the coronavirus epidemic. And so your husband could potentially start with a telehealth visit and then talk about his concerns with his doctor.

[01:04:58]Bill Walsh:  Dr. Johnson, you mentioned telehealth there at the end. Maybe you could talk a little bit about what that is and how, you know, somebody like Phyllis or her husband could access a telehealth visit.

[01:05:08]Steven Johnson:  Yeah, I think many outpatient programs are offering telehealth visits for primary care and specialty care. It is actually, I think, in the midst of the epidemic in Colorado, in April or May, I think over 50 percent of our outpatient visits in our clinic were telehealth. It involves a video and an audio connection. Like an in-clinic visit, it typically involves or reviews symptoms, a review of medications, find out how someone has done since the last visit. It’s fairly common as part of a telehealth visit to then make a determination, do you need blood work, do you need a procedure and so on. Some of our patients have been more comfortable with doing a telehealth visit and then having a relatively short visit to the hospital for blood work as opposed to a full visit. So I think telehealth works well. It works less well for certain medical issues where you need a physical exam. And, but I think going forward, I think you’ll see a mixture of telehealth and in-clinic as just part of the new normal.

[01:06:30]Bill Walsh:  Yeah. And we saw early on in the crisis that Medicare began covering telehealth visits, so I think that that’s good news for a lot of our members and maybe a lot of listeners on the call today. Just a reminder to our listeners, if you’d like to ask a question, press *3 at any time on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member and to get into the queue. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:06:57]Jean Setzfand:  I have another question coming from Facebook and this one’s coming from Dorothy and she’s asking, “Patients in nursing homes, retirement homes suffering from dementia need to be able to visit families. Is there some special clothing or masks available for this purpose?” This individual is saying that she hasn’t been able to see her husband for four and a half months. Dementia is getting progressively worse each day. It’s a major problem and it needs to be addressed immediately.

[01:07:25]Bill Walsh:  Dr. Benton, do you want to try to take that on? What precaution should folks be taking if they’re visiting loved ones with dementia?

[01:07:36]Donna Benton:  Right. I think that, you know, this is, it’s such a heartbreak not being able to see your loved one. And we know with dementia it’s progressive, so repeating and being able to see the person becomes very critical. Again, as we discussed earlier, I think you really have to be that advocate. Talk to the nursing home and talk to them about how they are going to allow you to come into the facility safely or meet with your loved one outside on the lawn. It’s going to probably be the general face mask; I’m not aware of any special clothing that you can wear to go into a nursing facility, no more than what they’re doing for their regular staffing. So I think that it’s, you know, it’s the handwashing, it’s the distancing, it’s wearing the face mask, and hopefully all of those are the things that they’ve been doing in the facility. So I would really make that special appeal within the facility and advocate so that you can have a visit.

[01:08:46]Bill Walsh:  And I imagine the facility has established their own protocols for what visitors should be using. So a call to the facility in advance probably makes a lot of sense. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:09:00]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Holly from Colorado.

[01:09:05]Bill Walsh:  All right, Holly, are you on the line?

[01:09:07]Holly:  Yes.

[01:09:09]Bill Walsh:  OK, go ahead with your question.

[01:09:12]Holly:  This has to do with the misinformation. If you could repeat the sources online that you use, and also kind of a step process on what is the best way to help people rationally look at what they’re doing or back off from really increased dangerous things that they insist upon sending on. Is there a way to kind of nip some of that in the bud and in a way where people will actually stop and look at what they’re doing.

[01:09:43]Bill Walsh:  Right. Well, Alex Mahadevan, that sounds like a question for you. Can you give us some of those resources you mentioned earlier and then talk about some of the ways you can approach somebody about misinformation and not passing it on. Alex, are you with us? Right. It sounds like Alex may not be there right now. We’ll try to get him back. Jean, do we have another caller in the queue?

[01:10:18]Jean Setzfand:  Yes, we do. This call is coming from Lynette in New York.

[01:10:26]Bill Walsh:  All right. Lynette, welcome to the show. Go ahead with your question.

[01:10:30]Lynette:  Thank you. If you’re at an outside birthday party with about 14 people, and you practice social distancing, does everyone have to also wear a mask? And the same question, if it’s just two of you but from two different households but you’re outside social distancing, do you also have to wear a mask?

[01:10:52]Bill Walsh:  OK. Dr. Johnson, do you have thoughts on that?

[01:10:55]Steven Johnson:  Yeah. Could you repeat the question? I got cut off briefly.

[01:10:58]Bill Walsh:  Oh, OK, yeah. Lynette from New York was asking about attending an outdoor event with about 14 people. If they’re social distancing, she’s wondering, do you still have to wear a mask?

[01:11:12]Steven Johnson:  I think, you know, if you can social distance 6 feet or greater, you know, I think it’s reasonable to not wear a mask in that setting. I don’t think it’s wrong to wear a mask, but the primary mode of transmission that we are concerned about is this droplet transmission, which typically is within a meter or so of the patient who’s infected. So, I think if it’s a generous distance, I think it’s fine. I think I would use your judgment if you’re kind of walking between folks and things like that. It’s probably reasonable to wear a mask during that time.

[01:11:55]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, one thing I’ll add having attended an outdoor event recently was people start off social distancing and then move closer. They kind of fade back to what they know and the old normal. And so ultimately at our outdoor gathering, people were wearing masks and that ended up providing an extra layer of protection, which I think was smart. Jean, who else is in the queue for a question?

[01:12:25]Jean Setzfand:  Our next call is coming from Sophie in Florida.

[01:12:30]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Sophie. Welcome to the show. What is your question?

[01:12:33]Sophie:  Thank you so much. I’d like to thank everyone for doing such a wonderful job in providing us with this forum and addressing our questions and concerns. Yes, my brother who supersedes me by four years had two strokes, an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke, I believe that’s how you pronounce it, on the same given day. So he’s currently — he was first, at first hospitalized but then he was discharged and now he’s at a skilled nursing facility. All of this stuff, you have to remember, like, I went from knowing nothing about all of this stuff to, like, being thrown in. And not that I’m not capable of learning about it, but it’s like it’s coming out at me in every direction. Throw in the COVID-19 and it’s just adding another layer of complicating the whole situation. So my question is, he’s currently at a long-term facility, a long-term care facility, and it seems that every time I speak to the staff, they’re constantly morphing their guidelines, their restrictions. At first my mother, my elderly mother, and I were able to go and visit my brother on a daily basis, but through his window. They call them window visits, OK. Now it’s changed where we cannot do it on a daily basis. We can only do it once, twice a week. It could be either, it has to be first of all set up with the activities director over there and it’s very difficult getting a hold of her and, you know, ’cause she seems like she has her hands full. OK. So are they allowed to restrict us with going there, you know, and mandating it? It’s just going to be twice a week. It could be either two window visits or split up between one virtual visit and one window visit or two virtual visits.

[01:14:22]Bill Walsh:  Sure. OK, thanks, Sophie. Dr. Benton, I wonder if you would take a crack at this. It sounds like the long-term care facility where Sophie’s brother is, is shifting their guidelines and obviously it’s very frustrating to the family. She asked if they’re able to do this. And what advice do you have for her?

[01:14:41]Donna Benton:  You know, I think the laws, I don’t know that each state may have its own laws and regulations, but I know that in most states you do have an ombudsman. And so I think that that’s important, to check with the ombudsmen. Most of those ombudsmen are still, you’re able to call the ombudsman service and you can ask about that, and also so that you have another mediator for yourself, an advocate for you and your family member. So I would suggest using the ombudsman because if they’re changing the — maybe they’re trying to refine, you know, on the good side, maybe they’re trying to tighten up their practices. They may be short-staffed. So there might be reasons that they’re doing this. On the other side they may not really be understanding how frustrating this is for family members. And so speaking to the director for the skilled nursing facility I think is also very important. But looking for whoever’s the regulator for your particular, in your state. But I always like to start, if you have an ombudsman, start with your ombudsman, then you can go to the licensing and ask what are the regulations about continuing to change the policies.

[01:16:01]Bill Walsh:  OK, very good. So suggesting for Sophie, start with the ombudsman in the state where your brother is. Folks can get information about ombudsmen at the National Consumer Voice, that is www.theconsumervoice.org. I wanted to return to one of our guests, Alex, are you back with us on the line? Hi, Alex, are you there?

[01:16:34]Alex Mahadevan:  Can you hear me?

[01:16:35]Bill Walsh:  Yes, I can. Can you hear us? Are you on the line?

[01:16:37]Alex Mahadevan:  I can, yes, I am on the line.

[01:16:39]Bill Walsh:  Very good. We had a caller earlier, Holly from Colorado, who was asking about if you could repeat that some of the resources that you had mentioned about spotting misinformation online, and also some tips about how to talk to somebody who, about spreading misinformation, and how to urge them to not do that.

[01:17:00]Alex Mahadevan:  Yeah, and it is an awesome question. So the two sources that I listed were more for the COVID-19 scams. That’s the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. When it comes to identifying misinformation though, I would definitely send people to PolitiFact. That is our colleagues and fact-checkers that have an entire section devoted to not only fact-checking coronavirus claims and posts, but also on advice on how to go about fact-checking it. So that’s like my number one resource that I visit. As far as talking to family members and friends who share this misinformation, I think really the first step is helping them understand why they might have shared what they shared. So approach them and say, Hey, I know you’re trying to help out and you know posts like this happen to do really well on Facebook, so that’s why you might’ve wanted to share it. Then explain why it’s incorrect and cite sources, be very specific, and try not to get too emotional. And then, finally, talk about, Hey, you know, here’s why this is incorrect; here’s how I found out it was incorrect. Then sort of talk about the consequences I mentioned, you know, how this can affect what they might be sharing, could affect the health of you, of your grandkids, of other family members. So really that’s the step-by-step process that I would use if I had a family member sharing this information.

[01:18:44]Bill Walsh:  OK, very good. And that site that Alex referred to, PolitiFact, can be found at politifact.com. That’s politifact.com. Thank you very much for that, Alex. Jean who is our next caller?

[01:19:04]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Verna from Washington, D.C.

[01:19:09]Bill Walsh:  OK, go ahead with your question.

[01:19:11]Verna:  Hello? Yes. Hi, this is Verna. I’m calling and this question is for Jamie Richards. I overheard her part of the conversation talking about the national parks. And I remember several years ago I was sent an email and I’m not sure whether it was from AARP or some other organization, where I had a finite time that I had to send in to apply to get a free pass to enter the national parks, any national park, with my car. And that once that finite time was over, and I don’t know if this has occurred under the Trump administration or prior to the Trump administration, but I do know that I was told that from that point on, that anyone wanting to go into the national parks that did not have that pass would be charged. So my, and the charge was as much as, if I’m not mistaken, $70 per car. So my question is, point is, whether or not the Trump administration in the face of the coronavirus, in the face of all of this unemployment, and people being under financial straits that they have been under, as well as folks wanting to get out because they’ve been cloistered in their homes for months, I want to know if the Trump administration, specifically the Department of the Interior, has rolled back those charges for people to enter the national parks. These are our parks. We should be able to go in them for free.

[01:20:41]Bill Walsh:  Yeah. Thank you, Verna. Jamie Richards of the National Park Service, do you have any answers to Verna’s questions?

[01:20:51]Jamie Richards:  I do. Verna, thank you so much for that question. So I think that you probably were linking a couple of different programs together. So let me just talk about national park fee policy real quick. So of the 419 national parks in our system, there’s only about 125 that actually charge fees. The rest of our parks are free. So the big parks — Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone — the big parks are in one tiered bracket of fees. So a person driving into those big national parks pays $35, and that pass is valid for up to seven days. All passes for national parks are valid for seven days. There are some parks that are more like the historical parks that have just a day fee or an hourly fee. So like a visit to Alcatraz in California or perhaps going to some of the historical sites in the Boston area. So what you’d really want to do is figure, you know, which parks you want to go to figure out what that park’s fee structure is. Many of our historical sites, particularly in Washington, D.C., are free and they’re there for your use, so please get out and enjoy your national parks.

[01:22:07] There was a policy that was discussed several years ago that talked about increasing national park fees, increasing fees from 35 to a higher bracket. That policy never was implemented. So there was a proposal that was put out. There was discussion about raising park fees up to $70 for the year. That did not happen. However, many of you that are on this call today qualify for either your Golden Age National Park Service Senior Pass, which is a pass that’s valid for individuals 62 and older. And you also have the Access Pass, which is a pass that’s available for anyone with a permanent disability, and that’s a pass that’s free. So, if you are looking to plan a trip to your national park, you or someone in your family is 62 or older or has a permanent disability, you do qualify for a pass. The senior pass is a life, you know, you pay a set fee — I believe it’s at $70 —and that pass is good for your lifetime. So, please take the time to go onto the National Park Service website and look at what park you want to travel to and the different fee policies that are related to those parks.

[01:23:25]Bill Walsh:  OK. And I think you mentioned a website earlier, www.nps.gov, to find out about the status of the various parks, how much of them are open and presumably also the fees that are being charged there. Let’s take one more question from our callers. Jean.

[01:23:46]Jean Setzfand:  All right. Our last caller is Grace from California.

[01:23:49]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Grace.

[01:23:51]Grace:  Hi, how are you today? So glad that you guys are doing this program, it’s really wonderful. Thank you so much. And my question today is, if I need to research a nursing home for myself or for a loved one before I actually go in and even speak to someone, what’s the best resource for doing that?

[01:24:12]Bill Walsh:  OK, Dr. Benton, do you have some suggestions for Grace?

[01:24:20]Donna Benton:  Yes, there is a government website that, which, I don’t have it memorized, but that gives you a chance to look at your, at nursing homes and it has like a nursing home compare which gives you ratings and the most recent, whether or not they pass certain criteria for standards within the nursing home. I don’t know if maybe you guys can research that really quickly for—

[01:24:49]Bill Walsh:  We’re looking that up now.

[01:24:51]Donna Benton:  So, great. So I always say, you know, you can start there locally. Sometimes I think it’s also good to talk to friends, family who may have used a nursing home recently because they can actually tell you what’s going on. You can talk to the ombudsmen and get their take on the nursing homes that they are responsible for. And so that they can give you some information. So there’s different sources that you want to do. So you can start with the website. You can talk to people that you know, who have been, used the facility because they can, you know, really give you a different level of insight. And you can talk to the ombudsmen that work in the different facilities. And I think you need to do due diligence across all three. And, of course, if you have time, you want to visit the places yourself, which is, of course, difficult now with COVID because we can’t go into the facilities, but I think you can still have those discussions and ask about what are their—

[01:25:54]Bill Walsh:  Thank you, Doctor. Great. Well, thank you for that. And, Grace, our crack staff here at AARP reminds me that on Medicare.gov, the Nursing Home Compare tool, that’s medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare. You can also look at the Medicare agency website, which is www.cms.gov, to look at data and inspection results of particular nursing homes in your community. So that’s, I think, maybe a good place to start along with the resources that Dr. Benton mentioned.

[01:26:34] All right, well, thank you, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Benton, Jamie and Alex. I wonder if you all have any closing thoughts or recommendations that AARP members should understand from our conversation today. Dr. Johnson, why don’t we start with you?

[01:26:51]Steven Johnson:  Yeah, I think despite the fact we’re six months into this, I think getting back to basics is important; you know, wearing masks in the public, washing your hands, avoiding individuals who are ill with a respiratory illness. The other thing I’d like to emphasize is, despite all this, if you have underlying medical problems, make sure to follow up with your doctors so you do not delay care.

[01:27:18]Bill Walsh:  OK. Dr. Johnson, thank you so much for that. Dr. Benton, any closing thoughts?

[01:27:23]Donna Benton:  I think that it’s just going to be important for us to keep our spirits up anyway we can. Look for a way to find joy in the things around us, and continue to keep our connections with family, friends, and make some new friends.

[01:27:44]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thank you for that. Jamie Richards of the National Park Service, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

[01:27:52]Jamie Richards:  You know especially with COVID-19, it’s a great time to get out into your national parks and enjoy the places that we all love. When you do go into your parks, please remember to follow the CDC guidance. Wear your mask, keep your distance, know your physical limits and recreate responsibly. That way you can have a safe and fun time in your national parks.

[01:28:14]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thank you, Jamie. And Alex Mahadevan, any closing thoughts from you?

[01:28:20]Alex Mahadevan:  Yeah. So above all, along with everything I said, just when you see something suspicious online, stop before you share. In terms of sources, to follow up on some of the tips we talked about today, it’s been mentioned the aarp.org/factchecker, or fact tracker, I believe Bill can provide that URL, on August 5, I’ll be talking with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the PolitiFact Facebook about coronavirus misinformation. You can find PolitiFact on Facebook. And in August head to poynter.org/newsu, that’s p-o-y-n-t-e-r.o-r-g/n-e-w-s-u, where I will be debuting two classes where you can learn how to identify misinformation online. So thank you for having me.

[01:29:14]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for joining, and you can check out aarp.org for tips on how you can spot inaccurate news, and look for our fact tracker, a program coming soon. This has been a really informative discussion. I want to thank each of our guests for answering our questions. And thank you, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in this 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 precautions to protect themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of the question and answer event, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus starting July 24. Again, that web address is aarp.org/coronavirus. Go there if your question was not addressed, and you will find the latest updates as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please be sure to tune in in two weeks, Thursday August 6 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time for another discussion focused on your more frequently asked questions related to the coronavirus. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

[01:30:51] END OF TRANSCRIPT

[01:30:54]

Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall, July 23, 2020

Bill Walsh: Hola, soy el vicepresidente de AARP, Bill Walsh, y quiero darles la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre el coronavirus.

AARP, una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro y no partidaria ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores 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.

La pandemia ha afectado a casi todos los aspectos de nuestras vidas, incluido nuestro trabajo, relaciones, salud, finanzas e incluso cómo nos divertimos y nos relajamos. Pasamos gran parte de nuestro tiempo en estos días adaptándonos a lo que se ha llamado la nueva normalidad, que en realidad es solo una forma de describir el mundo en constante cambio en el que todos nos encontramos. Hoy hablaremos con expertos sobre cómo navegar la nueva normalidad para que puedas mantenerte a salvo, conectado con tus seres queridos y detectar información errónea.

Si ya 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 que se unen a nosotros por teléfono, si desean hacer una pregunta sobre la pandemia de coronavirus, 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 pondrá en una lista para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presionen * 3.

Hola. Si recién te unes, soy Bill Walsh con AARP, y quiero darte la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre cómo mantenerse a salvo, mantenerse conectado con los seres queridos en sus comunidades y detectar información errónea durante la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Hoy hablaremos con expertos líderes y responderemos sus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3.

Hoy nos acompañan Steven C. Johnson, MD, profesor de medicina en la División de Enfermedades Infecciosas de la Facultad de Medicina de University of Colorado, Donna Benton, Ph.D., directora de Family Caregiving Center de University of Southern California, Alex Mahadevan, periodista multimedios sénior, para Mediawise de Poynter Institute, y Jamie Richards, guardabosques del Servicio de Parques Nacionales. También nos acompañará mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, quien ayudará a facilitar sus llamadas hoy.

AARP está convocando esta teleasamblea para ayudarte 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, debes tener en cuenta que la mejor fuente de información médica y de salud son los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades. Pueden visitarlos en www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Este evento se está grabando y podrán acceder a la grabación desde www.aarp.org/elcoronavirus 24 horas después de finalizar. 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. Steven C. Johnson, M.D., es profesor de medicina en la División de Enfermedades Infecciosas de la Facultad de Medicina de University of Colorado. Tiene décadas de experiencia en el tratamiento de enfermedades infecciosas. El Dr. Johnson es miembro del panel de Salud y Servicios Humanos sobre pautas antirretrovirales en adultos y adolescentes que viven con VIH, y del panel del Instituto Nacional de Salud sobre el manejo de COVID-19. Bienvenido, Dr. Johnson.

Dr. Steven Johnson: Gracias por invitarme.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, estamos encantados de que esté aquí. Donna Benton, Ph.D., es la directora del Family Caregiving Center de University of Southern California. Tiene más de 30 años de experiencia trabajando con cuidadores familiares y comunidades. Sus publicaciones se centran en la investigación y el abuso de ancianos y el cuidado de minorías. Bienvenida de nuevo, Dra. Benton.

Dra. Donna Benton: Gracias por invitarme.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias por estar aquí. También me gustaría darle la bienvenida a Jamie Richards, que es guardabosques para el Servicio de Parques Nacionales en Yosemite National Park. Ella es nativa de Colorado y ha servido en muchos parques en todo el Servicio de Parques Nacionales durante los últimos 10 años, incluidos Fort Sumter National Monument, Rocky Mountain National Park, Joshua Tree National Park y Yosemite. Bienvenida Jamie.

Jamie Richards: Gracias por invitarme.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Y finalmente, Alex Mahadevan es reportero multimedia sénior para MediaWise en el Instituto Poynter. Sus informes se centran en la verificación de hechos como parte de la misión general del instituto de defender la libertad de expresión, el diálogo civil y el periodismo convincente para ayudar a los ciudadanos a participar en democracias saludables. Bienvenido Alex.

Alex Mahadevan: Realmente un placer estar aquí. Gracias.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias a todos por acompañarnos hoy. Comencemos con nuestra discusión. Y solo un recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, para hacer una pregunta, simplemente presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono.

Comencemos con el Dr. Johnson y la Dra. Benton. Dr. Johnson, estamos viendo picos en nuevos casos y mayores hospitalizaciones en muchas regiones del país. ¿Qué lo está generando? ¿Y qué deben hacer los adultos mayores para mantenerse a salvo del virus?

Dr. Steven Johnson: Gracias por esa pregunta. Creo que, de alguna manera, todavía estamos en la ola inicial de COVID-19, aunque lo estamos viendo ahora en diferentes regiones del país. Si recuerdas, era más común en el noreste de Estados Unidos, Seattle, esas áreas. Y ahora estamos viendo realmente un aumento en los casos en el sur de Estados Unidos, como Florida, Texas, Arizona y California.

Parte de esto es solo la propagación actual. Podría ser resultado del hecho de que estamos reabriendo, y tal vez algún tipo de complacencia, la necesidad de equilibrar las decisiones de salud pública con las decisiones económicas, cosas así. En términos de cómo los adultos mayores pueden protegerse a sí mismos, realmente es lo básico de lo que hemos estado hablando todo el tiempo, usar máscaras en público, distanciamiento social de al menos seis pies de distancia, lavado frecuente de manos, evitar a otras personas que tienen enfermedades respiratorias, y limitar el contacto con multitudes, especialmente en interiores. Creo que ese tipo de cosas básicas todavía se aplican para evitar la adquisición de esta infección.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Dr. Johnson, gracias. Dra. Benton, me gustaría recurrir a usted. ¿Qué debe hacer alguien si necesita atender a un miembro de la familia y no tiene ayuda, o si perdió su ayuda durante la pandemia? ¿Cómo pueden obtener ayuda? ¿Hay recursos disponibles?

Dra. Donna Benton: Sí, de hecho los hay. Hay algunos recursos. Y por supuesto, con cualquier cosa, vas a seguir esas mismas pautas y pedirle a cualquier persona que ingrese a tu hogar que siga esas pautas y que sea muy consciente de las superficies que toca dentro de tu hogar, si los dejas entrar. Pero puedes consultar, en general, con la Agencia de área local de Envejecimiento, o el Departamento de Envejecimiento de tu estado.

Se han expandido un poco para ayudar a muchos miembros de la familia a encontrar a alguien que los ayude en el hogar con cosas que tal vez no puedan hacer por su familiar o que hayan tenido ayuda antes. Si quien los ayudaba anteriormente es alguien con quien tienen una muy buena relación y con quien pueden hablar, puedes intentar establecer un protocolo de seguridad para que tal vez te sientas más cómodo permitiendo que esa persona regrese a tu hogar.

AARP ha publicado recientemente una muy buena guía sobre cómo dejar entrar a alguien a tu hogar de manera segura. Y me gusta la forma en que lo presentan. Tiene alrededor de ocho puntos para ver cómo mantener las superficies, dónde está limpiando la gente y, por supuesto, usar máscaras y guantes. ¿Y cómo mantienes el distanciamiento social? Pero hay algunos puntos realmente buenos en el artículo, y lo encontré en el sitio web de AARP COVID.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, muchas gracias, Dra. Benton. Para nuestros oyentes, ese sitio al que hace referencia es www.aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Y también mencionó un recurso para ayudar a las personas a obtener ayuda, agencias locales del área sobre el envejecimiento. Eso es algo que la gente debe buscar. Bien, gracias Dra. Benton.

Dr. Johnson, volviendo a usted. Las personas buscan y anhelan y realmente esperan una vacuna y otros tratamientos. Sabemos que hay muchos trabajando en eso en todo el mundo. ¿Cuáles son las últimas noticias sobre una posible vacuna y tratamientos?

Dr. Steven Johnson: Puedo hablar sobre esto a la inversa, comenzando con los tratamientos solo porque es allí donde creo que ya tenemos algunos avances. Solo para educar a la audiencia, se ven dos tipos de medicamentos. Estamos analizando medicamentos que inhiben directamente el virus que causa COVID-19, pero también analizamos medicamentos que pueden alterar la cantidad de inflamación con la que el cuerpo responde, porque creemos que algunas personas tienen una respuesta inflamatoria exagerada, que en realidad puede ser dañina.

Entonces, en términos de tratamientos, sabemos de un medicamento antiinflamatorio, un esteroide llamado dexametasona. Y eso se ha demostrado en un ensayo británico muy grande que se asocia con una tasa de mortalidad reducida entre las personas que requieren soporte de oxígeno, incluidas las que usan respiradores. Y hay muchos otros medicamentos en esa categoría que se están estudiando.

En términos de la inhibición del virus en sí, existe un medicamento llamado remdesivir, R-E-M-D-E-S-I-V-I-R, que no está aprobado por la FDA, pero la FDA ha puesto a disposición de los hospitales a través de un proceso llamado Autorización de uso de emergencia. Y ese medicamento también ha mostrado una mejoría clínica en personas que están hospitalizadas con COVID-19. Esos son dos medicamentos que tienden a administrarse a la mayoría de las personas hospitalizadas con COVID-19. Y esperamos que esta lista de terapias crezca con el tiempo.

Ahora, volviendo a las vacunas, obviamente hay mucho interés en eso. Y una de las áreas de mayor interés es cuánto tiempo llevará crear una vacuna. Empezaría diciendo varias cosas. En primer lugar, el tiempo que tardó desde la identificación del SARS-CoV-2, que es el virus que causa COVID-19, hasta la primera vacuna inyectada en humanos fue el tiempo más corto registrado para cualquier enfermedad infecciosa. Eso es bueno.

En segundo lugar, hay literalmente cientos de candidatos a vacunas que se han propuesto o están en estudio temprano. Tercero, ha habido una participación gubernamental sin precedentes, y eso incluye dinero. Y ha habido colaboraciones entre compañías farmacéuticas, lo que no siempre ocurre en el negocio médico. A pesar de todo eso, lleva un tiempo estudiar las vacunas.

Por lo general, hay ensayos iniciales, llamados ensayos de fase uno, para asegurarse de que una vacuna sea segura, para asegurarse de que estimule el sistema inmunitario. Ensayos de la fase dos para determinar la dosis, determinar si se necesita más de una administración de vacuna. Y luego los grandes ensayos de la fase tres que buscan efectividad. Y realmente ya hemos escuchado informes de ensayos de fase uno y fase dos. Y en realidad hay ensayos de fase tres que están comenzando.

Creo que el hecho de tratar de tener una vacuna efectiva este otoño, creo, es increíblemente optimista. Pero sí creo que a principios del 2021 o en algún momento durante ese año es realista. La advertencia final que daría es que no todos los ensayos de vacunas son exitosos. Por lo tanto, puede pasar por un gran ensayo y concluir en que la vacuna es ineficaz, y debes avanzar con el próximo candidato.

Bill Walsh: Entiendo. Gracias, Dr. Johnson. Realmente lo aprecio. Sé que es lo primero en muchas de las mentes de nuestros oyentes. La Dra. Benton había mencionado hace un momento algunos recursos sobre cómo encontrar ayuda si eres un cuidador familiar. Y quería dar a nuestros oyentes otros recursos más. Uno es el Localizador de atención para adultos mayores. Hay un número gratuito para eso. Puede encontrar el Localizador de atención para adultos mayores en el 1-800-677-1116. Nuevamente, esto es para los cuidadores familiares si buscan ayuda para cuidar a sus seres queridos, el Localizador de atención para adultos mayores, 1-800-677-1116. También puedes buscar en línea en www.eldercare.acl.gov. Esa es la Administración para la vida comunitaria. Www.eldercare.acl.gov.

Y con eso, Dra. Benton, quería hacerle otra pregunta sobre el cuidado. Para las personas que carecen de conexiones sociales mientras continúan a salvo y se quedan en casa, ¿cómo pueden mantener un estado emocional saludable y prevenir el aislamiento y la soledad?

Dra. Donna Benton: Sí, esa es una pregunta realmente excelente. Y una de las cosas que... Permítanme comenzar con una cita de Maya Angelou. Y ella dijo: "Puedo cambiar por lo que me sucede, pero me niego a que me reduzca". Y durante este tiempo, mientras estamos pasando por estos cambios, a veces sentimos que tenemos que retraernos. Y me gusta esta cita porque lo que dice es que vamos a experimentar cambios emocionales y sociales durante este tiempo, pero aún puedes encontrar una manera de ser tú mismo durante este tiempo. Y no tienes que comenzar a retraerte necesariamente.

Es posible que tengamos que encontrar nuevos medios de expresión para evitar que nos volvamos solitarios o aislados. Entonces, por ejemplo, hay nuevos programas telefónicos que... Antes, no teníamos tanta gente haciendo llamadas voluntarias todos los días, y tal vez este es el momento de aceptar y comunicarse y decir: "Sabes qué, escuché sobre este programa de llamadas telefónicas, y de hecho están en casi todos los estados, me gustaría que alguien me llame una o dos veces por semana".

Una persona nueva con la que puedes hablar y charlar sobre películas o lo que sea, o almorzar y hablar. Puede que no esté en tu red social normal, y puede ser una nueva forma de interactuar para ti, pero puedes intentarlo. Tal vez, donde antes, sí, podríamos salir e ir a museos y esa era tal vez tu gran salida, tal vez puedas comenzar a buscar en línea, usar tu teléfono, conectarte si estás usando Internet de todos modos, y visitar museos en línea.

De hecho, han agregado más de esos recorridos en línea de museos nacionales e internacionales. Creo que va a ser muy, muy importante. Y también tenemos que mirar hacia adentro y asegurarnos de que a medida que comenzamos a sentirnos aislados o deprimidos, tenemos que reconocer eso primero, incluso antes de que podamos alcanzarlo. Y no es raro que comencemos a sentirnos más aislados y deprimidos si no podemos hacer nuestra salida normal de compras, o si salías al cine, o cosas por el estilo.

Entonces, primero, reconoce que te sientes solo, deprimido, y luego haz algunas citas nuevas, no citas, pero llama a tus amigos. Estaba hablando con alguien y me dijo que estaba haciendo happy hours virtuales, y la forma en que intentan hacerlo divertido es que cambian el fondo de Zoom a diferentes fondos de bares.

Ahora, puede que eso no sea lo que estás haciendo si no usas Zoom. Pero puedes intentar cambiar un poco las cosas en tus conversaciones normales. Y no te pases tus conversaciones hablando siempre sobre el coronavirus. Intenta retroceder un poco al tiempo anterior a las discusiones sobre el coronavirus sobre cosas que realmente te daban alegría. Y todavía están ahí afuera, búscalas.

Bill Walsh: Gracias, Dra. Benton. Y además de lo que dijo, quería que nuestros oyentes supieran que AARP ha creado un recurso para combatir el aislamiento durante la pandemia. Lo llamamos La Voz Amiga de AARP. Básicamente, es un servicio gratuito en el que puedes hacer que uno de nuestros voluntarios capacitados de AARP te llame o llame a un ser querido y simplemente lo controle de vez en cuando. Les daré ese número gratuito por si la gente está interesada.

Es 1-888-281-0145. Ese es el programa La Voz Amiga de AARP, 888-281-0145. O puedes encontrarlos en línea en www.aarpcommunityconnections.org Www.aarpcommunityconnections.org. Algunos recursos fabulosos para conectarse con grupos de ayuda dentro de tu comunidad, ya sea que necesites entregas de alimentos, recetas o transporte. Puedes conectarte a tu comunidad local y encontrar recursos allí. También puedes recibir una llamada telefónica amigable gratuita de un voluntario amigable de AARP para ver cómo están tus seres queridos.

Bien, gracias doctores Benton y Johnson, por esas palabras de consejo. Y como recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Pronto llegaremos a sus preguntas en vivo. Pero antes de hacer eso, queremos tomarnos un momento para saber un poco sobre sus principales preocupaciones durante la nueva normalidad.

Tenemos una encuesta rápida para ustedes. ¿Cuál es tu mayor preocupación con la nueva normalidad y la pandemia de coronavirus? Presiona * 1 en el teclado de tu teléfono si tu mayor preocupación es poder cuidar a tus familiares y seres queridos durante la pandemia. Presiona 2 en el teclado de tu teléfono si tu mayor preocupación es tener suficiente dinero para mantener tu estilo de vida y pagar tus facturas. Presiona 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono si tu mayor preocupación es mantenerte seguro y protegido contra el virus. Y presiona 4 si tu mayor preocupación es poder volver a las actividades sociales normales.

¿Cuál es tu mayor preocupación durante esta nueva normalidad que todos estamos viviendo en este momento? Presiona 1 para cuidar a tus seres queridos, 2 para tener suficiente dinero, 3 para mantenerte seguro y protegido, y 4 para volver a las actividades sociales normales. Gracias por tomarse el tiempo de compartir sus puntos de vista con nosotros. Y proporcionaremos los resultados en breve.

Antes de responder a sus preguntas en vivo, quería informarles a todos sobre la lucha continua de AARP por los residentes y el personal en hogares de ancianos y otros centros de atención a largo plazo en todo el país. Las personas que viven en estas instalaciones representan menos del 1% de la población de Estados Unidos. Pero los residentes y el personal representan más del 44% de las muertes de COVID-19. Desde el comienzo de la pandemia, más de 56,000 residentes y personal de hogares de ancianos han muerto por COVID-19. Es trágico e inaceptable. AARP continúa luchando en todos los niveles de Gobierno por los residentes y aquellos con seres queridos en estas instalaciones. Hacemos un llamado a los líderes federales y estatales para que aprueben legislación urgente con fondos sólidos para salvar vidas. Tenemos cinco prioridades que quería abordar rápidamente.

Primero, las instalaciones deben proporcionar pruebas continuas regulares y equipos de protección personal adecuados para los residentes y el personal. En segundo lugar, necesitamos transparencia y responsabilidad con informes públicos diarios de casos y muertes en instalaciones, y una mejor comunicación con las familias. En tercer lugar, los miembros de la familia necesitan la posibilidad de visitar virtualmente a sus seres queridos en hogares de ancianos, incluso cuando los hogares de ancianos comiencen a permitir visitas en persona nuevamente. Cuarto, los residentes necesitan una mejor atención. Eso significa personal adecuado y acceso a defensores en persona, conocidos como defensores del pueblo a largo plazo. Y, por último, los hogares de ancianos y los centros de atención a largo plazo que perjudican a los residentes deben hacerse responsables. No se les debe dar inmunidad general. Miles de socios de AARP, voluntarios y activistas se han hecho escuchar en este tema. Para obtener más información y hacerte escuchar, visita www.aarp.org/nursinghomes. Esperamos que puedas actuar ahora para ayudar a salvar vidas y a detener esta tragedia nacional.

Ahora es momento de responder sus preguntas con el Dr. Steven Johnson, la Dra. Donna Benton. Presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y compartir tu pregunta. Y recuerda quedarte porque más tarde escucharemos a dos invitados más, Alex Mahadevan del Instituto Poynter y Jamie Richards del Servicio de Parques Nacionales. Ahora me gustaría traer a mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, para ayudar a facilitar sus llamadas. Bienvenida Jean.

Jean Setzfand: Hola, Bill. Encantada de estar aquí.

Bill Walsh: Bien, tomemos nuestra primera pregunta.

Jean Setzfand: Muy bien, nuestra primera pregunta proviene de Bill en Nueva Jersey.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Bill, adelante con tu pregunta.

Bill: Bien. Bueno, mi pregunta es... Bueno. Sí, una vez que termine esta pandemia, ¿podremos volver a la vida normal, como hacer las cosas que una vez hicimos? Porque he escuchado de todo. Están hablando de cómo algunos de los estados quieren o están pensando en hacer bloqueos nuevamente. Y si hacen eso, va a destruir la economía. Sé que tenemos que estar a salvo y esas cosas, pero sí. Solo estoy preocupado, ¿podremos volver a la normalidad e ir a la iglesia a tiempo completo y todo eso?

Bill Walsh: Sí, te entiendo. Dr. Johnson, tal vez pueda ayudar con esto. Bill está, como muchos de nosotros, frustrado con esta nueva normalidad. ¿Alguna vez volveremos a la vieja normalidad o algo así?

Dr. Steven Johnson: Bueno, ciertamente me gustaría pensar que sí. La pregunta es cuándo. Anteriormente hablamos sobre la promesa de las vacunas, la promesa de los tratamientos. Si realmente podemos desarrollar una vacuna efectiva y extenderla a un gran porcentaje de la población que quede protegida de esta enfermedad, entonces creo que podemos volver a cómo era la vida antes de hace seis meses.

La otra área son los tratamientos. La razón por la cual esto es tan preocupante es que una parte de las personas se enferman mucho, se ponen en un respirador y mueren. Entonces, si podemos desarrollar tratamientos que realmente eviten que eso suceda, en otras palabras, no necesariamente evitan que ocurra la infección, sino que previenen las manifestaciones graves, entonces eso también puede llevarnos de regreso a una situación casi normal. Pero creo que nos quedan meses. Me gustaría pensar que en algún momento en el 2021 tendremos una combinación de vacunas o tratamientos que nos permitirán volver a nuestra vida anterior.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Dr. Johnson, gracias por eso. Jean, ¿quién sigue?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Mary de Massachusetts.

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

Mary: Oh, hola. Después de la última llamada, no sé si esta está en la misma categoría. Bien, tengo 77 años, vivo en Cape Cod, y como todos saben, aquí abajo, es como el zoológico los fines de semana. Así que mi esposo y yo tendemos a evitar ir a la playa, a menos que sea a mitad de semana y después de las 5:00. Hay un libro llamado Swimming at Suppertime, que mi hija me regaló. A esa hora es cuando vamos a nadar, a las 5:00, después de que los socorristas se van. La pregunta es la siguiente.

Cada agosto, mi hija y los dos nietos en el asiento trasero, y yo en el asiento delantero con mi hija, vamos a Hillsdale, Nueva York, que está justo en la frontera entre Great Barrington, Mass y todas las pequeñas ciudades del país en Nueva York, justo en la frontera. Y sucede lo siguiente. Mi hijo está en el negocio de alimentos naturales. Trabaja más o menos en primera línea. Y él es diabético, y yo soy prediabética. No estará trabajando la semana que estamos allí, pero puede que tenga que ir a trabajar una o dos veces, o algo así. Bien, los nietos están ansiosos por esto porque no han tenido escuela de la que hablar durante unos tres meses y están aburridos. Me llaman dos o tres veces al día, "Abuela, estoy aburrida". ¿Sabes a lo que me refiero?

Bill Walsh: Sí, sí.

Mary: Mi hija tiene que trabajar. Ella es una bibliotecaria. Y la pregunta es: ¿Qué tan seguro es para mí ir de Cape Cod, Massachusetts? Es un viaje de cinco o seis horas, y podríamos tener que hacer un par de paradas en McDonald's para conseguir algo para que los niños almuercen. Siempre y cuando evitemos las multitudes, como todos ustedes acaban de decir, muchas gracias a todos, y evitamos las multitudes y usamos máscaras, ¿creen que estaremos a salvo para quedarnos con Tom?

Por lo general, nos lleva a unas hermosas cataratas, a las cataratas Opi-Pinochi, o algo así en la frontera de Connecticut y Massachusetts. Todo está en la frontera. En fin, ¿es seguro ir a un lugar así? Y también hay un par de playas que les gusta a los nietos, con una balsa. Pero en su mayoría son niños. Pero alguien como yo, ¿debería evitar ir y nadar en la balsa con los niños y quedarme en la manta? ¿Sabes a lo que me refiero? Me pregunto. ¿Hay alguna precaución que deba tomar en este viaje? Esta es la única vez que toda la familia se reúne, una semana en agosto. Y es un momento realmente importante para los nietos este año, particularmente.

Bill Walsh: Claro. Bueno, escuchemos qué dicen nuestros expertos. Mary quiere ir de viaje para ver a su familia un poco. Dra. Benton, ¿puede hablar sobre las precauciones que debería tomar?

Dra. Donna Benton: Creo que debemos mantener las mismas precauciones de las que hablaba el doctor, especialmente porque vas a estar en un auto cerrado. Y dejaré que el doctor hable más sobre cómo debes hacer eso, pero imagino que tendrás que usar máscaras todo el tiempo que estés en el auto, porque no conozco todo el entorno. Lo que realmente discierno que hablas es de la importancia de tener esta interacción con tu familia y mantener una tradición que realmente ha traído cercanía para tu familia. Por lo tanto, creo que siempre existe el equilibrio de sopesar esta cercanía con tu familia, y si realmente puedes tomar precauciones muy estrictas para tratar de minimizar las posibilidades de contraer el virus. Y parece que, creo que dijiste que tu hijo o tu yerno tiene que ir a trabajar. Y con suerte en el trabajo, podrá usar esos equipos de protección personal, EPP, durante el tiempo que esté en el trabajo, y tal vez deba permanecer un poco más aislado. Pero lo que escucho es que realmente deseas volver a una tradición que ayuda a tu familia a mantenerse unida y conectada.

Bill Walsh: Ella también preguntó acerca de ir a la playa. Y tenemos a alguien del Servicio de Parques Nacionales más adelante. Parece un buen momento para visitar algunos de estos excelentes lugares al aire libre. ¿Qué precauciones deben tomar las personas cuando están en la playa o en un parque nacional, donde estos son espacios al aire libre? ¿Todavía existe peligro de contraer COVID-19 allí?

Dr. Steven Johnson: Habla el Dr. Johnson. Voy a aportar algo. En primer lugar, creo que la discusión que estamos teniendo es muy similar a la que he tenido con muchos de mis pacientes, familiares y amigos. Y es que, estamos tratando de crear una especie de burbuja de parientes o amigos con los que percibimos que es seguro socializar y viajar, etc. Creo que es importante que la persona que llama se fije, no solo en su propia familia, sino en a quién visitará, asegurándose de que no haya habido exposiciones de alto riesgo entre esas personas en las dos semanas previas a irse de viaje. Que se asegure de que nadie tenga una enfermedad respiratoria. Que se asegure de que nadie haya tenido un contacto abierto con alguien con COVID-19.

Creo que debería discutirse antes de emprender un viaje. Si viajas en un automóvil, ciertamente una máscara es útil, incluso cuando estás entre familiares y amigos. Si se detienen por gas y comida, lávense las manos estrictamente. Es más seguro recoger comida en lugar de, creo yo, comer dentro de un restaurante en este momento. Algunas personas pueden estar en desacuerdo con eso. Y luego, en términos del pariente que estás visitando, el mismo tipo de preguntas. Cuán cuidadosos son, etc.

Y creo que realmente estamos tratando de pensar en una probabilidad de seguridad. Y creo que si haces estas preguntas, creo que es útil alcanzar cierto grado de comodidad. Mencionaré que Bill mencionó el sitio web de los CDC. Y hay orientación en www.cdc.gov sobre consejos para viajar. Así que te aconsejo que lo mires. Y luego solo quería comentar sobre la playa. En general, creemos que las actividades al aire libre son bastante más seguras que las actividades en el interior. Entonces, si puedes ir a la playa y mantener cierta distancia social, entonces creo que es una buena actividad y segura.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, Dr. Johnson y Dra. Benton. Gracias a los dos por eso. Jean, ¿quién es la próxima persona que llama?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos a Mitra de Nueva Jersey.

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

Mitra: Hola, gracias. Es Mitra Kelly de Nueva Jersey. Está bien. Mi suegra está en Florida en vida asistida y tiene demencia. Inmediatamente, notamos que este encierro y no ver a los parientes que viven allí y no ver a nadie ha comenzado a deprimirla cognitivamente. Lo que comenzamos a hacer fue enviar tarjetas, revistas, bocadillos. Y es difícil hacer una llamada telefónica. No es un hogar de ancianos muy costoso, por lo que no vas a ver que muchas personas la pongan al teléfono para animarla todos los días y ponerla en línea. Están sobrecargados de trabajo. ¿Qué más podemos hacer, con esto llegando a Navidad a esta altura, para evitar que se deprima? Porque hay un desafío adicional con la demencia. Y ella no estaba tan comprometida socialmente allí. Entonces, ¿hay algo más que se les ocurra? Porque es una especie de sentimiento de impotencia, y parece que es interminable. Cuando consideras que los empleados van y vienen, y realmente no sabemos quién va y viene con COVID, esto podría durar mucho tiempo.

Bill Walsh: Claro. Dra. Benton, me pregunto si tiene algún consejo para Mitra.

Dra. Donna Benton: Bueno, antes que nada, Mitra, quiero decir que ya has comenzado a hacer cosas muy creativas que estoy segura que han marcado la diferencia para tu pariente. Y entiendo que, como dijiste, el teléfono no necesariamente funciona. Sé que tal vez hablando con algunos de los hogares de ancianos, he visto algunas soluciones muy creativas para algunos hogares de ancianos, donde han puesto a disposición diferentes tipos de trajes de protección, para que las familias puedan entrar. Y están comenzando a tratar de encontrar formas seguras de permitir la entrada de un número limitado de miembros de la familia o de tener visitas al aire libre. Por lo tanto, puedes comenzar por hablar con la administración del hogar de ancianos para que puedan ver las formas en que puedas tener visitas distanciadas físicamente que podrían estar al aire libre de la instalación, cuando pases por el vecindario de visita.

He tenido otros parientes donde el pariente ha sido llevado a donde hay una gran ventana, y pueden hablar entre ellos. Ponen al pariente a un lado, y ellos están al otro lado de la ventana, y luego pueden verse a través de la ventana y conversar. Pero he visto más donde salen y se encuentran en el césped de manera segura con el distanciamiento. Entonces se trata de negociar y hablar con el hogar de ancianos. Creo que pueden estar muy asustados, como cualquier otra persona, y están siendo muy, muy cautelosos. Pero si pueden encontrar una manera de permitir visitas para tu pariente... Y debes expresar tu preocupación por su salud mental, porque eso es muy crítico.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, gracias por eso, Dra. Benton. Recibimos tantas llamadas y cartas sobre este tipo de problemas. Y nuestro mensaje es, este es un momento para ser realmente un defensor de tus seres queridos, ya sea que se encuentren en una vivienda asistida o en un hogar de ancianos.

Publicamos un artículo en nuestro sitio web que la gente podría querer consultar. Son las siete preguntas que deben hacerle a los operadores de las instalaciones si su ser querido está allí. Estas son preguntas razonables sobre los tipos de precauciones que están tomando, los tipos de comunicaciones que se ponen a disposición de sus seres queridos, la salida y el acceso del personal y otros. Así que échale un vistazo a www.aarp.org/elcoronavirus para obtener algunos consejos.

Volvamos a nuestros expertos para otras preguntas. Y un recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, si desean hacer su pregunta, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono. Veamos. Una pandemia, una recesión económica y un año electoral son una tormenta perfecta para la desinformación. Alex Mahadevan, del Instituto Poynter, te especializas en detectar información errónea en línea y dejar las cosas claras. ¿Qué podemos hacer para estar preparados para identificar información errónea?

Alex Mahadevan: Bueno, es una buena pregunta porque estamos en un momento sin precedentes. Diría, en primer lugar, estar en sintonía con las emociones cuando se navega por internet. Si algo te da un golpe emocional, ya sea ira, tristeza o alegría de reír a carcajadas, es mejor investigar un poco más antes de compartir lo que ves. Mira, la información falsa florece al desencadenar emociones. Así que mantén esos sentimientos bajo control antes de presionar el botón "me gusta" o "compartir". Busca alertas en lo que ves en línea. ¿Es un titular inflado? ¿O un artículo no tiene autor o fecha? ¿Ves muchos errores tipográficos? Entonces probablemente querrás detenerte antes de compartir.

Y realmente, por último, todos en línea solo queremos ayudar a nuestros amigos y familiares, por lo que es más probable que compartamos algo que suena útil, como una publicación que dice "hervir naranjas y pimienta previene el coronavirus". Pues detente. ¿Cómo verificarías eso? ¿Cómo verificas algo? Hacemos las 5 preguntas básicas: quién, qué, cuándo, dónde y por qué. Utiliza tu motor de búsqueda favorito para obtener más información sobre quién publicó esto de las cáscaras de naranja. ¿Parecen confiables? ¿No? Entonces, no lo compartas.

Siempre debes buscar fuentes gubernamentales y oficiales primero. Luego fíjate, ¿la publicación dice por qué las cáscaras de naranja detienen COVID-19? ¿No? Entonces, necesitas cavar más profundo. Sigue buscando otras fuentes de noticias para obtener más información sobre esta cura de cáscara de naranja. Y probablemente todos digan que es falso. Y todos esos consejos de los que acabo de hablar son para identificar información errónea, pero también ayudan a evitar estafas. Este es, como dije, un momento sin precedentes. Deja una gran oportunidad para que los estafadores se aprovechen de ti. Así que mantente alerta y usa algunos de esos consejos.

Las fuentes oficiales, como mencioné, la Comisión Federal de Comercio y la Oficina de Protección Financiera del Consumidor, tienen grandes recursos sobre estafas COVID-19 y, por supuesto, AARP. Entonces, sobre todo, me gusta decir, no tengas miedo de hacer preguntas tontas cuando veas algo en línea. Sigue preguntando. Es algo así como lo que Colón solía decir: "Solo una cosa más".

Bill Walsh: Bueno, muy bien. Bueno, gracias Alex. Y sobre el tema de las estafas, si te preocupa que algo pueda ser una estafa, visita la Red contra el Fraude, de AARP, en www.aarp.org/fraude para obtener más información y tomar medidas. También puedes llamar a la línea de ayuda de la Red contra el Fraude al 877-908-3360. Eso es 877-908-3360.

Ahora, Alex, si uno está realmente preocupado porque un amigo o un familiar comparten o publican información errónea, ¿hay maneras de involucrarlos sin que peligre la relación? ¿Cuáles son las formas más efectivas de comenzar a tener ese diálogo?

Alex Mahadevan: Primero, no me voy a sentar aquí y decir que es tu trabajo verificar los hechos a tu alrededor todo el tiempo. Ese no es el caso. Pero como hemos llegado a saber, compartir información falsa puede ser realmente perjudicial. Piensa en las elecciones que se avecinan. Es una gran elección. Las personas malas pueden usar información falsa para hacer que la votación sea confusa, y eso afecta nuestra democracia. ¿Y qué hay de todas esas historias sobre personas que bebieron productos de limpieza para el hogar porque pensaron que podría prevenir el coronavirus?

Realmente, este es un asunto de vida o muerte en este momento. Realmente es importante hacer todo lo posible para evitar la propagación de información errónea. ¿Como hacer eso? Pregúntate primero, ¿por qué estás teniendo esta conversación con un amigo o familiar? ¿Estás desmantelando desinformación perjudicial? ¿O simplemente planeas expresar tu propia opinión sin fundamentos? Asegúrate de hacerlo por una buena razón. Debes entablar una conversación como esta, suponiendo que la persona que compartió lo que compartió tenía buenas intenciones.

Como dije antes, todos solo queremos ayudar. Por eso compartimos cosas en línea. Así que mantén la mente abierta al hecho de que quizás pueden tener información que tú no tienes. Y cuando realmente vayas a hacerlo, hazlo en privado y en un lugar seguro. No lo hagas por mensaje de texto. ¿Cuántas veces has recibido un correo electrónico y has malinterpretado lo que alguien dijo porque quizás habías pensado que significaba una cosa y realmente significaba otra? Intenta hacerlo en persona o por teléfono. Hazlo personalmente. Intenta relajarte. Y cuando lo hagas, cita fuentes específicas e intenta usar datos cuando puedas. Haz tu mejor esfuerzo para dejar las emociones de lado. Y habla acerca de por qué este es un problema tan grande, por las cosas que mencioné. Sin embargo, acepta que solo puedes hacer tu mejor esfuerzo. Usa las mejores fuentes y acércate de la manera más amable posible. Pero ten en cuenta que, al final, no siempre podrás cambiar la forma en que alguien ve algo. Así que haz lo mejor que puedas.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien. Gracias por eso, Alex. Y quería que nuestros oyentes supieran que tu empresa, MediaWise, se ha asociado con AARP para desarrollar un programa llamado Fact Tracker para ayudar a las personas a detectar información errónea. Alex se unirá a nosotros para hacer un seminario web el 6 de agosto a las 7:00 p.m., hora del este, centrado en cómo separar los hechos de la ficción en línea.

Si estás escuchando y deseas obtener más información y registrarte, visita www.learn.aarp.org para ese seminario web. Ahora vamos con Jamie Richards, del Servicio de Parques Nacionales, para saber más sobre cómo participar de manera segura al aire libre. Jamie, solo se necesita echar un vistazo rápido en prácticamente todos los parques nacionales para darse cuenta de que los adultos mayores son la mayoría de asistentes y voluntarios. ¿Hay cambios en los programas y experiencias en los parques debido al coronavirus? ¿Qué puede esperar la gente si está planeando una visita al parque nacional?

Jamie Richards: Bueno, muchas gracias por invitarme hoy. Es un placer estar con todos ustedes. Soy guardabosques en Yosemite National Park, pero tengo una amplia experiencia trabajando en parques de todo el país. Y tenemos más de 419 unidades del Servicio de Parques Nacionales. Esto incluye nuestros parques nacionales, monumentos nacionales, costas, lagos, campos de batalla, sitios históricos, los lugares que cuentan la historia de Norte América. Y si estás buscando salir este verano y salir a visitar parques nacionales, no solo parques nacionales, sino cualquier tierra pública, ya sea parques locales, parques estatales, tierras del Servicio Forestal de EE.UU., BLM lands, es un muy buen momento ahora para tomar el tiempo extra y hacer una planificación seria del viaje.

Muchos lugares se han visto afectados en cuanto a qué servicios están disponibles, qué operaciones están disponibles. Una de las mejores cosas que debes hacer por ti y tu familia, mientras planificas tu viaje, tómate ese tiempo extra, encuentra el sitio web del parque nacional que deseas visitar, tómate el tiempo de llamar a la línea de información en la estación de guardabosques. Habla con un guardabosques que trabaje en esa unidad.

Haz preguntas como: "Estoy planeando un viaje. ¿Cuáles son las principales cosas que necesito saber en este momento?" Estos pequeños pasos te ayudarán a asegurarte de que tendrás una visita divertida y exitosa con tu familia, y asegurarte de no tener sorpresas inesperadas.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, gracias, Jamie. ¿Y también hay maneras de disfrutar las experiencias y programas de parques nacionales de forma remota durante la pandemia?

Jamie Richards: Bueno, estamos trabajando muy duro para traer las tierras públicas y Parques Nacionales a ti en este mundo muy extraño en el que vivimos bajo COVID-19. Muchos de no solos sus parques nacionales favoritos, sino que sé que muchos museos y otros sitios culturales están publicando una gran cantidad de excelente material y entrevistas con expertos en su sitio web. Algunos tienen páginas dedicadas de Facebook, canales de YouTube, realmente estamos trabajando para llevarles estos sitios públicos, donde sea que estén, en cualquier parte del mundo.

Entonces, aquí en el Yosemite National Park, por ejemplo, tenemos muchos videos geniales en nuestro sitio web; tenemos oportunidades en las que puedes interactuar con los guardabosques y los programas de Facebook Live, donde tenemos un guardabosques que hace un programa, tal como lo hace en un centro de visitantes o en uno de nuestros prados. Puedes hablar con un experto en el Parque Nacional y obtener una experiencia muy personal sin tener que viajar desde la comodidad de tu hogar.

Y en este momento, donde tenemos muchas personas que no pueden viajar muy lejos, realmente estamos trabajando para asegurarnos de que estos sitios públicos estén disponibles para ti y estamos trabajando para acercárselas de muchas maneras diferentes.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Jamie muchas gracias por eso. Dr. Johnson, volviendo a usted. Al comienzo de la pandemia, muchos procedimientos optativos o no críticos, como la cirugía o las visitas al dentista, fueron cancelados o reprogramados. Ahora estamos viendo que los activaron nuevamente, [INAUDIBLE] cuando volvemos a estas citas y procedimientos físicos.

Dr. Steven Johnson: Sí, y mencionaría que principalmente trabajo aquí en el Hospital de la University of Colorado, y hemos regresado a cirugías y procedimientos electivos en las últimas semanas. Aquí hay algunas cosas que puedes esperar. En primer lugar, es muy probable que puedas hacerte la prueba antes de un procedimiento o cirugía, y por prueba, me refiero a la muestra nasofaríngea del virus en sí; la llamada prueba de PCR. Eso, en parte para proteger al equipo de atención médica, pero también para proteger al paciente.

Si tuvo COVID-19 asintomático o presintomático, no se te someterá a una cirugía mayor. Verás a todos los trabajadores de la salud usando máscaras, los pacientes en las instalaciones cuando están caminando en las salas con máscaras. Probablemente verás una política de visitas reducida; puede estar limitado a un pequeño número de miembros de la familia, así que creo que esa habitación donde hay siete miembros de la familia abarrotados con un paciente, creo que eso se desalienta.

Saben que para procedimientos ambulatorios o visitas ambulatorias, realizamos pruebas de temperatura y pruebas de síntomas en la recepción. Antes de que vengan a la clínica. Tenemos la sala de espera espaciada para el distanciamiento social y también estamos limitando la cantidad de tiempo que los pacientes se sientan en la sala de espera. Puede haber algunas técnicas de limpieza mejoradas para habitaciones. Los hospitales tienden a ser lugares limpios para empezar, pero sé que ahora tenemos un tipo de limpieza donde dejamos la sala de examen vacía por un período de tiempo.

Y me gustaría terminar diciendo que uno de los efectos secundarios de esta epidemia es que las personas posponen los procedimientos necesarios y posiblemente retrasan el diagnóstico de enfermedades graves como enfermedades cardíacas, cáncer, etc. Entonces, hay una desventaja de posponer estos procedimientos. Así que, por mi parte, estoy muy contento de que nuestros pacientes hayan vuelto a hacerse estas pruebas y procedimientos de detección.

Bill Walsh: Bien Dr. Johnson, gracias por eso y Dra. Benton como mencioné anteriormente, los hogares de ancianos y los centros de atención a largo plazo han sido el epicentro de la pandemia de coronavirus. Todavía hay mucho trabajo por hacer para proteger a los residentes y al personal en estas instalaciones. Mirando hacia el futuro, ¿cree que se avecinan cambios fundamentales para la industria? ¿Comenzaremos a ver más recursos y apoyo? ¿Podemos ayudar a las personas a permanecer en sus hogares?

Dra. Donna Benton: Definitivamente, ha habido más política dirigida a atraer a las personas para que no lo hagan, particularmente si van a ir a rehabilitación a corto plazo, para que les den de alta directamente a casa con el apoyo de la comunidad, en el hogar. Así que creo que ha habido un cambio al tratar de tener más servicios basados ​​en el hogar y la comunidad, para que las instalaciones de hogares de ancianos, las instalaciones de enfermería especializada, realmente se conviertan en un lugar donde en realidad haya más espacio, porque sabemos que en algunas instalaciones, hay aglomeración en las camas.

Por lo tanto, el diseño de las instalaciones puede no ser propicio a largo plazo para este tipo de epidemias. Y entonces sí, y a medida que las personas se trasladen más a la comunidad, o de alguna manera a su hogar, a algún otro centro de atención menos calificado con la incorporación de personas al hogar, creo que eso será en general útil para nosotros a medida que envejecemos, porque tendremos más opciones para vivir en la comunidad y fortalecer los lazos sociales en nuestra comunidad y no tendremos que hacer esos cambios, transiciones difíciles. Y a veces, cuando vamos al hospital, si queremos rehabilitación, podemos ir al centro de enfermería especializada porque están allí todos los días y sabes que parece que podría tratarse de una recuperación más rápida. Pero creo que cuando llegamos a casa, nos recuperamos porque tenemos ese apoyo emocional y sabemos lo que está sucediendo en nuestro hogar. Además, cuando realizas rehabilitación en tu hogar, sabes que podrás navegar por tu hogar una vez que regreses porque allí donde estás, has hecho la rehabilitación. Ahí es donde estás mejorando, entonces sabes que en realidad te estás preparando para estar mejor en tu propia casa.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien Dra. Benton, gracias. Espero que tengas razón, necesitamos desesperadamente servicios basados ​​en el hogar y la comunidad en este país, y esperamos que esto sea un detonante para eso. Ahora es el momento de abordar más de sus preguntas con Steve, el Dr. Steven Johnson, la Dra. Donna Benton, Jamie Richardson, Alex Mahadevan. Presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP. Antes de volver a sus preguntas, quiero compartir las respuestas a la pregunta de la encuesta que planteé anteriormente.

Está claro que hay una serie de preocupaciones relacionadas con la nueva normalidad con el coronavirus. Según la encuesta que muchos de ustedes respondieron anteriormente, parece que el 52% de ustedes dijeron que mantenerse a salvo y protegido es el tema que más les preocupa, seguido por el 28% que seleccionaron volver a las actividades sociales normales. Muchas gracias por participar en esa encuesta. Ciertamente hemos escuchado esto reforzado en sus preguntas de hoy. Ahora volvamos a más de esas preguntas. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos en la línea ahora?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra oyente es Carrie de Míchigan.

Bill Walsh: Bien Carrie, adelante con tu pregunta.

Carrie: Gracias. Mi pregunta es sobre las máscaras. Hay tantas máscaras. Quería saber sobre la calidad de las máscaras, qué buscar, cuáles son las más efectivas y la mejor calidad y dónde encontrarlas.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias. Dr. Johnson, ¿quiere responder esa pregunta de Carrie sobre las máscaras? ¿Cuáles son las de mejor calidad y dónde puede encontrarlas?

Dr. Steven Johnson: Sí, creo que sabes que las recomendaciones actuales para el público en general son máscaras de tela. Hay orientaciones en el sitio web de los CDC, en términos del tipo de máscaras que son efectivas para prevenir la generación o la recepción del tipo de gotas asociadas con la transmisión. Sabes que los tipos de máscaras que usamos en el hospital, las máscaras quirúrgicas o las máscaras N95, generalmente son para ciertas situaciones en las que hay contacto médico cercano, cirugía o procedimientos en los que puede generar un aerosol o cosas por el estilo. Entonces, las máscaras de tela están bien, de nuevo Bill, no sé si podemos hacerlo, puedo intentar encontrar ese enlace específico en los CDC que describa la mejor calidad de las máscaras.

Bill Walsh: Sí, le pediré a nuestro personal que nos busque eso y se lo haré saber a los oyentes.

Dr. Steven Johnson: Gracias.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, te agradecemos Carrie por esa pregunta. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos ahora en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos a Ann de California.

Bill Walsh: Hola Ann, adelante con tu pregunta.

Anne: Sí, voy a cumplir 93 la próxima semana. He estado muy protegida, porque mi familia realmente no quiere que salga, pero sí voy a las citas médicas y al supermercado. Tengo una pareja muy cercana que quiere llevarme a un restaurante por mi cumpleaños, y dicen, por supuesto, también tienen 90 años, su esposo 94 y sale bastante y hace muchas cosas, y ellos quieren llevarme a un brunch al aire libre para mi cumpleaños; y mis hijos no están contentos con eso. ¿Qué piensan acerca de esta situación? Tener mi edad y estar al aire libre en un restaurante con gente porque realmente no he estado en ningún restaurante ni he ido a ningún lugar.

Bill Walsh: Claro, feliz cumpleaños de antemano si no hablamos con usted la próxima semana, pero Dra. Benton, me pregunto si tiene algunas palabras de consejo para Anne, y sobre cómo hablar con sus hijos acerca de sus preocupaciones a la hora de salir.

Dra. Donna Benton: Al hablar con tus hijos, creo que lo importante es que parece que has pensado en todas las cosas que necesitarás para mantenerte físicamente distante, en el restaurante, te has asegurado de que tus amigos se han examinado, y van a usar máscaras, solo se las quitarán cuando estén comiendo. Y realmente debes mantenerte cubierta. Debes asegurarte de que el personal del restaurante también tenga sus máscaras.

Ahora están poniendo el alcohol allí mismo sobre la mesa para que puedas limpiarte las manos regularmente. Entonces, creo en ese sentido, poder decirles a tus hijos que es importante que puedas celebrar tu cumpleaños. Y que sientes que has tomado las precauciones necesarias para comprender y cómo has examinado el restaurante, eso podría ser útil para ellos. Y luego hay artículos, y recurriré al Dr. Johnson para una especie de equilibrio de riesgos, pero tal vez también comparta algunos de los artículos sobre la seguridad de estar en un restaurante más al aire libre. Sé que la gente pide comida desde el auto y la lleva a su hogar. Por lo tanto, es posible que... Creo que así es como compartiría con mis hijos.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias. Y hace unos momentos, el Dr. Johnston estaba hablando de máscaras. Y quería darles a nuestros oyentes una referencia para que puedan averiguar lo que dicen los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades sobre las máscaras, en su sitio web, CDC.gov/coronavirus. Y allí encontrarán una pestaña sobre máscaras con las recomendaciones oficiales del Gobierno. Muy bien, Jean, ¿quién es la próxima persona que llama?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Melissa de Virginia.

Bill Walsh: Hola Melissa, adelante.

Melissa: Me preguntaba si la persona del Servicio de Parques Nacionales podría decir qué lugares están cerrados. ¿Qué parques nacionales están cerrados? Y mi segunda pregunta es, ¿se abrirá el Gran Cañón en el futuro cercano?

Bill Walsh: Bien, creo que si la escuché correctamente, Melissa estaba haciendo una pregunta sobre los Parques Nacionales y cuáles están abiertos, y cuál podría ser el protocolo en el futuro. Jamie, ¿quieres abordar eso?

Jamie Richards: Absolutamente. Que yo sepa, todas las unidades del Parque Nacional han reabierto, lo que significa que no creo que haya ningún parque que esté completamente cerrado en este momento. Muchos parques comenzaron a cerrarse por etapas en marzo, y muchos parques que estaban cerrando, hicieron una reapertura gradual a mediados y principios de junio. Así que ahora el Gran Cañón está abierto, Yellowstone está abierto, Yosemite está abierto; todos los grandes parques, todos los parques históricos, están abiertos.

Ahora hay algunos lugares, en que partes de los parques están cerrados. Muchos de nuestros centros de visitantes cerrados; los museos de interior están cerrados, dependiendo de la ubicación geográfica. Entonces, lo mejor que puedes hacer es pensar a qué parque deseas ir, y luego el Servicio de Parques Nacionales tiene un sitio web realmente excelente por el que puedes comenzar: www.nps.gov. Y puedes ir a un mapa de Estados Unidos y ver las 419 unidades. Puedes hacer clic en el parque o la región de los parques sobre los que deseas obtener más información, y obtendrás todos los detalles en el sitio web sobre lo que está cerrado en ese parque en particular, lo que está abierto; por ejemplo, algunos centros de visitantes pueden estar cerrados, pero el parque en sí está abierto. Puede haber horarios limitados. Por lo tanto, es realmente importante investigar un poco e identificar el parque exacto al que deseas ir.

Otro mensaje realmente importante es que cuando salgas, haz las cosas que sean buenas para ti. Debes disfrutar responsablemente. Por lo tanto, si el Gran Cañón está abierto, entonces tómate el tiempo para comprender tus inquietudes personales, sigue las pautas de los CDC y haz todo lo que tengas que hacer para protegerte a ti y a tu familia cuando ingresen a nuestros Parques Nacionales.

Jean Setzfand: Muy bien, creo que perdimos a Bill por un segundo. Así que muchas gracias por eso, y nuestra próxima pregunta en realidad proviene de Facebook para Alex. Alex, hay una pregunta aquí, sobre la información errónea probablemente relacionada con las máscaras faciales. Si alguien encuentra un enlace cuestionable relacionado con las máscaras faciales, que parece dudoso, ¿qué deben hacer? ¿Deberían reportarlo? ¿Cuáles son algunas acciones que pueden tomar?

Alex Mahadevan: Bueno, una buena pregunta porque estamos viendo mucho de eso desde nuestro lado aquí en Mediawise. Si es un amigo cercano o un miembro de tu familia, lo mejor es considerar contactarte personalmente con ellos por teléfono y en persona y hablarles sobre por qué pueden haber publicado eso, y usar algunas de las lecciones de las que hablamos hoy, cuando hablábamos sobre por qué no es correcto y el daño que podría causar.

Si se trata de una imagen viral o algo que ves publicado en todos lados, lo que puedes hacer es hacer clic en los tres pequeños puntos en la parte superior derecha de la publicación, hacer clic en informar y luego informarlo como noticias falsas. Y luego, lo que sucederá entonces, es que nuestros colegas de PolitiFact, que está bajo el Instituto Poynter con nosotros, podrían verificarlo, y luego Facebook podría marcarlo. Y así, la próxima vez que alguien lo comparta, todos los que lo vean, verán un viejo aviso que dice que es información falsa.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, buenos consejos. Gracias por eso Alex. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos a continuación en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Phyllis de Arizona.

Bill Walsh: Hola Phyllis, adelante con tu pregunta.

Phyllis: Muy bien, mi esposo tiene una enfermedad cardíaca y diabetes, junto con la enfermedad de Paget, ha estado muy preocupado de salir a hacer cualquier tipo de actividad, incluso ir a citas médicas que creo que son muy importantes para él. ¿Qué tipo de razonamiento puedo plantearle a él para lograr que dé el paso para recibir tratamiento pero en un ambiente seguro?

Bill Walsh: Bien, Dr. Johnson, ¿quiere abordar eso?

Dr. Steven Johnson: Claro, creo que esta es una pregunta común en términos de si es seguro recibir atención en las instalaciones clínicas ahora. Y en general, creo que es muy seguro, como Bill mencionó al principio me concentro en las personas que tienen el VIH y, por lo tanto, hemos sido muy cuidadosos con esa población en términos de asegurarnos de que regresar a la clínica es seguro, es un enfoque seguro.

Creo que con la diabetes de su esposo, otros problemas médicos, son factores de riesgo para la enfermedad COVID-19 más grave, pero, por supuesto, las enfermedades que mencionó también son enfermedades graves y necesitan seguimiento médico. Primero, tal vez le pediría que revise sus inquietudes con su médico directamente, porque entonces realmente sabrá lo que esa clínica o instalación en particular ha hecho para que la experiencia sea segura, creo que si viaja desde su casa en un vehículo privado, y va directamente a una clínica y luego vuelve directamente a casa, personalmente creo que es un ambiente muy, muy seguro.

Y luego, para reiterar un punto que mencioné anteriormente, es que nos preocupa que las personas pospongan las citas para enfermedades graves y luego terminen con una complicación de esa enfermedad. El último punto que mencionaré es que todavía estamos haciendo muchas visitas de telesalud. Y creo que la telesalud es algo que puede permanecer hasta cierto punto incluso después de la epidemia de coronavirus, por lo que su esposo podría comenzar con una visita de telesalud y entonces hablar sobre sus preocupaciones con su médico.

Bill Walsh: Dr. Johnson, usted mencionó la telesalud allí al final, tal vez podría hablar un poco sobre qué es eso y cómo alguien como Phyllis o su esposo podrían acceder a una visita de telesalud.

Dr. Steven Johnson: Sí, creo que muchos, muchos programas ambulatorios están ofreciendo visitas de telesalud para atención primaria y atención especializada. En realidad, creo que en medio de la epidemia en Colorado, en abril o mayo, creo que más del 50% de las visitas ambulatorias en nuestra clínica fueron de telesalud e involucraron un video y una conexión de audio, como una visita a la clínica, por lo general, implica una revisión de los síntomas, una revisión de los medicamentos, para averiguar cómo le ha ido a alguien desde la última visita.

Es bastante común como parte de una visita de telesalud hacer una determinación: necesita análisis de sangre, necesita un procedimiento, y así sucesivamente. Algunos de nuestros pacientes se han sentido más cómodos con esa visita de telesalud y luego con una visita relativamente corta al hospital para realizarse análisis de sangre; en lugar de una visita completa. Entonces creo que la telesalud funciona bien; funciona menos bien para ciertos problemas médicos en los que necesita un examen físico. Pero creo que en el futuro, se verá una mezcla de telesalud y presencial en la clínica como parte de la nueva normalidad.

Bill Walsh: Sí, y vimos al principio de la crisis que Medicare comenzó a cubrir las visitas de telesalud. Así que creo que es una buena noticia para muchos de nuestros socios. Y tal vez para muchos oyentes en la llamada de hoy. Solo un recordatorio para los oyentes, si deseas hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y entrar en la lista. Jean, ¿quién sigue?

Jean Setzfand: Tengo otra pregunta que viene de Facebook, y esta viene de Dorothy. Y ella pregunta, los pacientes en hogares de ancianos y retiros que sufren de demencia deben poder visitar a la familia, ¿hay alguna ropa especial o máscaras disponibles para este propósito? Esta persona dice que no ha podido ver a su esposo durante cuatro meses y medio, y que su demencia empeora progresivamente cada día, es un problema importante y debe abordarse de inmediato.

Bill Walsh: Dra. Benton, ¿quiere intentar abordar eso? ¿Qué precauciones deben tomar las personas si visitan a sus seres queridos con demencia?

Dra. Donna Benton: Bien, creo que ya sabes, parte el alma no poder ver a tu ser querido, y sabemos que con demencia, es progresivo, por lo que repetir y poder ver a la persona se vuelve muy crítico. Nuevamente, como discutimos anteriormente, creo que realmente tienes que ser ese defensor; hablar con el hogar de ancianos y hablar con ellos acerca de cómo le permitirán ingresar a este centro de manera segura o reunirse con su ser querido en el jardín.

Probablemente necesitará la típica máscara. No conozco ninguna ropa especial que pueda usar para ingresar a un centro de convalecencia, no más de lo que están haciendo para su personal regular. Entonces creo que es, es el lavado de manos; es el distanciamiento; es el uso de la mascarilla facial; y con suerte todas esas son las cosas que han estado haciendo en las instalaciones. Por lo tanto, realmente haría esa apelación especial dentro de las instalaciones y abogaría para que pueda recibir una visita.

Bill Walsh: Y me imagino que la instalación ha establecido sus propios protocolos para lo que los visitantes deberían usar, por lo que una llamada a la instalación con anticipación probablemente tenga mucho sentido. Jean, ¿quién sigue?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Holly de Colorado.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien Holly, ¿estás en la línea?

Holly: Sí. ¿Hola?

Bill Walsh: Bien, adelante con tu pregunta.

Holly: Esto tiene que ver con la desinformación; si pudiera repetir las fuentes en línea que usa, y también un tipo de proceso paso a paso sobre cuál es la mejor manera de ayudar a las personas a ver racionalmente lo que están haciendo o alejarse de las cosas realmente peligrosas que insisten en enviar. ¿Hay alguna forma de cortar algo de eso de raíz, y de manera que la gente realmente se detenga y vea lo que está haciendo?

Bill Walsh: Bien, Alex Mahadevan, eso suena como una pregunta para ti. ¿Puedes darnos algunos de los recursos que mencionaste anteriormente y luego hablar sobre algunas de las formas en que uno puede hablar con alguien acerca de la información errónea y no transmitirla? Alex, ¿estás con nosotros? Muy bien, parece que Alex no se encuentra ahora, trataremos de recuperarlo. Jean, ¿tenemos otra llamada en la lista?

Jean Setzfand: Sí, esta llamada proviene de Lynnette en Nueva York.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Lynnette, bienvenida al programa. Adelante con tu pregunta.

Lynnette: Gracias. Si estás en una fiesta de cumpleaños en el exterior con unas 14 personas y practicas el distanciamiento social, ¿todos tienen que usar máscaras? Y en la línea de la misma pregunta, si se trata de solo dos personas pero de dos hogares diferentes, pero están fuera, con distanciamiento social, ¿también tienen que usar máscaras?

Bill Walsh: Dr. Johnson, ¿tiene alguna opinión al respecto?

Dr. Steven Johnson: Sí, ¿puedes repetir la pregunta que se cortó brevemente?

Bill Walsh: Oh, sí, sí, Lynnette, de Nueva York, estaba preguntando acerca de asistir a un evento al aire libre con unas 14 personas, si están distanciados socialmente, se pregunta si aún así tienes que usar una máscara.

Dr. Steven Johnson: Creo que si puedes mantener distancia social, 6 pies o más, sabes que creo que es razonable no usar una máscara en ese entorno. No creo que esté mal usar una máscara, pero el modo principal de transmisión que nos preocupa es esta transmisión de gotas; que generalmente está dentro de un metro más o menos del paciente que está infectado. Entonces, creo que si es una distancia generosa, creo que está bien. Creo que usaría tu criterio si caminas entre personas, probablemente sea razonable usar una máscara durante ese tiempo.

Bill Walsh: Una cosa que agregaré, después de haber asistido a un evento al aire libre recientemente, fue que la gente comienza manteniendo el distanciamiento social y luego se acerca. Se desvanecen de nuevo hacia lo que conocen con la vieja normalidad y al final, en nuestra reunión al aire libre, las personas usaban máscaras y eso terminó proporcionando una capa adicional de protección, lo que creo que fue inteligente. Jean, ¿quién está en la línea para una pregunta?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada proviene de Sophie en Florida.

Bill Walsh: Hola Sophie, bienvenida al programa. ¿Cuál es tu pregunta?

Sophie: Muchas gracias. Me gustaría agradecer a todos por hacer un trabajo tan maravilloso al proporcionarnos este foro y abordar nuestras preguntas y preocupaciones. Sí, mi hermano que me precede por cuatro años, tuvo dos derrames cerebrales; un derrame cerebral isquémico y un derrame cerebral hemorrágico, creo que así es como se pronuncia, en el mismo día. Así que actualmente está, primero fue hospitalizado, luego fue dado de alta. Y ahora está en un centro de enfermería especializada, y todas estas cosas, debes recordar que pasé de no saber nada de todas estas cosas, a que me las arrojen. Y no es que no sea capaz de aprender al respecto, pero es como que me atacan de todas las direcciones; agrega COVID 19 y solo agregará otra capa, lo que complicará toda la situación.

Entonces, mi pregunta es que actualmente se encuentra en un centro a largo plazo, en un centro de cuidado a largo plazo, y parece que cada vez que hablo con el personal, están cambiando constantemente sus pautas, sus restricciones. Al principio, mi madre, mi madre mayor y yo podíamos ir a visitar a mi hermano todos los días; pero a través de su ventana, las llaman visitas de ventana. ¿Si? Ahora ha cambiado de manera que no podemos hacerlo a diario; solo podemos hacerlo una vez, dos veces a la semana, puede ser cualquiera, tienes que antes que nada, establecer una cita con el director de actividades allí y es muy difícil contactarla, y parece que ella tiene mucho trabajo. De acuerdo, entonces ¿tienen derecho a restringirnos de ir allí y a exigir que solo sea dos veces por semana, y pueden ser dos visitas de ventana o dividirse entre una visita virtual y una visita de ventana? O dos visitas virtuales.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo, gracias. Entonces, Sophie, Dra. Benton, quisiera que respondan a esto. Parece que el centro de atención a largo plazo donde está el hermano de Sophie está cambiando sus pautas y es muy frustrante para la familia. Preguntó si tienen derecho a hacer esto, y ¿qué consejo tienes para ella?

Dra. Donna Benton: Sabes, creo que las leyes, no sé que cada estado puede tener sus propias leyes y reglamentos, pero sé que en la mayoría de los estados tienes un defensor del pueblo. Por lo tanto, creo que es importante consultar eso con el defensor del pueblo, la mayoría de esos defensores del pueblo todavía están, puedes llamar al servicio del defensor del pueblo, y puedes preguntar sobre eso, y también para que tengas otro mediador para ti, que pueda abogar por ti y tu familiar.

Así que sugeriría usar al defensor del pueblo porque si están cambiando, tal vez están tratando de estar bien, ya sabes, ponerse del lado bueno, tal vez están tratando de reforzar las prácticas, pueden tener poco personal. Por lo tanto, puede haber razones por las que están haciendo esto desde el otro lado. Puede que realmente no comprendan cuán frustrante es esto para los miembros de la familia, así que habla con el director del centro de enfermería especializada, pero busca a quien sea el regulador en tu estado. Pero siempre me gusta comenzar, si tienes un defensor del pueblo, comienza con tu defensor del pueblo, luego puedes ir al centro y preguntar cuáles son las regulaciones para continuar cambiando las políticas.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, entonces, le sugieres a Sophie que comience por el defensor del pueblo en el estado donde está su hermano. Puedes obtener información sobre defensores del pueblo en National Consumer Voice, www.theconsumervoice.org. Quería volver con uno de nuestros invitados, Alex, ¿estás de vuelta con nosotros? Hola Alex, ¿estas ahí?

Alex Mahadevan: ¿Puedes oírme?

Bill Walsh: Sí, puedo, ¿nos oyes?

Alex Mahadevan: Sí, estoy en la línea.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien. Una oyente anteriormente, Holly de Colorado, que estaba preguntando si podías repetir algunos de los recursos que habías mencionado sobre detectar información errónea en línea, y también algunos consejos sobre cómo hablar con alguien, sobre difundir información errónea y cómo instarlos para no hacer eso.

Alex Mahadevan: Sí, y era una pregunta increíble. Bien, las dos fuentes que enumeré funcionan más para la estafa COVID-19. Esa es la Comisión Federal de Comercio y la Oficina de Protección Financiera del Consumidor. Sin embargo, cuando se trata de identificar información errónea, definitivamente enviaría personas a PolitiFact. Esos son nuestros colegas y verificadores de datos que tienen una sección completa dedicada no solo a verificar los reclamos y publicaciones de coronavirus, sino también a consejos sobre cómo hacerlo. Así que ese es como mi recurso número uno que visito.

En cuanto a hablar con familiares y amigos que comparten esta información errónea, creo que realmente el primer paso es ayudarlos a comprender por qué podrían haber compartido lo que compartieron. Así que acércate a ellos y diles, oye, sé que estás tratando de ayudar y sabes que las publicaciones como esta funcionan muy bien en Facebook, por eso es posible que hayas querido compartirlo. Luego explica por qué es incorrecto y cita las fuentes, se muy específico e intenta no emocionarte demasiado y, finalmente, habla sobre eso, oye, ya sabes, esto es incorrecto por esto. Así es como descubrí que era incorrecto y luego menciona las consecuencias, sabes cómo esto puede afectar, lo que están compartiendo podría afectar tu salud, la de tus nietos, u otros miembros de la familia. Así que realmente ese es el proceso paso a paso que usaría si un miembro de la familia escuchara información errónea.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, y ese sitio al que Alex se refirió, Politifact, se puede encontrar en Politifact.com. Eso es Politifact.com. Muchas gracias por eso Alex. Jean, ¿quién sigue?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Verna, de Washington D.C.

Bill Walsh: Bien, adelante con tu pregunta.

Verna: Hola sí, hola, soy Verna. Mi pregunta es para Jamie Richard. Escuché la parte de su conversación en que hablaba sobre el Parque Nacional. Y recuerdo que hace varios años, me enviaron un correo electrónico, y no estoy segura de si era de AARP u otra organización, donde por un tiempo limitado podía solicitar para obtener un pase gratuito para ingresar al Parque Nacional, cualquier Parque Nacional con mi auto. Y que una vez que ese tiempo limitado terminara y no sé si esto ocurrió bajo la administración Trump, antes de la Administración Trump, pero sí sé que me dijeron que a partir de ese momento, que cualquiera que quiera entrar en un Parque Nacional que no tuviera ese plan debería pagar. Y el cargo era, si no me equivoco, $70 por automóvil.

Entonces, mi pregunta es si la administración Trump, frente al coronavirus, frente a todo este desempleo y las personas estando bajo la tensión financiera que han estado sufriendo, así como a las personas que desean salir debido a que han estado enclaustrados en su hogar durante meses, quiero saber si la administración Trump, específicamente el Departamento del Interior, ha retirado esos cargos, para que las personas ingresen al Parque Nacional. Estos son nuestros parques, deberíamos poder entrar gratis.

Bill Walsh: Gracias Verna. Jamie Richards, del Servicio de Parques Nacionales, ¿tienes alguna respuesta a las preguntas de Verna?

Jamie Richards: Sí, Verna, muchas gracias por esa pregunta. Creo que probablemente estás vinculando un par de programas diferentes. Permítanme hablar sobre la política de tarifas del Parque Nacional muy rápido. Entonces, de los 419 Parques Nacionales en nuestro sistema, solo hay unos 125 que realmente cobran tarifas. El resto de nuestros parques son gratuitos. Entonces, los grandes parques, Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, el Gran Cañón, Yellowstone, los grandes parques están en un rango de tarifas escalonadas.

Entonces, una persona que conduce a esos grandes Parques Nacionales paga $35, y ese pase es válido por hasta siete días. Todos los pases para Parques Nacionales son válidos por siete días. Hay algunos parques que se parecen más a los parques históricos, que solo tienen una tarifa diaria o una tarifa por hora. Por ejemplo visitar Alcatraz en California, o tal vez visitar algunos de los sitios históricos en el área de Boston. Entonces, lo que realmente debes hacer es averiguar a qué parques deseas ir, averiguar cuál es la estructura de tarifas de ese parque.

Muchos de nuestros sitios históricos, particularmente Washington D.C., son gratuitos y están allí. Así que sal y disfruta de tus Parques Nacionales. Hubo una política que se discutió hace varios años que hablaba sobre el aumento de las tarifas de los Parques Nacionales; subir las tarifas de $35 a un nivel más alto. Esa política nunca fue implementada. Se presentó una propuesta, se discutió sobre el aumento de las tarifas del parque hasta $70 por año. Eso no sucedió.

Sin embargo, muchos de ustedes que están en la llamada hoy, califican para un pase senior Golden Age National Park Service; que es válido para personas mayores de 62 años, y también tienes el pase de acceso, que es un pase que está disponible para cualquier persona con una discapacidad permanente y ese es un pase gratuito. Entonces, si estás buscando planificar un viaje al Parque Nacional, si tú o alguien de tu familia tiene 62 años o más, o tiene una discapacidad permanente, califica para un pase. El pase senior, por igual. Sabes que pagas una tarifa fija de $70, y ese pase sirve para toda la vida. Por lo tanto, tómate el tiempo de visitar el sitio web del Servicio de Parques Nacionales y ver a qué parques deseas ir, y las diferentes políticas de tarifas relacionadas con esos parques.

Bill Walsh: Bien, y creo que mencionaste el sitio web antes www.nps.gov, para conocer el estado de los diversos parques, cuántos de ellos están abiertos y, presumiblemente, también las tarifas que se cobran. Tomemos una pregunta más de nuestros oyentes. ¿Jean?

Jean Setzfand: Muy bien, nuestra última llamada es Grace de California.

Bill Walsh: Adelante Grace.

Grace: Hola, ¿cómo estás hoy?

Bill Walsh: Bien.

Grace: Me alegra que estén haciendo este programa, es realmente maravilloso. Muchas gracias. Y mi pregunta hoy es si necesito buscar un hogar de ancianos para mí o para mis seres queridos, antes de ir e incluso hablar con alguien, ¿cuál es el mejor recurso para hacerlo?

Bill Walsh: Dra. Benton, ¿tiene alguna sugerencia para Grace?

Dra. Donna Benton: Sí, hay un sitio web del Gobierno, que yo no tengo memorizado, pero que te da la oportunidad de mirar hogares de ancianos, y tiene una comparación de hogares de ancianos, que te da calificaciones y cosas más recientes, ya sea que pasen o no ciertos criterios para los estándares dentro del hogar de ancianos. No sé si quizás ustedes puedan investigar eso bien rápido.

Bill Walsh: Estamos buscando eso ahora.

Dra. Donna Benton: Y yo diría que puedes comenzar allí localmente. A veces creo que también es bueno hablar con amigos, familiares, que pueden haber utilizado un hogar de ancianos recientemente porque realmente pueden decirte lo que está sucediendo. Puedes hablar con el defensor del pueblo y obtener su opinión sobre los hogares de ancianos de los que son responsables, para que puedan brindarte información. Hay diferentes fuentes que puedes usar, puedes comenzar con el sitio web, puedes hablar con personas que conoces, que han utilizado esta instalación porque realmente pueden brindarte un nivel diferente de información. Y puedes hablar con el defensor del pueblo que trabaja en las instalaciones. Y creo que debes hacer la debida diligencia en los tres. Y, por supuesto, si tienes tiempo y deseas visitar los lugares tú misma, lo que por supuesto es difícil ahora con COVID, porque no podemos ingresar a las instalaciones, pero creo que aún puedes tener ambas discusiones. Y preguntar sobre [INAUDIBLE].

Bill Walsh: Gracias doctora. Genial, bien, gracias por eso, y Grace nuestro personal [INAUDIBLE] aquí en AARP me recuerda que en Medicare.gov, existe la herramienta de comparación de hogares de ancianos. Es la comparación de hogares de ancianos de Medicare.gov. También puedes consultar el sitio web de la Agencia de Medicare, que es www.cms.gov, para ver los datos y los resultados de las inspecciones de hogares de ancianos particulares en tu comunidad. Entonces, creo que sería un buen lugar para comenzar, junto con los recursos que mencionó la Dra. Benton.

Muy bien, gracias Dr. Johnson, Dra. Benton, Jamie, Alex. Me pregunto si alguno tiene ideas o recomendaciones finales que los socios de AARP deben entender de nuestra conversación de hoy. Dr. Johnson, ¿por qué no empezamos con usted?

Dr. Steven Johnson: Sí, creo que a pesar de que llevamos seis meses en esto, creo que volver a lo básico es importante. Ya sabes, usar máscaras en público, lavarte las manos, evitar a las personas que presenten una enfermedad respiratoria. La otra cosa que me gustaría enfatizar es que, a pesar de todo esto, si tienes problemas médicos subyacentes, asegúrate de hacer un seguimiento con tus médicos para no retrasar la atención.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo Dr. Johnson, muchas gracias por eso. Dra. Benton, ¿alguna idea final?

Dra. Donna Benton: Creo que va a ser importante para nosotros mantener arriba el ánimo de todos modos, podemos buscar una manera de encontrar alegría en las cosas que nos rodean. Y continuar manteniendo nuestras conexiones con familiares, amigos y hacer nuevos amigos.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por eso. Jamie Richards, del Servicio de Parques Nacionales, ¿alguna idea o recomendación final?

Jamie Richards: Especialmente con COVID-19, es un buen momento para salir a los Parques Nacionales y disfrutar de los lugares que todos amamos. Cuando vayas a los parques, recuerda seguir las pautas de los CDC; usa tu máscara, mantén la distancia y conoce tus límites físicos y disfruta de manera responsable, de esa manera puedes pasar un momento seguro y divertido en tus Parques Nacionales.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias Jamie y Alex Mahadevan, ¿tienes alguna idea final que aportar?

Alex Mahadevan: Sí, sobre todo, junto con todo lo que dije, cuando veas algo sospechoso en línea, detente antes de compartir. En términos de fuentes para seguir con algunos de los consejos de los que hablamos hoy, se ha mencionado el AARP.org/factchecker, rastreador de hechos, creo, Bill puede proporcionar ese URL. El 5 de agosto, hablaré con el Dr. Sanjay Gupta, en el Facebook de PolitiFact sobre la información errónea sobre el coronavirus. Puedes encontrar PolitiFact en Facebook. Y en agosto, visita Poynter.org/newsu, eso es Poynter.org/newsu, donde debutaré dos clases donde puedes aprender cómo identificar información errónea en línea. Y gracias por invitarme.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por unirte. Puedes consultar AARP.org para obtener consejos sobre cómo puedes detectar noticias inexactas y buscar nuestro programa de seguimiento de hechos disponible próximamente. Esta ha sido una discusión realmente informativa. Quiero agradecer a cada uno de nuestros invitados por responder nuestras preguntas. Y gracias a nuestros socios, voluntarios y oyentes de AARP por participar en esta discusión.

AARP, una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro y no partidaria, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores durante más de 60 años. Ante esta crisis, estamos brindando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a aquellos que los cuidan, a protegerse del virus, evitando la propagación a otros, mientras se cuidan ellos mismos. Todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia hoy, incluida una grabación del evento de preguntas y respuestas, se podrán encontrar en AARP.org/elcoronavirus, a partir del 24 de julio. Nuevamente, esa dirección web es AARP.org/elcoronavirus. Ve allí 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 tus seres queridos a mantenerse saludables. Asegúrate de sintonizar en dos semanas; jueves, 6 de agosto a la 1 p.m., hora del este, para otra discusión centrada en las preguntas más frecuentes relacionadas con el coronavirus.

Gracias y que tengan un buen día. Esto concluye nuestra llamada.

Coronavirus: Navigating the New Normal

July 23, at 1 p.m. ET

Listen to the replay of the live event above.

Thursday’s live event provided information, tips and guidance to help older adults navigate the new landscape. Our expert panel shared the latest information on the coronavirus. Topics covered in the event included how to identify misinformation, care for yourself and loved ones, and stay connected during a turbulent economic and emotional time.

The experts:

  • Steven C. Johnson, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Alex Mahadevan, Senior Multimedia Reporter, Mediawise | Poynter Institute
  • Donna Benton, Ph.D., Director, Family Caregiving Center, University of Southern California
  • Jamie Richards, Park Ranger at Yosemite National Park


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


Replay previous AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

  • Sept 3 - Coronavirus: Your Finances, Health & Family (6 months in)
  • Aug 20 - Your Health and Staying Protected
  • Aug 6 - Coronavirus: Answering Your Most Frequent Questions
  • June 18 and 20 - Strengthening Relationships Over Time and  LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Protections
  • June 11 – Coronavirus: Personal Resilience in the New Normal
  • 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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