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August 6 Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall: Answering Your FAQs

Our latest live event addressed your most frequently asked coronavirus questions

Bill Walsh: Hello. I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Our lives today are drastically different from the early days of March, before the pandemic took hold in this country. The persistence of the coronavirus has upended daily tasks, such as trips to the store, as well as major life events — going off to college, organizing weddings, even taking a short vacation have never been so challenging. It has raised stress levels, contributed to fear and social isolation and exposed deep racial inequities in our country.

Throughout this trying time, we've all looked for guidance on how to stay safe and protected, connect with and care for loved ones and manage our finances. Today we'll talk with experts who will be answering some of your most frequently asked questions on these topics. If you've participated in one of our tele-town halls in the past, you know it's similar to a radio talk show, and you'll have the opportunity to ask your questions live. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you'd like to ask a question about the coronavirus pandemic, please press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. They will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask that question live. If you're joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comment section.

Hello, if you're just joining, I'm Bill Walsh with AARP, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion on how you can protect your health, manage your finances and care for your loved ones during the global coronavirus pandemic. Joining us today is Oliver Tate Brooks. M.D., the immediate past president of the National Medical Association; Warren Hebert, doctor of nursing practice, and a nursing professor at Loyola University in New Orleans and CEO of the HomeCare Association of Louisiana; and Jean Chatzky, president and CEO of HerMoney.com. We will 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.

Now I'd like to welcome our special guests. Dr. Oliver Tate Brooks is immediate past president of the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States. Dr. Brooks is also the medical director at Watts Healthcare Corporation, Los Angeles, California. Thanks for being back with us, Dr. Brooks.

Oliver Tate Brooks: Thank you for having me, Bill. Glad to be here.

Bill Walsh: All right, thank you. Dr. Warren P. Hebert Jr. is an assistant professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. He has more than 40 years of nursing experience and is an outspoken leader in home health care and health policy at the federal and state levels. Welcome back, Dr. Hebert.

Warren Hebert: Thanks for having me, Bill. I'm looking forward to the conversation.

Bill Walsh: All right. And Jean Chatzky is a best selling author and president and CEO of HerMoney.com. She is an award-winning personal finance journalist with more than two decades of experience, helping people manage their money. She also serves as AARP's financial ambassador. Welcome back, Jean.

Jean Chatzky: Thanks so much for having me.

Bill Walsh: All right, thank you all for joining us today. Let's go ahead and get started with the questions. Dr. Brooks, let's start with you. Cases are rising in places all over the country, but we've seen a lot of other numbers discussed. There are hospitalization rates, positivity rates, numbers of tests and more. What are the numbers we should be paying attention to?

Oliver Tate Brooks: What I would say is this — I think you should first look at the number of cases because that'll just tell you the relative prevalence, which means how much virus is circulating, how many people, if you will, are infected. That being stated, the ones that I track the closest are the percent that are positive. Because, let's say you test a thousand people, and let's say you get a hundred of them positive. You get a hundred cases. If you tested 10,000 people and you got a thousand positive, you have many more cases, but the positive rate is still 10 percent. So the percentage of the tests that are actually positive really gives you a good indication on how much of the population, if you will, was truly infected. I looked at some graphs and I noticed that the percent positive tends to also track the hospitalization rate and the death rate. So the other one that I would track is the hospitalization rates, because no matter how many people are truly infected, there's going to be a certain number, somewhere around 15 percent, that have it, that are going to be hospitalized. So, if you see the number of people in the hospital in your region, in your state, in your locale going up then you know that the virus is at a higher level, that there is more spread, that there is more risk.

And then finally, I think the death rate. So if you are seeing the death rate drop, then that's a great barometer. The only concern with the death rate is the death rate lags the virus. By the time you get to the death rate, someone may have had the virus for weeks, months. So to sum it up, the most important one that I watch is the percent positive of the case rates. That tells you exactly what's happening in your area.

Bill Walsh: OK, well, let me follow up to that. What is your view of the state of the pandemic? Have we seen the worst or is the worst yet to come?

Oliver Tate Brooks: So, you know, we'll note that every question that will be asked today is a difficult question. So let's start with that format or that concept. Right now, my feeling is that we're in not a good place. Information was released Monday, that it seemingly is moving out of South, the Sunbelt, and up into the Midwest and into the North. And interestingly it started and was biggest in the north in New York. So the key is that we don't have a handle on this virus. I personally believe that since it doesn't respect state borders and respect country borders, that we are here in a place where the virus is still spreading widely. So I believe that we are not in control, if you will, we haven't controlled the virus. So we need to just keep up our guard, and I'm sure we'll talk about the things we need to do to reduce the spread.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that, Dr. Brooks. Now I'd like to turn to you, Dr. Hebert. Many school districts are opting for virtual learning, while some are doing in-person. Both options present challenges for children, parents and grandparents who may live in a home with, or care for, young children. What can they do to stay safe and protected and help their children and grandchildren learn?

Warren Hebert: Bill, this is a critical question for families. One of the most important things is to remember that we're all in this together. In my own family, we have children, the children's parents, teachers, school-systems leaders are all in it together. My wife is a teacher for juniors in high school. I've got a son-in-law who's a chief academic officer in the school system, and we've got 12 grandchildren, all of school age. So this is a vital question, Across the United States we have a lot of multigenerational families. To folks who track these things, a multigenerational family is one that's got more than just mom and dad and the children. It's got a grandparent or two in the home with them, and in some cases, maybe even great-grandparents. So the question that you're asking is vital related to what we do to keep them safe and protected, and at the same time help children and grandchildren to learn.

One of the first things that you should consider, is there an option for that aging family member to perhaps live in another family member's home? Perhaps there's another aging family member, my kids like to refer to me as more seasoned, maybe there's an opportunity for another older person, for you to live in that setting. That reduces the likelihood and the risk with children going into the school setting. It's not an option for everybody. So the next question is, is there a separate living space? If that older person can be in the separate living space obviously, the optimum situation is if there's a bathroom too, then that reduces the exposure to the children in that. But if that's not an option, consider even masks within the home setting, because children who are going into the school setting will be exposed. Our friends in administration are doing everything they can to try to protect children and minimize the risk. So what we can do to help keep the grandchildren learning is to tie their school subjects into things around the issues with coronavirus and issues related to safety. Tie the science into some simple things around epidemiology and how bacteria is spread. There's certainly a lot of opportunities related to math, and I'm sure some of my colleagues on the phone have found some literature from years and decades past related to this sort of situation. Obviously related to children and learning, it's important that everything that they receive is age-appropriate, and there are lots of resources online.

The last couple of suggestions I'll make, Bill, are the vital emotional hygiene for adults and children. And I think we'll talk about that a little bit more later, but our sense of well-being, our self-care, is critically important. And knowing that young people's social perspectives are different. As I mentioned, I've got 12 grandchildren; their interaction with their peers is something that is generally not going to change just simply with instructions. So teaching them about handwashing and distancing. My grandchildren have learned to give me an air-hug from 10 or 12 feet away.

Bill Walsh: All right. Well, thanks for that, Dr. Hebert. Yeah, we're going to probe more into maintaining people's well-being a little bit later. I also wanted to turn to Jean Chatzky. Obviously, the pandemic has impacted our wallets, and this is where she has expertise. Jean, while the special employment benefits expired on July 1, there's continued congressional debate about another economic relief package. From a personal finance perspective, how important have things like the economic impact payments and expanded unemployment benefits been for people trying to weather the storm?

Jean Chatzky: Thanks so much, Bill, and I just want to say to Dr. Hebert before I dive into this answer, I'm going to remember the word “seasoned,” and just remind my kids to use it, because I think it's especially nice. These benefits have just been crucial. And we know Congress is negotiating as we speak. I know there's been some controversy here that we've all heard a lot about how two-thirds of the people who received the additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits actually earned more than they were earning in their jobs. But we have to remember that coming into this pandemic, our society, our country, was incredibly fragile financially. We were at the place in which half of all Americans did not know how they would access $400 to pay for an emergency without reaching for their credit card. So these benefits have been crucial and not just the additional unemployment benefits, but the food-assistant benefits that have been provided. We've been spending $2 billion a month on SNAP benefits. When you combine the enhanced unemployment and these food benefits, we kept about 10 million people out of poverty. Right now we have 30 million Americans, more than 30 million Americans, collecting unemployment. By the end of August over five million of them will be unable to cover their basic expenses for a full month without that additional $600. So as Congress works its way through this next round of relief, and I'm keeping my eye on what they're doing as we're talking, because if they do come to some sort of answer, I want to be able to bring it to you. Economists are noting that that expanded unemployment benefit, which looks like it’s headed back toward the $600 a week rather than the $200, which was floated earlier in the week, if I can read through the tea leaves a little bit, that additional extended unemployment benefit is actually more important than another round of stimulus. That said, it does look like a second stimulus payment will be part of this new bill and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has indicated that he believes he'll be able to get this second round of stimulus out faster than the 19 days that it took to start delivering the last one.

Bill Walsh: Well, we're all keeping our eyes on Congress at the moment. That seems to be where the action is as it relates to unemployment benefits and additional stimulus. Thanks for that, Jean. Back to you, Dr. Brooks. You know it's likely to be a particularly confusing fall with COVID-19 overlapping with cold and flu season. Since a fever can be associated with both the flu and the coronavirus, what are we to expect and what distinguishes COVID symptoms from the common cold? Will we need to do more testing to help distinguish between the two?

Oliver Tate Brooks: So we are headed into the fall and typically it is the flu season. We will have two viruses that are significant circulating: COVID-19 and influenza. As it relates to the symptoms, I would almost say leave that up to the physicians. In other words, if you are ill, go seek care. Let us determine which is which. That being stated, COVID-19 is more of a lower respiratory tract infection. It doesn't cause, at least in adults, much of the runny nose, the GIs, nasal congestion. It does cause cough, however. Both of them tend to have fever, and those that are hospitalized, 90 percent of those that are hospitalized, have fever with COVID-19. However, with influenza, just having influenza without even being hospitalized, by definition influenza has fever as one of the symptoms. So fever is more associated, if you will, with influenza. That being stated, as you mentioned testing, if you are ill, then you come in to see the doctor. We can test for influenza rapidly. So I can do a test and I can tell you in five minutes whether you have influenza. Right now, we do not have an FDA-approved rapid test, although we are doing some antibody testing, for COVID-19. So it is hard to distinguish between the two, especially for a lay person. The key is this also — with COVID-19 the primary symptom that gets people in trouble is shortness of breath, low oxygen levels. We do not tend to see that with influenza. The answer truly is difficult to tell, but the action is to get your influenza vaccine. Now influenza vaccine has relative degree of efficacy. Some years it's better than others, but this is a situation where some is better than nothing.

So my point in this take home message for this question is to get your influenza vaccine. Therefore, if you come in to see me and you're sick and you said, “I got immunized against influenza,” then I am going to focus a little bit more on COVID-19 a), and then b), even if you have influenza, you may have a milder case, which is something I think people forget. Even if it doesn't block you from getting influenza, your likelihood of getting hospitalized or dying diminishes.

Bill Walsh: OK. Just to be clear then if come this fall, if people develop a fever rather than going out immediately to try to get a COVID test, you're recommending they start with a call to their doctor.

Oliver Tate Brooks: Absolutely. Because theoretically it could be neither. So don't just start assuming don't determine that you suddenly have this high degree of knowledge. That's what we do, and we're happy to have you call and help you figure this all out.

Bill Walsh: OK, sounds good. Thanks for that, Dr. Brooks. We're going to get to those live questions shortly, but before we do that, I want to take a moment to update you on how AARP is fighting for you on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. As Jean Chatzky mentioned, Congress is continuing to debate new legislation to respond to the pandemic. While this debate has many twists and turns over the past few weeks, throughout them AARP has consistently fought for older adults. We are reinforcing the need for Congress to provide assistance to state and local governments, extend moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, provide additional funding to ensure access to critical food and nutrition assistance, provide support for the U.S. Postal Service, and more. Importantly, we're continuing to advocate for protections for people who live and work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. More than 62,000 nursing home residents and staff have died from COVID-19. We need action now from policymakers on this issue. AARP is calling on federal and state leaders to pass urgent legislation with robust funding to save lives. Unfortunately, current congressional proposals don't go nearly far enough. We need to ensure that facilities provide testing and adequate personal protective equipment, are transparent and facilitate ways for residents and their family members to stay connected with each other. In addition, nursing homes and long-term care facilities that harm residents should be held accountable. They should not be given blanket immunity.

While the situation is dire, we are seeing some progress at the state level. In Oregon, AARP helped fight off an attempt to give immunity to nursing homes. In Alabama and Oklahoma, we advocated for recently approved legislation to provide personal protective equipment and testing for nursing homes with insufficient supplies. In Pennsylvania and Utah, AARP state offices have successfully advocated for technology to facilitate communications between nursing home residents and their loved ones. In addition, AARP New Hampshire helped secure approval of legislation to address staffing shortages. AARP members, volunteers and activists have made their voices heard and helped secure these important victories. To learn more and make your voice heard on this important topic, please visit aarp.org/nursinghomes.

It's now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Dr. Brooks, Dr. Hebert and Jean Chatzky. I'd now like to bring in my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your call. So welcome Jean. Hey Jean, are you with us?

Jean Setzfand: Yes, hi.

Bill Walsh: Are we ready to take our first question?

Jean Setzfand: Let's go to Paul from Ohio.

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

Paul: Hello there. My mother's in a retirement nursing-care facility. And my question is, recently the state of Ohio lifted the ban where the residents can meet with family members right as we were having a spike in Hamilton County in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. And it just amazed our family that that ban has been lifted and not put back into place and the residents can leave the facility with their families and then come back. And to me, that's just exposing everybody to a bad situation.

Bill Walsh: OK, well, Dr. Brooks, let me have you weigh in on this and maybe Dr. Hebert as well if you have some thoughts on whether those Ohio facilities should be keeping that ban in effect.

Oliver Tate Brooks: Thank you for the question, Paul. Based on the information that Paul provided, I would agree with him. In other words, you make decisions on policy based on the science. So if you see case rates or case percentages or hospitalization rates, and things I was saying that you should watch, increasing then you do not lift the ban. Now, it is also understandable because there is the behavioral health aspect. If you're in a nursing facility, you've been in there at least March through August, five months, at what point do you allow people to go visit their family? So I would say that it's a very difficult situation, but I concur. I would say that if my individual, my grandmother or someone, was in that facility, I would not have them leave because then they're putting them at risk themselves. And then I would also make clear with that nursing home and nursing facility, what is your policy when the individual's return? What kind of PPE are the staff wearing? What kind of social distancing is there between those that have left the nursing facility and then come back. Are you going to test them X number of days after they came back to ensure that they're negative. In other words, I would question them on their policy now that they've made such a bold action in terms of that specific nursing home. (inaudible)

Bill Walsh: Right. Dr. Hebert. I wonder if you wanted to weigh in on this. I was going to ask what advice you might give to family members with loved ones in facilities like this? In the face of this ban being lifted at a time when the COVID cases are not dropping?

Warren Hebert: Well, Paul, thank you for that question. I actually lived in Cincinnati for a couple of years when I was in high school. The challenge that we've got is that we've got a broad variety of different situations in different parts of the world, in different parts of the country, and even within different states. So the level of infection is going to differ from one place to the other. So as a result, what fits for you there in Cincinnati might not fit for people in other situations and other parts of the country. So in the event that the people who are handling the decision-making there perhaps feel that the rate of infection is low enough for them to give people that opportunity from a standpoint of their emotional well-being to reconnect with family, that could be a decision that has a very positive impact on their resilience and their emotional hygiene.

On the other hand, as Dr. Brooks pointed out, it certainly is a great risk. So as a family member, the things that I would suggest that you do would be to take some of the same precautions we talked about earlier. If that person's going to come home to visit with family, it's well documented, the press is offering lots of solutions, are you able to be in a different space? Are you able, while you're in the same home visiting, to be 6 feet or more from that other person? Have you and your family members come to some consensus about wearing masks when you're there? And we know about handwashing. So those are a few steps that I would take, and I think that it's a real difficult decision for the various providers of care in congregate living settings, to make sure they're not only taking care of that individual's level of risk, but also trying to do some things that help with their emotional well-being. And we'll talk about that a little bit more in the program.

Bill Walsh: OK. Thanks for that, Dr. Hebert. Jean, who's our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Benny from Pennsylvania.

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

Benny: Yeah, thank you so very much. Yes, my name is Benny Ward, OK, I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania. And what I'm calling about is my taxes. The guy that usually helped me pay my taxes is not able to do it because of the pandemic. And now they're talking about selling my home. Is there anybody out there that's thinking about helping somebody with their taxes, because they can stop from throwing people out because of their rent. I understand that, but this is my taxes.

Bill Walsh: Yep. Jean Chatzky, do you have any words of advice for Benny?

Jean Chatzky: What I would say is to start at AARP, on the website. AARP has a number of resources that can help you with your taxes and has volunteers. You'll find them under the Tax-Aide program that may be able to help you as well. If you haven't filed your taxes until this point, you probably know that the deadline has passed. It was moved from April, where it usually is, until July. You can get an extension until October, but that extension is an extension to file. It's not an extension to pay. So I would very quickly go to AARP, go through Tax-Aide program, try to find some help accessing somebody who can help you file an extension. It’s form 4868. If you can’t get the help quickly, you can probably do it yourself on the IRS’s website, which is irs.gov. And just file the extension form. As long as you don’t owe the government any money at this point, they will give you an automatic extension and then that’ll just buy you almost an additional three months in which to deal with this.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that Jean. And thanks also for mentioning the AARP Tax-Aide program. AARP is, a little known fact, is one of the biggest tax preparers in the country. We do millions of returns for folks for free on an annual basis. You can call that program at 888-687-2277, or you can find them online at aarp.org/taxaide, that’s aide with an E. We normally operate sites around the country, but because of COVID, we’ve had to close them. We are, however, helping people over the phone and online with tax preparation services. So check that out. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: We have a lot of questions coming in from YouTube, and this one's coming from YouTube from Nina. And she asked this question. “Hello, after testing positive, will we be contacted by a contact tracer or something else we need to do on our own?” I guess that would be good to kind of go through the contact-tracing programs, if possible.

Bill Walsh: Dr. Brooks, can you address that question about contact tracing?

Oliver Tate Brooks: Yes. So you should be contacted. That generally is done by your county or your city, whatever your local jurisdiction is in terms of public health. You should be contacted, and they look back to see who you've been in contact with over a period of time. If you are not called, then the first thing you need to do is isolate yourself to ensure that you’re not spreading to others, and then do your own quote unquote contact tracing. Generally the virus is infectious possibly two days before you have symptoms, if you had symptoms, and then if you just tested positive and you were asymptomatic, you would look back, probably about two weeks because you could have had it for that period of time. So think back on where you were, who you were exposed to, and generally speaking exposure is six feet or less in distance and being around someone for 15 minutes or longer. That's what we look for in our health care environment. So to answer the question, yes, you should be called. But I think right now, some of the public health systems are overwhelmed. I know they are. And they just don't have the ability to follow up with everyone who tested positive. For example, right now in the United States, there's somewhere around 50,000 new cases every day. 

Bill Walsh: Yes, so interesting advice. So if you're not contacted, but you've tested positive, maybe do it on your own. Reach out via email, phone calls, and just let people whom you've come into contact with know that you've tested positive, and they can take their own precautions. All right. Well, thank you.

Oliver Tate Brooks: Which is generally quarantining.

Bill Walsh: Which is generally quarantining for 14 days. Thank you, Dr. Brooks, for that. Jean who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Carl from Pennsylvania.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Carl, you're on the line. Go ahead with your question.

Carl: OK. Thanks. I would like to address transportation because in Pennsylvania we have a lot of rural areas. And one of the things that I would like to know, that the individuals or the seniors that are living in long-term care and nursing homes that need transportation to go back and forth in the community to get their appointment, what type of safety that they're having from their virus from the transportation that they use?

Bill Walsh: OK, Dr. Hebert. Do you want to tackle that question?

Warren Hebert: Sure, Carl, thank you. You know, rural areas have really unique challenges. I'm actually in the process of writing a chapter for a textbook on home care in rural areas. Transportation is one of the big challenges in rural areas when it comes to getting to health care or getting to other places. In the event that you'd need to use some type of transportation, public transportation is difficult to find in rural areas. The transportation that you would be using if you were in an urban area, taking extra precautions certainly around wearing masks, traveling as little on public transportation as you possibly can, handwashing, distancing are all very important. In rural areas the challenge around transportation is very unique to each area. Different parts of the country have more robust assistance in transportation than others. So there are a lot of issues that are going to be specific to your area, and AARP has a wealth of resources and people to look to assist you. And you can find that information by going to aarp.org/caregiving, and there'll be information for you there that should help.

Bill Walsh: It seems that Carl was also concerned about possibly putting an older person at risk if they're taking transportation while at a nursing home. If they're leaving the facility to, I don't know, get their hair done or go to the grocery store. How big of a risk is that would you say, Dr. Hebert?

Warren Hebert: The risk depends on what they're going to be doing. I've seen a number of different resources that are available that give you an opportunity to evaluate whether a particular activity is higher risk or lower risk. Some indicate that it's a lower risk if they're taking you out to go shopping, as long as you're wearing a mask and keeping the distancing. It's a higher risk if you're going out to have your hair done. And it is an even higher risk if you're going to be going out into a setting where there are a lot of people, perhaps a church service or something like that. So again, it will vary depending on what is being done. But Carl, you're certainly on target with regards to recognizing that these different experiences are going to provide a different level of risk every time that person's leaving.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, and I think it's worth reminding folks that if ever there was a time, this is a time to be an advocate for your loved ones who are in nursing homes or assisted- living facilities. You have the right to know what's happening inside those facilities, to be connected with your loved ones and to understand what precautions they're taking to keep your loved ones safe. So be an advocate. Also know that in every state, there are long-term care ombudsman, independent people who are responsible for helping consumers with issues that come up in long-term care settings. So those resources are available for free, as well. OK, well, let's go back to the phones. Who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Hi Bill. Our next caller is Paul from Nebraska. Paul, you're live.

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

Paul: Yes. I have a question for Mrs. Chatzky. What can the average individual do to minimize the costs other than, you know, what commonsense would tell you, for the end of this, God-awful pandemic that we're going through? What would be her suggestions that we could minimize the cost?

Bill Walsh: Paul, when you're talking about costs, what kinds of costs are you talking about?

Paul: Well to minimize the cost that we're going to have all across the board. I see three facets of it. And certainly the government portion is one, but the actual costs that we have, what can the average person do? What would she suggest that we could do to minimize those costs?

Bill Walsh: OK, Jean, do you want to try and take that question?

Jean Chatzky: I think it's a good one, and I actually think that the pandemic has given us a little bit of a gift in this regard. Because we've been home, many of us, because we have not been going out into the world, we have actually not been spending nearly as much money as we were on a regular basis. If you look at the savings rate in this country and the personal savings rate, which is actually the percentage of our disposable income that we save on a monthly basis, usually it runs about 6 percent. During the pandemic it zoomed all the way up into the 30 percent range. Now it's fallen back, and those double-digit rates are not really sustainable, but what is sustainable is to take a look at where your money has not been going over the past couple of months, and how you can maintain some of those savings.

So let's just talk about a couple of examples. Many of us were in the habit of going to the grocery store multiple times a week. But during the pandemic, we didn't want to go out of it as much. We were told to social distance; we were told to stay home. And so for the first time in a long time, we started planning our meals. We started making lists of what we were going to buy. We started cooking more than we had been in the past, and that resulted in a large savings of money for many, many people. We also were able to take a look at the difference subscription services in our lives and the other things that we spent our money on. We now know which of our streaming and cable channels we watch, and which ones we don't, and we should go through the process of canceling those things that we haven't been using.

Then interest rates are offering us an opportunity. You know, interest rates, are doing absolutely nothing for savers these days. You put your money in the bank, you're getting very little back for it. But if you are carrying debt of any sort, and you've got a decent credit score, you should be looking to refinance those debts. Mortgages can be refinanced. Student loans can be refinanced. Car loans can be refinanced. Even reverse mortgages, if you took one out, can be refinanced and you can pull more money in many cases out of that same property. Now granted, some of these transactions are not free. There is a cost to refinancing a mortgage whether it's a regular mortgage or a reverse mortgage, but you may find that it is well worth the effort because you're spending so much less on a monthly basis going forward.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that Jean. Let's take another question from one of our listeners. Go ahead.

Jean Setzfand: We have quite a few questions around travel, and here is one from YouTube from Frederick which, I think, puts a fine point on it. “I travel for cancer treatments — which would be considered safer, plane or train?”

Bill Walsh: Hmm, Dr. Brooks, do you have some thoughts on that?

Oliver Tate Brooks: That's a good question. I would say, and first I want to correct something. I had said 14 days of quarantine isolation. The guidance is now changed to 10 days of quarantine and isolation. So just make that notation that if you test positive, it's 10 days from the point of positivity or quarantine 10 days from exposure.

Now, as it relates to travel. So that's a challenging question. A plane's faster, so you're on it less, generally speaking, in terms of distance covered in a period of time. The key is keeping that physical distance and cleanliness, I will say. So, my instincts tell me, because I haven't traveled since this whole thing began, but my instincts tell me that the train may be a little safer because trains, at least from my experience, right now probably are not as packed. They have a (inaudible) of a percent of the seats filled. So it's easier to be away from somebody because that's where I believe the issue will be. So I would say that if you have the choice for relatively short distances, I would go with the train.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that. And thank you for all your questions. We're going to be getting to more of them shortly. Now let's get back to our experts for answers to some of our most pressing coronavirus questions.

Dr. Hebert, we're five months into the pandemic in this country, and for many family caregivers who were stressed before their pandemic, this is sure to be a challenging fall. What are some of the strategies that people can employ to ensure they take care of their mental and physical well-being as they care for loved ones?

Warren Hebert: Bill, my wife and I are family caregivers to a 29-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome, and my family cared for my dad who had dementia for seven years. And in his final year, he was bed- and chair bound. So the family caregivers who are listening out there certainly have a wealth of challenges. With regards to our mental well-being, as I indicated a little earlier, I've taken to calling that emotional hygiene. The virtual visits, when possible, can really make an impact in one's disposition. The technology that's out there like FaceTime, Zoom, Skype is something that I've taken to using even though I'm using it a lot with work, I'm also beginning to use it a lot with family, and also just with friends. The opportunity to see another face really helps the family caregiver from a standpoint of their resilience. But also the person that's receiving care.

Respite is a conversation that we have often around family caregiving. Is there another family member who is isolating that can come in to give the primary caregiver a break once in a while. Some other things is exercise within one's own home. The opportunity to do some chair exercises, if that family caregiver is older, or if you are at an age and in a place where you can exercise. Since COVID-19 started, I'm out on my cruiser bike every morning, getting in about 10 miles a day. So if you have that option, this certainly can be a time, and I want to thank Jean for her comment earlier that in many ways COVID has been a gift. So for you as a family caregiver, the opportunity to search out support groups. Our story as family caregivers is very important. It helps us to bring meaning. And the last couple of things that I'll mention is the opportunity for prayer, yoga, meditation are all important. And the last thing that I'll mention is actually about subtraction more than addition. And that is limiting our time with the various media. Our friends in, not only social media, but in our more typical media, need to get information out there that helps to drive ad time. So what that means is you're likely to get very sensationalized views of whatever the issue of the day is. For the average person, limiting our time with the media can help us with our own emotional well-being. Thank you, Bill.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, thank you for that, Dr. Hebert. And one other resource for family caregivers I'll mention is a new a resource that AARP created just a few months ago. We call it Community Connections, and it's a way of connecting with folks in your community, whether it's to get some transportation, deliveries, sitting with somebody for a while. You can plug into these local networks that you may never have known existed before COVID and maybe didn't exist before COVID, but they exist now. And part of that program is a free call from one of our trained AARP volunteers. So if you have a loved one and you're concerned that they're isolated, need to be talking to someone, you can sign them up to get a free call or a series of calls from an AARP volunteer. That friendly caller number is toll free, it's 1-888-281-0145. You can also find it online at aarpcommunityconnections.org. So just one more resource for family caregivers, who even in the best of times have a lot on their hands.

OK, Dr. Brooks let's turn back to you. We're continuing to see even more concerning data about the impact of the pandemic on people of color. This is deeply troubling. Why is this? And what more needs to be done to address it?

Oliver Tate Brooks: So the why is that the virus tends to affect and infect the weak and (inaudible). The data is showing that those with obesity, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease are more likely to have an adverse outcome. And those conditions or are more prevalent in the African American community and communities of color for many reasons, which I don't think we need to get into now. That's why.

So what we do? So first of all, and most importantly, I believe it was Dr. Herbert that said we're all in this together. So for those that are not from a community of color, understand that we're a country, we're all one, and we're all going through this together. As I said earlier, data is showing that it's coming out of the South and moving to the North and the Midwest. So if there are these high rates among the African Americans, who primarily live in the South, it's just going to spread up. It's going to spread, and it is spreading up. So we're all in this together.

I want to also stress what Dr. Hebert just said — wellness, the things he spoke to, were all things in that provide wellness to your body. So those are actions to be taken. So at the NMA level, we're asking the CDC to give us good data, so we can track and really have a better understanding of what truly is going on in the people of color communities, and that also gives us information in the overall country. I would say if you have diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and for everyone, it's more likely to occur in African-Americans, get care. We're doing with telemedicine. You can actually go in to see your doctor. And when we see patients, we have PPE, we give masks to the patients. So if you need care, get care. It's really important that we do testing and contact tracing. That question that came up earlier about what happens if I test positive and no one comes back to me. There should be more testing in the African American community and other communities of color, and the NMA has partnered with CVS, for example, to get more testing in those areas.

And then I would say, policies. Policies that eliminate the disparities and health outcomes will allow for this not to occur going forward. For example, Jean Chatzky spoke to the $600 unemployment incentive. That is more important than the stimulus package because when you give people $600 now, they need it. They're these unemployed people that are spending it. So African Americans may be more likely, are more likely to be unemployed. So that type of thing will help because if you're unemployed and you need a job, you may be more likely to go out there and do a job that you maybe shouldn't be doing because you're exposing yourself to the virus.

And then ultimately, you mentioned AARP in various states having advocacy successes, I'll call them. So advocate for yourself, advocate with organizations like the AARP that are doing things that are helpful. Then also, we have a referendum coming in three months. Study your ballots from top to bottom, national down to the school board and put those in positions of authority who you feel represent your best interests.

Bill Walsh: OK, Dr. Brooks, thanks for that. Jean Chatzky, let me turn to you to look at another dimension of the issue Dr. Brooks was just talking about. From a personal finance and economic perspective, have women and people of color also been harder hit by the fallout from the pandemic.

Jean Chatzky: No doubt. And just like, Dr. Brooks was pointing to health in this picture, you can't really separate the health from the finances here. We know that Black Americans are dying at 2 1/2 times the rate of white Americans. And part of the reason for this is that is the jobs they do. That when you look at the data from the Bureau of Labor statistics, Black Americans are disproportionately likely to be doing what we call the essential jobs. They are in the food industry and health services, and on the surface and on the upside, this means that in many cases they still have their jobs. But on the downside, it puts their health at risk. So I think it's all part and parcel of the same puzzle. When we talk about other people of color, we know, 6 in 10 Hispanic adults say that they or someone in their household has lost a job or taken a pay cut. That is much greater than the number of white adults in this country who have had that experience.

When it comes to women overall, COVID-19 is impacting women's livelihoods more than it is men for a couple of reasons. Again, it's the type of jobs that women do. When you look, not just in this country, but around the world, women's jobs are almost twice as likely to be cut in this recession as jobs held by men. But it's also the amount of unpaid work that women are doing and that amount is increasing dramatically. We've got schools closed, we've got health systems overwhelmed, and that is forcing many women to spend many more hours each week on caregiving and housework, and again, women of color, as well as single women, are doing even more. When you look at this statistically, we know three-quarters of Black women and Latino women are spending three or more hours every single day just on housework. And that compares to just over half of white women. So there are a lot of inequities.

Bill Walsh: OK, Jean. Thanks for that. Let me ask you another question, another financial question's been top of mind for many people. The markets have been volatile over the last several months, and there's been a lot of uncertainty looking to the future. What tips do you have for people who may be approaching retirement in the next few years and are watching retirement fund balances bounce up and down?

Jean Chatzky: First of all, don't watch. I'm not really joking. I mean, yes, we need to keep a macro view at what's happening in our retirement, but trying to micromanage these balances, knowing that we have no control over the market, no control over interest rates, is not a good thing for your emotional well-being or for your financial decision- making. It's when we get over involved in the tremendous volatility, and the volatility has been like nothing we saw even in the 2008 great recession period, it's been so much greater than that. When you let yourself get sucked into that, that's when you make bad decisions.

Wo my advice, and it really has not changed, is take a look at when you need this money. If this is truly long-term money, money that you do not need in the next three to five years, then continue to invest it in a way that makes sense for your age and for your risk tolerance. If it is money that you need in the short term, it does not belong in the markets. It never belonged in the markets. Finally, this is a really good time to sit back, particularly if you are looking at retirement coming toward you in the next five to 10 years, to look at what you're going to need in that retirement, and to figure out how you are going to create an income stream that will cover that for as long as you live, using a combination of Social Security, as well as any pension income, as well as the income that you have set aside in your retirement plans. And you may need help with that. Even if you just sit down with a financial advisor for an hour to get a sense of, am I moving in the right direction? Am I making the right decisions? It's money well spent.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks Jean. Back to you, Dr. Hebert. While much of the increase in recent cases is among younger people, residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities continue to be the hardest hit. How does spread in the community among younger populations connect to the cases and deaths that we're seeing in these facilities?

Warren Hebert: Bill, the nature of the contagion has been striking. The information I'm reading is that the latest strain of the coronavirus is now 10 times more contagious in the lab than the original mutation that came out of Wuhan, China. This is something that people should be paying very close attention to. And the challenge that we've got is that this is happening, this more contagious version of the virus is happening at a time when we are all experiencing a degree of exhaustion around isolation, wearing masks and distancing. So this is a real recipe for disaster.

So to your question, how does the spread in the community among the younger populations connect to cases and deaths in facilities? The nature of human connection is that we are at risk for contagious diseases. And the young people who are having a very different perspective around these precautions, essentially live with parents who may be staffed in the nursing homes. For those nursing homes that are not practicing, as indicated earlier by Paul in Cincinnati, who are letting other people come in, that means that every person who's coming in for a visit or every person that's going home to visit, and then going back into the nursing home, as Dr. Brooks indicated earlier, that's a pretty high risk for them to be going back in, because each and every one of those people has the potential to have been exposed to someone who was asymptomatic, but yet positive.

The home is the safest place today. One's personal home, and it's also the safest place for care. The connections between family is part of our self-care. It's part of our resilience, our ability to engage one another. We might ask ourselves a very important question, do we have a false sense of security about connecting with people who we’re familiar with? My sense is that even though I've got the same level of risk when I connect with my sons or daughters or grandkids, I have a false sense of security because I'm familiar with them. The other thing is, is that there's a willingness on my part to perhaps take a greater risk with family. For example, in my family, 79 percent of us are employed in health care. We've got 24 RNs in the family between aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews, etc. So all of these people have the potential to be exposed when folks in the younger populations are out and making choices that not following prudent practices around mitigating risks.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you for that Dr. Hebert. Now I'd like to take a moment to alert our listeners to continued coronavirus scams. Scammers continue to use the headlines as opportunities to steal money or sensitive personal information. The FBI is warning that scammers are advertising fake coronavirus antibody testing. Their goal is to obtain sensitive personal information they can use in identity theft or medical insurance fraud. Scammers may claim the test is FDA-approved and may even offer a cash incentive to lure in unsuspecting consumers. The agency recommends consulting your doctor before taking any COVID-19 antibody test at home and warns against sharing personal or health information with anyone other than a known and trusted medical professional. Visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more about these and other scams, or call the Fraud Watch Network helpline at 877-908-3360.

Now it's time to address more of your questions with Dr. Brooks, Dr. Hebert and Jean Chatzky. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Brian from New York City.

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

Brian: Thank you. I am suffering from agoraphobia, the fear of being outdoors during this pandemic, because I do not know who, what or where it's safe, and it's leading to isolation and depression. What advice and information do you have for anyone who is suffering like I am? And thank you very much.

Bill Walsh: All right. Thank you. Dr. Brooks, do you have any advice for Brian in New York?

Oliver Tate Brooks: Yes, so a couple of things. First of all, we all have our fears and our phobias, so I think that it's something that I like the way he stated it categorically, it's acceptable. The virus spreads a lot less outdoors. The concern mostly is indoors. So, in general, if your agoraphobia is related to the virus as opposed to as in general, I would say reduce that some.

Number two, be in places where there are no people. For example, you can go, so let's say to a park, a field, a national or state park, and park and go out into the woods. Or even if you live in an urban area, find an area that doesn't have a lot of people. In other words, you have a true fear and that's understandable. Wearing a mask helps some, but I want to just make a comment other than an N95-grade mask, masks are made for you to stop spreading to other people. So you wearing a mask helps you from infecting other people potentially, but it is not made to protect you from them. So, I think it's good to get outside, first of all. I think that just the concept of fresh air and being inside is strangling. So find an area where there is a minimum of people. You wear a mask, because it does afford some protection to you, and then do know that in general the aerosol or the droplets get dispersed in the outside air, and so your concern is a lot less.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that. Dr. Brooks. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is, Tuerie from D.C. I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly.

Bill Walsh: OK, go ahead with your question.

Tuerie: OK. Yep, this is Tuerie from D.C. Just two quick questions — number one, how do we know the death rates that are posted separate the COVID deaths from other deaths at this time? And then I have a question about retirement. I'm of age and in service, and I'm a teacher. So, I'm really stressed about this online teaching. Is this a good time for me to retire? So those are my two questions.

Bill Walsh: OK, well, Dr. Brooks, her first question seems to be a pretty straightforward one. Do you want to take that, and then we'll turn to Jean Chatzky.

Oliver Tate Brooks: Yeah, the first one is. The CDC, and generally state and local public health departments, have criteria on what is considered death from COVID-19. And so we test patients as they come into the hospital. You can actually do a postmortem specimen on them. It will get a little tricky, let's say if someone had a heart attack and tested positive for COVID-19. But I would say I would not concern myself with that because 90 percent of them are clear COVID-19, and maybe there are 10 percent that aren't clear. You still have a 90 percent predictability odds ratio of knowing that the hospitalization rates that you're reading about or hearing are accurate.

Bill Walsh: OK. And she also had a question, Jean, about retirement. Can you offer some advice there?

Jean Chatzky: I can offer some generalities. It's very hard for me to say yes or no without knowing your numbers. And the real question that you need to ask yourself is, in combination with your savings and Social Security, if you're eligible for it, and the money that you have in a pension, if you're receiving one from your school district, have you accumulated enough for a retirement that is likely to last 30 years. If you can get a grip on your numbers, you basically want to make sure that you are replacing a good 80 to 85 percent of your preretirement income. There's kind of a fallacy that people in retirement spend an awful lot less than people who were preretirement. And what we see in real life is that that's just not the case, especially with today's very healthy and vital retirees. So I'd say it's time to do a financial physical and figure out if you are set up, in order to do that. If you truly don't think that you can handle the remote teaching, you may want to take the next couple of weeks to look for other opportunities, maybe a smaller environment would be more workable for you. I know that there are an awful lot of people who are hiring tutors and former teachers to take care of their own children's needs. But you then would have to ask yourself when COVID is over, and I hope, it will be over sooner rather than later, is that going to be sustainable over the long term?

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that, Jean. We see a number of questions in the queue about scams. So I just wanted to reiterate the toll-free number AARP has at the Fraud Watch Hotline. That is 877-908-3360. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: We have a question coming in from YouTube and this one's coming from Joy. And she's asking about mobile testing done for people who can't leave their homes or may be in care facilities, especially for group environments. Can they also be tested?

Bill Walsh: Dr. Brooks, do you have any insight into that?

Oliver Tate Brooks: So there are many areas that have mobile testing. So, yes, I think that's an excellent approach, bring the testing to the patient. As it relates to nursing homes, the test is a relatively simple thing. You swab the nose. So a nursing home or nursing facility or any accommodating living facility could actually just bring in a provider like a physician and maybe a nurse to help handle it, and just test people. The test, generally speaking, doesn't have to be refrigerated, and it can be taken to the lab and it can be run. So that is definitely a viable option. That again, would be based on your locale and how flexible they are, how nimble they are with dealing with issues regarding testing.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you, Dr. Brooks. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Albert from North Carolina.

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

Albert: My wife and I are very high risk, especially my wife and our children and grandchildren all live out of state. How do we make it safe for them to visit, or is it recommended that we not?

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that question, Albert. And this is a predicament I think a lot of people find themselves in at this time when folks just aren't traveling as much as they had in the past. Dr. Hebert, do you want to address Albert's question?

Warren Hebert: Albert, I mentioned a little bit earlier that we've got a dozen grandchildren and the issue that you're dealing with around meeting to see your grandchildren is something that all of us are dealing with. So finding ways to connect with them virtually means that you'd have no risk at all. It means that a lot of us, thank you, Jean, for the comment earlier about being more seasoned, a lot of us more seasoned folks are needing to get used to some of the technology like FaceTime and Zoom and Skype. That means you've got no risk at all.

For some family members, they really want to be present. They want to be in a physical space. So one of the questions that you need to ask yourself and that your family needs to ask, is if you're going to visit them and maybe make a drive there, because that's the safest thing to travel, are they able to isolate for 10 days prior to your going to visit? If they can do that, it reduces your risk. Are you able to isolate for that period of time before going to visit? There's so much complexity in this process. It means we've got to think well in advance of things that in the past, we used to just pick up and do.

So those are some things that I would suggest. And even when you're there, and if you've been isolating, to follow the protocols to reduce risk. And that is the distancing, wearing masks, frequent washing of hands. Those are things that are all very important. But Albert, I'm with you. I love my grandkids and it is sure hard not seeing them as often as we did before.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, it sure is. All right, Jean, do we have another caller on the line?

Jean Setzfand: We do. It's Michaelanne from California.

Bill Walsh: Hi, welcome to the show. Go ahead with your question.

Michaelanne: Hi, thanks for taking this. I never actually received the stimulus checks at all, and I'm wondering, where do I go to inquire more about it? I have looked into it, and it said there were 30,000 to 50,000 people still waiting for theirs, and that was maybe a month ago. So when they're talking about a second one, I still haven't received the first. Where did I go wrong?

Bill Walsh: All right. Well, let's ask Jean Chatzky. Jean, do you have any insight for Michaelanne in California?

Jean Chatzky: Yeah. So Michaelanne, your recourse, unfortunately at this point for that first stimulus is going to be on when you file your 2020 tax returns. The first stimulus payment, and my guess is the second stimulus payment, will be essentially a credit on your 2020 tax return. And you will be able to claim it when you file next year. Now for the next round of payments, my guess is that the IRS will again have a place for people to type in their information to receive direct deposit payments, to update their address. I would absolutely go ahead and try to do that. But there may be some reason that the IRS is basing its knowledge of your finances on either 2018 or 2019, and it thinks, for whatever reason, that you earned too much money to qualify, and you're going to have to show them that you didn't.

Bill Walsh: It sounds like she's trying to check up on that. Should she call the IRS directly? Is there another resource she should check?

Jean Chatzky: She can certainly try to call the IRS, directly. There is a tab on the IRS website, it's irs.gov, and you can click it. It says, "Get My Payment." And you'll go through a series of questions. You'll be asked to type in your Social Security number, your date of birth, your street address, and I would go through that process. But what we've been told in conversations with the IRS is that there are so few people in the office that they are not really manning the phones at this point, and I don't believe that that has changed.

Bill Walsh: One other thing, Michaelanne, you might try is to reach out to your congressional representative. This is their job. And if you feel that you were eligible for a stimulus check and didn't get it, reach out to your congressional representative and they should get on the case and get the IRS's attention for you. So, Jean, do we have another question in the queue?

Jean Setzfand: Absolutely. Here is a question from Facebook and we've found a few questions focused on vaccines. So I'm going to choose one that's more representative, coming from Elaine. She's asking, "There's a great deal of pressure to produce a vaccine. How can we be sure the early products actually meet the needs of the public, that they actually have met strict criteria?"

Bill Walsh: Dr. Brooks, do you have any thoughts on that?

Oliver Tate Brooks: Yes. First of all, we're in a situation where there's a pandemic where we have more than 3 million cases in the U.S. and more than 150,000 deaths. So there is pressure to develop a vaccine. So I think that you have to start with that. I am actually involved somewhat with the issues regarding this. The FDA will give a clear review of the data, specifically safety and effectiveness. There will be clinical trials that will involve generally all races, ethnicities, all individuals. It's going to be large; it should be thousands and thousands of people. We will know what we know. I believe that over time as the vaccine gets rolled out, we will see the safety and efficacy come through. But I can assure you from direct interaction that the CDC, NIH and the FDA are all monitoring this very closely.

One last thing I'll add … as it relates to vaccines, one of the things that delays them coming to the market in general is part of the time from initial development to release to the market is manufacturing. So a company won't start manufacturing a vaccine until they know that it is ready to go to the market. The government has provided funding to some of the companies to go in and start manufacturing it, and if it doesn't work, we'll just throw it away. So the fact that we're getting years off of the process by allowing companies to start manufacturing something that they don't even know for sure will work, they've gotten government monies to do that. I think that that's an important thing to understand how a vaccine can come to market so rapidly. There has been government financial support for this.

Ultimately, it's tough, because we need a vaccine. There's just generally clear evidence that the only way that we’re going to get past COVID-19 is with a vaccine. So I would say that believe that we're doing the right thing in a difficult situation. And when the vaccine comes out, you will know that through many means that it is safe and effective.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you, Dr. Brooks. Jean, do we have another question in the queue?

Jean Setzfand: Yes, we have Mary from Tennessee.

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

Mary: You were talking about the fraud, you know, people frauding people out of their stimulus checks. What about the nursing homes? You know that my mother is in a nursing home and I know she got a stimulus check, but they said they keep it, but you can't get it. They just keep the stimulus check. But do they use this stimulus check?

Bill Walsh: You mean the nursing home is keeping your mother's stimulus check?

Mary: Yes, I think they say I can't get it. The only way I can get it, is if I buy her something and bring the receipt, or if something happened, then I could get it.

Bill Walsh: Let's ask Jean Chatzky about that. What are your thoughts on what Mary's talking about?

Jean Chatzky: Oh, it doesn't sound kosher, for lack of a better word, to me. I don't know who you're speaking with at the nursing home, but I would get in touch with the person who runs the nursing home and see if you can get a clearer answer to that question. If you can't, I would report this both to your local area authority on aging and your local attorney general's office because it sounds as if they have taken possession of these funds that do not belong to them.

Bill Walsh: Yeah, Dr. Hebert, do you have any thoughts on this?

Warren Hebert: I'm not familiar with the particulars in the nursing home setting, Bill, so I really don't have anything to offer on, on how they handle the finances for patients there.

Bill Walsh: I will let Mary and other listeners know that every state has a long-term care ombudsman program and these folks are independent of the nursing homes. This system was set up to have them advocate on behalf of consumers. So that's another resource Mary and others can reach out to for a whole slew of questions or concerns they might have with nursing homes in their state. For Mary, we have the phone number for the long-term care ombudsman in Tennessee and that is 866-552-4464. Thank you for the quick work from the AARP staff in getting that information to us.

OK, Jean Chatzky, did you have something else you wanted to add?

Jean Chatzky: I did want to say that the IRS actually issued an advisory warning about this to basically note that these payments belong to the recipients, they do not belong to the nursing home, they do not belong to the assisted-living facility. So I would follow up with that resource in Tennessee just to make sure that you get the money that is due to you for your parent.

Bill Walsh: Thanks for that information, Jean. This has been an informative discussion, and thanks to each of you 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 care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of the question and answer session, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus starting tomorrow on August 7. 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. I just wanted to ask our guests if they had any closing thoughts before we sign off. Dr. Brooks?

Oliver Tate Brooks: Yes. Thank you. I have three or four. First of all, thank you for hosting this. To those listening, be patient. This is a marathon, not a sprint. To the caller that said they wanted to visit their grandchildren, I would say make those contacts that were stated by Dr. Hebert — Zoom, FaceTime. I have a friend who's reading a Harry Potter [book] from beginning to end to his grandchildren, and they're looking forward to this. They love it. So there are ways to connect without exposing yourself.

Number two, obtain credible information. The information you're getting on this call is credible information. Always question things that don't make sense.

Number three, advocate for yourself and for others. Hold your public officials accountable, and put those in positions of authority you feel will look after your best interests.

And lastly, keep up these infection control procedures and policies. Wear a mask when you go out. With a mask, it stops you from spreading to others, so it shows that you care, because I want to end with this — we are all in this together. We are going through this together, and we will only get out of it if we work together collectively.

Bill Walsh: All right, Dr. Brooks. Thank you for that. Dr. Hebert, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

Warren Hebert: I'll echo Dr. Brooks in saying, thank you. Family caregivers across the nation are dealing with extra challenges as you indicated a little bit earlier, Bill. They need to know how important their work is. The home is the safest place for someone to be right now. That's well documented, and it's also the safest place for care. In the past, the most prudent thing to do if somebody began to have symptoms was to get to an urgent care, ER or hospital right away. Today that's not the most prudent thing to do. The prudent first step would be to engage someone like Dr. Brooks in a telehealth, telemedicine visit. That reduces the load on hospitals, ER and urgent care, and it mitigates your risk as a caregiver and the person you're caring for.

And the last thing I'll do is to echo what Dr. Brooks said. I had already written it down before you said it, Dr. Brooks, and that is this is going to be a long-term experience, and I'm telling people it's not a sprint, it's not a marathon, it might be an ultra-marathon, a hundred miles or more. If we expect this to be months, maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised if it happens earlier. But if we're expecting this to just last a few more months, then we'll be disappointed and that impacts our judgment. So we certainly need to keep ourselves in a good place from the standpoint of our mental health and well-being.

And I'll add that this is not a hoax, it's not a conspiracy. This is a very real risk for people. My own brother has been hospitalized this past week, and our family is very concerned about his well-being. This is not a hoax, it's not a conspiracy. This is very real. So be cautious about where you're getting your information. Bill, thanks again to AARP for all of its good work.

Bill Walsh: Sure. Thank you, Dr. Hebert, and our thoughts are with your brother for a speedy recovery. Jean Chatzky, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

Jean Chatzky: Absolutely. And again, thank you so much for inviting me to be back with you today. I learned a lot listening to Dr. Brooks and Dr. Hebert. I wanted to just add something to the concept of self-care that Dr. Hebert raised earlier. When it comes to our financial lives, these are incredibly stressful times. Survey after survey after survey shows that we are more stressed out than we think we are, and we are above many things, more stressed out about our finances. We can get it under control by doing two things. One is by taking control of those things that we can control. Largely that means you're spending. It means paying very close attention to your numbers. It means keeping track, and it means being vigilant. But the second thing is, and it's a health tip, not a finance tip; get outside and just move. Exercise is the number one stress reducer. It does not have to cost you any money at all. Just go for a walk, go for a nice socially distanced walk, and you will watch your blood pressure start to drop.

Bill Walsh: All right. Thanks, Jean Chatzky. That was a nice note to end our program on, and thank you to our entire panel for the advice and suggestions. And thank you to our listeners. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please be sure to tune in on Wednesday, August 19 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time for a special live event with the Property Brothers. Join us for discussion on how you can make your house a home for a lifetime. Thank you to all of our listeners and guests. Have a good day. This concludes our call.

Bill Walsh:  Hello. I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them. Our lives today are drastically different from the early days of March, before the pandemic took hold in this country. The persistence of the coronavirus has upended daily tasks, such as trips to the store, as well as major life events — going off to college, organizing weddings, even taking a short vacation have never been so challenging. It has raised stress levels, contributed to fear and social isolation and exposed deep racial inequities in our country.

[00:00:58] Throughout this trying time, we've all looked for guidance on how to stay safe and protected, connect with and care for loved ones and manage our finances. Today we'll talk with experts who will be answering some of your most frequently asked questions on these topics. If you've participated in one of our tele-town halls in the past, you know it's similar to a radio talk show, and you'll have the opportunity to ask your questions live. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you'd like to ask a question about the coronavirus pandemic, please press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member. They will note your name and question and place you in a queue to ask that question live. If you're joining on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comment section.

[00:01:49] Hello, if you're just joining, I'm Bill Walsh with AARP, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion on how you can protect your health, manage your finances and care for your loved ones during the global coronavirus pandemic. Joining us today is Oliver Tate Brooks. M.D., the immediate past president of the National Medical Association; Warren Hebert, doctor of nursing practice, and a nursing professor at Loyola University in New Orleans and CEO of the HomeCare Association of Louisiana; and Jean Chatzky, president and CEO of HerMoney.com. We will also be joined by my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls today.

[00:02:40] 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.

[00:03:17] Now I'd like to welcome our special guests. Dr. Oliver Tate Brooks is immediate past president of the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States. Dr. Brooks is also the medical director at Watts Healthcare Corporation, Los Angeles, California. Thanks for being back with us, Dr. Brooks.

[00:03:52]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Thank you for having me, Bill. Glad to be here.

[00:03:55]Bill Walsh:  All right, thank you. Dr. Warren P. Hebert Jr. is an assistant professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. He has more than 40 years of nursing experience and is an outspoken leader in home health care and health policy at the federal and state levels. Welcome back, Dr. Hebert.

[00:04:13]Warren Hebert:  Thanks for having me, Bill. I'm looking forward to the conversation.

[00:04:16]Bill Walsh:  All right. And Jean Chatzky is a best selling author and president and CEO of HerMoney.com. She is an award-winning personal finance journalist with more than two decades of experience, helping people manage their money. She also serves as AARP's financial ambassador. Welcome back, Jean.

[00:04:34]Jean Chatzky:  Thanks so much for having me.

[00:04:37]Bill Walsh:  All right, thank you all for joining us today. Let's go ahead and get started with the questions. Dr. Brooks, let's start with you. Cases are rising in places all over the country, but we've seen a lot of other numbers discussed. There are hospitalization rates, positivity rates, numbers of tests and more. What are the numbers we should be paying attention to?

[00:05:06]Oliver Tate Brooks:  What I would say is this — I think you should first look at the number of cases because that'll just tell you the relative prevalence, which means how much virus is circulating, how many people, if you will, are infected. That being stated, the ones that I track the closest are the percent that are positive. Because, let's say you test a thousand people, and let's say you get a hundred of them positive. You get a hundred cases. If you tested 10,000 people and you got a thousand positive, you have many more cases, but the positive rate is still 10 percent. So the percentage of the tests that are actually positive really gives you a good indication on how much of the population, if you will, was truly infected. I looked at some graphs and I noticed that the percent positive tends to also track the hospitalization rate and the death rate. So the other one that I would track is the hospitalization rates, because no matter how many people are truly infected, there's going to be a certain number, somewhere around 15 percent, that have it, that are going to be hospitalized. So, if you see the number of people in the hospital in your region, in your state, in your locale going up then you know that the virus is at a higher level, that there is more spread, that there is more risk.

[00:06:55] And then finally, I think the death rate. So if you are seeing the death rate drop, then that's a great barometer. The only concern with the death rate is the death rate lags the virus. By the time you get to the death rate, someone may have had the virus for weeks, months. So to sum it up, the most important one that I watch is the percent positive of the case rates. That tells you exactly what's happening in your area.

[00:07:32]Bill Walsh:  OK, well, let me follow up to that. What is your view of the state of the pandemic? Have we seen the worst or is the worst yet to come?

[00:07:40]Oliver Tate Brooks:  So, you know, we'll note that every question that will be asked today is a difficult question. So let's start with that format or that concept. Right now, my feeling is that we're in not a good place. Information was released Monday, that it seemingly is moving out of South, the Sunbelt, and up into the Midwest and into the North. And interestingly it started and was biggest in the north in New York. So the key is that we don't have a handle on this virus. I personally believe that since it doesn't respect state borders and respect country borders, that we are here in a place where the virus is still spreading widely. So I believe that we are not in control, if you will, we haven't controlled the virus. So we need to just keep up our guard, and I'm sure we'll talk about the things we need to do to reduce the spread.

[00:08:52]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that, Dr. Brooks. Now I'd like to turn to you, Dr. Hebert. Many school districts are opting for virtual learning, while some are doing in-person. Both options present challenges for children, parents and grandparents who may live in a home with, or care for, young children. What can they do to stay safe and protected and help their children and grandchildren learn?

[00:09:19]Warren Hebert:  Bill, this is a critical question for families. One of the most important things is to remember that we're all in this together. In my own family, we have children, the children's parents, teachers, school-systems leaders are all in it together. My wife is a teacher for juniors in high school. I've got a son-in-law who's a chief academic officer in the school system, and we've got 12 grandchildren, all of school age. So this is a vital question, Across the United States we have a lot of multigenerational families. To folks who track these things, a multigenerational family is one that's got more than just mom and dad and the children. It's got a grandparent or two in the home with them, and in some cases, maybe even great-grandparents. So the question that you're asking is vital related to what we do to keep them safe and protected, and at the same time help children and grandchildren to learn.

[00:10:19] One of the first things that you should consider, is there an option for that aging family member to perhaps live in another family member's home? Perhaps there's another aging family member, my kids like to refer to me as more seasoned, maybe there's an opportunity for another older person, for you to live in that setting. That reduces the likelihood and the risk with children going into the school setting. It's not an option for everybody. So the next question is, is there a separate living space? If that older person can be in the separate living space obviously, the optimum situation is if there's a bathroom too, then that reduces the exposure to the children in that. But if that's not an option, consider even masks within the home setting, because children who are going into the school setting will be exposed. Our friends in administration are doing everything they can to try to protect children and minimize the risk. So what we can do to help keep the grandchildren learning is to tie their school subjects into things around the issues with coronavirus and issues related to safety. Tie the science into some simple things around epidemiology and how bacteria is spread. There's certainly a lot of opportunities related to math, and I'm sure some of my colleagues on the phone have found some literature from years and decades past related to this sort of situation. Obviously related to children and learning, it's important that everything that they receive is age-appropriate, and there are lots of resources online.

[00:12:03] The last couple of suggestions I'll make, Bill, are the vital emotional hygiene for adults and children. And I think we'll talk about that a little bit more later, but our sense of well-being, our self-care, is critically important. And knowing that young people's social perspectives are different. As I mentioned, I've got 12 grandchildren; their interaction with their peers is something that is generally not going to change just simply with instructions. So teaching them about handwashing and distancing. My grandchildren have learned to give me an air-hug from 10 or 12 feet away.

[00:12:45]Bill Walsh:  All right. Well, thanks for that, Dr. Hebert. Yeah, we're going to probe more into maintaining people's well-being a little bit later. I also wanted to turn to Jean Chatzky. Obviously, the pandemic has impacted our wallets, and this is where she has expertise. Jean, while the special employment benefits expired on July 1, there's continued congressional debate about another economic relief package. From a personal finance perspective, how important have things like the economic impact payments and expanded unemployment benefits been for people trying to weather the storm?

[00:13:27]Jean Chatzky:  Thanks so much, Bill, and I just want to say to Dr. Hebert before I dive into this answer, I'm going to remember the word “seasoned,” and just remind my kids to use it, because I think it's especially nice. These benefits have just been crucial. And we know Congress is negotiating as we speak. I know there's been some controversy here that we've all heard a lot about how two-thirds of the people who received the additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits actually earned more than they were earning in their jobs. But we have to remember that coming into this pandemic, our society, our country, was incredibly fragile financially. We were at the place in which half of all Americans did not know how they would access $400 to pay for an emergency without reaching for their credit card. So these benefits have been crucial and not just the additional unemployment benefits, but the food-assistant benefits that have been provided. We've been spending $2 billion a month on SNAP benefits. When you combine the enhanced unemployment and these food benefits, we kept about 10 million people out of poverty. Right now we have 30 million Americans, more than 30 million Americans, collecting unemployment. By the end of August over five million of them will be unable to cover their basic expenses for a full month without that additional $600. So as Congress works its way through this next round of relief, and I'm keeping my eye on what they're doing as we're talking, because if they do come to some sort of answer, I want to be able to bring it to you. Economists are noting that that expanded unemployment benefit, which looks like it’s headed back toward the $600 a week rather than the $200, which was floated earlier in the week, if I can read through the tea leaves a little bit, that additional extended unemployment benefit is actually more important than another round of stimulus. That said, it does look like a second stimulus payment will be part of this new bill and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has indicated that he believes he'll be able to get this second round of stimulus out faster than the 19 days that it took to start delivering the last one.

[00:16:13]Bill Walsh:  Well, we're all keeping our eyes on Congress at the moment. That seems to be where the action is as it relates to unemployment benefits and additional stimulus. Thanks for that, Jean. Back to you, Dr. Brooks. You know it's likely to be a particularly confusing fall with COVID-19 overlapping with cold and flu season. Since a fever can be associated with both the flu and the coronavirus, what are we to expect and what distinguishes COVID symptoms from the common cold? Will we need to do more testing to help distinguish between the two?

[00:16:49]Oliver Tate Brooks:  So we are headed into the fall and typically it is the flu season. We will have two viruses that are significant circulating: COVID-19 and influenza. As it relates to the symptoms, I would almost say leave that up to the physicians. In other words, if you are ill, go seek care. Let us determine which is which. That being stated, COVID-19 is more of a lower respiratory tract infection. It doesn't cause, at least in adults, much of the runny nose, the GIs, nasal congestion. It does cause cough, however. Both of them tend to have fever, and those that are hospitalized, 90 percent of those that are hospitalized, have fever with COVID-19. However, with influenza, just having influenza without even being hospitalized, by definition influenza has fever as one of the symptoms. So fever is more associated, if you will, with influenza. That being stated, as you mentioned testing, if you are ill, then you come in to see the doctor. We can test for influenza rapidly. So I can do a test and I can tell you in five minutes whether you have influenza. Right now, we do not have an FDA-approved rapid test, although we are doing some antibody testing, for COVID-19. So it is hard to distinguish between the two, especially for a lay person. The key is this also — with COVID-19 the primary symptom that gets people in trouble is shortness of breath, low oxygen levels. We do not tend to see that with influenza. The answer truly is difficult to tell, but the action is to get your influenza vaccine. Now influenza vaccine has relative degree of efficacy. Some years it's better than others, but this is a situation where some is better than nothing.

[00:19:16] So my point in this take home message for this question is to get your influenza vaccine. Therefore, if you come in to see me and you're sick and you said, “I got immunized against influenza,” then I am going to focus a little bit more on COVID-19 a], and then b], even if you have influenza, you may have a milder case, which is something I think people forget. Even if it doesn't block you from getting influenza, your likelihood of getting hospitalized or dying diminishes.

[00:19:52]Bill Walsh:  OK. Just to be clear then if come this fall, if people develop a fever rather than going out immediately to try to get a COVID test, you're recommending they start with a call to their doctor.

[00:20:05]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Absolutely. Because theoretically it could be neither. So don't just start assuming don't determine that you suddenly have this high degree of knowledge. That's what we do, and we're happy to have you call and help you figure this all out.

[00:20:24]Bill Walsh:  OK, sounds good. Thanks for that, Dr. Brooks. We're going to get to those live questions shortly, but before we do that, I want to take a moment to update you on how AARP is fighting for you on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. As Jean Chatzky mentioned, Congress is continuing to debate new legislation to respond to the pandemic. While this debate has many twists and turns over the past few weeks, throughout them AARP has consistently fought for older adults. We are reinforcing the need for Congress to provide assistance to state and local governments, extend moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, provide additional funding to ensure access to critical food and nutrition assistance, provide support for the U.S. Postal Service, and more. Importantly, we're continuing to advocate for protections for people who live and work in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. More than 62,000 nursing home residents and staff have died from COVID-19. We need action now from policymakers on this issue. AARP is calling on federal and state leaders to pass urgent legislation with robust funding to save lives. Unfortunately, current congressional proposals don't go nearly far enough. We need to ensure that facilities provide testing and adequate personal protective equipment, are transparent and facilitate ways for residents and their family members to stay connected with each other. In addition, nursing homes and long-term care facilities that harm residents should be held accountable. They should not be given blanket immunity.

[00:22:15] While the situation is dire, we are seeing some progress at the state level. In Oregon, AARP helped fight off an attempt to give immunity to nursing homes. In Alabama and Oklahoma, we advocated for recently approved legislation to provide personal protective equipment and testing for nursing homes with insufficient supplies. In Pennsylvania and Utah, AARP state offices have successfully advocated for technology to facilitate communications between nursing home residents and their loved ones. In addition, AARP New Hampshire helped secure approval of legislation to address staffing shortages. AARP members, volunteers and activists have made their voices heard and helped secure these important victories. To learn more and make your voice heard on this important topic, please visit aarp.org/nursinghomes.

[00:23:10] It's now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Dr. Brooks, Dr. Hebert and Jean Chatzky. I'd now like to bring in my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your call. So welcome Jean. Hey Jean, are you with us?

[00:23:40]Jean Setzfand:  Yes, hi.

[00:23:44]Bill Walsh:  Are we ready to take our first question?

[00:24:06]Jean Setzfand:  Let's go to Paul from Ohio.

[00:24:10]Bill Walsh:  Hey Paul, go ahead with your question.

[00:24:11]Paul:  Hello there. My mother's in a retirement nursing-care facility. And my question is, recently the state of Ohio lifted the ban where the residents can meet with family members right as we were having a spike in Hamilton County in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. And it just amazed our family that that ban has been lifted and not put back into place and the residents can leave the facility with their families and then come back. And to me, that's just exposing everybody to a bad situation.

[00:24:53]Bill Walsh:  OK, well, Dr. Brooks, let me have you weigh in on this and maybe Dr. Hebert as well if you have some thoughts on whether those Ohio facilities should be keeping that ban in effect.

[00:25:07]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Thank you for the question, Paul. Based on the information that Paul provided, I would agree with him. In other words, you make decisions on policy based on the science. So if you see case rates or case percentages or hospitalization rates, and things I was saying that you should watch, increasing then you do not lift the ban. Now, it is also understandable because there is the behavioral health aspect. If you're in a nursing facility, you've been in there at least March through August, five months, at what point do you allow people to go visit their family? So I would say that it's a very difficult situation, but I concur. I would say that if my individual, my grandmother or someone, was in that facility, I would not have them leave because then they're putting them at risk themselves. And then I would also make clear with that nursing home and nursing facility, what is your policy when the individual's return? What kind of PPE are the staff wearing? What kind of social distancing is there between those that have left the nursing facility and then come back. Are you going to test them X number of days after they came back to ensure that they're negative. In other words, I would question them on their policy now that they've made such a bold action in terms of that specific nursing home. [inaudible]

[00:26:42]Bill Walsh:  Right. Dr. Hebert. I wonder if you wanted to weigh in on this. I was going to ask what advice you might give to family members with loved ones in facilities like this? In the face of this ban being lifted at a time when the COVID cases are not dropping?

[00:27:02]Warren Hebert:  Well, Paul, thank you for that question. I actually lived in Cincinnati for a couple of years when I was in high school. The challenge that we've got is that we've got a broad variety of different situations in different parts of the world, in different parts of the country, and even within different states. So the level of infection is going to differ from one place to the other. So as a result, what fits for you there in Cincinnati might not fit for people in other situations and other parts of the country. So in the event that the people who are handling the decision-making there perhaps feel that the rate of infection is low enough for them to give people that opportunity from a standpoint of their emotional well-being to reconnect with family, that could be a decision that has a very positive impact on their resilience and their emotional hygiene.

[00:28:03] On the other hand, as Dr. Brooks pointed out, it certainly is a great risk. So as a family member, the things that I would suggest that you do would be to take some of the same precautions we talked about earlier. If that person's going to come home to visit with family, it's well documented, the press is offering lots of solutions, are you able to be in a different space? Are you able, while you're in the same home visiting, to be 6 feet or more from that other person? Have you and your family members come to some consensus about wearing masks when you're there? And we know about handwashing. So those are a few steps that I would take, and I think that it's a real difficult decision for the various providers of care in congregate living settings, to make sure they're not only taking care of that individual's level of risk, but also trying to do some things that help with their emotional well-being. And we'll talk about that a little bit more in the program.

[00:29:11]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thanks for that, Dr. Hebert. Jean, who's our next caller?

[00:29:16]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Benny from Pennsylvania.

[00:29:19]Bill Walsh:  Hey Benny, go ahead with your question.

[00:29:22]Benny:  Yeah, thank you so very much. Yes, my name is Benny Ward, OK, I'm from Erie, Pennsylvania. And what I'm calling about is my taxes. The guy that usually helped me pay my taxes is not able to do it because of the pandemic. And now they're talking about selling my home. Is there anybody out there that's thinking about helping somebody with their taxes, because they can stop from throwing people out because of their rent. I understand that, but this is my taxes.

[00:29:58]Bill Walsh:  Yep. Jean Chatzky, do you have any words of advice for Benny?

[00:30:09]Jean Chatzky:  What I would say is to start at AARP, on the website. AARP has a number of resources that can help you with your taxes and has volunteers. You'll find them under the Tax-Aide program that may be able to help you as well. If you haven't filed your taxes until this point, you probably know that the deadline has passed. It was moved from April, where it usually is, until July. You can get an extension until October, but that extension is an extension to file. It's not an extension to pay. So I would very quickly go to AARP, go through Tax-Aide program, try to find some help accessing somebody who can help you file an extension. It’s form 4868. If you can’t get the help quickly, you can probably do it yourself on the IRS’s website, which is irs.gov. And just file the extension form. As long as you don’t owe the government any money at this point, they will give you an automatic extension and then that’ll just buy you almost an additional three months in which to deal with this.

[00:31:43]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that Jean. And thanks also for mentioning the AARP Tax-Aide program. AARP is, a little known fact, is one of the biggest tax preparers in the country. We do millions of returns for folks for free on an annual basis. You can call that program at 888-687-2277, or you can find them online at aarp.org/taxaide, that’s aide with an E. We normally operate sites around the country, but because of COVID, we’ve had to close them. We are, however, helping people over the phone and online with tax preparation services. So check that out. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:32:36]Jean Setzfand:  We have a lot of questions coming in from YouTube, and this one's coming from YouTube from Nina. And she asked this question. “Hello, after testing positive, will we be contacted by a contact tracer or something else we need to do on our own?” I guess that would be good to kind of go through the contact-tracing programs, if possible.

[00:32:58]Bill Walsh:  Dr. Brooks, can you address that question about contact tracing?

[00:33:02]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Yes. So you should be contacted. That generally is done by your county or your city, whatever your local jurisdiction is in terms of public health. You should be contacted, and they look back to see who you've been in contact with over a period of time. If you are not called, then the first thing you need to do is isolate yourself to ensure that you’re not spreading to others, and then do your own quote unquote contact tracing. Generally the virus is infectious possibly two days before you have symptoms, if you had symptoms, and then if you just tested positive and you were asymptomatic, you would look back, probably about two weeks because you could have had it for that period of time. So think back on where you were, who you were exposed to, and generally speaking exposure is six feet or less in distance and being around someone for 15 minutes or longer. That's what we look for in our health care environment. So to answer the question, yes, you should be called. But I think right now, some of the public health systems are overwhelmed. I know they are. And they just don't have the ability to follow up with everyone who tested positive. For example, right now in the United States, there's somewhere around 50,000 new cases every day.

[00:34:40]Bill Walsh:  Yes, so interesting advice. So if you're not contacted, but you've tested positive, maybe do it on your own. Reach out via email, phone calls, and just let people whom you've come into contact with know that you've tested positive, and they can take their own precautions. All right. Well, thank you.

[00:35:04]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Which is generally quarantining.

[00:35:06]Bill Walsh:  Which is generally quarantining for 14 days. Thank you, Dr. Brooks, for that. Jean who is our next caller?

[00:35:12]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Carl from Pennsylvania.

[00:35:15]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Carl, you're on the line. Go ahead with your question.

[00:35:18]Carl:  OK. Thanks. I would like to address transportation because in Pennsylvania we have a lot of rural areas. And one of the things that I would like to know, that the individuals or the seniors that are living in long-term care and nursing homes that need transportation to go back and forth in the community to get their appointment, what type of safety that they're having from their virus from the transportation that they use?

[00:35:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, Dr. Hebert. Do you want to tackle that question?

[00:35:54]Warren Hebert:  Sure, Carl, thank you. You know, rural areas have really unique challenges. I'm actually in the process of writing a chapter for a textbook on home care in rural areas. Transportation is one of the big challenges in rural areas when it comes to getting to health care or getting to other places. In the event that you'd need to use some type of transportation, public transportation is difficult to find in rural areas. The transportation that you would be using if you were in an urban area, taking extra precautions certainly around wearing masks, traveling as little on public transportation as you possibly can, handwashing, distancing are all very important. In rural areas the challenge around transportation is very unique to each area. Different parts of the country have more robust assistance in transportation than others. So there are a lot of issues that are going to be specific to your area, and AARP has a wealth of resources and people to look to assist you. And you can find that information by going to aarp.org/caregiving, and there'll be information for you there that should help.

[00:37:20]Bill Walsh:  It seems that Carl was also concerned about possibly putting an older person at risk if they're taking transportation while at a nursing home. If they're leaving the facility to, I don't know, get their hair done or go to the grocery store. How big of a risk is that would you say, Dr. Hebert?

[00:37:40]Warren Hebert:  The risk depends on what they're going to be doing. I've seen a number of different resources that are available that give you an opportunity to evaluate whether a particular activity is higher risk or lower risk. Some indicate that it's a lower risk if they're taking you out to go shopping, as long as you're wearing a mask and keeping the distancing. It's a higher risk if you're going out to have your hair done. And it is an even higher risk if you're going to be going out into a setting where there are a lot of people, perhaps a church service or something like that. So again, it will vary depending on what is being done. But Carl, you're certainly on target with regards to recognizing that these different experiences are going to provide a different level of risk every time that person's leaving.

[00:38:33]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, and I think it's worth reminding folks that if ever there was a time, this is a time to be an advocate for your loved ones who are in nursing homes or assisted- living facilities. You have the right to know what's happening inside those facilities, to be connected with your loved ones and to understand what precautions they're taking to keep your loved ones safe. So be an advocate. Also know that in every state, there are long-term care ombudsman, independent people who are responsible for helping consumers with issues that come up in long-term care settings. So those resources are available for free, as well. OK, well, let's go back to the phones. Who is our next caller?

[00:39:18]Jean Setzfand:  Hi Bill. Our next caller is Paul from Nebraska. Paul, you're live.

[00:39:22]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Paul, go ahead with your question.

[00:39:25]Paul:  Yes. I have a question for Mrs. Chatzky. What can the average individual do to minimize the costs other than, you know, what commonsense would tell you, for the end of this, God-awful pandemic that we're going through? What would be her suggestions that we could minimize the cost?

[00:39:55]Bill Walsh:  Paul, when you're talking about costs, what kinds of costs are you talking about?

[00:39:59]Paul:  Well to minimize the cost that we're going to have all across the board. I see three facets of it. And certainly the government portion is one, but the actual costs that we have, what can the average person do? What would she suggest that we could do to minimize those costs?

[00:40:25]Bill Walsh:  OK, Jean, do you want to try and take that question?

[00:40:30]Jean Chatzky:  I think it's a good one, and I actually think that the pandemic has given us a little bit of a gift in this regard. Because we've been home, many of us, because we have not been going out into the world, we have actually not been spending nearly as much money as we were on a regular basis. If you look at the savings rate in this country and the personal savings rate, which is actually the percentage of our disposable income that we save on a monthly basis, usually it runs about 6 percent. During the pandemic it zoomed all the way up into the 30 percent range. Now it's fallen back, and those double-digit rates are not really sustainable, but what is sustainable is to take a look at where your money has not been going over the past couple of months, and how you can maintain some of those savings.

[00:41:44] So let's just talk about a couple of examples. Many of us were in the habit of going to the grocery store multiple times a week. But during the pandemic, we didn't want to go out of it as much. We were told to social distance; we were told to stay home. And so for the first time in a long time, we started planning our meals. We started making lists of what we were going to buy. We started cooking more than we had been in the past, and that resulted in a large savings of money for many, many people. We also were able to take a look at the difference subscription services in our lives and the other things that we spent our money on. We now know which of our streaming and cable channels we watch, and which ones we don't, and we should go through the process of canceling those things that we haven't been using.

[00:42:45] Then interest rates are offering us an opportunity. You know, interest rates, are doing absolutely nothing for savers these days. You put your money in the bank, you're getting very little back for it. But if you are carrying debt of any sort, and you've got a decent credit score, you should be looking to refinance those debts. Mortgages can be refinanced. Student loans can be refinanced. Car loans can be refinanced. Even reverse mortgages, if you took one out, can be refinanced and you can pull more money in many cases out of that same property. Now granted, some of these transactions are not free. There is a cost to refinancing a mortgage whether it's a regular mortgage or a reverse mortgage, but you may find that it is well worth the effort because you're spending so much less on a monthly basis going forward.

[00:43:44]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that Jean. Let's take another question from one of our listeners. Go ahead.

[00:43:54]Jean Setzfand:  We have quite a few questions around travel, and here is one from YouTube from Frederick which, I think, puts a fine point on it. “I travel for cancer treatments — which would be considered safer, plane or train?”

[00:44:08]Bill Walsh:  Hmm, Dr. Brooks, do you have some thoughts on that?

[00:44:13]Oliver Tate Brooks:  That's a good question. I would say, and first I want to correct something. I had said 14 days of quarantine isolation. The guidance is now changed to 10 days of quarantine and isolation. So just make that notation that if you test positive, it's 10 days from the point of positivity or quarantine 10 days from exposure.

[00:44:34] Now, as it relates to travel. So that's a challenging question. A plane's faster, so you're on it less, generally speaking, in terms of distance covered in a period of time. The key is keeping that physical distance and cleanliness, I will say. So, my instincts tell me, because I haven't traveled since this whole thing began, but my instincts tell me that the train may be a little safer because trains, at least from my experience, right now probably are not as packed. They have a [inaudible] of a percent of the seats filled. So it's easier to be away from somebody because that's where I believe the issue will be. So I would say that if you have the choice for relatively short distances, I would go with the train.

[00:45:40]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that. And thank you for all your questions. We're going to be getting to more of them shortly. Now let's get back to our experts for answers to some of our most pressing coronavirus questions.

[00:45:59] Dr. Hebert, we're five months into the pandemic in this country, and for many family caregivers who were stressed before their pandemic, this is sure to be a challenging fall. What are some of the strategies that people can employ to ensure they take care of their mental and physical well-being as they care for loved ones?

[00:46:21]Warren Hebert:  Bill, my wife and I are family caregivers to a 29-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome, and my family cared for my dad who had dementia for seven years. And in his final year, he was bed- and chair bound. So the family caregivers who are listening out there certainly have a wealth of challenges. With regards to our mental well-being, as I indicated a little earlier, I've taken to calling that emotional hygiene. The virtual visits, when possible, can really make an impact in one's disposition. The technology that's out there like FaceTime, Zoom, Skype is something that I've taken to using even though I'm using it a lot with work, I'm also beginning to use it a lot with family, and also just with friends. The opportunity to see another face really helps the family caregiver from a standpoint of their resilience. But also the person that's receiving care.

[00:47:20] Respite is a conversation that we have often around family caregiving. Is there another family member who is isolating that can come in to give the primary caregiver a break once in a while. Some other things is exercise within one's own home. The opportunity to do some chair exercises, if that family caregiver is older, or if you are at an age and in a place where you can exercise. Since COVID-19 started, I'm out on my cruiser bike every morning, getting in about 10 miles a day. So if you have that option, this certainly can be a time, and I want to thank Jean for her comment earlier that in many ways COVID has been a gift. So for you as a family caregiver, the opportunity to search out support groups. Our story as family caregivers is very important. It helps us to bring meaning. And the last couple of things that I'll mention is the opportunity for prayer, yoga, meditation are all important. And the last thing that I'll mention is actually about subtraction more than addition. And that is limiting our time with the various media. Our friends in, not only social media, but in our more typical media, need to get information out there that helps to drive ad time. So what that means is you're likely to get very sensationalized views of whatever the issue of the day is. For the average person, limiting our time with the media can help us with our own emotional well-being. Thank you, Bill.

[00:49:04]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, thank you for that, Dr. Hebert. And one other resource for family caregivers I'll mention is a new a resource that AARP created just a few months ago. We call it Community Connections, and it's a way of connecting with folks in your community, whether it's to get some transportation, deliveries, sitting with somebody for a while. You can plug into these local networks that you may never have known existed before COVID and maybe didn't exist before COVID, but they exist now. And part of that program is a free call from one of our trained AARP volunteers. So if you have a loved one and you're concerned that they're isolated, need to be talking to someone, you can sign them up to get a free call or a series of calls from an AARP volunteer. That friendly caller number is toll free, it's 1-888-281-0145. You can also find it online at aarpcommunityconnections.org. So just one more resource for family caregivers, who even in the best of times have a lot on their hands.

[00:50:26] OK, Dr. Brooks let's turn back to you. We're continuing to see even more concerning data about the impact of the pandemic on people of color. This is deeply troubling. Why is this? And what more needs to be done to address it?

[00:50:44]Oliver Tate Brooks:  So the why is that the virus tends to affect and infect the weak and [inaudible]. The data is showing that those with obesity, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease are more likely to have an adverse outcome. And those conditions or are more prevalent in the African American community and communities of color for many reasons, which I don't think we need to get into now. That's why.

[00:51:18] So what we do? So first of all, and most importantly, I believe it was Dr. Herbert that said we're all in this together. So for those that are not from a community of color, understand that we're a country, we're all one, and we're all going through this together. As I said earlier, data is showing that it's coming out of the South and moving to the North and the Midwest. So if there are these high rates among the African Americans, who primarily live in the South, it's just going to spread up. It's going to spread, and it is spreading up. So we're all in this together.

[00:51:58] I want to also stress what Dr. Hebert just said — wellness, the things he spoke to, were all things in that provide wellness to your body. So those are actions to be taken. So at the NMA level, we're asking the CDC to give us good data, so we can track and really have a better understanding of what truly is going on in the people of color communities, and that also gives us information in the overall country. I would say if you have diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and for everyone, it's more likely to occur in African-Americans, get care. We're doing with telemedicine. You can actually go in to see your doctor. And when we see patients, we have PPE, we give masks to the patients. So if you need care, get care. It's really important that we do testing and contact tracing. That question that came up earlier about what happens if I test positive and no one comes back to me. There should be more testing in the African American community and other communities of color, and the NMA has partnered with CVS, for example, to get more testing in those areas.

[00:53:14] And then I would say, policies. Policies that eliminate the disparities and health outcomes will allow for this not to occur going forward. For example, Jean Chatzky spoke to the $600 unemployment incentive. That is more important than the stimulus package because when you give people $600 now, they need it. They're these unemployed people that are spending it. So African Americans may be more likely, are more likely to be unemployed. So that type of thing will help because if you're unemployed and you need a job, you may be more likely to go out there and do a job that you maybe shouldn't be doing because you're exposing yourself to the virus.

[00:54:01] And then ultimately, you mentioned AARP in various states having advocacy successes, I'll call them. So advocate for yourself, advocate with organizations like the AARP that are doing things that are helpful. Then also, we have a referendum coming in three months. Study your ballots from top to bottom, national down to the school board and put those in positions of authority who you feel represent your best interests.

[00:54:36]Bill Walsh:  OK, Dr. Brooks, thanks for that. Jean Chatzky, let me turn to you to look at another dimension of the issue Dr. Brooks was just talking about. From a personal finance and economic perspective, have women and people of color also been harder hit by the fallout from the pandemic.

[00:54:55]Jean Chatzky:  No doubt. And just like, Dr. Brooks was pointing to health in this picture, you can't really separate the health from the finances here. We know that Black Americans are dying at 2 1/2 times the rate of white Americans. And part of the reason for this is that is the jobs they do. That when you look at the data from the Bureau of Labor statistics, Black Americans are disproportionately likely to be doing what we call the essential jobs. They are in the food industry and health services, and on the surface and on the upside, this means that in many cases they still have their jobs. But on the downside, it puts their health at risk. So I think it's all part and parcel of the same puzzle. When we talk about other people of color, we know, 6 in 10 Hispanic adults say that they or someone in their household has lost a job or taken a pay cut. That is much greater than the number of white adults in this country who have had that experience.

[00:56:12] When it comes to women overall, COVID-19 is impacting women's livelihoods more than it is men for a couple of reasons. Again, it's the type of jobs that women do. When you look, not just in this country, but around the world, women's jobs are almost twice as likely to be cut in this recession as jobs held by men. But it's also the amount of unpaid work that women are doing and that amount is increasing dramatically. We've got schools closed, we've got health systems overwhelmed, and that is forcing many women to spend many more hours each week on caregiving and housework, and again, women of color, as well as single women, are doing even more. When you look at this statistically, we know three-quarters of Black women and Latino women are spending three or more hours every single day just on housework. And that compares to just over half of white women. So there are a lot of inequities.

[00:57:35]Bill Walsh:  OK, Jean. Thanks for that. Let me ask you another question, another financial question's been top of mind for many people. The markets have been volatile over the last several months, and there's been a lot of uncertainty looking to the future. What tips do you have for people who may be approaching retirement in the next few years and are watching retirement fund balances bounce up and down?

[00:57:59]Jean Chatzky:  First of all, don't watch. I'm not really joking. I mean, yes, we need to keep a macro view at what's happening in our retirement, but trying to micromanage these balances, knowing that we have no control over the market, no control over interest rates, is not a good thing for your emotional well-being or for your financial decision- making. It's when we get over involved in the tremendous volatility, and the volatility has been like nothing we saw even in the 2008 great recession period, it's been so much greater than that. When you let yourself get sucked into that, that's when you make bad decisions.

[00:58:52] Wo my advice, and it really has not changed, is take a look at when you need this money. If this is truly long-term money, money that you do not need in the next three to five years, then continue to invest it in a way that makes sense for your age and for your risk tolerance. If it is money that you need in the short term, it does not belong in the markets. It never belonged in the markets. Finally, this is a really good time to sit back, particularly if you are looking at retirement coming toward you in the next five to 10 years, to look at what you're going to need in that retirement, and to figure out how you are going to create an income stream that will cover that for as long as you live, using a combination of Social Security, as well as any pension income, as well as the income that you have set aside in your retirement plans. And you may need help with that. Even if you just sit down with a financial advisor for an hour to get a sense of, am I moving in the right direction? Am I making the right decisions? It's money well spent.

[01:00:16]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks Jean. Back to you, Dr. Hebert. While much of the increase in recent cases is among younger people, residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities continue to be the hardest hit. How does spread in the community among younger populations connect to the cases and deaths that we're seeing in these facilities?

[01:00:43]Warren Hebert:  Bill, the nature of the contagion has been striking. The information I'm reading is that the latest strain of the coronavirus is now 10 times more contagious in the lab than the original mutation that came out of Wuhan, China. This is something that people should be paying very close attention to. And the challenge that we've got is that this is happening, this more contagious version of the virus is happening at a time when we are all experiencing a degree of exhaustion around isolation, wearing masks and distancing. So this is a real recipe for disaster.

[01:01:29] So to your question, how does the spread in the community among the younger populations connect to cases and deaths in facilities? The nature of human connection is that we are at risk for contagious diseases. And the young people who are having a very different perspective around these precautions, essentially live with parents who may be staffed in the nursing homes. For those nursing homes that are not practicing, as indicated earlier by Paul in Cincinnati, who are letting other people come in, that means that every person who's coming in for a visit or every person that's going home to visit, and then going back into the nursing home, as Dr. Brooks indicated earlier, that's a pretty high risk for them to be going back in, because each and every one of those people has the potential to have been exposed to someone who was asymptomatic, but yet positive.

[01:02:32] The home is the safest place today. One's personal home, and it's also the safest place for care. The connections between family is part of our self-care. It's part of our resilience, our ability to engage one another. We might ask ourselves a very important question, do we have a false sense of security about connecting with people who we’re familiar with? My sense is that even though I've got the same level of risk when I connect with my sons or daughters or grandkids, I have a false sense of security because I'm familiar with them. The other thing is, is that there's a willingness on my part to perhaps take a greater risk with family. For example, in my family, 79 percent of us are employed in health care. We've got 24 RNs in the family between aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews, etc. So all of these people have the potential to be exposed when folks in the younger populations are out and making choices that not following prudent practices around mitigating risks.

[01:03:48]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you for that Dr. Hebert. Now I'd like to take a moment to alert our listeners to continued coronavirus scams. Scammers continue to use the headlines as opportunities to steal money or sensitive personal information. The FBI is warning that scammers are advertising fake coronavirus antibody testing. Their goal is to obtain sensitive personal information they can use in identity theft or medical insurance fraud. Scammers may claim the test is FDA-approved and may even offer a cash incentive to lure in unsuspecting consumers. The agency recommends consulting your doctor before taking any COVID-19 antibody test at home and warns against sharing personal or health information with anyone other than a known and trusted medical professional. Visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork to learn more about these and other scams, or call the Fraud Watch Network helpline at 877-908-3360.

[01:04:58] Now it's time to address more of your questions with Dr. Brooks, Dr. Hebert and Jean Chatzky. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:05:15]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Brian from New York City.

[01:05:52]Bill Walsh:  All right, Brian, go ahead with your question.

[01:05:55]Brian:  Thank you. I am suffering from agoraphobia, the fear of being outdoors during this pandemic, because I do not know who, what or where it's safe, and it's leading to isolation and depression. What advice and information do you have for anyone who is suffering like I am? And thank you very much.

[01:06:13]Bill Walsh:  All right. Thank you. Dr. Brooks, do you have any advice for Brian in New York?

[01:06:21]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Yes, so a couple of things. First of all, we all have our fears and our phobias, so I think that it's something that I like the way he stated it categorically, it's acceptable. The virus spreads a lot less outdoors. The concern mostly is indoors. So, in general, if your agoraphobia is related to the virus as opposed to as in general, I would say reduce that some.

[01:06:50] Number two, be in places where there are no people. For example, you can go, so let's say to a park, a field, a national or state park, and park and go out into the woods. Or even if you live in an urban area, find an area that doesn't have a lot of people. In other words, you have a true fear and that's understandable. Wearing a mask helps some, but I want to just make a comment other than an N95-grade mask, masks are made for you to stop spreading to other people. So you wearing a mask helps you from infecting other people potentially, but it is not made to protect you from them. So, I think it's good to get outside, first of all. I think that just the concept of fresh air and being inside is strangling. So find an area where there is a minimum of people. You wear a mask, because it does afford some protection to you, and then do know that in general the aerosol or the droplets get dispersed in the outside air, and so your concern is a lot less.

[01:08:21]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that. Dr. Brooks. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:08:26]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is, Tuerie from D.C. I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly.

[01:08:33]Bill Walsh:  OK, go ahead with your question.

[01:08:35]Tuerie:  OK. Yep, this is Tuerie from D.C. Just two quick questions — number one, how do we know the death rates that are posted separate the COVID deaths from other deaths at this time? And then I have a question about retirement. I'm of age and in service, and I'm a teacher. So, I'm really stressed about this online teaching. Is this a good time for me to retire? So those are my two questions.

[01:09:08]Bill Walsh:  OK, well, Dr. Brooks, her first question seems to be a pretty straightforward one. Do you want to take that, and then we'll turn to Jean Chatzky.

[01:09:17]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Yeah, the first one is. The CDC, and generally state and local public health departments, have criteria on what is considered death from COVID-19. And so we test patients as they come into the hospital. You can actually do a postmortem specimen on them. It will get a little tricky, let's say if someone had a heart attack and tested positive for COVID-19. But I would say I would not concern myself with that because 90 percent of them are clear COVID-19, and maybe there are 10 percent that aren't clear. You still have a 90 percent predictability odds ratio of knowing that the hospitalization rates that you're reading about or hearing are accurate.

[01:10:04]Bill Walsh:  OK. And she also had a question, Jean, about retirement. Can you offer some advice there?

[01:10:11]Jean Chatzky:  I can offer some generalities. It's very hard for me to say yes or no without knowing your numbers. And the real question that you need to ask yourself is, in combination with your savings and Social Security, if you're eligible for it, and the money that you have in a pension, if you're receiving one from your school district, have you accumulated enough for a retirement that is likely to last 30 years. If you can get a grip on your numbers, you basically want to make sure that you are replacing a good 80 to 85 percent of your preretirement income. There's kind of a fallacy that people in retirement spend an awful lot less than people who were preretirement. And what we see in real life is that that's just not the case, especially with today's very healthy and vital retirees. So I'd say it's time to do a financial physical and figure out if you are set up, in order to do that. If you truly don't think that you can handle the remote teaching, you may want to take the next couple of weeks to look for other opportunities, maybe a smaller environment would be more workable for you. I know that there are an awful lot of people who are hiring tutors and former teachers to take care of their own children's needs. But you then would have to ask yourself when COVID is over, and I hope, it will be over sooner rather than later, is that going to be sustainable over the long term?

[01:12:13]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that, Jean. We see a number of questions in the queue about scams. So I just wanted to reiterate the toll-free number AARP has at the Fraud Watch Hotline. That is 877-908-3360. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:12:49]Jean Setzfand:  We have a question coming in from YouTube and this one's coming from Joy. And she's asking about mobile testing done for people who can't leave their homes or may be in care facilities, especially for group environments. Can they also be tested?

[01:13:06]Bill Walsh:  Dr. Brooks, do you have any insight into that?

[01:13:09]Oliver Tate Brooks:  So there are many areas that have mobile testing. So, yes, I think that's an excellent approach, bring the testing to the patient. As it relates to nursing homes, the test is a relatively simple thing. You swab the nose. So a nursing home or nursing facility or any accommodating living facility could actually just bring in a provider like a physician and maybe a nurse to help handle it, and just test people. The test, generally speaking, doesn't have to be refrigerated, and it can be taken to the lab and it can be run. So that is definitely a viable option. That again, would be based on your locale and how flexible they are, how nimble they are with dealing with issues regarding testing.

[01:13:57]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you, Dr. Brooks. Jean, who is our next caller?

[01:14:01]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Albert from North Carolina.

[01:14:05]Bill Walsh:  Hi Albert, go ahead with your question.

[01:14:17]Albert:  My wife and I are very high risk, especially my wife and our children and grandchildren all live out of state. How do we make it safe for them to visit, or is it recommended that we not?

[01:14:32]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that question, Albert. And this is a predicament I think a lot of people find themselves in at this time when folks just aren't traveling as much as they had in the past. Dr. Hebert, do you want to address Albert's question?

[01:14:47]Warren Hebert:  Albert, I mentioned a little bit earlier that we've got a dozen grandchildren and the issue that you're dealing with around meeting to see your grandchildren is something that all of us are dealing with. So finding ways to connect with them virtually means that you'd have no risk at all. It means that a lot of us, thank you, Jean, for the comment earlier about being more seasoned, a lot of us more seasoned folks are needing to get used to some of the technology like FaceTime and Zoom and Skype. That means you've got no risk at all.

[01:15:20] For some family members, they really want to be present. They want to be in a physical space. So one of the questions that you need to ask yourself and that your family needs to ask, is if you're going to visit them and maybe make a drive there, because that's the safest thing to travel, are they able to isolate for 10 days prior to your going to visit? If they can do that, it reduces your risk. Are you able to isolate for that period of time before going to visit? There's so much complexity in this process. It means we've got to think well in advance of things that in the past, we used to just pick up and do.

[01:16:01] So those are some things that I would suggest. And even when you're there, and if you've been isolating, to follow the protocols to reduce risk. And that is the distancing, wearing masks, frequent washing of hands. Those are things that are all very important. But Albert, I'm with you. I love my grandkids and it is sure hard not seeing them as often as we did before.

[01:16:23]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, it sure is. All right, Jean, do we have another caller on the line?

[01:16:28]Jean Setzfand:  We do. It's Michaelanne from California.

[01:16:31]Bill Walsh:  Hi, welcome to the show. Go ahead with your question.

[01:16:35]Michaelanne:  Hi, thanks for taking this. I never actually received the stimulus checks at all, and I'm wondering, where do I go to inquire more about it? I have looked into it, and it said there were 30,000 to 50,000 people still waiting for theirs, and that was maybe a month ago. So when they're talking about a second one, I still haven't received the first. Where did I go wrong?

[01:17:06]Bill Walsh:  All right. Well, let's ask Jean Chatzky. Jean, do you have any insight for Michaelanne in California?

[01:17:11]Jean Chatzky:  Yeah. So Michaelanne, your recourse, unfortunately at this point for that first stimulus is going to be on when you file your 2020 tax returns. The first stimulus payment, and my guess is the second stimulus payment, will be essentially a credit on your 2020 tax return. And you will be able to claim it when you file next year. Now for the next round of payments, my guess is that the IRS will again have a place for people to type in their information to receive direct deposit payments, to update their address. I would absolutely go ahead and try to do that. But there may be some reason that the IRS is basing its knowledge of your finances on either 2018 or 2019, and it thinks, for whatever reason, that you earned too much money to qualify, and you're going to have to show them that you didn't.

[01:18:22]Bill Walsh:  It sounds like she's trying to check up on that. Should she call the IRS directly? Is there another resource she should check?

[01:18:32]Jean Chatzky:  She can certainly try to call the IRS, directly. There is a tab on the IRS website, it's irs.gov, and you can click it. It says, "Get My Payment." And you'll go through a series of questions. You'll be asked to type in your Social Security number, your date of birth, your street address, and I would go through that process. But what we've been told in conversations with the IRS is that there are so few people in the office that they are not really manning the phones at this point, and I don't believe that that has changed.

[01:19:17]Bill Walsh:  One other thing, Michaelanne, you might try is to reach out to your congressional representative. This is their job. And if you feel that you were eligible for a stimulus check and didn't get it, reach out to your congressional representative and they should get on the case and get the IRS's attention for you. So, Jean, do we have another question in the queue?

[01:19:43]Jean Setzfand:  Absolutely. Here is a question from Facebook and we've found a few questions focused on vaccines. So I'm going to choose one that's more representative, coming from Elaine. She's asking, "There's a great deal of pressure to produce a vaccine. How can we be sure the early products actually meet the needs of the public, that they actually have met strict criteria?"

[01:20:05]Bill Walsh:  Dr. Brooks, do you have any thoughts on that?

[01:20:08]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Yes. First of all, we're in a situation where there's a pandemic where we have more than 3 million cases in the U.S. and more than 150,000 deaths. So there is pressure to develop a vaccine. So I think that you have to start with that. I am actually involved somewhat with the issues regarding this. The FDA will give a clear review of the data, specifically safety and effectiveness. There will be clinical trials that will involve generally all races, ethnicities, all individuals. It's going to be large; it should be thousands and thousands of people. We will know what we know. I believe that over time as the vaccine gets rolled out, we will see the safety and efficacy come through. But I can assure you from direct interaction that the CDC, NIH and the FDA are all monitoring this very closely.

[01:21:22] One last thing I'll add … as it relates to vaccines, one of the things that delays them coming to the market in general is part of the time from initial development to release to the market is manufacturing. So a company won't start manufacturing a vaccine until they know that it is ready to go to the market. The government has provided funding to some of the companies to go in and start manufacturing it, and if it doesn't work, we'll just throw it away. So the fact that we're getting years off of the process by allowing companies to start manufacturing something that they don't even know for sure will work, they've gotten government monies to do that. I think that that's an important thing to understand how a vaccine can come to market so rapidly. There has been government financial support for this.

[01:22:25] Ultimately, it's tough, because we need a vaccine. There's just generally clear evidence that the only way that we’re going to get past COVID-19 is with a vaccine. So I would say that believe that we're doing the right thing in a difficult situation. And when the vaccine comes out, you will know that through many means that it is safe and effective.

[01:22:58]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you, Dr. Brooks. Jean, do we have another question in the queue?

[01:23:04]Jean Setzfand:  Yes, we have Mary from Tennessee.

[01:23:07]Bill Walsh:  Hi, Mary, go ahead with your question.

[01:23:13]Mary:  You were talking about the fraud, you know, people frauding people out of their stimulus checks. What about the nursing homes? You know that my mother is in a nursing home and I know she got a stimulus check, but they said they keep it, but you can't get it. They just keep the stimulus check. But do they use this stimulus check?

[01:23:34]Bill Walsh:  You mean the nursing home is keeping your mother's stimulus check?

[01:23:38]Mary:  Yes, I think they say I can't get it. The only way I can get it, is if I buy her something and bring the receipt, or if something happened, then I could get it.

[01:23:51]Bill Walsh:  Let's ask Jean Chatzky about that. What are your thoughts on what Mary's talking about?

[01:23:57]Jean Chatzky:  Oh, it doesn't sound kosher, for lack of a better word, to me. I don't know who you're speaking with at the nursing home, but I would get in touch with the person who runs the nursing home and see if you can get a clearer answer to that question. If you can't, I would report this both to your local area authority on aging and your local attorney general's office because it sounds as if they have taken possession of these funds that do not belong to them.

[01:24:41]Bill Walsh:  Yeah, Dr. Hebert, do you have any thoughts on this?

[01:24:46]Warren Hebert:  I'm not familiar with the particulars in the nursing home setting, Bill, so I really don't have anything to offer on, on how they handle the finances for patients there.

[01:24:56]Bill Walsh:  I will let Mary and other listeners know that every state has a long-term care ombudsman program and these folks are independent of the nursing homes. This system was set up to have them advocate on behalf of consumers. So that's another resource Mary and others can reach out to for a whole slew of questions or concerns they might have with nursing homes in their state. For Mary, we have the phone number for the long-term care ombudsman in Tennessee and that is 866-552-4464. Thank you for the quick work from the AARP staff in getting that information to us.

[01:25:55] OK, Jean Chatzky, did you have something else you wanted to add?

[01:25:58]Jean Chatzky:  I did want to say that the IRS actually issued an advisory warning about this to basically note that these payments belong to the recipients, they do not belong to the nursing home, they do not belong to the assisted-living facility. So I would follow up with that resource in Tennessee just to make sure that you get the money that is due to you for your parent.

[01:26:31]Bill Walsh:  Thanks for that information, Jean. This has been an informative discussion, and thanks to each of you 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 care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of the question and answer session, can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus starting tomorrow on August 7. 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. I just wanted to ask our guests if they had any closing thoughts before we sign off. Dr. Brooks?

[01:27:49]Oliver Tate Brooks:  Yes. Thank you. I have three or four. First of all, thank you for hosting this. To those listening, be patient. This is a marathon, not a sprint. To the caller that said they wanted to visit their grandchildren, I would say make those contacts that were stated by Dr. Hebert — Zoom, FaceTime. I have a friend who's reading a Harry Potter [book] from beginning to end to his grandchildren, and they're looking forward to this. They love it. So there are ways to connect without exposing yourself.

[01:28:30] Number two, obtain credible information. The information you're getting on this call is credible information. Always question things that don't make sense.

[01:28:39] Number three, advocate for yourself and for others. Hold your public officials accountable, and put those in positions of authority you feel will look after your best interests.

[01:28:54] And lastly, keep up these infection control procedures and policies. Wear a mask when you go out. With a mask, it stops you from spreading to others, so it shows that you care, because I want to end with this — we are all in this together. We are going through this together, and we will only get out of it if we work together collectively.

[01:29:18]Bill Walsh:  All right, Dr. Brooks. Thank you for that. Dr. Hebert, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

[01:29:25]Warren Hebert:  I'll echo Dr. Brooks in saying, thank you. Family caregivers across the nation are dealing with extra challenges as you indicated a little bit earlier, Bill. They need to know how important their work is. The home is the safest place for someone to be right now. That's well documented, and it's also the safest place for care. In the past, the most prudent thing to do if somebody began to have symptoms was to get to an urgent care, ER or hospital right away. Today that's not the most prudent thing to do. The prudent first step would be to engage someone like Dr. Brooks in a telehealth, telemedicine visit. That reduces the load on hospitals, ER and urgent care, and it mitigates your risk as a caregiver and the person you're caring for.

[01:30:12] And the last thing I'll do is to echo what Dr. Brooks said. I had already written it down before you said it, Dr. Brooks, and that is this is going to be a long-term experience, and I'm telling people it's not a sprint, it's not a marathon, it might be an ultra-marathon, a hundred miles or more. If we expect this to be months, maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised if it happens earlier. But if we're expecting this to just last a few more months, then we'll be disappointed and that impacts our judgment. So we certainly need to keep ourselves in a good place from the standpoint of our mental health and well-being.

[01:30:52] And I'll add that this is not a hoax, it's not a conspiracy. This is a very real risk for people. My own brother has been hospitalized this past week, and our family is very concerned about his well-being. This is not a hoax, it's not a conspiracy. This is very real. So be cautious about where you're getting your information. Bill, thanks again to AARP for all of its good work.

[01:31:19]Bill Walsh:  Sure. Thank you, Dr. Hebert, and our thoughts are with your brother for a speedy recovery. Jean Chatzky, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

[01:31:29]Jean Chatzky:  Absolutely. And again, thank you so much for inviting me to be back with you today. I learned a lot listening to Dr. Brooks and Dr. Hebert. I wanted to just add something to the concept of self-care that Dr. Hebert raised earlier. When it comes to our financial lives, these are incredibly stressful times. Survey after survey after survey shows that we are more stressed out than we think we are, and we are above many things, more stressed out about our finances. We can get it under control by doing two things. One is by taking control of those things that we can control. Largely that means you're spending. It means paying very close attention to your numbers. It means keeping track, and it means being vigilant. But the second thing is, and it's a health tip, not a finance tip; get outside and just move. Exercise is the number one stress reducer. It does not have to cost you any money at all. Just go for a walk, go for a nice socially distanced walk, and you will watch your blood pressure start to drop.

[01:33:01]Bill Walsh:  All right. Thanks, Jean Chatzky. That was a nice note to end our program on, and thank you to our entire panel for the advice and suggestions. And thank you to our listeners. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please be sure to tune in on Wednesday, August 19 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time for a special live event with the Property Brothers. Join us for discussion on how you can make your house a home for a lifetime. Thank you to all of our listeners and guests. Have a good day. This concludes our call.

[01:33:41]

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

AARP, una organización de membresía, sin fines de lucro y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores en EE.UU. durante más de 60 años. Ante la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP proporciona información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan. Nuestras vidas hoy son drásticamente diferentes a las de los primeros días de marzo, antes de que la pandemia se apoderara de este país. La persistencia del coronavirus ha trastocado tareas diarias como ir a la tienda, así como eventos importantes de la vida. Ir a la universidad, organizar bodas, incluso tomar unas cortas vacaciones, nunca ha sido tan desafiante. Ha elevado los niveles de estrés, contribuido al miedo y al aislamiento social, y ha expuesto profundas desigualdades raciales en nuestro país.

A lo largo de este tiempo de prueba, todos hemos buscado orientación sobre cómo mantenernos seguros y protegidos. Conectar y cuidar a nuestros seres queridos y administrar nuestras finanzas. Hoy hablaremos con expertos que responderán algunas de sus preguntas más frecuentes sobre estos temas. Si ya has participado en alguna de nuestras teleasambleas en el pasado, sabes que esto es similar a un programa de entrevistas de radio y tendrás la oportunidad de hacer tus 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 comunicarse con un miembro del personal de AARP. Anotarán su nombre y su pregunta y los colocarán en una lista para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3. Si te unes por Facebook o Youtube, puedes hacer tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

Hola, si acabas de unirte, soy Bill Walsh, de AARP, y quiero darte la bienvenida a esta importante discusión sobre cómo puedes proteger tu salud, administrar tus finanzas y cuidar a tus seres queridos durante la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Hablaremos con expertos principales y responderemos sus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3.

Hoy nos acompañan el doctor Oliver Tate Brooks, expresidente de la National Medical Association. Warren Hebert, doctor en Práctica de Enfermería y profesor de Enfermería en Loyola University en Nueva Orleans, y director ejecutivo de la HomeCare Association of Louisiana, y Jean Chatzky, presidenta y directora ejecutiva de hermoney.com. También nos acompañará mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, quien ayudará a facilitar sus llamadas el día de hoy.

AARP está convocando a esta teleasamblea para ayudarte a acceder a información sobre el coronavirus. Si bien consideramos que AARP tiene un papel importante en brindarles información y promoción relacionadas con el virus, debes saber que la mejor fuente de información médica y de salud son los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades. Se les puede encontrar en cdc.gov/coronavirus. Este evento está siendo grabado y podrás acceder a la grabación en aarp.org/elcoronavirus, 24 horas después de que terminemos. Nuevamente, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en cualquier momento, en el teclado de tu teléfono para comunicarte con un miembro del personal de AARP. O, si te unes desde Facebook o YouTube, pon tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

Ahora, me gustaría dar la bienvenida a nuestros invitados especiales. El Dr. Oliver Tate Brooks es el expresidente de la Asociación Médica Nacional. La organización nacional más grande y antigua que representa a médicos afroamericanos y sus pacientes en Estados Unidos. El Dr. Books también es el director médico de Watts Healthcare Corporation, en Los Ángeles, California. Gracias por estar de nuevo con nosotros Dr. Brooks.

Dr. Brooks: Gracias por invitarme, Bill. Encantado de estar aquí.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias. El Dr. Warren P. Hebert Jr., es profesor adjunto en Loyola University en Nueva Orleans. Tiene más de 40 años de experiencia en enfermería, es un líder activo en el cuidado de la salud en el hogar y en la política de salud a nivel federal y estatal. Bienvenido de nuevo, Dr. Hebert.

Dr. Hebert: Gracias por invitarme, Bill. Me entusiasma esta conversación.

Bill Walsh: Bien. Y Jean Chatzky es una autora de éxitos de librería y presidenta y directora ejecutiva de hermoney.com. Es una galardonada periodista de finanzas personales con más de dos décadas de experiencia, ayudando a las personas a administrar su dinero. También se desempeña como embajadora financiera de AARP. Bienvenida nuevamente, Jean.

Jean Chatzky: Muchas gracias por invitarme.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien. Gracias a todos por acompañarnos hoy. Comencemos con las preguntas y solo como recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono.

Dr. Brooks, comencemos por usted. Los casos están aumentando en lugares de todo el país, pero hemos visto discutir muchos otros números. Hay tasas de hospitalización, tasas de casos positivos, cantidad de pruebas y más. ¿Cuáles son los números a los que deberíamos prestar atención?

Dr. Brooks: Bueno, diría lo siguiente. Creo que primero deberíamos mirar el número de casos porque eso te dirá la prevalencia relativa, lo que significa cuánto virus está circulando. Cuántas personas, por así decirlo, están infectadas. Dicho esto, los que sigo más de cerca son los porcentajes positivos. Porque, digamos que analizas a 1,000 personas, y digamos que obtienes 100 de ellas positivas. Eso es, ya sabes, son 100 casos.

Si analizas a 10,000 personas y obtienes 1,000 positivas, tienes muchos más casos, pero la tasa positiva sigue siendo del 10%. Entonces, el porcentaje de pruebas que son realmente positivas, realmente da una buena indicación de qué parte de la población, por así decirlo, está realmente infectada. Miré algunos gráficos y noté que el porcentaje positivo tiende a seguir también la tasa de hospitalización y la tasa de mortalidad. Entonces, lo otro que rastrearía son las tasas de hospitalización, porque no importa cuántas personas estén realmente infectadas, habrá un cierto número, alrededor del 15% que lo tiene, que será hospitalizado. Entonces, si ves que la cantidad de personas en el hospital en tu región, en tu estado, en tu localidad, aumenta, entonces sabes que el virus está en un nivel más alto, que hubo más propagación, que hay más riesgo.

Y luego, finalmente, creo, la tasa de mortalidad. Entonces, si estás viendo caer la tasa de mortalidad, entonces ese es un gran barómetro. La única preocupación con la tasa de mortalidad es la tasa de mortalidad. Para cuando llegas a una tasa de mortalidad, alguien puede haber tenido el virus durante semanas, meses. Entonces, para resumir, lo más importante que veo es el porcentaje positivo de las tasas de casos. Eso te dice exactamente lo que está sucediendo en tu área.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Bueno, permíteme seguir con eso. Entonces, ¿cuál es su opinión sobre el estado de la pandemia? ¿Hemos visto lo peor? ¿O lo peor está por venir?

Dr. Brooks: Sabes, diré que cada pregunta que se hará hoy es una pregunta difícil. Así que comencemos con eso, ese formato o ese concepto. En este momento, mi sensación es que no estamos es un buen lugar. Información que se dio a conocer, ¿cuándo fue? ¿El lunes? Que aparentemente se está moviendo desde el sur, este nuevo cinturón solar hacia el medio oeste y hacia el norte. Y, curiosamente, comenzó donde era más grande. En el norte piensas en Nueva York.

Entonces, la clave es que no tenemos control sobre este virus y personalmente creo que, dado que no respeta las fronteras estatales, ni respeta las fronteras de los países, estamos en un momento en donde el virus todavía se está extendiendo ampliamente. Así que creo que no tenemos el control, por así decirlo. No hemos controlado el virus. Así que tenemos que mantener la guardia y estoy seguro de que hablaremos sobre las cosas que tenemos que hacer para reducir la propagación.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por eso, Dr. Brooks. Ahora, me gustaría dirigirme a usted, Dr. Hebert, muchos distritos escolares están optando por el aprendizaje virtual, mientras que algunos lo hacen en persona. Ambas opciones presentan desafíos para los niños, los padres y los abuelos que quizás viven en un hogar con niños pequeños o los cuidan. ¿Qué pueden hacer para mantenerse seguros y protegidos y ayudar a sus hijos y nietos a aprender?

Dr. Hebert: Bill, esta es una pregunta crítica para las familias. Una de las cosas más importantes es recordar que estamos todos juntos en esto. En mi propia familia, ya sabes, tenemos hijos. Los padres, maestros y líderes del sistema escolar de los niños están todos juntos en esto. Mi esposa es maestra en la escuela secundaria. Tengo un yerno que es director académico en un sistema escolar, y tenemos 12 nietos. Todos en edad escolar. Entonces, esta es una pregunta vital. En todo Estados Unidos, tenemos muchas familias multigeneracionales. Las personas que rastrean estas cosas, una familia multigeneracional es aquella que tiene más que solo mamá y papá, y los niños. Tiene uno o dos abuelos en casa con ellos y, en algunos casos, incluso bisabuelos. Entonces, la pregunta que estás haciendo es vital relacionada con lo que hacemos para mantenerlos seguros y protegidos y, al mismo tiempo, ayudar a los hijos y nietos a aprender. Una de las primeras cosas que se debe considerar es, ¿existe una opción para ese miembro de la familia que está envejeciendo, quizás vivir en la casa de otro miembro de la familia? Tal vez haya otro miembro de la familia envejeciendo, a mis hijos les gusta referirse a mí como más experimentado, tal vez haya una oportunidad para que otra persona mayor viva en ese entorno. Eso reduce la probabilidad y el riesgo de que los niños ingresen al entorno escolar. No es una opción para todos.

Entonces, la siguiente pregunta es, ¿hay un espacio habitable separado? Si esa persona mayor puede estar en la sala de estar separada, obviamente, la situación óptima es si también hay un baño, entonces eso reduce la exposición de los niños en eso. Si esa no es una opción, considera incluso usar las mascarillas dentro del entorno del hogar, porque los niños que van al entorno escolar estarán expuestos.

Nuestros amigos en la Administración están haciendo todo lo posible para tratar de proteger a los niños y minimizar el riesgo. Entonces, lo que podemos hacer para ayudar a que los nietos sigan aprendiendo es vincular sus materias escolares con temas relacionados con el coronavirus. Y cuestiones relacionadas con la seguridad. Relaciona la ciencia en algunas cosas simples sobre la epidemiología y cómo se propagan las bacterias. Ciertamente, hay muchas oportunidades relacionadas con las mascarillas, y estoy seguro de que algunos de mis colegas en el teléfono han encontrado literatura de años y décadas anteriores, relacionada con este tipo de situación. Obviamente, en relación con el aprendizaje de los niños, es importante que todo lo que reciban sea apropiado para su edad y hay muchos recursos en línea.

Las últimas sugerencias que haré, Bill, son la higiene emocional vital para adultos y niños. Y creo que hablaremos de eso un poco más adelante, pero nuestro sentido de bienestar, nuestro cuidado personal, es de vital importancia. Y saber que las perspectivas sociales de los jóvenes son diferentes. Como mencioné, tengo 12 nietos. Su interacción con sus compañeros es algo que generalmente no va a cambiar simplemente con instrucciones. Entonces, enseñándoles sobre el lavado de manos y el distanciamiento, y mis nietos han aprendido a darme un abrazo de aire a 10 o 12 pies de distancia.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, bueno, gracias por eso, Dr. Hebert. Y sí, vamos a adentrarnos más en mantener el bienestar de las personas un poco más adelante. También quería recurrir a Jean Chatzky. Obviamente, la pandemia ha impactado nuestros bolsillos y aquí es donde ella tiene experiencia. Jean, aunque los beneficios laborales especiales expiraron el 1.° de julio, hay un debate continuo en el Congreso sobre otro paquete de ayuda económica. Desde la perspectiva de las finanzas personales, ¿qué importancia han tenido cosas como los pagos por impacto económico y la ampliación de los beneficios por desempleo para las personas que intentan capear la tormenta?

Jean Chatzky: Muchas gracias, Bill, y primero quiero decir que, Dr. Hebert, antes de sumergirme en esta respuesta, recordaré la palabra experimentado y le recordaré a mis hijos que la usen porque creo que es especialmente agradable. Pero estos beneficios simplemente han sido cruciales, y sabemos que el Congreso está negociando en este momento. Yo sé que ha habido cierta controversia, que todos hemos escuchado mucho acerca de cómo 2/3 de las personas que reciben los $600 adicionales en beneficios de desempleo semanales en realidad ganan más de lo que ganaban en sus trabajos, pero tenemos recordar que al entrar en esta pandemia, nuestra sociedad, nuestro país estaba increíblemente frágil financieramente.

Éramos el lugar en el que la mitad de todas las personas en el país no sabían cómo accederían a $400 para pagar una emergencia, sin usar sus tarjetas de crédito. Por tanto, estos beneficios han sido cruciales y no solo los beneficios adicionales por desempleo, sino también los beneficios de asistencia alimentaria que se han proporcionado. Hemos gastado $2,000 millones al mes en beneficios de SNAP.

Cuando se combina el aumento del desempleo y estos beneficios alimentarios, mantuvimos a unos 10 millones de personas fuera de la pobreza. En este momento, tenemos 30 millones de personas en EE.UU., más de 30 millones en el país cobrando desempleo. Para fines de agosto, más de 5 millones de ellos no podrán cubrir sus gastos básicos durante un mes completo, sin esos $600 adicionales. Entonces, mientras el Congreso avanza en esta próxima ronda de alivio, estoy atenta a lo que están haciendo mientras hablamos porque si llegan a algún tipo de respuesta, quiero poder contarles.

Los economistas están señalando que el beneficio por desempleo ampliado, que parece que se dirige hacia los $600 por semana, en lugar de los $200 que andaban a principios de semana, si puedo leer un poco las hojas de té. Esa prestación de desempleo ampliada adicional es en realidad más importante que otra ronda de estímulo. Dicho esto, parece que un segundo pago de estímulo será parte de este nuevo proyecto de ley y el secretario del Tesoro, Steve Mnuchin, ha indicado que cree que podrá obtener la segunda ronda de estímulo más rápido que los 19 días que tomó empezar a entregar el último.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, todos estamos atentos al Congreso en este momento. Ahí parece ser donde está la acción, ya que se relaciona con las prestaciones por desempleo y los estímulos adicionales. Gracias por eso, Jean. Volvamos a usted, Dr. Brooks. Es probable que sea un otoño particularmente confuso con COVID-19, superpuesto con la temporada de resfriados y gripe. Dado que la fiebre puede estar asociada tanto con la gripe como con el coronavirus, ¿qué podemos esperar y qué distingue los síntomas de COVID-19 del resfriado común? ¿Tendremos que hacer más pruebas para ayudar a distinguir entre los dos?

Dr. Brooks: Nos dirigimos hacia el otoño y esa suele ser la temporada de gripe. Tendremos dos virus que son importantes, circulando: COVID-19 y la influenza. En lo que se refiere a los síntomas, casi diría, déjalo en manos de los médicos. En otras palabras, si estás enfermo, busca atención. Deja que nosotros determinemos cuál es cuál. Dicho esto, COVID-19, es más una infección del tracto respiratorio inferior. No causa, al menos en los adultos, mucha secreción nasal, picazón en los ojos, congestión nasal. Sin embargo, sí causa tos. Ambos tienden a tener fiebre y los que están hospitalizados, el 90% de los que están hospitalizados, tienen fiebre con COVID-19. Sin embargo, con la influenza, simplemente tener influenza sin siquiera estar hospitalizado, por definición, la influenza tiene fiebre como uno de los síntomas.

Entonces, la fiebre está más asociada, si se quiere, con la influenza. Dicho esto, como mencionaste, pruebas. Si estás enfermo, visita a tu médico. Podemos realizar pruebas de influenza rápidamente. Entonces puedo hacer una prueba, y puedo decirte en cinco minutos si tienes influenza. En este momento, no tenemos una prueba rápida aprobada por la FDA. Aunque estamos haciendo algunas pruebas de anticuerpos para COVID-19. Entonces es difícil distinguir entre los dos, especialmente para un laico.

La clave es que, también, con COVID-19, el síntoma principal que causa problemas a las personas es la falta de aire. Niveles bajos de oxígeno. No solemos ver eso con la influenza. La respuesta, en verdad, es difícil de decir, pero la acción es vacunarse contra la influenza. Ahora, las vacunas contra la influenza tienen un grado relativo de eficacia. Algunos años es mejor que otros, pero esta es una situación en la que algunos son mejores que nada.

Entonces, mi punto es que, el mensaje para llevar a casa para esta pregunta es vacunarse contra la influenza y, por lo tanto, si vienes a verme y estás enfermo y dices: "Me vacunaron contra la influenza", entonces voy a decir que me voy a centrar un poco más en Covid-19, primero, y segundo, incluso si tienes Influenza, es posible que tengas un caso más leve, que es algo que creo que la gente olvida. Que incluso si no te impide contraer la influenza, la probabilidad de ser hospitalizado o morir disminuye.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Simplemente, para que quede claro, entonces, si llega este otoño y las personas desarrollan fiebre, en lugar de salir de inmediato para intentar hacerse una prueba de COVID, está recomendando que comiencen con una llamada a su médico.

Dr. Brooks: ¡Por supuesto! Porque teóricamente, podría no ser ninguno. Entonces, no empieces a asumir. No, ya sabes, no determines que de repente tienes estos cinco diplomas de conocimiento. Eso es lo que hacemos, y nos complace que nos llames para ayudarte a resolver todo esto.

Bill Walsh: Está bien, suena bien. Gracias por eso, Dr. Brooks. Y como recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, para hacer sus preguntas, por favor presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono para entrar en la lista. Vamos a llegar a esas preguntas en vivo en breve, pero antes de hacerlo, quiero tomarme un momento para actualizarlos sobre cómo AARP está luchando por ustedes en el Capitolio federal y en los Capitolios estatales en todo el país.

Como mencionó Jean Chatzky, el Congreso continúa debatiendo nueva legislación para responder a la pandemia. Si bien este debate ha tenido muchos giros y vueltas durante las últimas semanas, a lo largo de ellos, AARP ha luchado constantemente por los adultos mayores. Estamos reforzando la necesidad de que el Congreso brinde asistencia a los Gobiernos estatales y locales, extienda las moratorias sobre desalojos y ejecuciones hipotecarias, proporcione fondos adicionales para garantizar el acceso a asistencia alimentaria y nutricional crítica, brinde soporte para el Servicio Postal de EE.UU. y más.

Es importante destacar que seguimos abogando por la protección de las personas que viven y trabajan en hogares de ancianos e instalaciones de atención a largo plazo. Más de 62,000 residentes y personal de hogares de ancianos han muerto a causa de COVID-19. Necesitamos que los responsables de la formulación de políticas actúen ahora sobre este tema. AARP está pidiendo a los líderes estatales y federales que aprueben una legislación urgente con una financiación sólida para salvar vidas.

Desafortunadamente, las propuestas actuales del Congreso no van lo suficientemente lejos. Necesitamos asegurarnos de que las instalaciones proporcionen pruebas y equipo de protección personal adecuado, sean transparentes y faciliten las formas para que los residentes y sus familiares se mantengan conectados entre sí. Además, los hogares de ancianos y las instalaciones de cuidados a largo plazo que dañan a los residentes deben rendir cuentas. No deberían recibir inmunidad en blanco.

Si bien la situación es terrible, estamos viendo algunos avances a nivel estatal. En Oregón, AARP ayudó a combatir un intento de otorgar inmunidad a los hogares de ancianos. En Alabama y Oklahoma, abogamos por una legislación aprobada recientemente para proporcionar equipos de protección personal y pruebas para hogares de ancianos con suministros insuficientes. En Pensilvania y Utah, las oficinas estatales de AARP han defendido con éxito la tecnología. Facilitar las comunicaciones entre los residentes de hogares de ancianos y sus seres queridos. Además, AARP New Hampshire ayudó a asegurar la aprobación de la legislación para abordar la escasez de personal. Los socios, voluntarios y activistas de AARP se hicieron oír y han ayudado a asegurar estas importantes victorias. Para obtener más información y hacerte oír sobre este importante tema, visita aarp.org/nursinghomes.

Ahora es el momento de abordar sus preguntas sobre el coronavirus con el Dr. Brooks, el Dr. Hebert y Jean Chatzky. Presiona *3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para comunicarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y compartir tu pregunta. Ahora me gustaría traer a mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, para ayudar a facilitar sus llamadas. Bienvenida, Jean. Oye, Jean, ¿estás con nosotros?

Jean Setzfand: Sí, hola. ¿Puedes escucharme?

Bill Walsh: Sí puedo. Muchas gracias. ¿Estamos listos para responder a nuestra primera pregunta?

Jean Setzfand: Sí, así es. Tenemos a Brian de la ciudad de Nueva York.

Bill Walsh: Adelante, Brian, estás al aire. Hola Brian. Adelante con tu pregunta.

Jean Setzfand: Bien, creo que acabamos de perder a Brian. Vayamos con Paul de Ohio.

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

Paul: Hola. Si. Mi madre está en un centro de atención de enfermería para jubilados y mi pregunta es, recientemente, el estado de Ohio levantó la prohibición de que los residentes puedan irse con miembros de la familia, justo cuando estábamos teniendo un pico en el condado de Hamilton, en Cincinnati, en el área de Ohio, y nuestra familia simplemente se asombró de que la prohibición se haya levantado y no se haya restablecido. Donde los residentes pueden salir de la instalación con sus familias y luego regresar, y para mí, eso es exponer a todos a una mala situación.

Bill Walsh: Está bien, bueno, Dr. Brooks, permítame pedir su opinión sobre esto y tal vez también Dr. Hebert, si tiene algunas ideas sobre si esta instalación de Ohio debería mantener esa prohibición en vigor.

Dr. Brooks: Gracias por la pregunta, Paul. Basado en la información que Paul proporcionó, estoy de acuerdo con él. En otras palabras, tomas decisiones sobre políticas basadas en la ciencia. Entonces, si observas tasas de casos, o porcentajes de casos, o tasas de hospitalización, si hay [INAUDIBLE] que deberías ver aumentar, entonces no levantas la prohibición. Ahora, también es comprensible porque existe el aspecto de la salud conductual. Si estás en un centro de enfermería, has estado allí de marzo a agosto, cinco meses, ¿en qué momento permites que la gente visite a su familia? Entonces diría que es una situación muy difícil, pero estoy de acuerdo.

Yo diría que si mi individuo, mi abuela o algo así, estuviera en esa instalación, no los dejaría salir porque entonces los están poniendo a ellos en riesgo ellos mismos. Y luego, también dejaría en claro con ese hogar de ancianos o centro de ancianos, ¿cuál es su política cuando las personas regresan? ¿Qué tipo de EPP usa el personal? ¿Qué tipo de distanciamiento social hay entre los que abandonaron el centro de enfermería y luego regresaron? ¿Van a examinarlos X días después de que regresen? Para asegurarse de que sean negativos. Los cuestionaría sobre su política ahora que han tomado una acción tan audaz. En cuanto a esa enfermería específica [INDISCERNIBLE].

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Dr. Hebert, me pregunto si quiere opinar sobre esto. Iba a preguntar qué consejo les daría a familiares con seres queridos en instalaciones como esta. En vista de que esta prohibición se levanta en un momento en que los casos de COVID no están disminuyendo.

Dr. Hebert: Paul, gracias por esa pregunta. De hecho, viví en Cincinnati durante un par de años cuando estaba en la escuela secundaria. El desafío que tenemos es que tenemos una amplia variedad de situaciones diferentes en diferentes partes del mundo, en diferentes partes del país e incluso dentro de diferentes estados. Por tanto, el nivel de infección variará de un lugar a otro. Entonces, como resultado, lo que se adapta a ti allí, en Cincinnati, podría no ser adecuado para personas en otras situaciones. En otras partes del país. Entonces, en el caso de que las personas que están manejando la toma de decisiones allí, tal vez sientan que la tasa de infección es lo suficientemente baja como para darles a las personas esa oportunidad desde el punto de vista de su bienestar emocional, de reconectar con su familia. Esa podría ser una decisión que tenga un impacto muy positivo en su resiliencia y su salud emocional.

Por otro lado, como señaló el Dr. Brooks, ciertamente es un gran riesgo. Entonces, como miembro de la familia, lo que sugeriría que hicieras sería tomar algunas de las mismas precauciones de las que hablamos antes. Si esa persona va a volver a casa para visitar a la familia, está bien documentado, la prensa ofrece muchas soluciones, ¿puedes estar en un espacio diferente? ¿Puedes, mientras estás en la misma visita domiciliaria, estar a 6 pies o más de esa otra persona? ¿Has llegado tu o los miembros de tu familia a algún consenso sobre el uso de mascarillas cuando estás allí? Y sabemos sobre el lavado de manos. Entonces, esos son algunos pasos que tomaría y creo que es una decisión realmente difícil para los diversos proveedores de atención en entornos de vida en congregación. Para asegurarse de que no solo se ocupan del nivel de riesgo de esa persona, sino que también intentan hacer algo que ayude con su bienestar emocional. Y hablaremos de eso un poco más en el programa.

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

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Danny de Pensilvania.

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

Danny: Sí. Muchas gracias. Sí, mi nombre es Danny Ward. ¿Sí? Soy de Erie, Pensilvania y estoy llamando por mis impuestos, quien generalmente me ayuda a pagar mis impuestos no puede hacerlo debido a la pandemia. Y ahora están hablando de vender mi casa. ¿Hay alguien por ahí que esté pensando, ya sabes, ayudar a alguien con sus impuestos por falta de personal? La gente echa a la gente por el alquiler. Lo entiendo, pero estos son mis impuestos.

Bill Walsh: Sí. Jean Chatzky, ¿tienes algún consejo para Danny?

Jean Chatzky: Yo diría que, para empezar en AARP, en el sitio web, AARP tiene varios recursos que pueden ayudarte con tus impuestos y cuenta con voluntarios. Los encontrarás en el "Programa de ayuda fiscal", eso podría ser de ayuda también. Si no has presentado tus impuestos hasta este momento, probablemente sepas que la fecha límite ha pasado. Se trasladó desde abril, cuando suele ser, hasta julio. Puedes obtener una extensión hasta octubre, pero esa extensión, es una extensión para presentar. No es una extensión de pago, por lo que acudiría rápidamente a AARP. Ve a través del programa Tax Aide, trata de encontrar ayuda para acceder a alguien que pueda ayudarte a presentar una extensión. Es el formulario 4868.

Si no puedes obtener ayuda rápidamente, probablemente puedas hacerlo tú mismo en el sitio web del IRS, que es irs.gov. Y simplemente presentas el formulario de extensión. Siempre y cuando no le debas dinero al Gobierno en este momento, te darán una extensión automática y eso te dará casi tres meses adicionales para lidiar con esto.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por eso Jean, y gracias también por mencionar el programa Tax Aide de AARP. AARP es, hecho poco conocido, uno de los mayores preparadores de declaraciones de impuestos del país. Tramitamos millones de devoluciones para la gente, gratis, anualmente. Puedes llamar a ese programa al 888-687-2277, o puedes encontrarlos en línea en aarp.org/taxaide. Eso es “aide” con una "e". Normalmente operamos en sitios en todo el país, pero debido a la COVID, hemos tenido que cerrarlos. Sin embargo, estamos ayudando a las personas por teléfono y en línea con servicios de preparación de impuestos. Explora esa opción. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos muchas preguntas provenientes de YouTube y esta viene de YouTube, de Nina, y ella hizo la siguiente pregunta: "Hola. Después de dar positivo, ¿nos contactará un rastreador de contactos o hay algo más que necesitamos hacer por nuestra cuenta?" Supongo que sería bueno pasar por el programa de rastreo de contactos, si es posible.

Bill Walsh: Dr. Brooks, ¿puede abordar esa pregunta sobre el rastreo de contactos?

Dr. Brooks: Sí. Debería contactarse contigo, que generalmente lo hace tu condado o tu ciudad, cualquiera que sea tu jurisdicción local en términos de salud pública. Deberían contactarse contigo, y luego mirarían hacia atrás para ver con quién has estado en contacto durante un período de tiempo. Si no te llaman, lo primero que debes hacer es aislarte, para asegurarte de que no estés contagiando a otros, y luego hacer tu propio "rastreo de contactos". En general, el virus es infeccioso posiblemente dos días antes de tener síntomas, si has tenido síntomas, y después si acabas de dar positivo y estuvieras asintomático, miraría hacia atrás, oh, probablemente unas dos semanas porque podrías haberlo tenido durante ese período de tiempo.

Así que piensa en dónde has estado, a quién estuviste expuesto, en términos generales, la exposición es de 6 pies o menos de distancia y estar cerca de alguien durante 15 minutos o más. Eso es lo que buscamos en nuestro entorno sanitario. Entonces, para responder a la pregunta, sí, deberían llamarte, pero creo que en este momento, algunos de los sistemas de salud pública están abrumados. Sé que lo están, y simplemente no tienen la capacidad de hacer un seguimiento de todos los que dieron positivo. Por ejemplo, ahora mismo en Estados Unidos, hay alrededor de 50.000 casos nuevos cada día. Cada día.

Bill Walsh: Sí, un consejo muy interesante. Entonces, si no te contactan, pero has dado positivo en la prueba, tal vez hazlo por tu cuenta. Comunícate por correo electrónico, llamadas telefónicas y simplemente informa a las personas con las que has estado en contacto que has dado positivo. Y pueden tomar sus propias precauciones. Muy bien, gracias.

Dr. Brooks: Lo que generalmente significa entrar en cuarentena.

Bill Walsh: Que generalmente significa entrar en cuarentena durante 14 días. Gracias, Dr. Brooks, por eso. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo oyente es Carl de Pensilvania.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Carl, estás en la línea. Continúa con tu pregunta.

Carl: Está bien, gracias. Me gustaría abordar el tema del transporte porque en Pensilvania tenemos muchas áreas rurales y una de las cosas que me gustaría saber es que las personas o las personas mayores que viven en hogares de ancianos y cuidados a largo plazo, que necesitan transporte para ir y venir en la comunidad para llegar al apartamento. ¿Qué tipo de seguridad tienen contra el virus, según el transporte que utilizan?

Bill Walsh: Está bien, Dr. Hebert, ¿quiere abordar esa pregunta?

Dr. Hebert: Claro, Carl, gracias. Las áreas rurales tienen desafíos realmente únicos. De hecho, estoy en el proceso de escribir un capítulo para un libro de texto sobre cuidados en el hogar en áreas rurales. El transporte es uno de los grandes desafíos en las áreas rurales cuando se trata de llegar a la atención médica o llegar a otros lugares. En el caso de que necesites utilizar algún tipo de transporte, el transporte público es difícil de encontrar en las zonas rurales. El transporte que usarías si estuvieras en un área urbana, tomar precauciones adicionales ciertamente con el uso de mascarillas, viajar lo menos posible en transporte público, lavarse las manos, distanciarse, son cosas muy importantes.

En las áreas rurales, el desafío en torno al transporte es muy exclusivo de cada área. Diferentes partes del país tienen una asistencia en transporte más sólida que otras. Por lo tanto, hay muchos problemas que serán específicos de su área, y AARP tiene una gran cantidad de recursos y personas que pueden ayudarte. Y puede encontrar esa información en aarp.org/cuidar y allí encontrarás información que te ayudará.

Bill Walsh: Al parecer, Carl también estaba preocupado por la posibilidad, ya sabes, de poner en riesgo a una persona mayor si usa el transporte mientras está en un hogar de ancianos. Si se van de las instalaciones para, no sé, arreglarse el cabello o ir al supermercado. ¿Qué tan grande es ese riesgo, diría usted, Dr. Hebert?

Dr. Hebert: El riesgo depende de lo que vayan a hacer. He visto varios recursos diferentes disponibles que te brindan la oportunidad de evaluar si una actividad en particular es de mayor o menor riesgo. Algunos indican que es un riesgo menor si te llevan de compras, siempre y cuando uses una mascarilla y mantengas la distancia. Es un riesgo mayor si vas a salir a arreglarte el cabello y es un riesgo aún mayor si vas a ir a un lugar donde hay mucha gente, tal vez un servicio religioso o algo como eso. Entonces, nuevamente, variará, dependiendo de lo que se esté haciendo, pero Carl, estás en los cierto en cuanto a reconocer que estas diferentes experiencias proporcionarán un nivel diferente de riesgo cada vez que esa persona salga.

Bill Walsh: Sí, y creo que vale la pena recordarle a la gente que si alguna vez haría falta, este es el momento de ser un defensor de sus seres queridos que están en hogares de ancianos o centros de vida asistida. Tienes derecho a saber lo que está sucediendo dentro de esas instalaciones, a estar conectado con sus seres queridos y a comprender qué precauciones están tomando para mantener a su ser querido a salvo. Entonces, sé un defensor. Además, ten en cuenta que en todos los estados hay defensores del pueblo de cuidados a largo plazo, personas independientes que son responsables de ayudar a los consumidores con los problemas que surgen en los entornos de cuidados a largo plazo. Y esos recursos también están disponibles de forma gratuita. Bien, volvamos a los teléfonos. ¿Quién es nuestro próximo oyente?

Jean Setzfand: Hola, Bill. Nuestro próximo oyente es Paul de Nebraska. Paul, estás al aire.

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

Paul: Sí, tengo una pregunta para la Sra. Chatzky. ¿Qué puede hacer el individuo promedio para minimizar el costo, aparte de lo que el sentido común te diría, para el final de esta terrible pandemia por la que estamos pasando? ¿Cuáles serían sus sugerencias de cómo podríamos minimizar el costo?

Bill Walsh: Paul, cuando hablas de costos, ¿a qué tipo de costos te refieres?

Paul: Bueno, minimizar el costo que vamos a tener en todos los ámbitos. Hay, veo tres facetas y ciertamente, la parte del Gobierno es una, pero el costo real que tenemos. ¿Qué puede hacer la persona promedio, qué sugeriría ella que podríamos hacer para minimizar esos costos?

Bill Walsh: Jean, ¿quieres intentar responder a esa pregunta?

Jean Chatzky: Sí, creo que es una buena idea y yo, de hecho, creo que la pandemia nos ha dado un pequeño regalo en este sentido. Sabes, digo esto, porque hemos estado en casa, muchos de nosotros, porque no hemos estado saliendo al mundo, en realidad no hemos gastado tanto dinero como lo hacíamos regularmente.

Si observas la tasa de ahorro en este país y la tasa de ahorro personal, que en realidad es el porcentaje de nuestros ingresos disponibles que ahorramos mensualmente. Por lo general, estaba alrededor del 6%. Durante la pandemia, se elevó hasta el rango del 30%. Ahora, ha retrocedido y esas tasas de dos dígitos no son realmente sostenibles. Pero lo que es sostenible es observar dónde no ha ido su dinero durante los últimos meses y cómo puedes mantener algunos de esos ahorros. Así que hablemos de un par de ejemplos.

Muchos de nosotros teníamos la costumbre de ir al supermercado varias veces a la semana, pero durante la pandemia no queríamos salir tanto. Nos dijeron que mantuviéramos una distancia social, nos dijeron que nos quedáramos en casa y, por primera vez en mucho tiempo, comenzamos a planificar nuestras comidas. Empezamos a hacer listas de lo que íbamos a comprar. Empezamos a cocinar. Más de lo que lo hacíamos en el pasado, y eso resultó en un gran ahorro de dinero para muchas, muchas personas.

También pudimos echar un vistazo a los diferentes servicios de suscripción en nuestras vidas y las otras cosas en las que gastamos nuestro dinero. Ahora sabemos cuáles de nuestros canales de transmisión y cable vemos y cuáles no, y deberíamos pasar por el proceso de cancelar aquellas cosas que no hemos estado usando.

Y luego, las tasas de interés nos ofrecen una oportunidad. Ya sabes, las tasas de interés no hacen absolutamente nada por los ahorradores en estos días. Si pones tu dinero en el banco, recibes muy poco a cambio, pero si tienes deudas de cualquier tipo y obtienes un puntaje crediticio decente, debería buscar refinanciar esas deudas. Las hipotecas se pueden refinanciar, los préstamos para estudiantes pueden refinanciarse, los préstamos para automóviles se pueden refinanciar. Incluso las hipotecas inversas, si sacas una, pueden refinanciarse y, en muchos casos, puedes sacar más dinero de esa misma propiedad. Ahora bien, algunas de estas transacciones no son gratuitas. Refinanciar una hipoteca tiene un costo. Ya sea que se trate de una hipoteca regular o una hipoteca inversa, pero es posible que valga la pena el esfuerzo porque estarás gastando mucho menos mensualmente en el futuro.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Gracias por eso, Jean. Tomemos otra pregunta de uno de nuestros oyentes. Adelante. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos bastantes preguntas sobre los viajes y aquí hay una de YouTube, de Frederick, que, creo, lo explica muy bien. "Viajo para recibir tratamientos contra el cáncer, ¿qué se consideraría más seguro? ¿Avión o tren?"

Bill Walsh: Hmm. Dr. Brooks, ¿tiene alguna idea al respecto?

Dr. Brooks: Esa es una buena pregunta. Yo diría, primero quiero corregir algo. Dije 14 días de cuarentena, aislamiento. La guía ahora ha cambiado a 10 días de cuarentena y aislamiento. Así que simplemente anota eso, Eso, si das positivo. 10 días desde el punto de positividad, o cuarentena 10 días para exposición. Ahora, en lo que se refiere a viajar. Esa es una pregunta difícil. Un avión es más rápido, por lo que estás menos en él.

Entonces, en términos generales, en términos de distancia recorrida en un período de tiempo, la clave es mantener esa distancia física y limpieza, diría yo. Entonces, mis instintos me dicen, porque tengo que viajar desde que comenzó todo esto, pero mis instintos me dicen que el tren puede ser un poco más seguro porque los trenes, al menos según mi experiencia, ahora mismo, probablemente no estén tan llenos. No he detenido ni un porcentaje de los asientos ocupados. Entonces, es más fácil estar lejos de alguien porque ahí es donde creo que estará el problema. Así que diría que si tienes la opción, para distancias relativamente cortas, iría en el tren.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por eso. Y gracias por todas tus preguntas. Pronto volveremos con más y, como recordatorio, si deseas hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono.

Ahora, volvamos a nuestros expertos para obtener respuestas a algunas de nuestras preguntas más urgentes sobre el coronavirus. Dr. Hebert, estamos a cinco meses de la pandemia en este país y para muchos cuidadores familiares que estaban estresados antes de la pandemia, esta seguramente será una caída desafiante, ¿cuáles son algunas de las estrategias que las personas pueden emplear para asegurarse de cuidar su bienestar físico y mental como cuidan a sus seres queridos?

Dr. Hebert: Sabes, mi esposa y yo somos los cuidadores familiares de una hija de 29 años que tiene síndrome de Down, y mi familia cuidó a mi papá que tenía demencia durante siete años, y en su último año, él estaba postrado en la cama y en una silla. Por lo tanto, los cuidadores familiares que están escuchando ciertamente enfrentan una gran cantidad de desafíos. En cuanto a nuestro bienestar mental, como indiqué un poco antes, he atendido una llamada sobre salud emocional.

Las visitas virtuales, cuando es posible, realmente pueden tener un impacto en la disposición de uno. La tecnología que existe, como FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, es algo que he empezado a usar. Aunque lo estoy usando mucho en el trabajo, también lo estoy empezando a usar mucho con la familia y también solo con los amigos. La oportunidad de ver otra cara realmente ayuda al cuidador familiar desde el punto de vista de su resiliencia, pero también a la persona que está recibiendo atención. El relevo es una conversación que tenemos a menudo en torno al cuidado familiar. ¿Hay algún otro miembro de la familia que se esté aislando que pueda venir a darle un descanso al cuidador principal, de vez en cuando?

Algunas otras cosas son el ejercicio dentro de la propia casa. La oportunidad de hacer algunos ejercicios en silla, si ese cuidador familiar es mayor, o si está en una edad y en un lugar donde puede hacer ejercicio. Desde que comenzó la COVID-19, salgo en mi bicicleta de crucero todas las mañanas, recorriendo unas 10 millas por día. Entonces, si tienes esa opción, este ciertamente puede ser un buen momento y, ya sabes, quiero agradecer a Jean por su comentario anterior, que en muchos sentidos, la COVID ha sido un regalo. Entonces, para usted, como cuidador familiar, la oportunidad de buscar grupos de apoyo, capturar la historia.

Nuestra historia como cuidadores familiares es muy importante. Nos ayuda a darle significado, y el último par de cosas que mencionaré es la oportunidad para la oración, el yoga, la meditación, todas son importantes. Y lo último que mencionaré es sobre la resta, más que la suma. Y eso es limitar nuestro tiempo con los distintos medios. Nuestros amigos, no solo en las redes sociales, sino también en nuestros medios más típicos, necesitan obtener información que ayude a impulsar el tiempo de publicidad. Entonces, lo que eso significa es que es probable que obtengas opiniones muy sensacionalistas sobre cualquier tema del día. Para la persona promedio, limitar nuestro tiempo con los medios puede ayudarnos con nuestro propio bienestar emocional. Gracias, Bill.

Bill Walsh: Sí, gracias, Dr. Hebert. Y otro recurso para los cuidadores familiares, que mencionaré es un nuevo recurso que creó AARP, hace solo unos meses. Lo llamamos Mi Comunidad con AARP y es una forma de conectarse con la gente de su comunidad, ya sea para obtener transporte, entregas, sentarse con alguien por un tiempo. Puedes conectarte a estas redes locales que quizás nunca haya sabido que existían antes de la COVID-19 y tal vez no existían antes de la COVID, pero existen ahora. Y parte de ese programa es una llamada gratuita de uno de nuestros voluntarios capacitados de AARP. Entonces, si tienes un ser querido y te preocupa que esté aislado, necesita hablar con alguien, puedes inscribirlo para recibir una llamada gratuita o una serie de llamadas de un voluntario de AARP. Esa llamada amigable al 1-888-281-0145 es gratuita. 888-2281-0145. Y también puedes encontrarlo en línea en aarpcommunityconnections.org. Así que solo un recurso más para los cuidadores familiares que incluso en los mejores momentos tienen mucho en sus manos.

Bueno. Dr. Brooks, volvamos a usted. Seguimos viendo datos aún más preocupantes sobre el impacto de la pandemia en las personas de color. Esto es profundamente preocupante, ¿por qué es así, y qué más se necesita hacer para abordarlo?

Dr. Brooks: Bueno, el "por qué" es porque el virus tiende a afectar e infectar a los débiles en [INDISCERNIBLE]. El día en que se muestre en las personas con obesidad, hipertensión, diabetes, enfermedad renal crónica, enfermedad pulmonar crónica, es más probable que tenga un resultado adverso. Esas enfermedades son más frecuentes en la comunidad afroamericana y en las comunidades de color, por muchas razones en las que no creo que debamos adentrarnos ahora. Es por eso. ¿Asi que, qué hacemos?

Entonces, en primer lugar, o lo más importante, creo que fue el Dr. Hebert quien dijo: "Estamos todos juntos en esto". Entonces, para aquellos que no son de una comunidad de color, entiendan que somos un país. Todos somos uno, y todos estamos pasando por esto juntos. Como dije antes, los datos muestran que viene del sur y se mueve hacia el norte y el medio oeste. Entonces, si existen estas altas tasas entre los afroamericanos que viven principalmente en el sur, simplemente se extenderá. Se va a propagar y se está extendiendo. Así que estamos todos juntos en esto.

También quiero enfatizar lo que acaba de decir el Dr. Hebert. Bienestar. Las cosas de las que habló son todas actividades que brindan bienestar a tu cuerpo. Así que hay que actuar. Principalmente, le pedimos a los CDC que nos brinden buenos datos, para que podamos rastrear y realmente tener una mejor comprensión de lo que realmente está sucediendo en las comunidades de personas de color y eso también nos brinda información del país en general.

Yo diría que si tienes diabetes, hipertensión, obesidad, para todos, es más probable que ocurra en afroamericanos, busquen atención. Estamos haciendo visitas con telemedicina, perdón, de hecho puedes ir a ver a tu médico y cuando vemos pacientes tenemos EPP, les damos mascarillas a los pacientes. Entonces, si necesitas atención, busca atención. Es muy importante realizar pruebas y rastrear contactos. Esa pregunta que surgió antes sobre "¿Qué pasa si doy positivo? ¿Nadie me contacta?" Debería haber más pruebas en la comunidad afroamericana y otras comunidades de color y la NMA se está asociando con CVS, por ejemplo, para obtener más pruebas en esas áreas.

Y luego, diré, políticas. Las políticas que eliminan las disparidades en los resultados de salud permitirán que esto no ocurra en el futuro. Por ejemplo, Jean Chatzky habló sobre el beneficio de desempleo de $600, que es más importante que el paquete de estímulo porque cuando le das a la gente $600 ahora, lo necesitan. Son estos desempleados, lo están gastando. Los afroamericanos tienen más probabilidades de estar desempleados. Entonces, ese tipo de cosas ayudará porque si están desempleados y necesitas un trabajo, es más probable que salgas y hagas un trabajo que tal vez no deberías hacer porque te estás exponiendo al virus.

Y en última instancia, abogar. Mencionaste que AARP en varios estados tiene éxitos de defensoría, los llamaría. Defiéndete por ti mismo, defiende con organizaciones como AARP que están haciendo cosas que son útiles. Finalmente, tendremos una votación en tres meses. Estudia las papeletas de arriba a abajo. [INAUDIBLE] también las de la junta escolar, y coloca en posiciones de autoridad a aquellos que creas que representan tus mejores intereses.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Dr. Brooks, gracias. Jean Chatzky, permíteme recurrir a ti para ver otra dimensión del tema del que acaba de hablar el Dr. Brooks. Desde una perspectiva económica y de finanzas personales, ¿las mujeres y las personas de color también se han visto más afectadas por las consecuencias de la pandemia?

Jean Chatzky: Sin duda y, al igual que el Dr. Brooks mencionaba la salud en esta imagen, no puedes realmente separar la salud de las finanzas aquí. Y sabemos que las personas negras en Estados Unidos están muriendo a una tasa 2.5 veces más alta que la de los blancos en el país, y parte de la razón de esto es que, es el trabajo que hacen. Que cuando miras los datos de la Oficina de Estadísticas Laborales, es desproporcionadamente probable que los afroamericanos estén haciendo lo que llamamos los trabajos esenciales. Están, ya sabes, en la industria alimentaria y en centros de salud y, en la superficie, y en el lado positivo, esto significa en muchos casos que todavía tienen sus trabajos, pero en el lado negativo, pone en riesgo su salud. Entonces, creo que es parte del mismo rompecabezas.

Cuando hablamos de otras personas de color, sabemos que 6 de cada 10 adultos hispanos dicen que ellos o alguien en su hogar ha perdido su trabajo o ha recibido una reducción salarial y eso es mucho mayor que el número de adultos blancos en este país, que han tenido esa experiencia, y cuando se trata de mujeres en general, la COVID-19 está impactando el sustento de las mujeres más que los hombres por un par de razones. Una vez más, son los tipos de trabajos que hacen las mujeres.

Cuando miras no solo en este país, sino en todo el mundo, los trabajos de las mujeres tienen casi el doble de probabilidades de ser recortados en esta recesión, que los trabajos ocupados por hombres, pero también es la cantidad de trabajo no remunerado que están haciendo las mujeres, y esa cantidad está aumentando drásticamente. Tenemos escuelas cerradas, tenemos sistemas de salud abrumados, y eso está obligando a muchas mujeres a dedicar muchas más horas a la semana al cuidado y las tareas del hogar y, nuevamente, las mujeres de color, así como las solteras, están haciendo aún más. Cuando miras esto estadísticamente, sabemos que 3/4 de las mujeres negras y latinas pasan tres o más horas, todos los días, solo en las tareas domésticas y eso se compara con poco más de la mitad de las mujeres blancas. Entonces, hay muchas inequidades.

Bill Walsh: Está bien, Jean. Gracias por eso. Déjame hacerte otra pregunta. Otra cuestión financiera que ha sido una prioridad para muchas personas. Los mercados han sido volátiles durante los últimos meses y ha habido mucha incertidumbre respecto al futuro. ¿Qué consejos tienes para las personas que se acercan a la jubilación en los próximos años? Ya sabes, ver subir y bajar los saldos de los fondos de jubilación.

Jean Chatzky: En primer lugar, no mires. Y realmente no estoy bromeando. Quiero decir, sí, tenemos que mantener una visión macro de lo que está sucediendo en nuestra jubilación, pero tratando de microgestionar estos saldos, sabiendo que no tenemos control sobre el mercado, ya sabes. No tener control sobre la tasa de interés no es, no es algo bueno para tu bienestar emocional o para tu toma de decisiones financieras. Es cuando nos volvemos más involucrados en la tremenda volatilidad, y la volatilidad ha sido como nada visto antes, incluso en el período de la Gran Recesión del 2008. Ha sido mucho más grande que eso. Cuando te dejas atrapar por eso, es cuando tomas malas decisiones y, por lo tanto, mi consejo, y realmente no ha cambiado, es ver cuándo necesitas este dinero.

Si realmente es dinero a largo plazo, dinero que no necesitas en los próximos 3-5 años, continúa invirtiéndolo de una manera que tenga sentido para tu edad y tu tolerancia al riesgo. Si es dinero que necesitas a corto plazo, no pertenece al mercado. Nunca perteneció al mercado. Y finalmente, este es un buen momento para sentarse, especialmente si estás pensando en la jubilación que se avecina en 5 o 10 años, para ver lo que vas a necesitar en esa jubilación, y para averiguar cómo vas a crear un flujo de ingresos que cubra eso mientras vivas. Usar una combinación del Seguro Social, así como cualquier ingreso de pensión, así como los ingresos que hayas reservado en tus planes de jubilación. Y es posible que necesites ayuda con eso. Incluso si simplemente te sientas con el asesor financiero durante una hora, para tener una idea de: "¿Estoy yendo en la dirección correcta? ¿Estoy tomando las decisiones correctas?" Es dinero bien gastado.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Gracias, Jean. Volvamos a usted, Dr. Hebert. Si bien gran parte del aumento en los casos recientes se da entre los más jóvenes, los residentes y el personal de los hogares de ancianos y los centros de atención a largo plazo continúan siendo los más afectados. ¿Cómo se relaciona la propagación en la comunidad entre las poblaciones más jóvenes con los casos y muertes que estamos viendo en estas instalaciones?

Dr. Hebert: Bill, la naturaleza del contagio ha sido sorprendente. La información que estoy leyendo es que la última cepa del coronavirus es ahora 10 veces más contagiosa en el laboratorio que la mutación original que salió de Wuhan, China. Esto es algo a lo que la gente debería prestar mucha atención y el desafío que tenemos es que esto está sucediendo, esta versión más contagiosa del virus está sucediendo en un momento en el que todos estamos experimentando un grado de agotamiento respecto al aislamiento, uso de mascarillas y distanciamiento. Así que esta es una receta real para el desastre. Entonces, a tu pregunta, ¿cómo se relaciona la propagación en la comunidad entre las poblaciones más jóvenes con los casos y las muertes en las instalaciones?

La naturaleza de la conexión humana es que corremos el riesgo de contraer enfermedades contagiosas. Y los jóvenes que tienen una perspectiva muy diferente en torno a estas precauciones viven esencialmente con padres que pueden ser empleados en los hogares de ancianos. Para aquellos hogares de ancianos que no están practicando como lo indicó anteriormente Paul en Cincinnati, que están dejando entrar a otras personas. Eso significa que cada persona que viene de visita o cada persona que va a casa a visitar y luego regresa al hogar de ancianos, como el Dr. Brooks indicó anteriormente, es un riesgo bastante alto que regresen, porque todas y cada una de esas personas tienen el potencial de haber estado expuestas a alguien que era asintomático, pero positivo. La casa es el lugar más seguro hoy. Es el hogar personal y también el lugar más seguro para recibir atención.

Las conexiones entre la familia son parte de nuestro cuidado personal. Es parte de nuestra resiliencia, nuestra capacidad de involucrarnos unos con otros. Nosotros podríamos hacernos una pregunta muy importante, ¿tenemos una falsa sensación de seguridad al conectarnos con personas con las que estamos familiarizados? Mi sensación es que aunque tengo el mismo nivel de riesgo cuando me conecto con mis hijos, hijas o nietos, tengo una falsa sensación de seguridad porque estoy familiarizado con ellos.

La otra cosa es que hay una voluntad de mi parte de quizás correr un mayor riesgo con la familia. Así que todo esto se relaciona con, ya sabes, por ejemplo, mi familia. El 79% de nosotros estamos empleados en la salud, tenemos 24 enfermeras registradas en la familia entre tías y tíos, y sobrinas y sobrinos, etcétera. Por lo tanto, todas estas personas tienen el potencial de estar expuestas cuando las personas de las poblaciones más jóvenes salen y toman decisiones que no siguen prácticas prudentes en cuanto a mitigar los riesgos.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por eso, Dr. Hebert. Ahora, me gustaría tomarme un momento para alertar a nuestros oyentes sobre las continuas estafas de coronavirus. Los estafadores continúan utilizando los titulares como oportunidades para robar dinero o información personal sensible. El FBI advierte que los estafadores están anunciando exámenes de anticuerpos para coronavirus falsos. Su objetivo era obtener información personal confidencial que pudieran utilizar en el robo de identidad o en el fraude de seguros médicos.

Los estafadores pueden afirmar que la prueba está aprobada por la FDA e incluso pueden ofrecer un incentivo en efectivo para atraer a los consumidores desprevenidos. La agencia recomienda consultar a tu médico antes de realizar cualquier prueba de anticuerpos COVID-19 en casa y advierte contra compartir información personal o de salud con cualquier persona que no sea un profesional médico conocido y de confianza. Visita aarp.org/fraude para obtener más información sobre estas y otras estafas. O llama a la línea de ayuda de La Red contra el Fraude de AARP al 877-908-3360.

Ahora es el momento de abordar más preguntas con el Dr. Brooks, el Dr. Hebert y Jean Chatzky. Como recordatorio, presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para comunicarte con un miembro del personal de AARP. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestro próximo oyente es Brian de la ciudad de Nueva York.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Brian. Continúa con tu llamada. Hola, Brian, adelante con tu pregunta.

Jean Setzfand: Muy bien, estamos teniendo un pequeño problema aquí. Un segundo.

Bill Walsh: Está bien.

Jean Setzfand: ¿Está bien, Brian?

Brian: Sí, ¿puedes oírme?

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

Brian: Gracias. Sufro de agorafobia, el miedo a estar al aire libre durante esta pandemia porque no sé quién, qué o dónde es seguro y eso me lleva al aislamiento y la depresión. ¿Qué consejos e información tienes para alguien que sufre como yo? Y muchas gracias.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias. Dr. Brooks, ¿tiene algún consejo para Brian en Nueva York?

Dr. Brooks: Sí. Un par de cosas. En primer lugar, todos tenemos nuestros miedos y nuestra fobia y creo que aceptar eso, me gusta la forma en que lo dijo categóricamente, es aceptable. El virus se propaga mucho menos al aire libre. La preocupación, principalmente, está en el interior. Entonces, en general, si tu agorafobia está relacionada con el virus, a diferencia de él en general, diría que reduzcas eso.

Número dos, estar en lugares donde no haya gente. Por ejemplo, puedes ir, digamos por un parque, un campo o un Parque Nacional o Estatal, y estacionar y salir al bosque. O incluso si vives en un área urbana, encuentra un área que no tenga mucha gente, a menos que tengas un verdadero miedo, eso es comprensible.

Usar una mascarilla ayuda a algunos, pero solo quiero hacer un comentario de que, además de una mascarilla de grado N95, las mascarillas están hechas para que tú dejes de contagiar a otras personas. Entonces, usar una mascarilla te ayuda a no infectar a otras personas potencialmente, pero no está hecha para protegerte de ellas. Así que, de nuevo, mi último consejo sería que, en primer lugar, creo que es bueno salir. Creo que solo el concepto de aire fresco, estar adentro es simplemente estrangulador. Así que, busca un área donde haya un mínimo de personas, usa una mascarilla que te brinde algo de protección y luego ten en cuenta que, en general, el aerosol o las gotas se deshacen en el aire exterior. Y así, tu preocupación es mucho menor.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Gracias por eso, Dr. Brooks. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Tueer de D.C. Espero haberlo pronunciado correctamente.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Adelante con tu pregunta.

Tueer: Muchas gracias, ¿puedes oírme?

Bill Walsh: Sí, podemos. Adelante.

Tueer: Este es Tueer de D.C. Solo dos preguntas rápidas. Número uno, ¿cómo sabemos que las tasas de mortalidad que se publican separan las muertes de COVID de otras muertes en este momento? Y luego tengo una pregunta sobre la jubilación. Soy mayor de edad, estoy en servicio y soy profesora. Entonces, estoy realmente estresada por esta enseñanza en línea. ¿Es este un buen momento para retirarme? Entonces esas son mis dos preguntas.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Bueno, Dr. Brooks, su primera pregunta parece ser bastante sencilla. ¿Quiere abordar eso? Y luego pasaremos a Jean Chatzky.

Dr. Brooks: Lo primero es que los CDC y, en general, los departamentos de salud pública estatales o locales tienen criterios sobre lo que se considera muerte por COVID-19. Entonces, examinamos a los pacientes cuando ingresan al hospital. De hecho, se puede tomar una muestra post mortem en ellos. Se pondrá un poco complicado, digamos que alguien tuvo un ataque cardíaco y dio positivo por COVID-19, pero yo diría que no me preocuparía por eso porque si el 90% de ellos son claros, entonces tal vez haya un 10% que no está claro. Aún tienes una probabilidad del 90% de saber que la tasa de hospitalización sobre la que está leyendo o escuchando es precisa.

Bill Walsh: Está bien, y ella también tenía una pregunta, Jean, sobre la jubilación. ¿Puedes ofrecer algún consejo?

Jean Chatzky: Puedo ofrecer algunas generalidades, es muy difícil para mí decir "Sí" o "No", si no puedo... Sin conocer sus números. Y, y la pregunta real que debes hacerte es, en combinación con tus ahorros y seguridad social, si eres elegible para ello y el dinero que tienes en una pensión si recibes una de tu distrito escolar. ¿Has acumulado lo suficiente para una jubilación que probablemente dure 30 años? Si puedes ver tus números, Básicamente, debes asegurarte de que estás reemplazando un buen 80-85% de tus ingresos previos a la jubilación.

Existe una especie de falacia de que las personas jubiladas gastan muchísimo menos que las personas antes de la jubilación y lo que vemos en la vida real es que ese no es el caso. Especialmente con los jubilados muy saludables y vitales de hoy. Entonces, diría que es hora de hacer un examen físico financiero y, y averiguar si estás preparado para hacerlo. Si realmente crees que no puedes manejar la enseñanza remota, quizás puedes tomarte las próximas semanas para buscar otras oportunidades. Tal vez un entorno más pequeño sea más viable para ti. Sé que hay una gran cantidad de personas que están contratando tutores y antiguos maestros, para que se ocupen de las necesidades de sus propios hijos, pero entonces tendrías que preguntarte: cuando termine la COVID, y espero terminará pronto, ¿será eso sostenible a largo plazo?

Bill Walsh: Sí. Bien, gracias por eso, Jean. Vamos a atender más de sus preguntas y, como recordatorio, presiona * 3 en cualquier momento en el teclado de tu teléfono para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y compartir tu pregunta. Vemos una serie de preguntas en la lista sobre estafas. Así que solo quería reiterar, el número gratuito que tiene AARP en la línea directa de la Red contra el Fraude, es el 877-908-3360. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos una pregunta proveniente de YouTube y esta proviene de Joy. Y pregunta sobre las pruebas móviles realizadas para personas que no pueden salir de sus hogares o que pueden estar en centros de atención. Especialmente para entornos grupales. ¿Pueden también ser examinados?

Bill Walsh: Dr. Brooks, ¿tiene alguna idea sobre eso?

Dr. Brooks: Hay muchas áreas que tienen pruebas móviles. Así que sí, creo que es un enfoque excelente. Llevar la prueba al paciente. En lo que respecta a los hogares de ancianos, quiero decir, la prueba es algo relativamente simple. Se hace un hisopado por nariz, por lo que un hogar de ancianos o un centro de enfermería, o cualquier centro residencial [INAUDIBLE] en realidad puede simplemente traer a un proveedor, como un médico y tal vez una enfermera para ayudar a manejarlo, y simplemente hacerles las pruebas a las personas. La prueba, en general, no tiene que refrigerarse y se puede llevar al laboratorio y se puede ejecutar. Entonces, esa es definitivamente una opción viable que, nuevamente, se basaría en su ubicación y cuán flexibles son. Cuán ágiles son para lidiar con problemas relacionados con las pruebas.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Gracias Dr. Brooks. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Albert, de Carolina del Norte.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Albert. Continúe con tu pregunta. Hola, Albert, estás en la línea. Adelante con tu pregunta.

Albert: Mi esposa y yo corremos un riesgo muy alto. Especialmente mi esposa. Y nuestros hijos y nietos viven fuera del estado. ¿Cómo hacemos para que la visita sea segura? ¿O es recomendable que no lo hagamos?

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias por esa pregunta, Albert. Y esta es una situación en la que creo que muchas personas se encuentran en este momento en que la gente simplemente no viaja tanto como lo hacía en el pasado. Dr. Hebert, ¿quieres responder a la pregunta de Albert?

Dr. Hebert: Albert, mencioné un poco antes que tenemos una docena de nietos y el problema con el que estás lidiando con la necesidad de ver a tus nietos es algo con lo que todos estamos lidiando. Por lo tanto, encontrar formas de conectarse con ellos de manera virtual significa que no correrán ningún riesgo. Significa que muchos de nosotros, gracias, Jean, por el comentario anterior sobre ser más experimentados, muchos de nosotros, los más experimentados, necesitamos acostumbrarnos a algunas de las tecnologías como FaceTime, Zoom y Skype. Eso significa que no tiene ningún riesgo.

Para algunos miembros de la familia, realmente quieren estar presentes, quieren estar en un espacio físico. Entonces, una de las preguntas que debes hacerte y que tu familia debe preguntarse es si vas a visitarlos y tal vez conducir allí porque eso es lo más seguro para viajar. ¿Pueden aislarse durante 10 días antes de su visita? Si pueden hacerlo, eso reduce su riesgo. ¿Pueden aislarse durante ese período de tiempo antes de ir a visitar? Hay mucha complejidad en este proceso. Significa que tenemos que pensar mucho antes de las cosas que en el pasado solíamos simplemente hacer.

Entonces, esas son algunas de las cosas que sugeriría e incluso cuando estén allí, si se han estado aislando, sigan los protocolos para reducir el riesgo. Y eso es el distanciamiento, el uso de mascarillas, el lavado frecuente de manos. Esas son cosas que son muy importantes, pero Albert, estoy contigo. Amo a mis nietos y seguro que es difícil no verlos con tanta frecuencia como antes.

Bill Walsh: Sí, seguro que lo es. Muy bien, Jean. ¿Tenemos otra persona en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Sí, Michael Anne, de California.

Bill Walsh: Hola, bienvenido al programa. Adelante con tu pregunta.

Michael Anne: Hola, gracias por tomar esto. En realidad, nunca recibí un cheque de estímulo, y me pregunto a dónde debo ir para preguntar más al respecto. Lo he investigado y decía que había entre 30.000 y 50.000 personas todavía esperando el suyo, y eso fue quizás hace un mes. Entonces, no lo sé, cuando estaban hablando de un segundo, todavía no he recibido el primero.

Bill Walsh: Correcto.

Michael Anne: ¿Dónde me equivoqué?

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Bueno, preguntémosle a Jean Chatzky. Jean, ¿tienes alguna idea para Michael Anne en California?

Jean Chatzky: Sí, Michael Anne, tu recurso y, desafortunadamente, en este punto, para ese primer estímulo, será cuando presente sus declaraciones de impuestos de 2020. El primer pago de estímulo, y supongo que el segundo pago de estímulo será esencialmente un crédito en sus declaraciones de impuestos del 2020. Y podrás reclamarlo cuando presentes el próximo año. Ahora, para la próxima ronda de pagos. Mi conjetura es que el IRS nuevamente tendrá un lugar para que las personas ingresen su información para recibir pagos de depósito directo para actualizar su dirección. Absolutamente trataría de hacer eso, pero puede haber alguna razón por la que el IRS esté basando su conocimiento de tus finanzas en el 2018 o 2019 y piensa por alguna razón que ganaste demasiado dinero para calificar, y tendrás que demostrarles que no lo hiciste.

Bill Walsh: Parece que está tratando de verificar eso, ¿debería llamar directamente al IRS? ¿Hay algún otro recurso que deba consultar?

Jean Chatzky: Ciertamente puede intentar llamar al IRS directamente. Hay una pestaña en el sitio web del IRS. Es irs.gov y puedes hacer clic en él, dice "Obtener mi pago". Y pasarás por una serie de preguntas. Se te pedirá que ingreses tu número de Seguro Social, tu fecha de nacimiento, tu dirección postal, y yo lo haría, yo pasaría por ese proceso, pero lo que nos dijeron, en conversaciones con el IRS, es que hay tan poca gente en la oficina que no están realmente manejando los teléfonos en este momento. Y no creo que eso haya cambiado.

Bill Walsh: Otra cosa, Michael, y podrías intentarlo es comunicarte con tu representante en el Congreso. Este es su trabajo y si crees que eras elegible para un cheque de estímulo y no lo has recibido, comunícate con tu representante en el Congreso. Y ellos deberían ocuparse del caso y llamar la atención del IRS para ti. Jean, ¿tenemos otra pregunta en la lista?

Jean Setzfand: Absolutamente. Aquí hay una pregunta de Facebook, y encontramos algunas preguntas centradas en las vacunas, así que elegiré una que sea más representativa. Viene de Elaine. Ella pregunta: "Hay mucha presión para producir una vacuna, ¿cómo podemos estar seguros de que los primeros productos realmente satisfacen las necesidades del público? ¿De que realmente han cumplido con criterios estrictos?"

Bill Walsh: Dr. Brooks, ¿tiene alguna idea al respecto?

Dr. Brooks: Sí, en primer lugar, estamos en una situación en la que hay una pandemia en la que tenemos más de 3 millones de casos. En EE.UU., más de 150,000 muertes. Entonces, hay presión para desarrollar una vacuna. Así que creo que tienes que empezar con eso. De hecho, estoy involucrado, un poco, con los problemas relacionados con esto. La FDA dará una revisión clara de los datos, específicamente la seguridad y la eficacia.

Habrá ensayos clínicos que involucrarán generalmente a todas las razas, etnias, a todos los individuos. Va a ser grande, debería haber miles y miles de personas. Sabremos lo que sabemos. Creo que con el tiempo, a medida que se implemente la vacuna, veremos cómo se manifiestan la seguridad y la eficacia, pero puedo asegurarles, a partir de la interacción directa, que los CDC, NIH y la FDA están monitoreando esto muy de cerca.

Y una última cosa que añadiré, en lo que se refiere a las vacunas. Una de las cosas que retrasa su llegada al mercado, en general, es parte del tiempo desde el desarrollo inicial hasta su lanzamiento al mercado que es la fabricación. La compañía no comenzará a fabricar una vacuna hasta que sepa que está lista para salir al mercado. El Gobierno ha proporcionado fondos a algunas de las empresas para que continúen y comiencen a fabricarla, y si no funciona, bueno, la tiran. Entonces, estamos reduciendo años del proceso al permitir que las empresas comiencen a fabricar algo que ni siquiera saben con seguridad que funcionará. Han obtenido dinero del Gobierno para hacer eso. Creo que es importante entenderlo. Cómo puede llegar al mercado una vacuna. Tan rápido. Ha habido apoyo financiero del gobierno para esto. En definitiva difícil porque necesitamos una vacuna. En general, hay evidencia clara de que la única forma en que vamos a pasar el Covid-19, es con una vacuna. Entonces, yo diría que creas que estamos haciendo lo correcto en una situación difícil y cuando salga una vacuna, sabrás que significa que es segura y efectiva.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Gracias Dr. Brooks. Jean, ¿tenemos otra pregunta en la lista?

Jean Setzfand: Sí, tenemos a Mary de Tenesí.

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

Mary: Estaba llamando... Estás hablando del fraude. La gente está engañando a la gente por los cheques de estímulo. ¿Qué pasa con los hogares de ancianos? Sabes, mi madre está en un hogar de ancianos y sé que recibió un cheque de estímulo, pero dijeron que lo guardaron, pero no puedes conseguirlo. Simplemente se quedaron con el cheque de estímulo. Pero, ¿utilizan el cheque de estímulo?

Bill Walsh: ¿Quieres decir que el hogar de ancianos se quedó con el cheque estímulo de su madre?

Mary: Sí. No puedo, dijeron que no puedo conseguirlo. La única forma en que puedo conseguirlo es si le compro algo y les llevo un recibo, pero algo sucede, entonces puedo conseguirlo.

Bill Walsh: Preguntémosle a Jean Chatzky sobre eso. ¿Qué piensas de lo que Mary está hablando?

Jean Chatzky: No me suena kosher a falta de una palabra mejor, para mí. Yo no sé con quién estás hablando en el hogar de ancianos, pero me pondría en contacto con la persona que dirige el hogar de ancianos y vería si puede obtener una respuesta más clara a esa pregunta. También, si no puedes, denunciaría esto, tanto a la autoridad local sobre envejecimiento como a la oficina del fiscal general local porque parece que se han apoderado de estos fondos que no les pertenecen.

Bill Walsh: Sí, Dr. Hebert, ¿tiene alguna idea sobre esto?

Dr. Hebert: No estoy familiarizado con los detalles del entorno del hogar de ancianos, Bill, así que realmente... Realmente no tengo nada que ofrecer sobre cómo manejan las finanzas de los pacientes allí.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Les haré saber a Mary y a otros oyentes que cada estado tiene un programa de defensores del pueblo de atención a largo plazo y que estas personas son independientes del hogar de ancianos. Sabes, el sistema se creó para que ellos defendieran a los consumidores. Así que ese es otro recurso al que Mary y otros pueden comunicarse. Para, para una gran cantidad de preguntas o inquietudes que puedan tener, con los hogares de ancianos en su estado.

Bueno, he estado hablando, tenemos el número de teléfono del defensor del pueblo de atención a largo plazo en Tenesí, y es 866-552-4464. 866-552-4464. Gracias por el rápido trabajo del personal de AARP para hacernos llegar esa información. De acuerdo, Jean Chatzky, ¿tienes algo más que quieras agregar?

Jean Chatzky: Yo quería decir que el IRS emitió una advertencia sobre esto. Para básicamente tener en cuenta que estos pagos pertenecen a los destinatarios. No pertenecen al hogar de ancianos. No pertenecen a las instalaciones de vida asistida. Así que seguiría con ese recurso en Tenesí. Solo para asegurarse de que recibe el dinero que se le debe para sus padres.

Bill Walsh: Gracias por esa información, Jean. Esta ha sido una discusión informativa y gracias a cada uno de ustedes por responder nuestras preguntas. Voluntarios y oyentes por participar en esta discusión.

AARP, una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores en Estados Unidos durante más de 60 años. Frente a esta crisis, estamos brindando información y recursos para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan a protegerse del virus, prevenir su propagación a otros, mientras se cuidan. Todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia hoy, incluida una grabación de la sesión de preguntas y respuestas, se podrán encontrar en aarp.org/elcoronavirus a partir de mañana 7 de agosto. Nuevamente, esa dirección web es aarp.org/elcoronavirus. Ve allí si tu pregunta no fue respondida y encontrarás las últimas actualizaciones, así como información creada específicamente para adultos mayores y cuidadores familiares.

Solo quería preguntarles a nuestros invitados si tenían algún pensamiento final antes de concluir la llamada. ¿Dr. Brooks?

Dr. Brooks: Sí, gracias. Tengo tres o cuatro. En primer lugar, gracias por organizar esto. Para los que escuchan, sean pacientes. Este es un maratón, no una carrera. A la persona que llamó que dijo que quería visitar a sus nietos, le diría que haga los contactos que le indicó el Dr. Hebert. Zoom, FaceTime. Tengo un amigo que le está leyendo Harry Potter de principio a fin a sus nietos, y lo esperan con entusiasmo. Les encanta. Entonces, hay formas de conectarse sin exponerse. Número dos, busca información creíble. La información que recibes en esta llamada es información creíble. Cuestiona las cosas que no tienen sentido. Número tres, aboga por ti mismo y por los demás. Haz que tus funcionarios públicos rindan cuentas y pon a los que ocupan puestos de autoridad que tú creas que velarán por tus mejores intereses. Y, por último, sigue utilizando los procedimientos y políticas de control de infecciones. Usa una mascarilla cuando salgas. Usa una mascarilla porque evita que contagies a los demás. Entonces demuestras que te importa, porque quiero terminar con esto, estamos todos juntos en esto. Estamos pasando por esto juntos, y solo saldremos de esto si trabajamos juntos colectivamente.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, Dr. Brooks, gracias. Dr. Hebert, ¿algún pensamiento o recomendación para el cierre?

Dr. Hebert: Me haré eco del Dr. Brooks al dar las gracias. Los cuidadores familiares de todo el país se enfrentan a desafíos adicionales, como indicaste un poco antes, Bill. Necesitan saber lo importante que es su trabajo. La casa es el lugar más seguro para que alguien esté bien. Eso está bien documentado y también es el lugar más seguro para la atención. En el pasado, lo más prudente que se podía hacer si alguien comenzaba a tener síntomas era acudir a un centro de atención de urgencia, una sala de emergencias o un hospital de inmediato. Hoy, eso no es lo más prudente que se puede hacer.

El primer paso prudente sería contratar a alguien como el Dr. Brooks, en una visita de telesalud y telemedicina. Eso reduce la carga de los hospitales, la sala de emergencias y la atención de urgencia, y mitiga tu riesgo como cuidador y de la persona que estás cuidando. Y lo último que haré es repetir lo que dijo el Dr. Brooks, ya lo había escrito antes de que usted lo dijera, Dr. Brooks. Y eso es, esta será una experiencia a largo plazo y le digo a la gente que no es una carrera no es un maratón, puede ser un ultra maratón, 100 millas o más.

Si esperamos que sean muchos meses, tal vez nos sorprenda gratamente que ocurra antes. Pero si esperamos que esto dure unos meses más, entonces estaremos decepcionados y eso afectará nuestro juicio. Por eso, ciertamente necesitamos mantenernos en un buen lugar desde el punto de vista de nuestra salud mental y bienestar. Y agregaré que esto no es un engaño, no es una conspiración. Este es un riesgo muy real para las personas. Mi propio hermano ha sido hospitalizado la semana pasada y nuestra familia está muy preocupada por su bienestar. Esto no es un engaño, no es una conspiración, esto es muy real. Así que ten cuidado con el lugar donde obtienes tu información. Bill, gracias nuevamente a AARP por toda su gran labor.

Bill Walsh: Claro. Gracias, Dr. Hebert. Y nuestros pensamientos están con tu hermano, para una pronta recuperación. Jean Chatzky, ¿algún pensamiento o recomendación para el cierre?

Jean Chatzky: Absolutamente, y nuevamente, muchas gracias por invitarme a estar de regreso con ustedes hoy. Aprendí mucho escuchando al Dr. Brooks y al Dr. Hebert. Solo quería agregar algo al concepto de autocuidado. Eso que el Dr. Hebert planteó antes y cuando se trata de nuestras vidas financieras, estos son tiempos increíblemente estresantes. Encuesta tras encuesta, tras encuesta muestra más estrés de lo que creemos, y estamos por encima de muchas cosas, más estresados ​​por nuestras finanzas. Podemos controlarlo haciendo dos cosas.

Una es tomar el control de aquellas cosas que podemos controlar, y en gran medida eso significa tus gastos. Significa prestar mucha atención a tus números. Significa hacer un seguimiento y significa estar alerta. Pero la segunda cosa, y es un consejo de salud, no un consejo financiero. Sal y muévete. El ejercicio es el reductor de estrés número uno. No tiene por qué costarte dinero en absoluto. Solo sal a caminar. Da un agradable paseo socialmente distanciado y verás que tu presión arterial comienza a bajar.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien, gracias Jean Chatzky. Esa fue una buena nota para terminar nuestro programa. Y gracias a todo nuestro panel por los consejos y sugerencias. Y gracias a nuestros oyentes. Esperamos que hayas aprendido algo que pueda ayudarte a ti y a tus seres queridos a mantenerse saludables.

Asegúrate de sintonizar el miércoles 19 de agosto a las 7:00 p.m., hora del Este, para un evento especial en vivo con Property Brothers. Únete a nosotros para una discusión sobre cómo puedes hacer de tu casa un hogar, para toda la vida. Gracias a todos nuestros oyentes e invitados, que tengan un buen día.

Esto concluye nuestra teleasamblea.

Coronavirus: Answering Your Most Frequent Questions

Aug. 6, at 1 p.m. ET

Listen to a replay of the live event above.

Our live event featured a panel of experts who addressed your most frequently asked coronavirus questions, as well as the latest information on a potential new stimulus package, unemployment benefits, protecting your health and caring for loved ones.

The experts:

  • Jean Chatzky, President and CEO, HerMoney.com
  • Oliver Tate Brooks, M.D., Immediate Past President, National Medical Association 
  • Warren P. Hebert Jr., DNP, Assistant Professor, Loyola University of New Orleans and CEO, HomeCare Association of Louisiana


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


Replay previous AARP Coronavirus Tele-Town Halls

  • Nov 12 - Coronavirus: Coping and Maintaining Your Well-Being
  • Oct 1 - Coronavirus: Vaccines & Coping During the Pandemic
  • Sept 17 - Coronavirus: Prevention, Treatments, Vaccines & Avoiding Scams
  • 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