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Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall: 6 Months Into the Pandemic

AARP's latest live event focused on what the world looks like for older adults in the “new normal”

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 from more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information resources to help older adults and those caring for them. As we enter the sixth month of the pandemic, many of us are still focused on protecting our family and loved ones and looking for ways to cope with the financial impact. Today, we'll talk with experts who will be answering some of your questions on these important topics.

If you've participated in one of our tele-town halls, you know, this is similar to a radio talk show and you have the opportunity to ask questions live. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you want to ask a question, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question and place you in the queue to ask that question live. If you’re joining us on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comment section.

Joining us today are David M. Aronoff, M.D., professor and Addison B. Scoville Jr. chair in medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Lee Baker, certified financial planner and CEO and founder of Apex Financial Services. We will also be joined by my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls today. 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 expert guests, Dr. David Aronoff, M.D., is the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he's been a key communicator of public health measures and highly involved in the diagnosis and clinical care of COVID-19. Welcome, Dr. Aronoff.

David Aronoff: It's great to be here, Bill. Thank you for having me as a guest.

Bill Walsh: All right. Thanks for being here. And Lee Baker. Lee is a certified financial planner whose passion for helping people achieve financial security led him to establish Apex Financial Services. Lee is also the volunteer state president of AARP, Georgia, where he works to lead positive social change. Welcome back to the show, Lee.

Lee Baker: Happy to be back again, Bill.

Bill Walsh: All right, delighted to have you. Let's get started with the discussion. Dr. Aronoff, let's start with you. Testing guidance took another confusing turn last week when the CDC issued guidelines and then rescinded them a day later. Can you please remind us when it is best to get tested and when it might not be necessary at all?

David Aronoff: Oh, that's a really great question and an important one. Certainly, if people have symptoms that are concerning for COVID-19, even mild symptoms, it's a good idea to get tested. The disease is still very active, and we want to make sure that we know who is infected so that we can also track down contacts and provide the best care that we can. The other group are people who have had prolonged exposure to somebody who is a COVID-19 case. And so that would mean someone within six feet for longer than 10 minutes. That's where there's been a little bit of back and forth with the CDC. Certainly if somebody is a contact of a patient, they need to self-isolate and monitor for the development of symptoms for 14 days, because that's basically how long it will take to be sure that symptoms are or are not going to occur. But, it is very reasonable to get tested during that period of time, probably sometime between five and eight days after the exposure to see if you're positive. But I would just tell people that if their test is negative, that does not absolutely mean they're not infected, and they still need to self-isolate for that total of 14 days following the exposure.

Bill Walsh: OK, well, staying on the topic of testing, what is the $5 rapid test, and what does it mean for the public and the future of testing?

David Aronoff: Yeah, so current testing has mostly been molecular testing using samples from the nose or sometimes from saliva. And that testing tends to have a longer turnaround time; it often has to be done in a clinical laboratory. But what we're seeing emerge, including this $5 test are what we call antigen tests, which are rapid. They can be done very quickly. They can be done at the point of care, in other words, where a patient is being evaluated. And these are similar to urine pregnancy tests where a little bit of fluid is put on a piece of paper and as it goes across that paper, you essentially get a positive or a negative indication. And that's what is emerging. But we don't know exactly when those are going to be readily available. The government bought up a large supply of the initial ones being made by the company Abbott, and the other trade-off with these very rapid point of care tests is they're not quite as sensitive as the molecular test. So you may have to be shedding more virus to trip the test to be positive. But all things considered, having more cheaper, easier, faster testing for COVID-19 is really welcome.

Bill Walsh: Hmm, so cheaper, faster, but maybe not as reliable as the PCR tests.

David Aronoff: I think that's the trade-off. And so right now, for example, those quick tests are best used when people have symptoms, because that's when they're likely to be shedding the most virus and the risk of a false negative is lower.

Bill Walsh: Got it. All right, Lee, let's turn to you. It’s estimated that millions could face eviction because of the pandemic and the income that they've lost. This week the CDC announced a temporary moratorium on evictions through Dec. 31. Can you talk about this a little bit? Are there any guidelines out there? How can someone find out if they're eligible and what does this mean for renters come Jan. 1?

Lee Baker: Yeah. So, just at a high level, if you were someone that received a direct payment, it's likely that you're eligible for this. And it's a pretty broad and sweeping mandate that applies through December. But the issue we have at this point in time, there have not been any dollars put behind it. So the advice that I would give for anybody that's in that situation is, hey, listen, you're thankful that the moratorium's in place and you, at least for the time being, don't have to be concerned with being evicted and ending up out on the street. Because nobody, nobody wants that kind of a scenario. But unfortunately at this point, Congress hasn't gotten together to come up with any dollars to put behind it. So as it stands now, there's a moratorium but there is no guarantee at this juncture that come Jan. 1, that all of those back rent payments would not become due. And so what kind of situation does that put tenants in? It's a very precarious situation because, candidly, if you're out of work, you have no capacity to save up those dollars to then pick up several months of back rent. So it would be hoped that this moratorium stretching out to December allows Congress enough time to get together to come up with some sort of package that would offset those past due rents, so that both the landlords and the tenants could come out whole when we enter into 2021.

Bill Walsh: Let me just follow up on that as it relates to homeowners as opposed to renters. So the CDC announcement, I don't believe, had any effect on mortgage holders. What has your experience been in terms of people seeking relief from their monthly mortgage? Have banks and mortgage companies been pretty flexible with consumers?

Lee Baker: Yeah, in general, banks have been pretty flexible. You know, I've had this question come up with clients over the last five, six months, and most banks in most of the experiences I've had with clients have been pretty flexible in that, again, it's not like you need a lot of verification to know that people have been affected by COVID-19. So that part of the process has been fairly minimal based on experiences I've had in working with clients. Then you get to the question of, well, what are the options on the backside? And some of this may have varied from one lender to the other, but frequently you have a scenario where if you had a forbearance for two months, three months or what have you, in most instances that I've gone through with clients, the lender said, "OK, we're going to put those missed payments on the back end of the loan." And that's been beneficial in that it's given people some room to breathe, if you will. But also done in a manner that has not had a negative impact on their credit rating, because again, you don't want to compound a bad situation, like what we have now, being out of work and the stress that comes with it and further put yourself in a situation where you end up with a bad credit rating as a result. And so the way that most lenders that I'm aware of it have managed it is to take those months of rent that were missed because of COVID-19 and then add them onto the back end of the loan.

Bill Walsh: Hmm. OK. Well, thanks for that. And we're going to get to more questions soon. But before we do, I want to update you on AARP's efforts to protect voters 50-plus this election year. As we all know, the pandemic is threatening the health and financial security of millions of older adults. Now more than ever, there are critical issues on the line in this election for people 50-plus. And we've heard from our members that to win, candidates must talk about the issues that matter most to these voters. That's why AARP is fighting to protect voters 50-plus on the issues that matter, like protecting Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug prices. Our polling shows that our members and voters 50-plus in general are concerned about how to vote safely because of the pandemic. So we've adapted to the reality of the 2020 election year, and we're working hard to make sure voters can vote safely and know their options. We're speaking up to candidates to remind them that older voters are watching.

Here are a few things that we've been doing. We've published individualized voter education pages with dates, methods and rules for voting safely at polling places and at home for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We're asking candidates to appear on tele-town halls like this one so members and voters 50-plus can get their questions answered and have virtual access to the politicians asking for their votes. And we'll be experimenting with virtual meetups that take the place of conventional town hall meetings during the COVID-19 crisis. To learn more about this, please visit aarp.org/election2020. 

It's now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Dr. Aronoff and certified financial planner Lee Baker. Now I'd like to bring in my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your calls today. Welcome, Jean.

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

Bill Walsh: Let's go ahead and take our first question. Who do we have on the line?

Jean Setzfand: Our first caller is Joanne from New York.

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

Joanne: Yes. And thank you very much for coming today to speak to us. I'm 72 years old and five years out of cancer and have a compromised immune system. I'm wondering if I would be eligible or have they considered seniors such as myself to be part of a vaccine?

Bill Walsh: You mean a vaccine ...

Joanne: Trial.

Bill Walsh: Trial? OK. Dr. Aronoff, do you want to take Joanne's question?

David Aronoff: Yeah, I sure do, and thank you, Joanne, for that question. Vaccines are really on the front of all of our minds and, in fact, I would say that vaccines are particularly going to be useful for those of us who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and getting sick from the virus that causes COVID-19, and that includes our older adult population. And so current studies that are going on, there are several large, what we call phase 3 clinical studies, which essentially are the last step of large studies prior to seeking approval from the FDA for use. These large studies do have it inclusions for adults of all ages. And so I think the key would be to find areas near you that are participating in this study. These are often large, academic medical centers or large research organizations, and contact them and see if you're eligible. And each of the companies who are currently trialing vaccines also have inclusion criteria on their website. And finally, clinicaltrials.gov is the United States government website where all clinical trials have to be registered. It's relatively easy to find all of the COVID vaccine-related trials on there. And you can find out all of the inclusion criteria on that website. as well.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that, Dr. Aronoff. I know traditionally in drug trials we have a hard time getting older adults. I wonder if we've had that same problem with the COVID vaccine trials, and if so, what it might mean for the efficacy and safety of a vaccine that emerges.

David Aronoff: Yeah, I know that a lot of intent has gone into planning these vaccine trials to be sure that we can include older adults who, as you say, are sometimes reluctant or not able to be part of a trial. But this is really the vulnerable population that we want to protect in addition to groups like frontline health care workers. And so I'm optimistic that as these studies complete, we'll learn about the protective effectiveness of the vaccine across the entire spectrum of adult ages.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you very much. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Tom from Alabama.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Tom. Go ahead with your call.

Tom: A lot of folks are out of work and might be in that circumstance for quite a while. I was wondering if you could discuss options to tap into some things like savings or home equity, retirement plans, whole-life policies. You know, some of those have pros and cons and pitfalls. Could you give those folks some ideas and recommendations.

Bill Walsh: OK, Lee, do you want to take that question from Tom?

Lee Baker: So, as you mentioned a couple of things there, your home, retirement plans and that sort of thing. So, a couple of things. There's a handful of ways that you can tap into home equity and these aren't any sort of recommendations, but if you're in a position where, in your current circumstances, would a lender even allow a traditional, home equity line of credit. If you can and that's a possibility, it's something that maybe you can explore, but you have be really careful, because one of the things with repaying a loan, or even getting something refinanced, a lot of people have taken the option to do a forbearance. Well, the likelihood of you being able to get a loan refinanced or do a home equity loan if you're in forbearance is pretty minimal. I just don't see a lender doing it. And I've had discussions with clients around that particular issue. If you're old enough, the option of a reverse mortgage could be one way to tap into some resources, but again, that's something that you want to be very careful with. Take all the time to do the due diligence and AARP has a ton of resources to help provide you with some of that guidance.

Now when it comes to tapping into some of the retirement plans or, and I think Tom also mentioned life insurance, there's pros and cons to doing any of those things. Candidly, if you're in a situation and you literally have no other options, but you do have a retirement account, then take a look at that. Some of the pieces of legislation and the different phases of legislation that Congress has implemented this year as a way to combat what we're dealing with COVID-19, there have been a lot of things that have been relaxed as it relates to tapping into retirement plans. If you're under 59 and a half, the ability to avoid the penalty, the possibility of extending the tax payment for withdrawals from retirement plans over the course of two years, as opposed to immediately coming due the following April. So there are some options out there that have made tapping into a retirement plans a lot easier than they are under normal circumstances, but you need to make sure that you weigh that against what your possibilities are for the long term, and how much you take out, and is it really an amount to take out to satisfy sort of the immediate need and not get carried away with what you need to take out if you absolutely have to.

Bill Walsh: And what about life insurance? Tom had asked about tapping into a policy.

Lee Baker: If you've got what's typically called a whole life policy or a cash value life insurance policy, and you've got access to it, that can be a good way to tap into some equity because you are basically borrowing your own money, if you will. You know, the downside again, if the loan that you take out of the policy if you choose to use that method to get money out of it, is that if you die before the loan is repaid, it simply reduces the death benefit that your heirs would receive. Or, on the other hand, if you choose to simply withdraw some of the cash value from the policy, depending on how much you take out, there's the ability to get some of that cash out without any tax implication. So typically there's at least those two ways to access cash value in a life insurance policy, and can be advantageous depending on what your total situation is.

Bill Walsh: OK, Lee. Thanks for that. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Vicky from Wisconsin.

Bill Walsh: Hey Vicky. What's your question?

Vicky: My husband died in 2018 and I would like to ask your financial planner: I received with the first stimulus payments $1,200 for me and also $1,200 for him that were directly deposited into my account. Do I have to pay the $1,200 that I received for him back? And I can't get through to anybody at the IRS. They're not answering their phones. I don't know who to ask about this or how to pay the money back, or do I just let it sit in my account and eventually they will take it back out.

Bill Walsh: And he passed away in 2018, I think you said.

Vicky: Yes.

Bill Walsh: OK. Lee?

Vicky: But I filed return for 2018 and therefore they sent me the two payments.

Lee Baker: Got it. Got it. Understood. So that's an interesting question and this is my gut instinct and not based on any sort of researched answer. We're hearing things about IRS payments on a lot of different circumstances. They're overwhelmed. They're behind. There are folks that have made tax payments and literally checks have been sitting at the IRS for months and months. In similar to things like the PPP program, my gut instinct is that you won't hear from the IRS about that $1,200. Now that having been said, the prudent thing to do is, one, not spend the money. Keep it off to the side. You know, maybe, come later in the year or early 2021, we'll be able to get through to the IRS again. And at that time, potentially get a hold of someone to get a clear answer. But for the time being, I would encourage you to hold onto it, not spend it. Another month or two months from now try to check in again. One of the reasons that the IRS is as busy as they are now, and of course, as everybody knows, the filing date was pushed back to July, and so a lot of the income tax returns that normally would have been processed by now or done. Some of the extensions that typically happen, Sept. 15, Oct. 15 are also keeping the IRS pretty busy. So it may be into November and even December before things begin to settle down and you're able to get through to the IRS again. But again, for the time being, hold onto it, check back in a couple of months to get a definitive answer. But my gut feeling is that they're not going to come calling for that $1,200.

Bill Walsh: OK. Probably don't spend it right away, though.

Lee Baker: Absolutely.

Bill Walsh: Cause they may.

Lee Baker: They may.

Bill Walsh: All right, Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: We have a question coming in from YouTube from Fred. And he's asking, "I you are asymptomatic, with the virus detected by a test, will you become a non-spreader in 14 days, or is it still possible to spread the virus after 14 days? 

Bill Walsh: Did you get that one, Dr. Aronoff?

David Aronoff: I sure did. That's a really important question from Fred online. I appreciate that. If someone is asymptomatic and they test positive, it is really tough because we don't know when they first got infected, we don't know how long they've been infected, but we draw some information from what we do know about symptomatic people. So symptomatic people with COVID-19, in general, stop shedding infectious virus after at most 10 days from the onset of their symptoms, as long as by that 10-day mark their symptoms are getting better, and they haven't had a fever for about 24 hours. There are some exceptions; people who are hospitalized or people who are very immunocompromised may shed infectious virus for longer than 10 days. But in general, people will be infectious from the onset of their symptoms for 10 days. As long as they're getting better, then that 10-day mark is pretty much once they're no longer considered contagious. And so for asymptomatic people, we use the date that they test positive as the date where we start a 10-day clock. And we pretty much just ask of those people to self-isolate for the next 10 days, because we feel that that will more than adequately cover for the time that they are shedding infectious virus. Now I will say one thing that can be sometimes confusing is that these molecular tests that basically pick up molecules of the virus that are not necessarily infectious virus, but these molecular tests can remain positive in people who have both recovered from infection and are not contagious. These molecular tests can remain positive for weeks. So we don't use the retesting as a strategy to tell someone they're no longer contagious. We really just use a calendar, particularly for those people who are asymptomatic.

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

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Peggy from Indiana.

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

Peggy: Hi. I'm 76 and I have been down since March. I've not been in any store or anything. I’m still not able to go anywhere. I'm limited Social Security, and I'm having a hard time making ends meet because of the high cost of groceries and other items because everything has went up so much. And I was wondering if we are going to get another stimulus check, because if we are, I can make that last about six months with groceries. Not being able to go to food banks or anything has really put a stress on me. And because most of my Social Security check goes for rent and utility bills and such like that. And I've not heard anything about a stimulus check. They don't mention it on TV or anything. So could you let me know if they're still thinking about it?

Bill Walsh: Sure, Peggy. Thanks so much for that question. Lee Baker, can you address that question for Peggy?

Lee Baker: Yeah, absolutely. So there continues to be discussion about another round of stimulus checks. I think there's desire on the part of both parties to get something done. There's no question, I think, in anybody's mind about there being a need. The problem that we find ourselves in is getting both sides to agree on exactly what that need is, how big is the need, and how is that facilitated? But there continues to be some discussion.

Now I can't speak specifically to Indiana, but both to you, Peggy, and any of our other listeners out there, there are some programs in place to help with people in your particular circumstance. I know that specifically here in Georgia, and in Georgia it's referred to as the SNAP program, supplemental needs program. One of the things that we did here in the state of Georgia through the AARP state office, and other states did similar things, was to lobby our Congress people, because one of the issues we found here was that the benefit cards for some seniors and other people that qualified, there was a bit of a snafu, if you will, in that some of the online services would not accept the card because the delivery fee was excluded and caused a glitch. And so, they developed a pilot plan, Georgia and a number of other states applied and were accepted into the program, and so at this juncture, you can order some things in an online fashion. Another thing that I've seen popping up here in Georgia and have read about similar things around the country are some of the food pantry-type places that are partnering with, and again, this is no advertisement, trying to work with the Door Dash kind of things to deliver to seniors. So potentially, you can reach out to those places anyway and determine whether or not there's any sort of mechanism in place to deliver. You know, the church that I attend here in Atlanta has programs both for people to drive up, walk up, get meals, in addition to some other methods of distribution. So, I'd definitely tell you and encourage you and everyone listening to reach out to some of the food pantries and that sort of thing in your area to determine if they're doing some delivery as well. But absolutely, there is still continued interest in doing a second stimulus.

Bill Walsh: Yeah. That's a great question. I guess we're all kind of wondering that and just have to keep our eyes on the news for what develops there. I will say, while Lee was talking, the staff looked up our Benefits Checkup online, which is a tool that helps people understand what benefits they might be eligible for, because oftentimes people don't know. You can check that out if you have a computer and a connection, at benefitscheckup.org to see what benefits you might qualify for. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Wanda from Texas.

Bill Walsh: Hey Wanda, welcome to the show. What is your question?

Wanda: Hello, how are you doing?

Bill Walsh: Good, thanks.

Wanda: My question is, are there any studies on if you have the flu shot or a pneumonia shot will it lessen the severity of the virus?

Bill Walsh: Dr. Aronoff, can you take that question from Wanda?

David Aronoff: Yeah. Wanda, thank you for asking that question about vaccines. So getting immunized against influenza or getting the pneumonia shot, which is a vaccine against the bacteria that causes pneumonia, are really good to do because they help protect you against important causes of infections in older adults. But we don't think that there's any cross protection between one germ and another. So when I get a flu shot, it doesn't provide immune protection against COVID-19. Eventually we'll have vaccines for COVID-19, and it's not expected that an immune response to those vaccines will provide cross protection to influenza or pneumonia. So, for example, as we head into cold and flu season, I really urge people, particularly older adults, to be sure to get your flu shot to protect against influenza. The more people who get the flu shot, the more likely we are to defend against an epidemic within a pandemic, and stop the spread of influenza. So thanks very much for your question. And I hope that that answer makes some sense.

Bill Walsh: It made sense to me. I hope it made sense to Wanda and our listeners as well. Seeing that we're heading into flu season, Dr. Aronoff, what can you tell people about the symptoms? Some of the symptoms of the flu are very similar to those of COVID. What would you tell people if they're concerned that they're seeing symptoms and they're not sure what they might have.

David Aronoff: Yeah, that's a really important point. I think it's going to be very tricky for health care professionals and patients alike to tell the difference between influenza and COVID-19 simply based on how people are feeling, because both viruses can cause fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, etc. So I would say that if someone's coming down with symptoms, they should seek testing and medical evaluation. Fortunately, we do have good tests for both of these viruses now. We have treatments for influenza. We have some treatments for COVID-19, although mostly those are limited to people in the hospital and hopefully, we'll have some more treatments for people who are not in the hospital. But I think it's going to be really hard to rely on symptoms alone, and so the best thing is to seek medical attention.

Bill Walsh: OK, very good. And oftentimes these days medical attention can be had online or on the telephone. I think many doctors are getting accustomed to doing those telehealth visits. So maybe check in on the phone before you just drive into the hospital or a clinic. Also, we had a question from Peggy a moment ago about having challenges just making ends meet. I wanted to give her a telephone number to the AARP Foundation as well, that might be able to help. That toll-free number is (800) 775-6776. That's the AARP Foundation, which is really created to help people who are in difficult financial situations. Jean, who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Sissy from Texas.

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

Sissy: Yes. I'm 72, and I am the landlady. A big part of my income is the rent that I get. Are there any programs to help me make it through this time?

Bill Walsh: OK. Lee Baker, can you help Sissy?

Lee Baker: Yeah, I can help answer that question as best I know. And candidly, Sissy, like you, I. myself, am a landlord so just full disclosure. I've looked into this both again for myself and other clients, and so while we're happy on the one hand that we have a moratorium for renters, unfortunately Congress has not come up with a methodology to both make sure that the renters, once the moratorium has expired, catch up on the mortgage payments that potentially the landlords would have had to have made. So it's an incredibly, incredibly difficult situation. If you're a landlord and you're not able to get the rent, you too can, and again, this is not available for every circumstance, but to the extent that you are still in a position where you have a mortgage on the property, I would encourage you to reach out to your lender, explain the situation, “Hey, listen, I've got a tenant, because of the moratorium, I can't do an eviction. The person lost their job ...”, whatever the circumstances are. The experience that I've had in talking to clients and going through the situation is that the lenders have been very understanding with this, and at least not putting you in jeopardy from the standpoint of defaulting on your mortgage. Now in the circumstance where you own the property, and it's free and clear, and it's a source of income, to this point I've not heard of a good solution for a landlord, in that particular circumstance. So it's hopeful that on the heels of this extension of a moratorium through the end of the year, that Congress is able to work out something to then make the landlords whole as we extend this moratorium through the end of 2020.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that, Lee. And thank you for all your questions as well. We'll get back to additional questions in a moment. Now let's turn back to our experts. Lee, a recent executive order created the Lost Wages Assistance Program. It provides an additional $300 per week in jobless benefits. But the implementation is scattered and somewhat unclear. How can people find out if their state is, or will, offer the additional benefit?

Lee Baker: Absolutely. So, as you said, the Lost Wages Assistance Program is a new attempt to provide some assistance to those people that have been affected by COVID-19. Now the good news is that, at last count, when I checked with most recently, I believe it's 45 states that are either already in or in the process of participating. So most of the folk on the call are likely to reside in a state that is participating or very soon will be. But that being said, at least as of this day, about five or so states are not participating as of yet. This particular benefit differs a little bit from the $600 that expired back at the end of July, in the bucket that it's coming from. It's coming from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Authority. The other thing to keep in mind is, and anything's appreciated, but as of my last reading, this benefit is for three weeks. Now, the good news for people is that it does come on top of the state benefits that you're getting. And, of course, that's going to vary from state to state, but the other thing is, is that in most instances you don't need to do anything in order to get it. So the states are working through those logistics, and as we talked earlier, it's difficult to get anybody on the phone even if you wanted to. But in most instances, you won't actually have to do anything in order to get that benefit. Now, if you want to find out information about it and you've got access to the internet, I would encourage you to start at the website for the Department of Labor in your state. Look for their frequently asked questions or if there's a search bar or search window, just literally type in “Lost Wages Assistance Program” to get more detailed information. But I encourage you to begin that process at your state's Department of Labor.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that, Lee. Let's turn back to you, Dr. Aronoff. What is aerosol transmission and has it been found conclusively that COVID-19 is more airborne than initially thought? If so, how does this influence social distancing or masks?

David Aronoff: Yeah, well we've learned a lot about the spread of COVID-19 since this all began at the turn of 2020, and we continue to learn more. What we know that's pretty solid information is that this virus is best transmitted from person to person through our breath, and particularly when we're close to each other for prolonged periods of time. And we know that limiting the time that we're with other people who we don't live with, keeping our distance from others, and when we are in public spaces with other people, wearing face coverings like cloth masks, all really do very well at reducing the likelihood that a transmission event is going to occur. Most of the transmission events seem to occur when respiratory water droplets that come out of our nose and mouth as we breathe or speak, are the main vehicle that carries this virus. And so for those of you who have ever breathed in front of a mirror and you see that fog that forms there, those are the little water droplets that contain this virus.

Now, in the right circumstances, those water droplets evaporate pretty quickly, and the droplets get smaller and smaller, and then they can hover a bit longer in the air and they may not drop out of the air as quickly. Normally these water droplets tend to fall out of the air, they're heavy, they tend to fall out of the air in a radius of somewhere between three and six feet from us, unless we're singing or shouting or sneezing or coughing, which can drive them farther. But, in general, about six feet, and that's where we get those recommendations about six feet of distance.

But if those droplets are able to dehydrate and get smaller, then the particles carrying the virus may hover a bit longer, and they may go a bit farther and the reach can be farther than six feet. So where do we see that? Well, we see that indoors, in places that are not well ventilated, that aren't bringing in a lot of fresh air, where there's not a lot of air exchange, and where there's crowding, and where the temperature is a little hot and it's dryer. And so we've heard of these sort of superspreader events like choir practices in enclosed rooms where there's been concern that the virus has traveled farther, or on buses. There was a recent report of a group of people in China on a crowded bus not wearing masks, but there was transmission farther than six feet away on this bus.

By and large, what people need to realize is keeping our distance from others, keeping our hands clean so we don't accidentally inoculate our eyes, nose or mouth if we get virus on our hands, wearing cloth face coverings when we're around other people who we don't live with, these are really the fundamentals that have not changed. And avoiding those crowded indoor settings that are particularly poorly ventilated where virus might travel a bit farther than we want it to.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that, Dr. Aronoff. Now it's time to address more of our listener questions with Dr. Aronoff and Lee Baker. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Louisa from Florida.

Bill Walsh: Hi, Louisa. Welcome to the show. What is your question?

Louisa: I have a lot of questions, but the main question I have for today, and that is, there's a lot of confusion about, there had been an announcement the beginning of the year — when you have a retirement account, if you do not wish to take any money out, you will not have to pay taxes. You can leave the account there. But it seems to me when you do call your retirement account, that yes it does, that then you'll have to cash it, then you'll have to put it back. But the question is, do we pay taxes again? And this is the question that nobody's able to answer.

Bill Walsh: OK. Did you get that?

Louisa: Yes, excuse me?

Bill Walsh: Go ahead, Louisa, did you want to say something else?

Lee Baker: I understand the question because I think I'm following you. As a result of the CARES Act.

Louisa: And you don't have to use the money. If you have cash, if you have reserve money, you can use the reserve to live on for the following year. But if you don't ...

Bill Walsh: OK. Let's let Lee Baker take a crack at that question. Go ahead, Lee.

Lee Baker: Gotcha. So, typically, for retirees, once you get to age 70 and a half, you have to do what are called required minimum distributions. Sometimes you'll see it referred to as minimum required distributions. But a couple of things have changed. The first one and the biggest one, and it's what I believe Louisa was speaking of, is whether or not you even have to take RMDs, or required minimum distributions, for 2020. The answer to that question is no, you do not.

Now as a follow-up, I believe, the question on the taxation is what if you had already taken your required minimum distribution before the SECURES Act and CARES Act were finalized. So unfortunately if, for example, it was January as all of this was unfolding and you had taken your RMD then, can you basically reverse it? And at this juncture, the answer to that question is no, you can't reverse it, technically speaking. So there's some guidance on being able to put the money back, but I think that's the feature or the question or I guess the part two of what Louisa was asking.

So again, RMDs or required minimum distributions, are not required for 2020. Clearly, if you need or want to take the distribution from your retirement account, you're free to do so, but they're not required. And the second part of that question, as I understood it, goes to if you had already taken a distribution prior to SECURES Act being implemented is whether or not that can be reversed. So technically, the answer to that question is it cannot be reversed.

Bill Walsh: All right, thank you, Lee, for that. Jean who is our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: Our next caller is Lynn from Nevada.

Bill Walsh: Hey, Lynn, welcome to the show. What is your question today?

Lynn: Ah yes, good morning.

Bill Walsh: Hey, there.

Lynn: Hi. I am calling to find out that if you were exposed to the COVID-19, should you get tested immediately or should you wait three to five days, so you get an accurate result?

Bill Walsh: Did you say close to it? That is to say you came into contact with someone who had COVID-19?

Lynn: Has it. Yes.

Bill Walsh: OK. So your question is how long should you wait to get a test, or should you wait at all?

Lynn: Yes.

Bill Walsh: OK, Dr. Aronoff, do you want to take that question?

David Aronoff: Yeah, Lynn, thank you for that question. So a couple things to say about this; number one is if I get infected today and get tested today my test will be negative because it takes a little while for the virus to start being shed in amounts sufficient to be detected by our current tests. And so a couple of things to say: one is, no matter when you get tested, if you're not having symptoms, there's always a chance that even if you're infected, the test will come back negative, what we call a false negative. And that may be because people who are not having symptoms are not shedding as much virus, or it may be that they're shedding the virus, but wherever the sample was taken, it just wasn't a good sample or that there wasn't a lot of virus there.

So in general, after someone's infected, the risk of a false negative result tends to fall each day after infection, and somewhere between day five after infection or exposure and day eight is probably a good time to get tested as long as you're not having symptoms. If you develop symptoms sooner, you should go get tested, because if you have symptoms due to COVID-19, you're likely to be shedding enough virus that the test should be positive. But if you're not symptomatic, and you've been exposed, and you want to get tested, that would be somewhere between day five and day eight after infection.

I'll say that if your test comes back negative, that does not prove beyond a doubt that you're not infected. The guidance to self-isolate for 14 days following that exposure still stands, because if symptoms are going to occur, they will occur within two weeks of being infected. And so a single negative test doesn't really provide enough information to say that you no longer need to self-isolate. So that's where some of the CDC guidance got confusing, because they say, if you're exposed within six feet for more than 10 minutes, you need to self-isolate for two weeks, and you don't necessarily have to get tested. While I largely agree with that, I do think it's reasonable to get tested. I tend to recommend getting tested, but with all the caveats that I just mentioned,

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

Jean Setzfand: We have another question coming in from Facebook and this one's coming from Venita, and she's asking, "What is the new act that was recently passed where you can have certain taxes deferred from your paycheck due to COVID-19?"

Bill Walsh: Lee, can you tackle that one?

Lee Baker: OK. Sure, absolutely. So what I think she's referring to is not so much an act, but an executive order. So this is something that has not been run through Congress. But President Trump recently issued a memorandum or an executive order deferring the payroll tax, so the 6.2 percent contributed from your payroll. It was one of those things that it was issued. The deferral is available to employees, it is not mandatory, but we're still waiting to get some additional guidance around that because it's one thing to defer the withholding of that 6.2 percent through the end of the year, but then the questions that come into play are, for one thing, since that is what you use to fund Social Security, how would that be offset? So there's a question there. The second part of the question goes to the deferral come 2021 — what does the collection mechanism look like? So the best guidance we've got to this point is twofold. If you have someone who does, in fact, elect to defer the 6.2 percent, it has to be ratably paid back in the first quarter of 2021. So what that would mean is that you get that 6.2 percent reduction in your withholdings for now, but come January, you'd end up with a 12.4 percent withholding for January, February and March.

There's also some question from an employer perspective of what happens in the event that an employee elects to do this deferral, and between now and the first quarter of 2021, if the person is terminated, they leave employment, it places the burden of the collection still squarely on the shoulders of the employer. So again, it is something that is available. It's not mandated. What we've seen here in the last few days are questions that have come from various payroll companies in terms of how to make it work. So again, it's an executive order, not an act, and there are still questions about how to make that work.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that, Lee. Jean, who's our next caller?

Jean Setzfand: We have Francis from Texas.

Bill Walsh: Hey Francis, go ahead with your question. Hey, how are you?

Francis: Good, fine. I'm 82, and I was told to take vitamin C, zinc, and D. That it would build up your immune system and maybe if you got the virus, it wouldn't be as bad.

Bill Walsh: Oh, well, let's ask Dr. Aronoff about that. What do you think, doctor?

David Aronoff: Yeah, really good question, because there is lots of interest in trying to figure out what are relatively safe and inexpensive ways to bolster our immune system so that if we get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, we may not get as sick. Right now we don't have evidence to support the claims that vitamins like vitamin C or vitamin D or zinc, specifically protect people against doing poorly with COVID-19. There're lots of hypothetical reasons why these might be good, and certainly it's always good to be stacking cards in our favor in terms of our health. So eating well, exercising, taking care of our mental health and working with a licensed health care professional about if there's any need to be taking vitamins or supplements outside of the context of COVID-19, are really important. I know a lot of people who are taking various and sundry vitamins and things hoping that this protects them. It's important to know that first of all, we don't yet have any evidence for or against the use of these supplements in COVID-19. And number two, that again, most people who get infected recover without needing to be hospitalized and without dying from the infection. So in large part, just staying hydrated, taking good care of ourselves is really the best policy. I wish we had more data on some of these vitamins because there is so much interest in them.

Bill Walsh: OK, thanks for that, Dr. Aronoff. And, we are at the top of our hour, so I wanted to ask our two expert guests, Dr. Aronoff and Lee Baker, if they had any closing thoughts or recommendations for AARP members from our conversation today. Dr. Aronoff, do you want to start us off? Any closing thoughts or recommendations?

David Aronoff: Well, first I want to just say thank you, Bill and Jean, and it's a pleasure to be on here and with Lee Baker, and to hear these great questions. I think if people have questions about COVID-19, to engage their health care professionals, and I am really a big fan of being able to do that through the telephone or even through the internet with telehealth visits. Certainly across the country there are a number of people who have really good experience treating patients, diagnosing COVID-19, and many, many regions have infectious disease experts that can be turned to as well. So reach out if you have symptoms, please seek information about getting tested and just take care and thank you all for having me on today. It's really an honor.

Bill Walsh: OK, well, it was an honor for us as well. Thank you, Dr. Aronoff. Lee Baker, any closing thoughts or recommendations?

Lee Baker: Yeah, absolutely. Again, I enjoyed being on with you. Happy to be a part of providing this great service and enjoyed meeting Dr. Aronoff virtually, if you will. The thing I would encourage people to do is not to give up hope. Yeah, there's a lot of questions and there's a lot of uncertainty, but don't give up hope. AARP is a tremendous resource where you can get information, so I encourage you to be proactive. If you're not sure about something, once we get off of this call, reach out to your state office for AARP, reach out to the Department of Labor. If you've got questions about your mortgage and that sort of thing, be proactive. Don't stick your head in the sand. You know, there's lots of resources out there to help all of us get through this. So again, thank you for being a part of this call and please do share anything that you've learned during this call with your friends, family and neighbors.

Bill Walsh: OK, thank you, Lee Baker. Thanks to both of you for answering our questions. This has been a really informative discussion today. I wanted to thank you, as well, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in this discussion today. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of this crisis, we're providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus, prevent its spread to others, while taking care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of today's Q&A event can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus beginning tomorrow, Sept. 4th. Go there if your question was not addressed and you will find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please be sure to tune in Thursday, Sept. 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET, for another session to address your questions on the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

Bill Walsh:  Hello, I am AARP Vice President Bill Walsh, and I want to welcome you to this important discussion about the coronavirus. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans from more than 60 years. In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, AARP is providing information resources to help older adults and those caring for them. As we enter the sixth month of the pandemic, many of us are still focused on protecting our family and loved ones and looking for ways to cope with the financial impact. Today, we'll talk with experts who will be answering some of your questions on these important topics. 

[00:00:43] If you've participated in one of our tele-town halls, you know, this is similar to a radio talk show and you have the opportunity to ask questions live. For those of you joining us on the phone, if you want to ask a question, press *3 on your telephone keypad to be connected with an AARP staff member who will note your name and question and place you in the queue to ask that question live. If you’re joining us on Facebook or YouTube, you can post your question in the comment section. 

[00:01:35] Joining us today are David M. Aronoff, M.D., professor and Addison B. Scoville Jr. chair in medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Lee Baker, certified financial planner and CEO and founder of Apex Financial Services. We will also be joined by my AARP colleague Jean Setzfand, who will help facilitate your calls today. This event is being recorded and you can access the recording at aarp.org/coronavirus 24 hours after we wrap up. 

[00:02:25] Now I'd like to welcome our expert guests, Dr. David Aronoff, M.D., is the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he's been a key communicator of public health measures and highly involved in the diagnosis and clinical care of COVID-19. Welcome, Dr. Aronoff. 

[00:02:45]David Aronoff:  It's great to be here, Bill. Thank you for having me as a guest. 

[00:02:48]Bill Walsh:  All right. Thanks for being here. And Lee Baker. Lee is a certified financial planner whose passion for helping people achieve financial security led him to establish Apex Financial Services. Lee is also the volunteer state president of AARP, Georgia, where he works to lead positive social change. Welcome back to the show, Lee. 

[00:03:09]Lee Baker:  Happy to be back again, Bill. 

[00:03:20]Bill Walsh:  All right, delighted to have you. Let's get started with the discussion. Dr. Aronoff, let's start with you. Testing guidance took another confusing turn last week when the CDC issued guidelines and then rescinded them a day later. Can you please remind us when it is best to get tested and when it might not be necessary at all? 

[00:03:43]David Aronoff:  Oh, that's a really great question and an important one. Certainly, if people have symptoms that are concerning for COVID-19, even mild symptoms, it's a good idea to get tested. The disease is still very active, and we want to make sure that we know who is infected so that we can also track down contacts and provide the best care that we can. The other group are people who have had prolonged exposure to somebody who is a COVID-19 case. And so that would mean someone within six feet for longer than 10 minutes. That's where there's been a little bit of back and forth with the CDC. Certainly if somebody is a contact of a patient, they need to self-isolate and monitor for the development of symptoms for 14 days, because that's basically how long it will take to be sure that symptoms are or are not going to occur. But, it is very reasonable to get tested during that period of time, probably sometime between five and eight days after the exposure to see if you're positive. But I would just tell people that if their test is negative, that does not absolutely mean they're not infected, and they still need to self-isolate for that total of 14 days following the exposure. 

[00:05:06]Bill Walsh:  OK, well, staying on the topic of testing, what is the $5 rapid test, and what does it mean for the public and the future of testing? 

[00:05:16]David Aronoff:  Yeah, so current testing has mostly been molecular testing using samples from the nose or sometimes from saliva. And that testing tends to have a longer turnaround time; it often has to be done in a clinical laboratory. But what we're seeing emerge, including this $5 test are what we call antigen tests, which are rapid. They can be done very quickly. They can be done at the point of care, in other words, where a patient is being evaluated. And these are similar to urine pregnancy tests where a little bit of fluid is put on a piece of paper and as it goes across that paper, you essentially get a positive or a negative indication. And that's what is emerging. But we don't know exactly when those are going to be readily available. The government bought up a large supply of the initial ones being made by the company Abbott, and the other trade-off with these very rapid point of care tests is they're not quite as sensitive as the molecular test. So you may have to be shedding more virus to trip the test to be positive. But all things considered, having more cheaper, easier, faster testing for COVID-19 is really welcome. 

[00:06:32]Bill Walsh:  Hmm, so cheaper, faster, but maybe not as reliable as the PCR tests.

[00:06:39]David Aronoff:  I think that's the trade-off. And so right now, for example, those quick tests are best used when people have symptoms, because that's when they're likely to be shedding the most virus and the risk of a false negative is lower. 

[00:06:53]Bill Walsh:  Got it. All right, Lee, let's turn to you. It’s estimated that millions could face eviction because of the pandemic and the income that they've lost. This week the CDC announced a temporary moratorium on evictions through Dec. 31. Can you talk about this a little bit? Are there any guidelines out there? How can someone find out if they're eligible and what does this mean for renters come Jan. 1?

[00:07:19]Lee Baker:  Yeah. So, just at a high level, if you were someone that received a direct payment, it's likely that you're eligible for this. And it's a pretty broad and sweeping mandate that applies through December. But the issue we have at this point in time, there have not been any dollars put behind it. So the advice that I would give for anybody that's in that situation is, hey, listen, you're thankful that the moratorium's in place and you, at least for the time being, don't have to be concerned with being evicted and ending up out on the street. Because nobody, nobody wants that kind of a scenario. But unfortunately at this point, Congress hasn't gotten together to come up with any dollars to put behind it. So as it stands now, there's a moratorium but there is no guarantee at this juncture that come Jan. 1, that all of those back rent payments would not become due. And so what kind of situation does that put tenants in? It's a very precarious situation because, candidly, if you're out of work, you have no capacity to save up those dollars to then pick up several months of back rent. So it would be hoped that this moratorium stretching out to December allows Congress enough time to get together to come up with some sort of package that would offset those past due rents, so that both the landlords and the tenants could come out whole when we enter into 2021. 

[00:08:55]Bill Walsh:  Let me just follow up on that as it relates to homeowners as opposed to renters. So the CDC announcement, I don't believe, had any effect on mortgage holders. What has your experience been in terms of people seeking relief from their monthly mortgage? Have banks and mortgage companies been pretty flexible with consumers?

[00:09:19]Lee Baker:  Yeah, in general, banks have been pretty flexible. You know, I've had this question come up with clients over the last five, six months, and most banks in most of the experiences I've had with clients have been pretty flexible in that, again, it's not like you need a lot of verification to know that people have been affected by COVID-19. So that part of the process has been fairly minimal based on experiences I've had in working with clients. Then you get to the question of, well, what are the options on the backside? And some of this may have varied from one lender to the other, but frequently you have a scenario where if you had a forbearance for two months, three months or what have you, in most instances that I've gone through with clients, the lender said, "OK, we're going to put those missed payments on the back end of the loan." And that's been beneficial in that it's given people some room to breathe, if you will. But also done in a manner that has not had a negative impact on their credit rating, because again, you don't want to compound a bad situation, like what we have now, being out of work and the stress that comes with it and further put yourself in a situation where you end up with a bad credit rating as a result. And so the way that most lenders that I'm aware of it have managed it is to take those months of rent that were missed because of COVID-19 and then add them onto the back end of the loan.

[00:10:54]Bill Walsh:  Hmm. OK. Well, thanks for that. And we're going to get to more questions soon. But before we do, I want to update you on AARP's efforts to protect voters 50-plus this election year. As we all know, the pandemic is threatening the health and financial security of millions of older adults. Now more than ever, there are critical issues on the line in this election for people 50-plus. And we've heard from our members that to win, candidates must talk about the issues that matter most to these voters. That's why AARP is fighting to protect voters 50-plus on the issues that matter, like protecting Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug prices. Our polling shows that our members and voters 50-plus in general are concerned about how to vote safely because of the pandemic. So we've adapted to the reality of the 2020 election year, and we're working hard to make sure voters can vote safely and know their options. We're speaking up to candidates to remind them that older voters are watching. 

[00:12:06] Here are a few things that we've been doing. We've published individualized voter education pages with dates, methods and rules for voting safely at polling places and at home for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We're asking candidates to appear on tele-town halls like this one so members and voters 50-plus can get their questions answered and have virtual access to the politicians asking for their votes. And we'll be experimenting with virtual meetups that take the place of conventional town hall meetings during the COVID-19 crisis. To learn more about this, please visit aarp.org/election2020. 

[00:12:55] It's now time to address your questions about the coronavirus with Dr. Aronoff and certified financial planner Lee Baker. Now I'd like to bring in my AARP colleague, Jean Setzfand, to help facilitate your calls today. Welcome, Jean. 

[00:13:18]Jean Setzfand:  Hi, Bill. Glad to be here. 

[00:13:21]Bill Walsh:  Let's go ahead and take our first question. Who do we have on the line? 

[00:13:29]Jean Setzfand:  Our first caller is Joanne from New York. 

[00:13:32]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Joanne, go ahead with your question. 

[00:13:36]Joanne:  Yes. And thank you very much for coming today to speak to us. I'm 72 years old and five years out of cancer and have a compromised immune system. I'm wondering if I would be eligible or have they considered seniors such as myself to be part of a vaccine?

[00:14:00]Bill Walsh:  You mean a vaccine ...

[00:14:02]Joanne:  Trial. 

[00:14:03]Bill Walsh:  Trial? OK. Dr. Aronoff, do you want to take Joanne's question? 

[00:14:08]David Aronoff:  Yeah, I sure do, and thank you, Joanne, for that question. Vaccines are really on the front of all of our minds and, in fact, I would say that vaccines are particularly going to be useful for those of us who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and getting sick from the virus that causes COVID-19, and that includes our older adult population. And so current studies that are going on, there are several large, what we call phase 3 clinical studies, which essentially are the last step of large studies prior to seeking approval from the FDA for use. These large studies do have it inclusions for adults of all ages. And so I think the key would be to find areas near you that are participating in this study. These are often large, academic medical centers or large research organizations, and contact them and see if you're eligible. And each of the companies who are currently trialing vaccines also have inclusion criteria on their website. And finally, clinicaltrials.gov is the United States government website where all clinical trials have to be registered. It's relatively easy to find all of the COVID vaccine-related trials on there. And you can find out all of the inclusion criteria on that website. as well. 

[00:15:30]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that, Dr. Aronoff. I know traditionally in drug trials we have a hard time getting older adults. I wonder if we've had that same problem with the COVID vaccine trials, and if so, what it might mean for the efficacy and safety of a vaccine that emerges. 

[00:15:50]David Aronoff:  Yeah, I know that a lot of intent has gone into planning these vaccine trials to be sure that we can include older adults who, as you say, are sometimes reluctant or not able to be part of a trial. But this is really the vulnerable population that we want to protect in addition to groups like frontline health care workers. And so I'm optimistic that as these studies complete, we'll learn about the protective effectiveness of the vaccine across the entire spectrum of adult ages. 

[00:16:22]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you very much. Jean, who do we have next on the line? 

[00:16:27]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Tom from Alabama.

[00:16:30]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Tom. Go ahead with your call. 

[00:16:41]Tom:  A lot of folks are out of work and might be in that circumstance for quite a while. I was wondering if you could discuss options to tap into some things like savings or home equity, retirement plans, whole-life policies. You know, some of those have pros and cons and pitfalls. Could you give those folks some ideas and recommendations. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, Lee, do you want to take that question from Tom? 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  So, as you mentioned a couple of things there, your home, retirement plans and that sort of thing. So, a couple of things. There's a handful of ways that you can tap into home equity and these aren't any sort of recommendations, but if you're in a position where, in your current circumstances, would a lender even allow a traditional, home equity line of credit. If you can and that's a possibility, it's something that maybe you can explore, but you have be really careful, because one of the things with repaying a loan, or even getting something refinanced, a lot of people have taken the option to do a forbearance. Well, the likelihood of you being able to get a loan refinanced or do a home equity loan if you're in forbearance is pretty minimal. I just don't see a lender doing it. And I've had discussions with clients around that particular issue. If you're old enough, the option of a reverse mortgage could be one way to tap into some resources, but again, that's something that you want to be very careful with. Take all the time to do the due diligence and AARP has a ton of resources to help provide you with some of that guidance. 

[00:16:49] Now when it comes to tapping into some of the retirement plans or, and I think Tom also mentioned life insurance, there's pros and cons to doing any of those things. Candidly, if you're in a situation and you literally have no other options, but you do have a retirement account, then take a look at that. Some of the pieces of legislation and the different phases of legislation that Congress has implemented this year as a way to combat what we're dealing with COVID-19, there have been a lot of things that have been relaxed as it relates to tapping into retirement plans. If you're under 59 and a half, the ability to avoid the penalty, the possibility of extending the tax payment for withdrawals from retirement plans over the course of two years, as opposed to immediately coming due the following April. So there are some options out there that have made tapping into a retirement plans a lot easier than they are under normal circumstances, but you need to make sure that you weigh that against what your possibilities are for the long term, and how much you take out, and is it really an amount to take out to satisfy sort of the immediate need and not get carried away with what you need to take out if you absolutely have to. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  And what about life insurance? Tom had asked about tapping into a policy. 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  If you've got what's typically called a whole life policy or a cash value life insurance policy, and you've got access to it, that can be a good way to tap into some equity because you are basically borrowing your own money, if you will. You know, the downside again, if the loan that you take out of the policy if you choose to use that method to get money out of it, is that if you die before the loan is repaid, it simply reduces the death benefit that your heirs would receive. Or, on the other hand, if you choose to simply withdraw some of the cash value from the policy, depending on how much you take out, there's the ability to get some of that cash out without any tax implication. So typically there's at least those two ways to access cash value in a life insurance policy, and can be advantageous depending on what your total situation is.

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, Lee. Thanks for that. Jean, who is our next caller? 

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Vicky from Wisconsin. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Hey Vicky. What's your question?

[00:16:49]Vicky:  My husband died in 2018 and I would like to ask your financial planner: I received with the first stimulus payments $1,200 for me and also $1,200 for him that were directly deposited into my account. Do I have to pay the $1,200 that I received for him back? And I can't get through to anybody at the IRS. They're not answering their phones. I don't know who to ask about this or how to pay the money back, or do I just let it sit in my account and eventually they will take it back out. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  And he passed away in 2018, I think you said. 

[00:16:49]Vicky:  Yes.

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK. Lee?

[00:16:49]Vicky:  But I filed return for 2018 and therefore they sent me the two payments. 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  Got it. Got it. Understood. So that's an interesting question and this is my gut instinct and not based on any sort of researched answer. We're hearing things about IRS payments on a lot of different circumstances. They're overwhelmed. They're behind. There are folks that have made tax payments and literally checks have been sitting at the IRS for months and months. In similar to things like the PPP program, my gut instinct is that you won't hear from the IRS about that $1,200. Now that having been said, the prudent thing to do is, one, not spend the money. Keep it off to the side. You know, maybe, come later in the year or early 2021, we'll be able to get through to the IRS again. And at that time, potentially get a hold of someone to get a clear answer. But for the time being, I would encourage you to hold onto it, not spend it. Another month or two months from now try to check in again. One of the reasons that the IRS is as busy as they are now, and of course, as everybody knows, the filing date was pushed back to July, and so a lot of the income tax returns that normally would have been processed by now or done. Some of the extensions that typically happen, Sept. 15, Oct. 15 are also keeping the IRS pretty busy. So it may be into November and even December before things begin to settle down and you're able to get through to the IRS again. But again, for the time being, hold onto it, check back in a couple of months to get a definitive answer. But my gut feeling is that they're not going to come calling for that $1,200. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK. Probably don't spend it right away, though. 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  Absolutely. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Cause they may. 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  They may. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  All right, Jean, who is our next caller? 

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  We have a question coming in from YouTube from Fred. And he's asking, "I you are asymptomatic, with the virus detected by a test, will you become a non-spreader in 14 days, or is it still possible to spread the virus after 14 days? 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Did you get that one, Dr. Aronoff? 

[00:16:49]David Aronoff:  I sure did. That's a really important question from Fred online. I appreciate that. If someone is asymptomatic and they test positive, it is really tough because we don't know when they first got infected, we don't know how long they've been infected, but we draw some information from what we do know about symptomatic people. So symptomatic people with COVID-19, in general, stop shedding infectious virus after at most 10 days from the onset of their symptoms, as long as by that 10-day mark their symptoms are getting better, and they haven't had a fever for about 24 hours. There are some exceptions; people who are hospitalized or people who are very immunocompromised may shed infectious virus for longer than 10 days. But in general, people will be infectious from the onset of their symptoms for 10 days. As long as they're getting better, then that 10-day mark is pretty much once they're no longer considered contagious. And so for asymptomatic people, we use the date that they test positive as the date where we start a 10-day clock. And we pretty much just ask of those people to self-isolate for the next 10 days, because we feel that that will more than adequately cover for the time that they are shedding infectious virus. Now I will say one thing that can be sometimes confusing is that these molecular tests that basically pick up molecules of the virus that are not necessarily infectious virus, but these molecular tests can remain positive in people who have both recovered from infection and are not contagious. These molecular tests can remain positive for weeks. So we don't use the retesting as a strategy to tell someone they're no longer contagious. We really just use a calendar, particularly for those people who are asymptomatic. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK. Thank you for that, Dr. Aronoff. Jean, who is our next caller?

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Peggy from Indiana. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Peggy, go ahead with your question. 

[00:16:49]Peggy:  Hi. I'm 76 and I have been down since March. I've not been in any store or anything. I’m still not able to go anywhere. I'm limited Social Security, and I'm having a hard time making ends meet because of the high cost of groceries and other items because everything has went up so much. And I was wondering if we are going to get another stimulus check, because if we are, I can make that last about six months with groceries. Not being able to go to food banks or anything has really put a stress on me. And because most of my Social Security check goes for rent and utility bills and such like that. And I've not heard anything about a stimulus check. They don't mention it on TV or anything. So could you let me know if they're still thinking about it? 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Sure, Peggy. Thanks so much for that question. Lee Baker, can you address that question for Peggy? 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  Yeah, absolutely. So there continues to be discussion about another round of stimulus checks. I think there's desire on the part of both parties to get something done. There's no question, I think, in anybody's mind about there being a need. The problem that we find ourselves in is getting both sides to agree on exactly what that need is, how big is the need, and how is that facilitated? But there continues to be some discussion. 

[00:16:49] Now I can't speak specifically to Indiana, but both to you, Peggy, and any of our other listeners out there, there are some programs in place to help with people in your particular circumstance. I know that specifically here in Georgia, and in Georgia it's referred to as the SNAP program, supplemental needs program. One of the things that we did here in the state of Georgia through the AARP state office, and other states did similar things, was to lobby our Congress people, because one of the issues we found here was that the benefit cards for some seniors and other people that qualified, there was a bit of a snafu, if you will, in that some of the online services would not accept the card because the delivery fee was excluded and caused a glitch. And so, they developed a pilot plan, Georgia and a number of other states applied and were accepted into the program, and so at this juncture, you can order some things in an online fashion. Another thing that I've seen popping up here in Georgia and have read about similar things around the country are some of the food pantry-type places that are partnering with, and again, this is no advertisement, trying to work with the Door Dash kind of things to deliver to seniors. So potentially, you can reach out to those places anyway and determine whether or not there's any sort of mechanism in place to deliver. You know, the church that I attend here in Atlanta has programs both for people to drive up, walk up, get meals, in addition to some other methods of distribution. So, I'd definitely tell you and encourage you and everyone listening to reach out to some of the food pantries and that sort of thing in your area to determine if they're doing some delivery as well. But absolutely, there is still continued interest in doing a second stimulus. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Yeah. That's a great question. I guess we're all kind of wondering that and just have to keep our eyes on the news for what develops there. I will say, while Lee was talking, the staff looked up our Benefits Checkup online, which is a tool that helps people understand what benefits they might be eligible for, because oftentimes people don't know. You can check that out if you have a computer and a connection, at benefitscheckup.org to see what benefits you might qualify for. Jean, who is our next caller? 

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Wanda from Texas. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Hey Wanda, welcome to the show. What is your question? 

[00:16:49]Wanda:  Hello, how are you doing? 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Good, thanks. 

[00:16:49]Wanda:  My question is, are there any studies on if you have the flu shot or a pneumonia shot will it lessen the severity of the virus? 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Dr. Aronoff, can you take that question from Wanda? 

[00:16:49]David Aronoff:  Yeah. Wanda, thank you for asking that question about vaccines. So getting immunized against influenza or getting the pneumonia shot, which is a vaccine against the bacteria that causes pneumonia, are really good to do because they help protect you against important causes of infections in older adults. But we don't think that there's any cross protection between one germ and another. So when I get a flu shot, it doesn't provide immune protection against COVID-19. Eventually we'll have vaccines for COVID-19, and it's not expected that an immune response to those vaccines will provide cross protection to influenza or pneumonia. So, for example, as we head into cold and flu season, I really urge people, particularly older adults, to be sure to get your flu shot to protect against influenza. The more people who get the flu shot, the more likely we are to defend against an epidemic within a pandemic, and stop the spread of influenza. So thanks very much for your question. And I hope that that answer makes some sense.

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  It made sense to me. I hope it made sense to Wanda and our listeners as well. Seeing that we're heading into flu season, Dr. Aronoff, what can you tell people about the symptoms? Some of the symptoms of the flu are very similar to those of COVID. What would you tell people if they're concerned that they're seeing symptoms and they're not sure what they might have. 

[00:16:49]David Aronoff:  Yeah, that's a really important point. I think it's going to be very tricky for health care professionals and patients alike to tell the difference between influenza and COVID-19 simply based on how people are feeling, because both viruses can cause fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, etc. So I would say that if someone's coming down with symptoms, they should seek testing and medical evaluation. Fortunately, we do have good tests for both of these viruses now. We have treatments for influenza. We have some treatments for COVID-19, although mostly those are limited to people in the hospital and hopefully, we'll have some more treatments for people who are not in the hospital. But I think it's going to be really hard to rely on symptoms alone, and so the best thing is to seek medical attention. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, very good. And oftentimes these days medical attention can be had online or on the telephone. I think many doctors are getting accustomed to doing those telehealth visits. So maybe check in on the phone before you just drive into the hospital or a clinic. Also, we had a question from Peggy a moment ago about having challenges just making ends meet. I wanted to give her a telephone number to the AARP Foundation as well, that might be able to help. That toll-free number is [800] 775-6776. That's the AARP Foundation, which is really created to help people who are in difficult financial situations. Jean, who is our next caller? 

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Sissy from Texas. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Sissy, go ahead with your question. 

[00:16:49]Sissy:  Yes. I'm 72, and I am the landlady. A big part of my income is the rent that I get. Are there any programs to help me make it through this time? 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK. Lee Baker, can you help Sissy? 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  Yeah, I can help answer that question as best I know. And candidly, Sissy, like you, I. myself, am a landlord so just full disclosure. I've looked into this both again for myself and other clients, and so while we're happy on the one hand that we have a moratorium for renters, unfortunately Congress has not come up with a methodology to both make sure that the renters, once the moratorium has expired, catch up on the mortgage payments that potentially the landlords would have had to have made. So it's an incredibly, incredibly difficult situation. If you're a landlord and you're not able to get the rent, you too can, and again, this is not available for every circumstance, but to the extent that you are still in a position where you have a mortgage on the property, I would encourage you to reach out to your lender, explain the situation, “Hey, listen, I've got a tenant, because of the moratorium, I can't do an eviction. The person lost their job ...”, whatever the circumstances are. The experience that I've had in talking to clients and going through the situation is that the lenders have been very understanding with this, and at least not putting you in jeopardy from the standpoint of defaulting on your mortgage. Now in the circumstance where you own the property, and it's free and clear, and it's a source of income, to this point I've not heard of a good solution for a landlord, in that particular circumstance. So it's hopeful that on the heels of this extension of a moratorium through the end of the year, that Congress is able to work out something to then make the landlords whole as we extend this moratorium through the end of 2020. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that, Lee. And thank you for all your questions as well. We'll get back to additional questions in a moment. Now let's turn back to our experts. Lee, a recent executive order created the Lost Wages Assistance Program. It provides an additional $300 per week in jobless benefits. But the implementation is scattered and somewhat unclear. How can people find out if their state is, or will, offer the additional benefit? 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  Absolutely. So, as you said, the Lost Wages Assistance Program is a new attempt to provide some assistance to those people that have been affected by COVID-19. Now the good news is that, at last count, when I checked with most recently, I believe it's 45 states that are either already in or in the process of participating. So most of the folk on the call are likely to reside in a state that is participating or very soon will be. But that being said, at least as of this day, about five or so states are not participating as of yet. This particular benefit differs a little bit from the $600 that expired back at the end of July, in the bucket that it's coming from. It's coming from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Authority. The other thing to keep in mind is, and anything's appreciated, but as of my last reading, this benefit is for three weeks. Now, the good news for people is that it does come on top of the state benefits that you're getting. And, of course, that's going to vary from state to state, but the other thing is, is that in most instances you don't need to do anything in order to get it. So the states are working through those logistics, and as we talked earlier, it's difficult to get anybody on the phone even if you wanted to. But in most instances, you won't actually have to do anything in order to get that benefit. Now, if you want to find out information about it and you've got access to the internet, I would encourage you to start at the website for the Department of Labor in your state. Look for their frequently asked questions or if there's a search bar or search window, just literally type in “Lost Wages Assistance Program” to get more detailed information. But I encourage you to begin that process at your state's Department of Labor.

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that, Lee. Let's turn back to you, Dr. Aronoff. What is aerosol transmission and has it been found conclusively that COVID-19 is more airborne than initially thought? If so, how does this influence social distancing or masks? 

[00:16:49]David Aronoff:  Yeah, well we've learned a lot about the spread of COVID-19 since this all began at the turn of 2020, and we continue to learn more. What we know that's pretty solid information is that this virus is best transmitted from person to person through our breath, and particularly when we're close to each other for prolonged periods of time. And we know that limiting the time that we're with other people who we don't live with, keeping our distance from others, and when we are in public spaces with other people, wearing face coverings like cloth masks, all really do very well at reducing the likelihood that a transmission event is going to occur. Most of the transmission events seem to occur when respiratory water droplets that come out of our nose and mouth as we breathe or speak, are the main vehicle that carries this virus. And so for those of you who have ever breathed in front of a mirror and you see that fog that forms there, those are the little water droplets that contain this virus. 

[00:16:49] Now, in the right circumstances, those water droplets evaporate pretty quickly, and the droplets get smaller and smaller, and then they can hover a bit longer in the air and they may not drop out of the air as quickly. Normally these water droplets tend to fall out of the air, they're heavy, they tend to fall out of the air in a radius of somewhere between three and six feet from us, unless we're singing or shouting or sneezing or coughing, which can drive them farther. But, in general, about six feet, and that's where we get those recommendations about six feet of distance.

[00:16:49] But if those droplets are able to dehydrate and get smaller, then the particles carrying the virus may hover a bit longer, and they may go a bit farther and the reach can be farther than six feet. So where do we see that? Well, we see that indoors, in places that are not well ventilated, that aren't bringing in a lot of fresh air, where there's not a lot of air exchange, and where there's crowding, and where the temperature is a little hot and it's dryer. And so we've heard of these sort of superspreader events like choir practices in enclosed rooms where there's been concern that the virus has traveled farther, or on buses. There was a recent report of a group of people in China on a crowded bus not wearing masks, but there was transmission farther than six feet away on this bus. 

[00:16:49] By and large, what people need to realize is keeping our distance from others, keeping our hands clean so we don't accidentally inoculate our eyes, nose or mouth if we get virus on our hands, wearing cloth face coverings when we're around other people who we don't live with, these are really the fundamentals that have not changed. And avoiding those crowded indoor settings that are particularly poorly ventilated where virus might travel a bit farther than we want it to. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that, Dr. Aronoff. Now it's time to address more of our listener questions with Dr. Aronoff and Lee Baker. Jean, who do we have next on the line?

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Louisa from Florida. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Hi, Louisa. Welcome to the show. What is your question? 

[00:16:49]Louisa:  I have a lot of questions, but the main question I have for today, and that is, there's a lot of confusion about, there had been an announcement the beginning of the year — when you have a retirement account, if you do not wish to take any money out, you will not have to pay taxes. You can leave the account there. But it seems to me when you do call your retirement account, that yes it does, that then you'll have to cash it, then you'll have to put it back. But the question is, do we pay taxes again? And this is the question that nobody's able to answer.

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK. Did you get that? 

[00:16:49]Louisa:  Yes, excuse me?

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Go ahead, Louisa, did you want to say something else?

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  I understand the question because I think I'm following you. As a result of the CARES Act.

[00:16:49]Louisa:  And you don't have to use the money. If you have cash, if you have reserve money, you can use the reserve to live on for the following year. But if you don't ...

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK. Let's let Lee Baker take a crack at that question. Go ahead, Lee. 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  Gotcha. So, typically, for retirees, once you get to age 70 and a half, you have to do what are called required minimum distributions. Sometimes you'll see it referred to as minimum required distributions. But a couple of things have changed. The first one and the biggest one, and it's what I believe Louisa was speaking of, is whether or not you even have to take RMDs, or required minimum distributions, for 2020. The answer to that question is no, you do not. 

[00:16:49] Now as a follow-up, I believe, the question on the taxation is what if you had already taken your required minimum distribution before the SECURES Act and CARES Act were finalized. So unfortunately if, for example, it was January as all of this was unfolding and you had taken your RMD then, can you basically reverse it? And at this juncture, the answer to that question is no, you can't reverse it, technically speaking. So there's some guidance on being able to put the money back, but I think that's the feature or the question or I guess the part two of what Louisa was asking. 

[00:16:49] So again, RMDs or required minimum distributions, are not required for 2020. Clearly, if you need or want to take the distribution from your retirement account, you're free to do so, but they're not required. And the second part of that question, as I understood it, goes to if you had already taken a distribution prior to SECURES Act being implemented is whether or not that can be reversed. So technically, the answer to that question is it cannot be reversed. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  All right, thank you, Lee, for that. Jean who is our next caller? 

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  Our next caller is Lynn from Nevada. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Hey, Lynn, welcome to the show. What is your question today? 

[00:16:49]Lynn:  Ah yes, good morning. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Hey, there. 

[00:16:49]Lynn:  Hi. I am calling to find out that if you were exposed to the COVID-19, should you get tested immediately or should you wait three to five days, so you get an accurate result? 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Did you say close to it? That is to say you came into contact with someone who had COVID-19?

[00:16:49]Lynn:  Has it. Yes. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK. So your question is how long should you wait to get a test, or should you wait at all? 

[00:16:49]Lynn:  Yes. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, Dr. Aronoff, do you want to take that question? 

[00:16:49]David Aronoff:  Yeah, Lynn, thank you for that question. So a couple things to say about this; number one is if I get infected today and get tested today my test will be negative because it takes a little while for the virus to start being shed in amounts sufficient to be detected by our current tests. And so a couple of things to say: one is, no matter when you get tested, if you're not having symptoms, there's always a chance that even if you're infected, the test will come back negative, what we call a false negative. And that may be because people who are not having symptoms are not shedding as much virus, or it may be that they're shedding the virus, but wherever the sample was taken, it just wasn't a good sample or that there wasn't a lot of virus there. 

[00:16:49] So in general, after someone's infected, the risk of a false negative result tends to fall each day after infection, and somewhere between day five after infection or exposure and day eight is probably a good time to get tested as long as you're not having symptoms. If you develop symptoms sooner, you should go get tested, because if you have symptoms due to COVID-19, you're likely to be shedding enough virus that the test should be positive. But if you're not symptomatic, and you've been exposed, and you want to get tested, that would be somewhere between day five and day eight after infection. 

[00:16:49] I'll say that if your test comes back negative, that does not prove beyond a doubt that you're not infected. The guidance to self-isolate for 14 days following that exposure still stands, because if symptoms are going to occur, they will occur within two weeks of being infected. And so a single negative test doesn't really provide enough information to say that you no longer need to self-isolate. So that's where some of the CDC guidance got confusing, because they say, if you're exposed within six feet for more than 10 minutes, you need to self-isolate for two weeks, and you don't necessarily have to get tested. While I largely agree with that, I do think it's reasonable to get tested. I tend to recommend getting tested, but with all the caveats that I just mentioned, 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Right. OK. Well, thank you for that. Jean, who is our next caller? 

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  We have another question coming in from Facebook and this one's coming from Venita, and she's asking, "What is the new act that was recently passed where you can have certain taxes deferred from your paycheck due to COVID-19?" 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Lee, can you tackle that one? 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  OK. Sure, absolutely. So what I think she's referring to is not so much an act, but an executive order. So this is something that has not been run through Congress. But President Trump recently issued a memorandum or an executive order deferring the payroll tax, so the 6.2 percent contributed from your payroll. It was one of those things that it was issued. The deferral is available to employees, it is not mandatory, but we're still waiting to get some additional guidance around that because it's one thing to defer the withholding of that 6.2 percent through the end of the year, but then the questions that come into play are, for one thing, since that is what you use to fund Social Security, how would that be offset? So there's a question there. The second part of the question goes to the deferral come 2021 — what does the collection mechanism look like? So the best guidance we've got to this point is twofold. If you have someone who does, in fact, elect to defer the 6.2 percent, it has to be ratably paid back in the first quarter of 2021. So what that would mean is that you get that 6.2 percent reduction in your withholdings for now, but come January, you'd end up with a 12.4 percent withholding for January, February and March. 

[00:16:49] There's also some question from an employer perspective of what happens in the event that an employee elects to do this deferral, and between now and the first quarter of 2021, if the person is terminated, they leave employment, it places the burden of the collection still squarely on the shoulders of the employer. So again, it is something that is available. It's not mandated. What we've seen here in the last few days are questions that have come from various payroll companies in terms of how to make it work. So again, it's an executive order, not an act, and there are still questions about how to make that work. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that, Lee. Jean, who's our next caller?

[00:16:49]Jean Setzfand:  We have Francis from Texas. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Hey Francis, go ahead with your question. Hey, how are you? 

[00:16:49]Francis:  Good, fine. I'm 82, and I was told to take vitamin C, zinc, and D. That it would build up your immune system and maybe if you got the virus, it wouldn't be as bad.

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  Oh, well, let's ask Dr. Aronoff about that. What do you think, doctor?

[00:16:49]David Aronoff:  Yeah, really good question, because there is lots of interest in trying to figure out what are relatively safe and inexpensive ways to bolster our immune system so that if we get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, we may not get as sick. Right now we don't have evidence to support the claims that vitamins like vitamin C or vitamin D or zinc, specifically protect people against doing poorly with COVID-19. There're lots of hypothetical reasons why these might be good, and certainly it's always good to be stacking cards in our favor in terms of our health. So eating well, exercising, taking care of our mental health and working with a licensed health care professional about if there's any need to be taking vitamins or supplements outside of the context of COVID-19, are really important. I know a lot of people who are taking various and sundry vitamins and things hoping that this protects them. It's important to know that first of all, we don't yet have any evidence for or against the use of these supplements in COVID-19. And number two, that again, most people who get infected recover without needing to be hospitalized and without dying from the infection. So in large part, just staying hydrated, taking good care of ourselves is really the best policy. I wish we had more data on some of these vitamins because there is so much interest in them. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, thanks for that, Dr. Aronoff. And, we are at the top of our hour, so I wanted to ask our two expert guests, Dr. Aronoff and Lee Baker, if they had any closing thoughts or recommendations for AARP members from our conversation today. Dr. Aronoff, do you want to start us off? Any closing thoughts or recommendations? 

[00:16:49]David Aronoff:  Well, first I want to just say thank you, Bill and Jean, and it's a pleasure to be on here and with Lee Baker, and to hear these great questions. I think if people have questions about COVID-19, to engage their health care professionals, and I am really a big fan of being able to do that through the telephone or even through the internet with telehealth visits. Certainly across the country there are a number of people who have really good experience treating patients, diagnosing COVID-19, and many, many regions have infectious disease experts that can be turned to as well. So reach out if you have symptoms, please seek information about getting tested and just take care and thank you all for having me on today. It's really an honor. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, well, it was an honor for us as well. Thank you, Dr. Aronoff. Lee Baker, any closing thoughts or recommendations? 

[00:16:49]Lee Baker:  Yeah, absolutely. Again, I enjoyed being on with you. Happy to be a part of providing this great service and enjoyed meeting Dr. Aronoff virtually, if you will. The thing I would encourage people to do is not to give up hope. Yeah, there's a lot of questions and there's a lot of uncertainty, but don't give up hope. AARP is a tremendous resource where you can get information, so I encourage you to be proactive. If you're not sure about something, once we get off of this call, reach out to your state office for AARP, reach out to the Department of Labor. If you've got questions about your mortgage and that sort of thing, be proactive. Don't stick your head in the sand. You know, there's lots of resources out there to help all of us get through this. So again, thank you for being a part of this call and please do share anything that you've learned during this call with your friends, family and neighbors. 

[00:16:49]Bill Walsh:  OK, thank you, Lee Baker. Thanks to both of you for answering our questions. This has been a really informative discussion today. I wanted to thank you, as well, our AARP members, volunteers and listeners for participating in this discussion today. AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization has been working to promote the health and well-being of older Americans for more than 60 years. In the face of this crisis, we're providing information and resources to help older adults and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus, prevent its spread to others, while taking care of themselves. All of the resources referenced today, including a recording of today's Q&A event can be found at aarp.org/coronavirus beginning tomorrow, Sept. 4th. Go there if your question was not addressed and you will find the latest updates, as well as information created specifically for older adults and family caregivers. We hope you learned something that can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. Please be sure to tune in Thursday, Sept. 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET, for another session to address your questions on the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you and have a good day. This concludes our call.

[00:59:23]

 

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

AARP, una organización de membresía sin fines de lucro y no partidista, ha estado trabajando para promover la salud y el bienestar de los adultos mayores durante más de 60 años. Ante la pandemia mundial de coronavirus, AARP proporciona recursos de información para ayudar a los adultos mayores y a quienes los cuidan. Al entrar en el sexto mes de la pandemia, muchos de nosotros todavía estamos enfocados en proteger a nuestra familia y seres queridos y en buscar formas de hacer frente al impacto financiero. Hoy hablaremos con expertos que responderán algunas de sus preguntas sobre estos importantes temas.

Si ya has participado de alguna de nuestras teleasambleas, sabes que es similar a un programa de entrevistas de radio y tienes la oportunidad de hacer preguntas en vivo. Para aquellos de ustedes que nos acompañan por teléfono, si desean hacer una pregunta, presionen * 3 en el teclado de su teléfono para comunicarse con un miembro del personal de AARP que anotará sus nombres y preguntas y los colocará en la lista para hacer esa pregunta en vivo. Si nos acompañas a través de Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar 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 la pandemia mundial de coronavirus. Estaremos hablando con expertos líderes y respondiendo tus preguntas en vivo. Para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono, y si estás en Facebook o YouTube, puedes publicar tu pregunta en los comentarios.

Hoy nos acompañan David M. Aronoff, M.D., profesor y Addison B. Scoville catedrático de Medicina en Vanderbilt University Medical Center y Lee Baker, planificador financiero certificado y director ejecutivo y fundador de Apex Financial Services. También nos acompañará mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, quien ayudará a facilitar sus llamadas hoy. 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 conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP o, si te unes desde Facebook o YouTube, coloca tu pregunta en la sección de comentarios.

Ahora, me gustaría dar la bienvenida a nuestros invitados expertos. El Dr. David Aronoff es el director de la División de Enfermedades Infecciosas del Vanderbilt University Medical Center, donde ha sido un comunicador clave de las medidas de salud pública y está muy involucrado en el diagnóstico y la atención clínica de COVID-19. Bienvenido, Dr. Aronoff.

David M. Aronoff: Un placer estar aquí, Bill. Gracias por invitarme.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien. Gracias por estar aquí. Y Lee Baker. Lee es un planificador financiero certificado cuya pasión por ayudar a las personas a lograr la seguridad financiera lo llevó a fundar Apex Financial Services. Lee también es presidente estatal voluntario de AARP Georgia, donde trabaja para liderar un cambio social positivo. Bienvenido de nuevo al programa, Lee.

Lee Baker: Es un placer volver, Bill.

Bill Walsh: Muy bien. Encantados de tenerte. Comencemos con la discusión, y como recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, para hacer una pregunta, presiona *3 en el teclado de tu teléfono o puedes dejarla en la sección de comentarios en Facebook o YouTube.

Dr. Aronoff, comencemos por usted. La guía de realización de pruebas dio un giro confuso la semana pasada cuando los CDC emitieron pautas y luego las rescindieron un día después. ¿Puede recordarnos cuándo es mejor hacerse la prueba y cuándo podría no ser necesario en absoluto?

David Aronoff: Esa es una buena pregunta, e importante. Ciertamente, si las personas tienen síntomas relevantes a COVID-19, incluso síntomas leves, es una buena idea hacerse la prueba. La enfermedad aún está muy activa, y queremos asegurarnos de saber quién está infectado para que también podamos rastrear el contacto y brindar la mejor atención posible.

El otro grupo son las personas que han tenido una exposición prolongada a alguien que es un caso de COVID-19. Y eso significaría alguien dentro de los seis pies durante más de 10 minutos. Ahí es donde ha habido un poco de idas y vueltas con los CDC. Ciertamente, si alguien es el contacto de un paciente, debe aislarse y monitorear el desarrollo de los síntomas durante 14 días porque ese es básicamente el tiempo que tomará asegurarse de que los síntomas se presenten o no.

Pero es muy razonable hacerse la prueba durante ese período de tiempo, probablemente entre cinco y ocho días después de la exposición para ver si eres positivo, pero le diría a la gente que si su prueba es negativa, eso no significa que no puedan estar infectados y deben aislarse durante un total de 14 días después de la exposición.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Bueno, manteniéndonos en el tema de las pruebas, ¿qué es la prueba rápida de $5 y qué significa para el público y el futuro de las pruebas?

David M. Aronoff: Sí, las pruebas actuales han sido principalmente pruebas moleculares utilizando muestras de la nariz o, a veces, de saliva, y esas pruebas tienden a tener un tiempo de respuesta más largo. A menudo tiene que hacerse en un laboratorio clínico, pero lo que estamos viendo emerger, incluida esta prueba de $5, son lo que llamamos pruebas de antígenos, que son rápidas. Se pueden hacer muy rápidamente. Se pueden realizar en el punto de atención. En otras palabras, donde se está evaluando a un paciente, y estos son similares a las pruebas de embarazo en orina, donde se coloca un poco de líquido en una hoja de papel y, a medida que pasa por ese papel, se obtiene un indicio de resultado positivo o negativo. Y eso es lo que está surgiendo.

Pero no sabemos exactamente cuándo estarán disponibles. El Gobierno compró una gran cantidad de los primeros que estaba haciendo la empresa Abbott. Y el otro tema con estas pruebas muy rápidas en el punto de atención es que no son tan sensibles como la prueba molecular. Por lo tanto, es posible que tengas que eliminar más virus para que la prueba salga positiva, aún así, tener pruebas más baratas, fáciles y rápidas para COVID-19 es realmente bienvenido.

Bill Walsh: ¿Entonces más barato, más rápido, pero quizás no tan confiable como las pruebas de PCR?

David M. Aronoff: Creo que ese es el intercambio, y ahora, por ejemplo, esas pruebas rápidas es mejor usarlas cuando las personas tienen síntomas porque es entonces cuando es probable que estén eliminando la mayor cantidad de virus y el riesgo de un falso negativo es bajo.

Bill Walsh: Entendido. De acuerdo. Lee, vamos contigo. Me dicen que millones de personas podrían sufrir desalojo debido a la pandemia y los ingresos que han perdido. Esta semana, los CDC anunciaron una moratoria temporal de los desalojos hasta el 31 de diciembre. ¿Puedes hablar un poco sobre esto? ¿Existen pautas? ¿Cómo puede alguien calificar? ¿Y qué significa esto para los inquilinos cuando sea 1.º de enero?

Lee Baker: Sí, un poco por arriba, si eres alguien que recibió un pago directo, es probable que seas apto para esto. Y es un mandato bastante amplio que se aplica hasta diciembre. Pero el problema que tenemos en este momento es que hasta ahora no se han invertido dólares. Así que el consejo que le daría a cualquiera que se encuentre en esa situación es: agradezcan que la moratoria esté vigente y, al menos por el momento, no tienen que preocuparse por ser desalojados y terminar en la calle porque nadie quiere ese tipo de escenario. Pero desafortunadamente hasta ahora, el Congreso no se había reunido para reunir dólares para respaldarlo, así que tal como está ahora, hay una moratoria, pero no hay garantía de que en esta coyuntura que viene el 1.º de enero, no deban el pago de todos esos alquileres atrasados.

Entonces, ¿en qué tipo de situación pone eso a los inquilinos? Es una situación muy precaria porque, sinceramente, si no tienes trabajo, no tienes capacidad para ahorrar esos dólares para luego pagar varios meses de alquiler atrasado. Por lo tanto, sería de esperar que la extensión de esta moratoria hasta diciembre le dé al Congreso suficiente tiempo para reunirse y elaborar algún tipo de paquete que compensaría los alquileres vencidos para que tanto los propietarios como los inquilinos puedan salir bien cuando entremos en el 2021.

Bill Walsh: Permítanme seguir con eso en lo que respecta a los propietarios de viviendas en lugar de a los inquilinos. No creo que el anuncio de los CDC haya tenido ningún efecto sobre los titulares de hipotecas. ¿Cuál ha sido tu experiencia en términos de personas que buscan alivio de su hipoteca mensual? ¿Los bancos y las compañías hipotecarias han sido bastante flexibles con los consumidores?

Lee Baker: Sí. En general, los bancos han sido bastante flexibles. Esta pregunta ha surgido con clientes durante los últimos cinco o seis meses. En la mayoría de los bancos y en la mayoría de las experiencias que he tenido con clientes han sido bastante flexible en eso... Nuevamente, no es como si necesitaras mucha verificación para saber que las personas se han visto afectadas por COVID-19. Así que esa parte del proceso ha sido bastante mínima según las experiencias que he tenido trabajando con clientes. Entonces llegas a la pregunta de: bueno, ¿cuáles son las opciones del otro lado? Y algo de esto puede variar de un prestamista a otro, pero con frecuencia tienes un escenario en el que si has tenido una indulgencia por dos meses, tres meses o lo que sea, y la mayoría de los casos por los que he pasado con clientes, el prestamista dijo que está bien, vamos a poner esos pagos atrasados ​​en la parte posterior del préstamo. Y eso ha sido beneficioso y le ha dado a la gente algo de espacio para respirar, por así decirlo.

Pero también lo han hecho de manera que no han tenido un impacto negativo en tu calificación crediticia, porque nuevamente, no querrás agravar una situación mala como la que tenemos ahora al estar sin trabajo y el estrés que conlleva, y ponerte en una situación en la que, como resultado, termines con una mala calificación crediticia. Entonces, la forma en que la mayoría de los prestamistas que conozco lo han manejado, es tomando esos meses de alquiler que se perdieron debido a COVID-19 y luego agregarlos al final del préstamo.

Bill Walsh: Está bien. Bueno, gracias por eso. Y como recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, para hacer una pregunta, presiona * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Y pronto abordaremos más preguntas, pero antes de hacerlo, quiero informarles sobre los esfuerzos de AARP para proteger a los votantes de 50 años o más este año electoral.

Como todos sabemos, la pandemia amenaza la salud y la seguridad financiera de millones de adultos mayores. Ahora más que nunca, hay temas críticos en juego en esta elección para personas mayores de 50 años. Y hemos escuchado de nuestros socios que para ganar, los candidatos deben hablar sobre los temas que más les importan a estos votantes. Es por eso que AARP está luchando para proteger a los votantes mayores de 50 en temas importantes como proteger el Seguro Social y Medicare y reducir los precios de los medicamentos recetados. Nuestra encuesta muestra que nuestros socios y votantes mayores de 50 en general están preocupados por cómo votar de manera segura debido a la pandemia. Así que nos hemos adaptado a la realidad del año electoral 2020 y estamos trabajando arduamente para asegurarnos de que los votantes puedan votar de manera segura y conozcan sus opciones.

Estamos hablando con los candidatos para recordarles que los votantes mayores están atentos. A continuación, presentamos algunas cosas que hemos estado haciendo. Hemos publicado páginas de educación al votante individualizadas con fechas, métodos y reglas para votar de manera segura en los lugares de votación y en casa para los 50 estados, el Distrito de Columbia, Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes de EE.UU. Estamos pidiendo a los candidatos que aparezcan en teleasambleas como esta para que los socios y votantes mayores de 50 puedan obtener respuestas a sus preguntas y tengan acceso virtual a los políticos que solicitan sus votos. Y experimentaremos con reuniones virtuales para reemplazar las reuniones públicas convencionales durante la crisis de COVID-19. Para obtener más información sobre esto, visita AARP.org/elecciones2020.

Como recordatorio, para hacer una pregunta, presiona asterisco * 3 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Ahora es el momento de abordar sus preguntas sobre el coronavirus con el Dr. Aronoff y el planificador financiero certificado, Lee Baker. Presiona *3 para conectarte con un miembro del personal de AARP y compartir tu pregunta. Ahora, me gustaría traer a mi colega de AARP, Jean Setzfand, para ayudar a facilitar sus llamadas de hoy. Bienvenida, Jean.

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

Bill Walsh: Continuemos y respondamos nuestra primera pregunta. ¿A quién tenemos en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra primera llamada es de Joanne de Nueva York.

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

Joanne: Muchas gracias por venir hoy a hablar con nosotros. Tengo 72 años y cinco años sin cáncer, y tengo el sistema inmunitario comprometido, y me pregunto si calificaría, o si han considerado a las personas mayores como yo, para participar de una vacuna.

Bill Walsh: ¿Te refieres a un ensayo de vacunas? Bueno.

Joanne: Sí.

Bill Walsh: Dr. Aronoff, ¿quiere responder la pregunta de Joanne?

David M. Aronoff: Sí, claro que sí, y gracias Joanne por esa pregunta. Las vacunas son lo primero que tenemos en mente y, de hecho, yo diría que las vacunas serán particularmente útiles para aquellos de nosotros que somos más vulnerables a COVID-19 y nos enfermamos por el virus que causa la COVID-19, y eso incluye a nuestra población de adultos mayores. Entonces, los estudios actuales que están en marcha, hay varios importantes estudios clínicos en lo que llamamos fase 3, que esencialmente son el último paso de grandes estudios antes de buscar la aprobación de la FDA para su uso.

Estos grandes estudios tienen inclusiones para adultos de todas las edades, por lo que creo que la clave sería encontrar áreas cercanas a usted que estén participando en el estudio, estos suelen ser grandes centros médicos académicos o grandes organizaciones de investigación, y comunicarse con ellos para ver si califica. Y cada una de las empresas que actualmente están probando vacunas también tienen criterios de inclusión en su sitio web y, finalmente, clinicaltrials.gov es el sitio web del Gobierno de Estados Unidos donde deben registrarse todos los ensayos clínicos. Es relativamente fácil encontrar allí todos los ensayos relacionados con la vacuna COVID-19, y también puede encontrar todos los criterios de inclusión en ese sitio web.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias, Dr. Aronoff. Sé que tradicionalmente en los ensayos de medicamentos, nos cuesta conseguir adultos mayores. Me pregunto si hemos tenido el mismo problema con los ensayos de la vacuna COVID-19 y, de ser así, qué podría significar para la eficacia y seguridad de una vacuna que surja.

David M. Aronoff: Sí, sé que se ha trabajado en la planificación de estos ensayos de vacunas para asegurarnos de que podamos incluir a adultos mayores que, como tú dices, a veces son reacios o no pueden participar en un ensayo, pero esta es realmente la población vulnerable que queremos proteger además de grupos como los trabajadores de la salud de primera línea. Así que soy optimista de que a medida que se completen estos estudios, aprenderemos sobre la efectividad protectora de la vacuna en todo el espectro de edades adultas.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Muchas gracias. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos ahora en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Tom de Alabama.

Bill Walsh: Hola, Tom. Continúa con tu llamada.

Tom: Hola [DIAFONÍA].

Bill Walsh: Adelante, Tom.

Tom: Hola. Mucha gente está sin trabajo y podría estar en esas circunstancias durante bastante tiempo. Me preguntaba si podrían analizar las opciones para aprovechar algunas cosas como ahorros o valor acumulado de la vivienda, planes de jubilación, pólizas de vida. Algunos de ellos tienen pros, contras y trampas. ¿Podrían darle a esas personas algunas ideas y recomendaciones?

Bill Walsh: Bueno, Lee, ¿quieres responder la pregunta de Tom?

Lee Baker: Como mencionaste, hay un par de cosas, tu casa, planes de jubilación y ese tipo de cosas. Veamos. Hay varias formas en que puedes aprovechar la hipoteca de la vivienda, y estas no son recomendaciones. Pero si te encuentras en una posición en la que, en tus circunstancias actuales, ¿un prestamista permitiría una línea de crédito con garantía hipotecaria tradicional? Si puedes, y esa es una posibilidad, es algo que tal vez puedes explorar, pero debes tener mucho cuidado porque una de las cosas con el pago de un préstamo o incluso la refinanciación de algo, muchas personas han optado por hacer una tolerancia de morosidad.

Bueno, la probabilidad de que puedas obtener un préstamo refinanciado o hacer un préstamo con garantía hipotecaria si estás en tolerancia de morosidad, es bastante mínima. Simplemente no creo que ningún prestamista lo vaya a hacer, y he tenido conversaciones con clientes sobre ese tema en particular. Si tienes la edad suficiente, la opción de una hipoteca inversa podría ser una forma de aprovechar algunos recursos, pero nuevamente, eso es algo con lo que debes tener mucho cuidado.

Tómate todo el tiempo para hacer la debida diligencia y AARP tiene un montón de recursos para ayudar a brindarte algo de orientación. Ahora, cuando se trata de aprovechar algunos de los planes de jubilación o, creo que Tom también mencionó el seguro de vida, hay pros y contras de hacer cualquiera de esas cosas. Sinceramente, si estás en una situación y literalmente no tienes otras opciones pero tienes una cuenta de jubilación, échale un vistazo. Debido a algunas de las piezas de legislación y las diferentes fases de la legislación que el Congreso ha implementado este año como una forma de combatir lo que estamos viviendo con COVID-19, han habido muchas cosas que se han relajado en lo que se refiere a aprovechar los planes de jubilación, si tienes menos de 59 años y medio, la capacidad de evitar la multa, la posibilidad de extender el pago de impuestos por retiros de planes de jubilación en el transcurso de dos años en lugar de vencer inmediatamente el siguiente mes de abril.

Por lo tanto, existen algunas opciones que han hecho que acceder a los planes de jubilación sea mucho más fácil de lo que sería en circunstancias normales, pero debes asegurarte de sopesar eso con tus posibilidades a largo plazo y cuánto sacas y fijarte si es realmente sacar una cantidad para satisfacer una especie de necesidad inmediata y no dejarse llevar, y sacar lo que necesitas solo si es absolutamente necesario.

Bill Walsh: ¿Y los seguros de vida? Tom había preguntado acerca de aprovechar una política para [DIAFONÍA].

Lee Baker: Si tienes lo que generalmente se llama una póliza de vida entera o una póliza de seguro de vida con valor en efectivo y tienes acceso a ella, esa puede ser una buena manera convencional de aprovechar algo de capital porque básicamente pides prestado tu propio dinero, por así decirlo. La desventaja, nuevamente, si el préstamo que sacas de la póliza, si eliges usar ese método para sacar dinero de ella, es que si mueres antes de que se pague el préstamo, simplemente reduce el beneficio por fallecimiento que recibirían tus herederos.

O por otro lado, si eliges simplemente retirar parte del valor en efectivo de la póliza dependiendo de cuánto retires, existe la posibilidad de obtener parte de ese efectivo sin ninguna implicación fiscal. Por lo general, existen al menos esas dos formas de acceder al valor en efectivo en una póliza de seguro de vida y pueden ser ventajosas dependiendo de cuál sea tu situación general.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo, Lee, gracias. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Vicki de Wisconsin.

Bill Walsh: Hola Vicki, ¿cuál es tu pregunta?

Vicki: Mi esposo murió en el 2018 y me gustaría preguntarle a su planificador financiero. Recibí con los primeros pagos de estímulo $1,200 para mí y también $1,200 para él que se depositaron directamente en mi cuenta. ¿Tengo que devolver los $1,200 que recibí por él? No puedo comunicarme con nadie del IRS. No atienden sus teléfonos. No sé a quién preguntar sobre esto o cómo devolver el dinero o simplemente lo dejo en mi cuenta y eventualmente lo retirarán.

Bill Walsh: Falleció en el 2018, creo que dijiste.

Vicki: Sí.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. ¿Lee?

Vicki: Presenté [INAUDIBLE] para el 2018, y entonces me enviaron los dos pagos.

Lee Baker: De acuerdo. De acuerdo. Entendido. Esa es una pregunta interesante, y yo intuyo, y no se basa en ningún tipo de investigación para responder. Estamos escuchando cosas sobre los pagos del IRS en muchas circunstancias diferentes. Están abrumados. Están atrasados. Hay personas que han hecho pagos de impuestos y, literalmente, los cheques han estado en el IRS durante meses y meses. De manera similar a cosas como el programa PPP, mi instinto es que no se contactarán del IRS por esos $1,200.

Ahora bien, dicho esto, lo más prudente es no gastar el dinero. Manténgalo a un lado. Tal vez más adelante en el año o antes del 2021, podremos comunicarnos con el IRS nuevamente. Y en ese momento, posiblemente consiga hablar con alguien para obtener una respuesta clara, pero por el momento, le aconsejo que lo guarde, no lo gaste por uno o dos meses más. Intente comunicarse nuevamente. Una de las razones por las que el IRS está tan ocupado ahora, por supuesto, como todo el mundo sabe que la fecha de presentación se retrasó hasta julio, por lo que muchas de las declaraciones de impuestos sobre la renta que normalmente se habrían procesado a estas alturas ya se hicieron...

Algunas de las extensiones que ocurren típicamente el 15 de septiembre, 15 de octubre también mantienen al IRS bastante ocupado. Por lo tanto, puede ser noviembre e incluso diciembre antes de que las cosas comiencen a calmarse y pueda comunicarse con el IRS nuevamente. Pero nuevamente, por el momento, guárdelo, vuelva a consultar en un par de meses para obtener una respuesta definitiva. Pero mi intuición es que no van a ir a pedir esos $1,200.

Bill Walsh: Sin embargo, mejor no lo gaste de inmediato.

Lee Baker: Absolutamente.

Bill Walsh: Porque puede que sí. Puede que sí. Muy bien, Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos una pregunta proveniente de YouTube, de Fred, y él está preguntando si eres una persona asintomática, portadora del virus, detectado por una prueba, ¿dejarías de contagiar a los 14 días o aún es posible propagar el virus después de 14 días?

Bill Walsh: ¿La escuchó, Dr. Aronoff?

David M. Aronoff: Claro que sí. Esa es una pregunta en línea de Fred que es realmente importante. Gracias. Si alguien está asintomático y da positivo en la prueba, es muy difícil porque no sabemos cuándo se infectó por primera vez. No sabemos cuánto tiempo han estado infectados, pero extraemos cierta información de lo que sabemos sobre las personas sintomáticas. Las personas sintomáticas con COVID-19 en general dejan de propagar el virus infeccioso después de como máximo 10 días desde el inicio de sus síntomas, siempre que para esa marca de 10 días sus síntomas estén mejorando y no hayan tenido fiebre durante aproximadamente 24 horas.

Hay algunas excepciones. Las personas que están hospitalizadas o las personas que están muy inmunodeprimidas pueden propagar el virus infeccioso durante más de 10 días, pero en general, las personas serán infecciosas desde el inicio de sus síntomas durante 10 días, siempre y cuando estén mejorando, esa marca de 10 días, es más o menos cuando ya no se consideran contagiosos. Entonces, para las personas asintomáticas, usamos las fechas en las que dan positivo como la fecha en la que comenzamos un reloj de 10 días, y básicamente les pedimos a esas personas que se aíslen durante los próximos 10 días porque sentimos que eso cubrirá más que adecuadamente el tiempo durante el cual están diseminando el virus infeccioso.

Ahora diré una cosa que a veces puede ser confusa, y es que estas pruebas moleculares que básicamente recogen moléculas del virus que no son necesariamente virus infecciosos, pero estas pruebas moleculares pueden permanecer positivas en personas que se han recuperado de la infección y no son contagiosas. Estas pruebas moleculares pueden permanecer positivas durante semanas. Por lo tanto, no usamos la repetición de pruebas como una estrategia para decirle a alguien que ya no es contagioso. Realmente solo usamos un calendario, especialmente para aquellas personas que son asintomáticas.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias por eso, Dr. Aronoff. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Peggy de Indiana.

Bill Walsh: Hola Peggy, sigue adelante con tu pregunta.

Peggy: Hola. Tengo 76 años y he estado deprimida desde marzo. No he estado en ninguna tienda ni nada. No puedo ir a ninguna parte. Tengo un Seguro Social limitado y me cuesta llegar a fin de mes debido al alto costo de los alimentos y otros artículos. Todo ha subido mucho, y me preguntaba si vamos a recibir otro cheque de estímulo porque si es así, puedo hacer que dure unos seis meses con la compra. No poder ir a los bancos de alimentos ni nada por el estilo me ha estresado mucho porque la mayor parte de mi cheque del Seguro Social se destina a pagar el alquiler y las facturas de servicios públicos y cosas así. Y no he oído nada sobre un cheque de estímulo. No lo mencionan en la televisión ni nada. Entonces, ¿podrían decirme si todavía lo están pensando?

Bill Walsh: Claro. Peggy, muchas gracias por esa pregunta. Lee Baker, ¿puedes responder la pregunta de Peggy?

Lee Baker: Claro, absolutamente. Se sigue discutiendo sobre otra ronda de cheques de estímulo y, sinceramente, creo que ambas partes desean lograr algo. Nadie duda de la necesidad. El problema con el que nos encontramos es lograr que ambas partes se pongan de acuerdo sobre cuál es exactamente esa necesidad. ¿Qué tan grande es la necesidad y cómo se facilita? Pero sigue habiendo algo de discusión. Ahora, no puedo hablar específicamente de Indiana, pero tanto para ti Peggy como para cualquiera de nuestros otros oyentes, existen algunos programas para ayudar a las personas en tu circunstancia particular.

Sé que específicamente aquí en Georgia, y en Georgia se lo conoce como el programa SNAP, Programa de Necesidades Suplementarias. Una de las cosas que hicimos aquí en el estado de Georgia a través de la oficina estatal de AARP y otros estados hicieron cosas similares, fue presionar a nuestra gente del Congreso porque uno de los problemas que encontramos aquí fue que con las tarjetas de beneficios para algunas personas mayores y otras personas que calificaron, hubo un pequeño problema y algunos de los servicios en línea no aceptaban la tarjeta porque se excluyó la tarifa de envío y causó una falla. Y entonces desarrollaron un plan piloto. Georgia y varios otros estados solicitaron y fueron aceptados en el programa. Entonces, en este momento, puedes pedir algunas cosas en línea.

Otra cosa que he visto aparecer aquí en Georgia y he leído sobre cosas similares en todo el país son algunos de los lugares tipo despensa de alimentos con los que se están asociando... Y nuevamente, esto no es un anuncio, están tratando de trabajar con cosas como Door Dash para hacer entregas a las personas mayores. Entonces, potencialmente, puedes contactar a esos lugares y determinar si existe algún tipo de mecanismo para las entregas. La iglesia a la que asisto aquí en Atlanta tiene programas para que la gente vaya, entre y consiga comida, además de algunos otros métodos de distribución. Definitivamente te digo, te aconsejo a ti y a todos los que escuchan a que se comuniquen con algunas de las despensas de alimentos y ese tipo de cosas en su área para determinar si también están haciendo algunas entregas. Pero absolutamente, todavía hay un interés continuo en hacer un segundo estímulo.

Bill Walsh: Sí. Esa es una buena pregunta. Supongo que todos nos estamos preguntando eso y solo tenemos que estar atentos a las noticias para ver lo que se desarrolla. Diré que mientras Lee estaba hablando, el equipo se fijó en nuestro buscador de beneficios en línea, que es una herramienta que ayuda a las personas a comprender para qué beneficios podrían calificar porque muchas veces la gente no sabe. Puedes fijarte si tienes una computadora y una conexión a internet, en www.benefitscheckup.org. Eso es www.benefitscheckup.org. Fíjate para qué beneficios podrías calificar. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Wanda de Texas.

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

Wanda: Hola. ¿Cómo estas?

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias.

Wanda: Mi pregunta es, ¿hay algún estudio sobre si al vacunarte contra la gripe o contra la neumonía disminuiría la gravedad del virus?

Bill Walsh: Dr. Aronoff, ¿puede responder la pregunta de Wanda?

David M. Aronoff: Sí, Wanda. Gracias por hacer esa pregunta sobre las vacunas. Vacunarse contra la influenza o vacunarse contra la neumonía, que es una vacuna contra una bacteria que causa la neumonía, es realmente bueno porque ayudan a protegerte contra las causas importantes de infecciones en los adultos mayores, pero no creemos que haya ninguna protección cruzada entre un germen y otro. Entonces, cuando recibo una vacuna contra la gripe, no brinda protección inmunitaria contra COVID-19.

Eventualmente, tendremos vacunas para COVID-19 y no se espera que una respuesta inmune a esas vacunas brinde protección cruzada contra la influenza o la neumonía. Entonces, por ejemplo, a medida que nos acercamos a la temporada de resfriados y gripe, realmente insto a las personas, especialmente a los adultos mayores, a asegurarse de vacunarse contra la gripe para protegerse contra la influenza. Cuantas más personas se vacunen contra la influenza, más probabilidades tenemos de defendernos contra una epidemia dentro de una pandemia y detener la propagación de la influenza. Muchas gracias por tu pregunta y espero que la respuesta tenga algún sentido.

Bill Walsh: Para mí tenía sentido. Espero que también tenga sentido para Wanda y para nuestros oyentes.

Al ver que nos acercamos a la temporada de gripe, Dr. Aronoff, ¿qué puede decirle a la gente sobre los síntomas? Algunos de los síntomas de la gripe son muy similares a los de COVID-19. ¿Qué le diría a la gente si les preocupa que estén teniendo síntomas y no estén seguros de qué pueden tener?

David M. Aronoff: Sí. Ese es un punto realmente importante. Creo que será muy complicado para los profesionales de la salud y los pacientes diferenciar entre la influenza y COVID-19 simplemente basándose en cómo se sienten las personas porque ambos virus pueden causar fiebre, tos, dificultad para respirar, dolor de garganta, secreción nasal, etc. Así que diría que si alguien tiene síntomas, debería buscar pruebas y una evaluación médica.

Afortunadamente, ahora tenemos buenas pruebas para ambos virus. Contamos con tratamientos para la influenza. Tenemos algunos tratamientos para COVID-19, aunque en su mayoría se limitan a las personas en el hospital y, con suerte, tendremos algunos tratamientos más para las personas que no están en el hospital. Pero creo que será muy difícil depender únicamente de los síntomas. Entonces lo mejor es buscar atención médica.

Bill Walsh: Está bien, de acuerdo. Y ahora se puede obtener atención médica en línea o por teléfono. Creo que muchos médicos se están acostumbrando a hacer esas visitas de telesalud. Así que tal vez fíjate por teléfono antes de ir hasta el hospital o la clínica. Además, teníamos una pregunta de Peggy hace un momento sobre la dificultad de llegar a fin de mes. También quería darle el número de teléfono de AARP Foundation que podría ser de ayuda. Ese número gratuito, es 800-775-6776. Eso es 800-775-6776. Esa es AARP Foundation, que realmente se creó para ayudar a las personas que se encuentran en situaciones financieras difíciles. Jean, ¿de quién es nuestra próxima llamada?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Cissy de Texas.

Bill Walsh: Hola Cissy, adelante con tu pregunta.

Cissy: Sí. Tengo 72 años y soy propietaria. Una gran parte de mis ingresos es el alquiler que recibo. ¿Hay algún programa que me ayude a superar estos tiempos?

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Lee Baker, ¿puedes ayudar a Cissy?

Lee Baker: Sí, puedo ayudar a responder esa pregunta lo mejor que pueda, sinceramente, Cissy, al igual que tú, yo soy propietario, lo cuento. He investigado esto para mí y para otros clientes, y si bien estamos contentos por un lado de que tenemos una moratoria para los inquilinos, nuevamente el Congreso no ha elaborado una metodología para asegurarse de que los inquilinos, una vez que expire la moratoria, se pongan al día con los pagos de la hipoteca que potencialmente los propietarios habrían tenido que haber hecho. Entonces es una situación increíblemente difícil.

Si eres propietaria y no puedes cobrar el alquiler, tú también puedes y, nuevamente, esto no está disponible para todas las circunstancias, pero en la medida en que todavía te encuentres en una posición en la que tienes una hipoteca sobre la propiedad, te aconsejaría que te comuniques con tu prestamista y le expliques la situación. Escucha. Tengo inquilino. Debido a la moratoria, no puedo hacer un desalojo. La persona perdió su trabajo, sea cual fuere la circunstancia.

La experiencia que he tenido hablando con clientes y pasando por la situación es que los prestamistas han sido muy comprensivos con esto y al menos no te arriesgas desde el punto de vista del incumplimiento de tu hipoteca. Ahora, en la circunstancia en la que eres dueña de la propiedad y ya está saldada la deuda y es una fuente de ingresos, hasta este punto no he oído hablar de una buena solución para un prestamista o disculpen, un propietario en esa circunstancia en particular. Así que esperemos que inmediatamente después de esta extensión de una moratoria hasta fin de año, el Congreso pueda resolver algo para compensar a los propietarios al extender esta moratoria hasta fines del 2020.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias, Lee, y gracias también por todas sus preguntas. Volveremos a preguntas adicionales en un momento. Como recordatorio para nuestros oyentes, si deseas hacer una pregunta, presiona *3 en el teclado de tu teléfono para ingresar a la lista.

Ahora, volvamos a nuestros expertos. Lee, una orden ejecutiva reciente creó el programa de asistencia para salarios perdidos. Proporcionó $300 adicionales por semana en beneficios por desempleo. Pero la implementación está dispersa y algo confusa. ¿Cómo pueden las personas saber si su estado ofrece u ofrecerá el beneficio adicional?

Lee Baker: Absolutamente. Como has dicho, el programa de asistencia para salarios perdidos es un nuevo intento de brindar asistencia a aquellas personas que han sido afectadas por COVID-19. Ahora, la buena noticia es que, según el último recuento, cuando verifiqué recientemente, creo que hay 45 estados que ya están participando o están en el proceso de participar. Por lo tanto, es probable que la mayoría de las personas en la llamada residan en un estado que está participando o muy pronto lo hará. Pero dicho esto, al menos hasta esta hoy, alrededor de cinco estados no están participando hasta el momento. Este beneficio en particular difiere un poco de los $600 que expiraron a fines de julio en ese... De donde proviene. Viene de FEMA, la Autoridad Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias.

La otra cosa a tener en cuenta es... y se agradece cualquier cosa, pero según mi última lectura, este beneficio es por tres semanas. Ahora, la buena noticia para las personas es que se suma a los beneficios estatales que estás recibiendo y, por supuesto, eso variará de un estado a otro, pero la otra cosa es que en la mayoría de los casos no es necesario hacer nada para conseguirlo. Entonces, los estados están trabajando en esa logística y, como hablamos antes, es difícil conseguir que alguien conteste el teléfono, incluso si quisieras. Pero en la mayoría de los casos, no tendrás que hacer nada para obtener ese beneficio.

Ahora, si deseas obtener información al respecto, y tienes acceso a internet, te aconsejaría que comiences por el sitio web del Departamento de Trabajo de tu estado. Busca sus preguntas frecuentes o si tienen una barra de búsqueda o una ventana de búsqueda, simplemente escribe literalmente programa de asistencia de salarios perdidos para obtener información más detallada, pero te aconsejo que comiences ese proceso en el Departamento de Trabajo de tu estado.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias por eso, Lee. Volvamos a usted, Dr. Aronoff. ¿Qué es la transmisión por aerosol? ¿Se ha descubierto de manera concluyente que COVID-19 se transmite más por el aire de lo que se pensaba inicialmente? Si es así, ¿cómo influye en el distanciamiento social o las mascarillas?

David M. Aronoff: Sí. Bueno, hemos aprendido mucho sobre la propagación de COVID-19 desde que todo comenzó a principios del 2020, y seguimos aprendiendo más. Lo que sabemos de esa información bastante sólida es que este virus se transmite mejor de persona a persona a través de la respiración y, en particular, cuando estamos cerca uno del otro durante períodos prolongados de tiempo. Y sabemos que limitar el tiempo que estamos con otras personas con las que no vivimos, mantener nuestra distancia de los demás y cuando estamos en espacios públicos con otras personas, usar recubrimientos faciales como mascarillas de tela, realmente ayudan a reducir la probabilidad de que ocurra un evento de transmisión.

La mayoría de los eventos de transmisión parecen ocurrir cuando las gotas de agua respiratoria que salen de la nariz y la boca al respirar o hablar son el vehículo principal que transporta este virus. Entonces, para aquellos de ustedes que alguna vez han respirado frente a un espejo y ven esa niebla que se forma allí, esas son las pequeñas gotas de agua que contienen este virus. Ahora, en las circunstancias adecuadas, esas gotas de agua se evaporan bastante rápido y las gotas se hacen cada vez más pequeñas y luego pueden flotar un poco más en el aire, y es posible que no caigan del aire tan rápido. Normalmente, estas gotas de agua tienden a caer del aire. Son pesadas. Tienden a caer del aire en un radio de entre tres y seis pies [INAUDIBLE] cantando o gritando o estornudando o tosiendo, lo que puede llevarlas más lejos. Pero en general, alrededor de seis pies, y ahí es donde obtenemos esas recomendaciones sobre seis pies de distancia.

Pero si esas gotitas pueden deshidratarse y hacerse más pequeñas, entonces las partículas que transportan el virus pueden flotar un poco más, y pueden ir un poco más lejos, y el alcance puede ser de más de seis pies. ¿Y dónde vemos eso? Bueno, lo vemos en el interior, en lugares que no están bien ventilados, que no aportan mucho aire fresco, donde no hay mucho intercambio de aire y donde hay conglomeración y donde la temperatura es un poco alta y está más seca, así que hemos oído hablar de este tipo de eventos de gran difusión, como prácticas de coro y salas cerradas donde ha habido preocupación de que el virus haya viajado más lejos o en autobuses.

Hubo un informe reciente de un grupo de personas en China en un autobús lleno de gente sin mascarillas, pero hubo transmisión a más de seis pies de distancia en este autobús. Y así, en general, de lo que la gente debe darse cuenta es mantener distancia de los demás, mantener nuestras manos limpias para no inocular accidentalmente nuestros ojos, nariz o boca si tenemos el virus en nuestras manos, usar mascarillas de tela para la cara cuando estamos cerca de personas con las que no vivimos, estos son realmente los fundamentos que no han cambiado y evitar esos entornos interiores abarrotados que están particularmente mal ventilados donde el virus puede viajar un poco más lejos de lo que queremos.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por eso, Dr. Aronoff. Ahora es el momento de abordar más preguntas de nuestros oyentes con el Dr. Aronoff y Lee Baker. Y como recordatorio para entrar en la lista de preguntas, presiona *3 en el teclado de tu teléfono. Jean, ¿a quién tenemos ahora en la línea?

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Luisa de Florida.

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

Luisa: Tengo muchas preguntas, pero la pregunta principal que tengo para hoy y que hay mucha confusión al respecto, es que hubo un anuncio a principios de año de que cuando tienes una cuenta de jubilación que si no deseas sacar el dinero que no tendrás que pagar impuestos. Puede dejar la cuenta allí. Pero me parece que cuando [INAUDIBLE] tu cuenta de jubilación, ese es el momento cuando tienes que sacarla, y luego tienes que devolverla. Pero la pregunta es, ¿volvemos a pagar impuestos? Y esta es la pregunta que nadie puede responder [DIAFONÍA].

Bill Walsh: ¿Lo entendiste?

Luisa: Sí, ¿disculpa?

Bill Walsh: Adelante, Luisa.

Lee Baker: Creo que te estoy siguiendo [DIAFONÍA].

Luisa: Y no tienes que usar el dinero si tienes efectivo o si tienes dinero de reserva. Puede utilizar la reserva para vivir durante todo el año. Pero [DIAFONÍA].

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Dejemos que Lee Baker analice esa pregunta. Adelante, Lee.

Lee Baker: Entiendo. Por lo general, para los jubilados, una vez que llegan a la edad de 70.5 años, debes hacer lo que se llama distribuciones mínimas requeridas. A veces lo verás referido como distribuciones mínimas requeridas. Pero han cambiado un par de cosas. La primera y más importante, y creo que Luisa estaba hablando de si hay que tomar RMD o distribuciones mínimas requeridas para el 2020. La respuesta a esa pregunta es no. No hace falta.

Ahora, como seguimiento, nuevamente creo que la pregunta sobre los impuestos es ¿qué pasaría si ya hubieras tomado tu distribución mínima requerida antes de que se finalizara la ley Secure y la Ley Cares? Entonces, desafortunadamente, si, por ejemplo, era enero cuando todo esto se estaba desarrollando y habías tomado tu RMD, ¿puedes básicamente revertirlo? Y en este momento, la respuesta a esa pregunta es no, no se puede revertir técnicamente hablando. Hay algunas pautas para poder devolver el dinero, pero creo que esa es la característica o la pregunta o supongo que la segunda parte de lo que estaba preguntando Luisa. Nuevamente, no se requieren RMD o distribuciones mínimas requeridas para el 2020.

Claramente, si necesitas o deseas tomar la distribución de tu cuenta de jubilación, puedes hacerlo, pero no es obligatorio. Y la segunda parte de esa pregunta, según tengo entendido, se refiere a si ya habías tomado una distribución antes de que se implementara la Ley Secure, si eso se puede revertir o no. Entonces, técnicamente, la respuesta a esa pregunta es que no se puede revertir.

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

Jean Setzfand: Nuestra próxima llamada es de Lynn de Nevada.

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

Lynn: Sí. Buenos días.

Bill Walsh: Hola.

Lynn: Hola. Llamo para saber si uno estuvo expuesto a COVID-19, ¿debería hacerse la prueba de inmediato o debería esperar de tres a cinco días para obtener un resultado preciso?

Bill Walsh: ¿Dijiste cerca de eso? Es decir, ¿entró en contacto con alguien que tenía COVID-19?

Lynn: Que lo tiene, sí.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Entonces, tu pregunta es ¿cuánto tiempo debes esperar para hacerte el examen o si debes esperar en absoluto?

Lynn: Sí.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, Dr. Aronoff. ¿Quieres responder esa pregunta?

David M. Aronoff: Sí, Lynn, gracias por esa pregunta. Un par de cosas que decir sobre esto. Lo primero es que si me infecto hoy y me hago la prueba hoy, mi prueba será negativa porque el virus tarda un poco en comenzar a eliminarse en cantidades suficientes para ser detectado por nuestra prueba actual. Entonces, un par de cosas que decir.

Una es que no importa cuándo te hagas la prueba, si no tienes síntomas, siempre existe la posibilidad de que, incluso si estás infectado, la prueba resulte negativa, lo que llamamos un falso negativo. Y eso puede deberse a que las personas que no tienen síntomas no están diseminando tanto virus o puede ser que estén diseminando el virus, pero dondequiera que se tomó la muestra, simplemente no era una buena muestra o no había mucho virus allí. Entonces, en general, después de que alguien se infecta, el riesgo de un resultado falso negativo tiende a disminuir cada día después de la infección, y en algún momento entre el día cinco después de la infección o exposición y el día ocho es probablemente un buen momento para hacerse la prueba, siempre y cuando no tengas síntomas. Si presentas síntomas antes, debes hacerte la prueba porque si tienes síntomas debido a COVID-19, es probable que estés diseminando suficiente virus como para que la prueba sea positiva.

Pero si no tienes síntomas y has estado expuesto, y quieres hacerte la prueba, eso sería entre el día cinco y el día ocho después de la infección. Diré que si tu prueba da negativo, eso no prueba indudablemente que no estás infectado y el consejo de aislarse durante 14 días después de esa exposición sigue en pie porque si los síntomas van a ocurrir, ocurren dentro de las dos semanas posteriores a la infección, por lo que una sola prueba negativa en realidad no proporciona suficiente información para decir que ya no es necesario aislarse.

Ahí es donde algunas de las pautas de los CDC se volvieron confusas porque dicen que si está expuesto a menos de seis pies durante más de 10 minutos, debes aislarte durante dos semanas y no tienes que hacerte la prueba necesariamente. Si bien estoy de acuerdo en gran medida con eso, creo que es razonable hacerse la prueba. Tiendo a recomendar hacerse la prueba, pero con todas las advertencias que acabo de mencionar.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Bueno. Bueno, gracias. Jean, ¿quién es nuestro próximo oyente?

Jean Setzfand: Tenemos otra pregunta proveniente de Facebook, y esta viene de Veneta, y ella pregunta cuál es la nueva ley que se aprobó recientemente en la que se pueden diferir ciertos impuestos de su salario debido a COVID-19.

Bill Walsh: Lee, ¿puedes abordar eso?

Lee Baker: Sí, claro. Absolutamente. Creo que a lo que se refiere no es tanto una ley sino una orden ejecutiva. Y esto es algo que no se ha pasado por el Congreso, pero el presidente Trump emitió recientemente un memorando o una orden ejecutiva para diferir el impuesto sobre la nómina, es decir el 6.2% contribuido de tu nómina. Fue una de esas cosas que se emitieron. El valor predeterminado está disponible para los empleados. No es obligatorio. Pero todavía estamos esperando recibir una guía adicional sobre eso porque una cosa es diferir la retención de ese 6.2% hasta fin de año, pero luego están las preguntas que entran en juego, ya que eso es lo que se usa para financiar el Seguro Social, ¿cómo se compensaría? Entonces está esa pregunta.

La segunda parte de la pregunta se refiere al aplazamiento cuando llegue el 2021. ¿Cómo es el mecanismo de cobranza? Entonces, la mejor guía que tenemos hasta este punto es doble. Si tienes a alguien que, de hecho, elige diferir el 6.2%, debe ser reembolsado proporcionalmente en el primer trimestre del 2021. Entonces, lo que eso significa es que obtienes esa reducción del 6.2% en tus retenciones por ahora, pero llegado enero, terminarías con una retención del 12.4% para enero, febrero y marzo.

También hay algunas preguntas desde la perspectiva del empleador sobre qué sucede en el caso de que un empleado elija hacer este aplazamiento y, si entre ahora y el primer trimestre del 2021, la persona es despedida, deja el empleo. Coloca la carga de la recaudación, que todavía recae directamente sobre los hombros del empleador. De nuevo, es algo que está disponible. No es obligatorio. Lo que hemos visto aquí en los últimos días son preguntas que han surgido de varias empresas de nómina en términos de cómo hacer que funcione. De nuevo, es una orden ejecutiva, no una ley. Y todavía hay preguntas sobre cómo hacer que eso funcione.

Bill Walsh: De acuerdo. Gracias por eso, Lee. Jean, ¿quién es nuestro próximo oyente?

Jean Setzfand: Francis de Texas.

Bill Walsh: Hola Francis, adelante con tu pregunta. ¿Hola, qué tal?

Francis: Muy bien. Tengo 82 años y me dijeron que tomara vitamina C, zinc y D, que fortalece el sistema inmunitario y tal vez si contrajera el virus no sería tan malo [DIAFONÍA].

Bill Walsh: Bueno, preguntémosle al Dr... Está bien. Bueno, preguntémosle al Dr. Aronoff sobre eso. ¿Qué le parece, doctor?

David M. Aronoff: Sí, muy buena pregunta porque hay mucho interés en tratar de averiguar cuáles son formas relativamente seguras y económicas de reforzar nuestro sistema inmunitario de modo que si nos infectamos con el virus que causa COVID-19, es posible que no nos enfermemos tanto. En este momento, no tenemos evidencia para respaldar las afirmaciones de que las vitaminas como la vitamina C, la D o el zinc protegen específicamente a las personas contra un mal desempeño de COVID-19.

Hay muchas razones hipotéticas por las que esto podría ser bueno y ciertamente siempre es bueno apilar cartas a nuestro favor en términos de nuestra salud. Por lo tanto, comer bien, hacer ejercicio, cuidar nuestra salud mental y trabajar con un profesional de la salud con licencia sobre si es necesario tomar vitaminas o suplementos fuera del contexto de COVID-19, son cosas realmente importantes. Conozco a mucha gente que está tomando varias vitaminas [INAUDIBLE] y cosas con la esperanza de que esto las proteja. Es importante saber que, en primer lugar, todavía no tenemos ninguna evidencia a favor o en contra del uso de estos suplementos en COVID-19.

Y número dos, que nuevamente la mayoría de las personas que se infectan se recuperan sin necesidad de ser hospitalizadas y sin morir a causa de la infección. Entonces, en gran parte, mantenernos hidratados, cuidarnos bien es realmente la mejor política. Ojalá tuviéramos más datos sobre algunas de estas vitaminas porque hay mucho interés en ellas.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias por eso, Dr. Aronoff. Y se está llegando la hora de acabar, así que quería preguntarles a nuestros dos invitados expertos, el Dr. Aronoff y Lee Baker, si tenían algún cierre o recomendación para los socios de AARP de nuestra conversación de hoy. Dr. Aronoff, ¿quiere comenzar? ¿Algún comentario o recomendación?

David M. Aronoff: Bueno, primero quiero darles las gracias, Bill y Jean, y es un placer estar aquí y con Lee Baker y escuchar estas excelentes preguntas. Creo que si la gente tiene preguntas sobre COVID-19 debe involucrar a sus profesionales de la salud, me gusta que podemos hacerlo a través del teléfono o incluso a través de internet con visitas de telesalud. Ciertamente, en todo el país, hay varias personas que tienen muy buena experiencia en el tratamiento de pacientes, el diagnóstico de COVID-19 y muchas regiones tienen expertos en enfermedades infecciosas a los que también se puede recurrir. Consultar. Si tienes síntomas, busca información sobre cómo hacerse la prueba, y cuídense y gracias a todos por invitarme hoy. Realmente es un honor.

Bill Walsh: Bueno, también fue un honor para nosotros. Gracias, Dr. Aronoff. Lee Baker, ¿algún comentario o recomendación para cerrar?

Lee Baker: Sí, absolutamente. Una vez más, disfruté estar con ustedes, feliz de ser parte de este gran servicio y disfruté de conocer al Dr. Aronoff virtualmente por así decirlo. Lo que aconsejaría hacer a la gente es no perder la esperanza. Sí, hay muchas preguntas y mucha incertidumbre, pero no pierdan la esperanza. AARP es un gran recurso donde pueden obtener información. Así que los animo a que sean proactivos. Si no están seguros de algo una vez que salgamos de esta llamada, comuníquense con la oficina estatal de AARP. Comuníquense con el Departamento de Trabajo. Si tienen preguntas sobre su hipoteca y ese tipo de cosas, sean proactivos. No metan la cabeza en la arena. Hay muchos recursos disponibles para ayudarnos a todos a superar esto. Nuevamente, gracias por ser parte de esta llamada y por favor compartan todo lo que hayan aprendido durante esta llamada con sus amigos, familiares y vecinos.

Bill Walsh: Bien, gracias, Lee Baker. Gracias a ambos por responder a nuestras preguntas. Esta ha sido una discusión realmente informativa. También quería agradecerles a ustedes, nuestros socios, voluntarios y oyentes de AARP por participar en esta discusión hoy.

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 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, evitar que se propague a otros, mientras ellos se cuidan. Todos los recursos a los que se hizo referencia hoy, incluida una grabación del evento de preguntas y respuestas de hoy, se podrán encontrar en AARP.org/elcoronavirus a partir de mañana, 4 de septiembre. Una vez más, esa dirección web es AARP.org/elcoronavirus. Visita esa dirección si tu pregunta no fue respondida, y encontrarás las últimas actualizaciones, así como información creada específicamente para adultos mayores y cuidadores familiares.

Esperamos que hayas aprendido algo que pueda ayudarte a ti y a tus seres queridos a mantenerse saludables. Asegúrate de sintonizar el jueves 17 de septiembre a la 1 p.m. hora del este, para otra sesión y abordar tus preguntas sobre la pandemia de coronavirus. Gracias y que tengas un buen día.

Esto concluye nuestra llamada.

Coronavirus: Your Finances, Health & Family
(6 months in)

 Sept. 3, 1 to 2 p.m. ET
Listen to the replay of the live event above.

As the country approaches six months since the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus pandemic (on March 11), Thursday’s live event focused on the most common concerns of older adults and what the world looks like in the “new normal.” Our panel of experts addressed pressing questions related to managing your finances and reviewed the latest news on treatments, vaccines and staying safe.

The experts: 

Lee Baker, CFP
Owner and President,
Apex Financial Solutions

David M. Aronoff, MD
Director, Division of Infectious Diseases,
Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center


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