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  • 05/22/2020 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    As we move ahead with the COVID-19 pandemic and are more comfortable with going out, it is hard to figure out what the rules are from community to community. If you are planning to travel this weekend,  check out this chart from the Washington Post that shows where states are reopening and what the rules are in each one.

  • 05/19/2020 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    As a digital stenographer you can reach into history and put your time in quarantine to good use.  Museums  and research libraries are looking for volunteers to transcribe documents.   The Smithsonian Institution increasingly relies on the general public to transcribe historical documents. The transcription project  at the Library of Congress also needs volunteers to work form home transcribing their papers.  There is something for everyone...Recipes from Rosa Parks. Diaries of suffragists. Walt Whitman’s poems. Slave letters. The papers of English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Depression-era menus. Whaling logs. Crop reports. Science-fiction fanzines. School yearbooks. The corporate files of Maidenform, the pioneering bra manufacturer.

    It is easy.  Materials are uploaded to the Internet and as a volunteer you type what you read into a digital notepad.  Crowdsourcing the transcription of historical records is an efficient way for museums and research organizations to create an archive of online resources for scholars and history buffs. 

    Smithsonian Institution
    Library of Congress

  • 05/12/2020 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    State and county health departments are looking for contact tracers to track and halt the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.  Experts estimate that at least 15 tracers will be needed per 100,000 Americans.  Creating this army of trained contract tracers is bigger than any assembled in U.S. history.   

    Contact tracers notify possibly infected individuals and map their exposures to other people and provide a link between the public health system and communities.  They are part detective, part therapist, and part social worker,skills held by many Red Cross retirees.

    The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health unveiled a course on the online platform Coursera to teach Americans the fundamentals of contact tracing.  The course provides a good, solid, basic training to quickly scale up for a workforce.  Privacy, medical ethics, virology and interview techniques are included in the six-hour package. The course is available free of charge to the public — you can take it here.

    Read more at The Washington Post

  • 05/11/2020 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    Most of us are staying inside and online. Through phone calls, email, text messages and assorted conference calls and video-chat platforms we are trying to stay connected with family and friends.  But how do you stay connected with less tech-savvy family and friends who cannot jump on a Zoom chat because they do not have a "modern" computer or a computer at all. 

    Before you look at the list of easy tech products, stick to the simple.  Get a free conference call number and set up a group call.  You can always write a letter, that can be read over and over, and shared with others.

    But if you want a tech solution, here is the list of easy tech:

    1. Try one of the many free conference call services.  
    2. Jitsi Meet is free, simple face-to-face video-conference that works in most browsers and has apps for Android and iOS. It doesn’t require an account, can deliver smooth video and audio, and includes extras like in-chat YouTube playback, which allows everyone to watch the same YouTube video at the same time.
    3. Echo Show offers a built in camera and screen for virtual face-to-face that connects through Amazon's Alexa.  But everyone needs an Echo Show to participate.
    4. Facebook Portal uses your Facebook accounts to connect but everyone need a Facebook Portal.  

    Research  has shown that maintaining social connection is as important for your physical health as it is for your mental health. Last month, The New York Times reported  that “loneliness increases the risk of an earlier death by 26 percent,” and  that “lacking any social connection may be comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day as a risk factor for mortality.”

    Read more at the New York Times

  • 05/06/2020 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Unfortunately, scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal your Medicare Number, personal information, and money. And they're using robocalls, social media posts, and emails to do it. 

    Remember, if anyone reaches out to get your Medicare Number or personal information in exchange for something, you can bet it's a scam.

    Be on the lookout, so you can stop scams before they happen. Here are recent Coronavirus scams to watch for:

    • Robocalls offering you respiratory masks they'll never send
    • Social media posts fraudulently seeking donations for non-existent charities, or claiming to give you stimulus funds if you enter your bank account information
    • Fake testing kits, cures, "immunity" pills, and offers for protective equipment

    Visit Medicare.gov/fraud for more information and tips on preventing Medicare scams and fraud.

  • 05/06/2020 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    Make a difference in your community and state by becoming a contact tracer. 

    There is an urgent need to find, screen and train contact tracers.  For decades, contact tracing has been used for decades to control the spread of infectious diseases.  Contact tracers track infected individuals, finds everyone who has been near them and encourages these individuals to stay home until it is clear they are not infected also.

  • 05/06/2020 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    All of us who wear glasses are suffering from the same problem.  As soon as we put on our face mask to venture out to the grocery store or pharmacy, our glasses fog up.  Do not despair, there is a simple solution...soap and water.

    The medical journal, Annuals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, sites two doctors who developed a defogging strategy for the emergency room.  But it also works in the grocery store.

    1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
    2. Wet your glasses and lather soap on your glasses.
    3. Rinse your glasses with warm water.
    4. Gently dry your glasses with a clean, soft towel or lens cloth.

    That's it.

    Read more at CNN

    Here's additional useful information:

    All your questions about how to wear a face mask - answered

    How to make your own face mask (whether or not you know how to sew)

  • 04/27/2020 4:44 PM | Anonymous

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added six symptoms to its covid-19 list. Issues that could appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus are:

    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • New loss of taste or smell

    Read more about the Washington Post investigation that paints a picture of unusually high mortality.

    You can track deaths and confirmed cases in the U.S. at the county level and across the world. 

  • 04/17/2020 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    Here are some simple tips to stay safe while completing everyday errands.  FIRST keep trips to the grocery, pharmacy and other public places to a minimum.  ALWAYS wear a face mask.  Always wash your hands when you return and disinfect common surfaces.

    • Shopping-Wear a face mask, keep 6 feet apart, wash your hands and disinfect common surfaces at home.  Keep touching cans, bottles, and stuff to a minimum.  Make trips during off-peak times or during special "Senior Shopping Hours".  Use touch-less payment like Apple Pay or Google Pay, if possible.
    • Medical Care- Call 911 for emergencies.  Call your doctor first for any coronavirus symptoms before going to the ER or your doctor's office.  Consider Telemedicine as an alternative for a doctor's office visit.  When in doubt, call your doctor first.
    • Prescriptions-Keep a few weeks’ worth of prescriptions on hand according to the CDC. Rather than going out ot pick up your prescription, check if your pharmacy will deliver or send your refill via the mail. 
    • Deliveries-Yes, the virus lives on paper, cardboard and other surfaces for a period of time.  A quick disinfectant wipe down won’t hurt.   Be nice to delivery folks, they are working and you can stay at home.
    • Exercise- If possible, go outside to exercise.  Maintain the 6-foot distance while you take a walk or a run, or walk to the store.  Disinfect anything you touch in a gym before and after use.
    • Socialize with friends – virtually.

      Answers to many of  your coronavirus questions can be found at The New York Times Smarter Living.

  • 04/17/2020 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    The COVID-19 pandemic has likely brought uncertainty and many changes to how you live your life.  The pandemic has altered daily routines, created financial pressures and imposed social isolation. All of us are concerned about getting sick, how long the pandemic will last and what the future will bring. Information overload, rumors and misinformation can make life feel out of control and make it unclear what to do. Many of us may experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness.

    The MAYO Clinic provides self-care strategies on how to stay physically and mentally fit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Be mindful about your physical health:

    ·         Get enough sleep. 

    ·         Participate in regular physical activity. 

    ·         Eat healthy. 

    ·         Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs. 

    ·         Limit screen time. 

    ·         Relax and recharge. 

    Reduce stress triggers:

    ·         Keep your regular routine. 

    ·         Limit exposure to news media. 

    ·         Stay busy. 

    ·         Focus on positive thoughts. 

    ·         Use your moral compass or spiritual life for support. 

    ·         Set priorities. 

    Build support and strengthen relationships:

    ·         Keep up connections virtually. 

    ·         Do something for others. 

    ·         Support a family member or friend. 

    Click here for the full list from the Mayo Clinic

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