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  • 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

  • 04/16/2020 8:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Information from Medicare.gov

    More than ever, it's important to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19, and if you must go out, practice social distancing. While we stay home, don't let fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic become overwhelming. Here are a few ways the CDC recommends managing stress during these challenging times:  

    • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media.
    • Connect with others. Talk with friends and loved ones over the phone or via video chat about your concerns and how you are feeling.
    • Take care of yourself. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.

    More Info

    Remember: If you need to see your doctor, please call them first. Medicare has expanded their ability to use telehealth services during the COVID-19 emergency for common office visits, mental health counseling, and preventive health screenings.

  • 04/10/2020 4:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of cloth face coverings as an additional public health measure to prevent and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to those around them. Recent data about how COVID-19 spreads before people show symptoms (pre-symptomatic) or people without symptoms (asymptomatic).

    Mitigating the risk of spread by people who are infected, but not sick, is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

    CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. For example, it is recommended that you wear face masks at the grocery store, pharmacies or to pick up other necessities and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing. Continue to keep at least 6 feet between yourself and others. 

    Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age two, or on anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Do not use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker, such as a surgical mask or N95 respirator mask.

    You can stay informed by reviewing the coronavirus.gov.

  • 04/10/2020 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    Many communities, grocery stores and pharmacies now requiring that individuals wear a face mask when outside or before entering a store.  Or you can wear a scarf or bandanna to cover your nose and mouth.

    Click here to get a pattern, simple instructions, and watch a view so you can make your own face masks.  Or search for a pattern on Google or Youtube.

  • 04/06/2020 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    With the rapid spread of the COVID-19 disease from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it’s hard to know where to turn for information. Many of you are as concerned about your pets as you are about your human family. You want the facts to help keep your whole family – furry, feathered, scaly, or human – safe. Although six large cats and tigers at the Bronx Zoo were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, experts believe human to animal transmission seems to be quite rare. Your cats are probably fine, and there’s no reported evidence that pets can spread the virus to humans. Recommendations may change as understanding of the virus and associated disease changes, so be sure to check with your vet and/or monitor the shared sources at the bottom of this newsletter regularly for new information.

    What do you need to know?
    First, it’s early days in both the outbreak and in our knowledge of the virus.  We know that the COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a newly recognized member of the coronavirus family that appears to primarily infect humans. Other coronaviruses are responsible for things like colds in humans. This particular coronovirus is spreading rapidly because humans don’t yet have immunity built up in our populations. This is why staying home as much as possible, disinfecting surfaces, and washing your hands are important to slow the spread of the virus throughout our community.

    Can I get SARS-CoV-2 from my dog or cat?
    As of now, there’s little indication that dogs or cats are likely to carry or transmit the virus to humans; however there is the rare chance this can happen. The biggest concern right now is pets acting as fomites -- a virus-contaminated surface.  So, for now, avoid snuggling your pets with your face and as always, wash your hands after handling or picking up after your pet

    Can my dog or cat get SARS-CoV-2 from a person?
    Possibly. There has been at least one case where a dog tested positive for the virus after being exposed to an infected human.  However, human-to-pet transmission seems to be quite rare.

    Can my veterinarian test my pet for SARS-CoV-2?
    Probably not, and it’s probably not necessary.  Right now, in many countries, there aren’t enough resources to test all humans showing symptoms.  If your pet has a cough, a fever, or is otherwise ill, there are many other things that are far more likely to be causing those signs.

    My pet has an appointment, but I’m not feeling well.
    If you or anyone in your household is running a fever or showing other signs of illness, please stay home and take care of yourself. Call you vet to reschedule your appointment

    Where can I learn more?
    This article on Veterinary Partner has compiled a list of frequently updated and reliable resources on COVID-19 as well as the answers to some frequently asked questions:
    Veterinary Partner COVID-19 Article

    The AVMA has created an informative web page covering general issues COVID-19 as it pertains to humans and pets: 
    AVMA COVID-19 Info

    The Worms and Germs Blog is providing frequent reports on this issue: 
    Worms and Germs Blog

    The CDC website is a resource for human-specific info:
    CDC COVID-19 Info

    And also has a FAQ section specific to pets: 
    CDC Coronavirus and Pets FAQ
    As with so many things in life, exercising common sense and some extra care, plus lots of hand washing and sanitizing every time you touch or snuggle with you pet, will benefit us all.

  • 04/01/2020 6:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tips from Medicare.gov

    You may already be taking steps to protect your health during the COVID-19 emergency. Be sure to also protect your identity from scammers by guarding your Medicare Number.

    It's easy to get distracted and let your guard down during these uncertain times. Scammers may try to steal your Medicare Number. They might lie about sending you Coronavirus vaccines, tests, masks, or other items in exchange for your Medicare Number or personal information.

    Protect yourself from scams:

    • Only share your Medicare Number with your primary and specialty care doctors, participating Medicare pharmacist, hospital, health insurer, or other trusted healthcare provider.
    • Check your Medicare claims summary forms for errors.

    How to report Medicare fraud

    You can report suspected Medicare fraud by:

    • Calling us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
    • If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, call the Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC) at 1-877-7SAFERX (1-877-772-3379).

    Have this information before you report fraud:

    • Your name and Medicare Number.
    • The provider's name and any identifying information you may have.
    • The service or item you're questioning and when it was supposedly given or delivered.
    • The payment amount approved and paid by Medicare.
    • The date on your Medicare Summary Notice or claim.

  • 03/27/2020 6:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Local and state officials are using shelter-at-home (sometimes shelter-in-place) orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVIS-19). By staying home, people can help minimize how many people are getting sick at the same time, protect those at higher risk of severe illness and prevent our health care system from getting overwhelmed.

    Unfortunately, sheltering at home can disrupt your routines and make everyday activities, such as work and caring for loved ones, challenging. These changes, on top of the general uncertainty around this pandemic, can create feelings of stress, fear and nervousness. These feelings are normal, and people typically bounce back after difficult times.

    Click here for information from the Red Cross that can help you cope with stress and support others during this emergency.

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