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Coronavirus Resources for Veterans

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Are you a Veteran looking for resources, information, and assistance during this pandemic? We have compiled a list of resources just for you. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 contact your local VA hospital immediately by phone. They will assist you further.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association is working hard to provide you valuable and timely information.   We also want to say that we send everyone our heartfelt best wishes during this most challenging time in our history.  Stay well and check out our posts too on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/vamboa and FB:  www.facebook.com/vamboa.

STAY SAFE & WELL!!!!!

 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):

The VA has their own dedicated website on the Coronavirus that includes links to resources as well as tips to remain healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visit https://www.va.gov/coronavirus

The VA also posts regular blogs that include really helpful information. Visit https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/?s=covid-19

 

U.S. Federal Government:

The U.S. Federal Government also has a dedicated website filled with the most up-to-date information and guidance on the Coronavirus. Visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

The CDC’s website shows up-to-date information on the number of cases currently reported and gives guidance for protecting yourself from infection and what you should do if you, or a loved one, become sick. They also offer resources for traveling, schools, childcare, businesses, community, and more. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

The FDA’s website tracks the medical product and food supply chains for potential shortages and disruptions. The site also has information about ventilators, testing kits, monitoring vital signs, and more. Visit https://www.fda.gov/coronavirus

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture :

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s site has information about food safety as well as pet safety. Visit https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus.

 

Finances & Scams:

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Their scams range from robocalls, fake online stores, fake vaccines or medicines, and even fake officials. Worried about scammers? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a page on their website dedicated to helping people avoid coronavirus scams. Visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

Another good place to look for information to protect your finances from scammers is The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau/s website includes information on how to handle consumer complaints, protecting your credit, dealing with debt, and much more. Visit https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus

 

Small Business Administration (SBA):

If your small business has been impacted by the pandemic, The SBA’s website is filled with information and resources to help you put together a plan to weather this, loans to help you get through the next few months, directories for people to partner with, counsel, mentor, or train, along with a wealth of other resources.

Even if you are self-employed, you may now be entitled to Unemployment Benefits so check your state and remember that the federal government may increase your state weekly benefits by another $600.    You probably need to file online and it takes time and patience but it will be a big help to you.

 

Housing:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website has helpful information for homeowner relief and HUD assisted residents. Visit https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus

 

Social Security and Medicare:

If you receive social security and need information on any potential changes please visit https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/

If you receive Medicare and need information on any potential changes please visit https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus. Their site also includes information about testing, hospitalizations, and what is covered.

 

Individual States Department of Public Health:

Every U.S. state has its own Department of Public Health. If you need more information from your specific state please visit https://www.usa.gov/state-health and select your state to go to their website.

 

Blood Donations:

The American Red Cross is in urgent need of blood and platelet donations. They are urging all healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give. Donating will help maintain sufficient blood supply levels and prevent shortages as the pandemic continues. Visit their website at RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule an appointment.

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

FEMA is working closely with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on our COVID-19 pandemic response. FEMA is aware that there is a lot of misinformation out there about COVID-19 and to help combat false information they have a rumor control page with the latest facts–versus myths–on the federal response. Visit https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-Rumor-Control

FEMA also has a page dedicated to how you can donate or volunteer, if possible. Visit https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help

 

Business Owner Tips To Avoid Scams – from the FTC

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As a business owner, you’ve seen the headlines about financial relief that may be available to some companies through the Small Business Administration (SBA). But you’ve also heard about scammers who extract a grain of truth from the news and distort it in an effort to cheat small businesses. Now more than ever it’s critical for small business owners to go straight to the source for accurate information about what’s happening at the SBA. And that source, of course, is the Small Business Administration’s dedicated page, sba.gov/coronavirus.

The SBA’s Coronavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources page offers the latest information about the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advances, SBA Debt Relief, and SBA Express Bridge Loans. Yes, there are legitimate business groups and financial institutions sharing information, too. But given the number of fraudsters out to make a quick buck with bogus websites and phony email, your safest best it to go straight to the SBA by carefully typing the URL sba.gov/coronavirus into the address bar at the top of your browser.

Here are more tips to help you avoid scams targeting small businesses:

  • Scammers often mimic the look and feel of legitimate email.You’ve been warning your employees for years about email phishing attempts. Fraudsters have upped their game in response. They’ve been known to copy logos of financial institutions and government agencies, including the SBA, and use wording that sounds familiar. They also manipulate email addresses so that a message looks to be from a legitimate source – but isn’t. That’s why it’s dangerous to respond to those emails. Instead go directly to the SBA site.
  • Don’t click on links.Say you get an email that says it’s from your bank or a government agency. Don’t click on any links. It could load malware onto your computer. If you think you may need to respond, pick up the phone and call the office directly, but don’t use a number listed in the email. That could be fake, too. Instead, search online for a genuine telephone number or call your banker using the number you’ve always used. Yes, now is a good time to keep in close contact with your financial institution, but employ the same established lines of communication you used before COVID-19 became a concern.
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.Some scammers may try the personal approach by calling you and impersonating someone from a financial institution or government agency. Don’t engage in conversation. If you think you may need to respond, call using a number you know is legit.
  • Watch out for application scams.Some small businesses report they’ve received unsolicited calls or email from people claiming to have an inside track to expedite financial relief. The people contacting them may charge upfront fees or ask for sensitive financial information – account numbers, tax IDs, Social Security numbers, and the like. Don’t take the bait. It’s a scam. Applying for a loan was a step-by-step process before the Coronavirus crisis and it’s a step-by-step process now. That’s why the SBA’s gov/coronavirus site is the safest place for you to start.
  • Alert your employees to Coronavirus relief check scams.Most people have read the news about Coronavirus relief checks that many Americans may receive. The FTC Consumer Blog has advice about spotting relief check scams. Share the tips with your staffers, family, and social networks.

If you spot a potential Coronavirus-related scam, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

 

The current COVID-19 pandemic is changing how our world works, educates, and socializes. We are all learning how to keep healthy, sane, and connected to each other during this difficult time. To that end, this month I won’t be writing about technology so much as sending out a few tips to help you keep connected and safe right now.

 

Get Out:

With stress and anxiety at an all time high, a dose of fresh air and sunshine can go a long way! Make sure to get out and get some sun every day. Simple short walks around the block can help you feel rejuvenated and generally happier.

 

Connect:

Just because we all need to stay at home and away from others right now doesn’t mean that we cannot connect with each other. How can this be done?

  • Social media – If you don’t have any social accounts, now is a good time to set one up. Contact your loved ones and see which they are active on and create one yourself.
  • Email – Take a few minutes to write short notes to friends and family to say hello, touch base, and even request assistance if you need it.
  • Phone – Give people a call!
  • Text – Same with calls and emails, texting is a great way to keep in touch with quick statements.
  • Video – Now is a great time to learn to use Skype or Facetime to chat with loved ones and actually be able to see them.

 

Order Online:

  • Lots of small businesses are going to need your support through this pandemic if they are to survive. Most of us eat out at least once a week but currently we cannot go to restaurants, consider ordering take out or delivery from your favorite local places.
  • Most grocery stores offer delivery or pick-up services for orders.
  • Other places like Amazon, Costco, Target, Walmart, etc are still shipping orders from their warehouses – if you need toiletries or other items consider ordering instead of heading into a physical store.

 

A few general health tips:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Call your doctor if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, or shortness of breath) and/or a temperature above 100.4 F.
  • Shield all coughs and sneezes with a tissue, elbow, or your shoulder (not your hands).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If you cannot wash, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contain at least 60% alcohol.

 

Let’s all remember to be considerate of other people and help slow the spread of this awful virus. Our best course of action is to slow how quickly the virus spreads by staying home and away from others. You can review the CDC’s guidance for more information on how you can do your part.

 

We are all in this together. We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy and remain that way.

 

-Kim Ralph, TeCHS

www.ezdigitallife.com

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 virus is spreading from person to person through close contact and respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing.  Most states have enacted “shelter-in-place” mandates to limit social gatherings and hopefully lessen the number of people who become infected.

 

However, even in isolation, we all still need to acquire basic goods including food.  A big question everyone is asking is:  Do you need to disinfect your groceries? The mail? What about packages and other delivered items? What should you be cleaning more often?

 

High-Touch Areas:

What are “high-touch areas?” They are all of the things that we touch frequently. These need to be cleaned more often with a good cleanser.

 

They include things such as:

  • Doorknobs and handles
  • Steering wheels
  • Toilet flusher
  • Light switches
  • Faucets and sinks
  • Hand and dish towels
  • Handles on furniture and appliances
  • Tables, desks, and hard-backed chairs
  • Toiletries and makeup
  • Computer keyboard and mouse
  • Handbags, tote bags, laptop bags, etc.

 

Groceries:

Food and food packaging are not the biggest concerns at the grocery store right now, though the surfaces will need to be disinfected. Your biggest shopping risk right now is contact with other people and high-touch areas like shopping carts, basket handles, and freezer isle handles.

 

It is extremely important to practice appropriate social distancing while in the grocery store, avoid touching your face while shopping, use hand sanitizer before getting into your vehicle, and wash your hands thoroughly when you return home.

 

The US Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) current guidelines on food safety and coronavirus do not include disinfecting perishable or non-perishable grocery items even though we know the virus itself can live for sometime on surfaces such as plastic, metal, and cardboard.

 

Produce:

Perishables should be cleaned as you would clean your hands. If you cannot wash it, you may want to skip it for right now.  Do not use products like bleach or Lysol on food, they are both designed for surfaces and are not meant to be ingested and can cause illness.

 

Reusable Grocery Bags:

Reusable grocery bags are considered high-touch items. At this time they should be avoided or cleaned after every use to ensure they remain free of any possible contamination.

 

Food Delivery and Takeout:

Similar to grocery shopping, your biggest concern here is contact with the delivery person. If possible choose a delivery company that allows contactless delivery.

 

Apps: Many delivery apps have contact-less delivery options built in that also allow you to pre-tip the delivery workers. It is best if you can avoid touching cash right now as it is also a high-touch surface.

 

Phone: When placing orders by telephone, you can request that the delivery be left on the steps, porch, or driveway outside your home or in the lobby of multi-unit buildings.

 

Pickup: When picking up takeout always practice appropriate social distancing with restaurant personnel and other customers. If possible, pre-pay for your meal before you pick up your food, or use touch-free payment system, rather than cash or credit cards, to avoid cross-contamination.

 

Once you get home with your food, make sure that you remove it from the packaging from the restaurant, throw it away outside of your home, and wash your hands.

 

Here are a few tips:

  • Place delivery bags and containers in the sink rather than on table- or countertops.
  • Transfer food from takeout containers to a plate.
  • Discard all delivery bags, boxes, and takeout containers in the trash or recycling.
  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Leftovers should be put in your own food storage containers rather than in takeout containers.

 

For a more in-depth overview of how to handle food, groceries, and takeout watch this YouTUBE video from Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen: https://youtu.be/sjDuwc9KBps.   Many physicians differ with Dr.  VanWingen and feel his advice is extreme.

 

Mail and Packages:

Just as with food packaging and take-out delivery items, mail and packages pose a low risk of transmitting the coronavirus, but it is a good idea to be cautious. Also just like food packaging and delivery items, you should avoid any contact with the person delivering your mail or packages. It is best to have the package left at your door, open all packages outside of your home, dump the contents out without touching them, toss the packaging in the trash, wash your hands, then collect your items.

 

Experts are recommending social distancing, keep your hands away from your face, regular hand washing, and regularly sanitizing high-touch areas. All of these combined are our best measures to prevent getting sick and the overall spread of coronavirus. We all need to be a bit more diligent right now and we can get through this together.

 

VAMBOA asks you to stay safe and healthy.   We are all in this together.

 

DISCLAIMER: We at VAMBOA are not medical professionals and all advice shared here should be double-checked with your own medical professional. Seek the proper treatment in your area if you are experiencing any symptoms.

 

Sharing from retired Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Richard Angel:

“My name is Dr. Richard Angel, an ER Doctor & Former Special Forces Medic, and I want to help as many people as possible get through having Coronavirus and keep them well enough to stay out of the hospital. I have Coronavirus and am recovering after two weeks of symptoms. Here is what I have done to stay relatively well and recommend these measures to you:

 

Dr. Angel’s Coronavirus Care:

 

  1. Hydration:Drink plenty of fluids, water, tea, warm beverages. Especially important for the elderly who are often dehydrated. This flushes the kidneys of toxins, keeps plenty of fluid in the body to keep secretions as liquid as possible not allowing thick mucus to fill the lungs. An occasional toddy or hot herb tea with honey and lemon is great. (If unable to take much, sip small amounts of regular Gatorade or sports drinks and water. This will give you potassium, sodium and glucose, vital nutrients.)

 

  1. Immune Support: I like Zicam zinc throat lozenges 4 x a day, especially at night before going to bed to keep viral loads low. Also maybe Emergen-C, other supplements like Vitamin D 5000 U per day, perhaps some immune supporting mushrooms. Gargle and drink diluted apple cider vinegar may help, you may warm and add honey if needed.

 

  1. Diet: Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and quality proteins. Oranges daily are great! Lemons and honey for your tea. This is not a time for a minimal diet: you want to be well fed with nutritious foods to prepare your body for potential loss of appetite. If you get sick enough to require hospital respiratory support, your body needs to be fueled up to “run a marathon”.

 

  1. MedicationsZicam lozenges for prevention and treatment of symptoms. Plenty of cough drops. Vicks Vaporub is excellent and a must have item to decrease cough, open and soothe bronchial passages. Delsym 12 hr dextromethorphan extended release (the flat bottle) is a great baseline cough suppressant. You may add day and night cold and cough medicines, Tylenol (acetaminophen) as needed. NyQuil is good to help sleep with Vaporub and warm tea. Afrin or neti pot may help clear your nose as will over the counter sinus medications. There is an excellent old cough syrup that you can generally take with other medications, it is like liquid menthol, called “Buckley’s Original Mixture”. I highly recommend having some available—can be found on Amazon.

 

  1. EquipmentVaporizer machine and Vaposteam. Get the old school one that heats up not cool mist. This is a lifesaver. I would also recommend a simple nebulizer machine ($50) and saline ampules (the pink ones). These are available on Amazon. You may need an albuterol ampule prescription as well. In addition to a thermometer, a fingertip pulse oximeter can be very useful. A general “cutoff” for being sick is about 94%—below this you may need to see a doctor.Shortness of breath and work of breathing are signs you are getting sicker and need to see a physician. (Or call in!)

 

  1. Exercise: Sunshine, light walking if you are ill is always great. If not symptomatic, keep workouts relatively light. Now is not a great time to suppress your immune system using energy recovering from a hardcore workout. However, keeping fitness,especially cardiovascular at optimum levels may pay big dividends if you get really sick.

 

  1. Hot baths, hot tub soaks: For 15 minutes twice a day may help with an “artificially induced fever” that makes you a less hospitable host for the virus among other benefits.

 

  1. Hygiene: Shower/bath daily with clean clothes daily, brush teeth, etc. This cannot be underestimated—decreases the virus and the morale boost is very important.”

 

 

Basically, try to do what you can to keep your body and immune system strong, stay hydrated, and stay home unless you absolutely must leave. We will get through this difficult time together.

 

VAMBOA wants everyone to social distance and be safe.  We are all in this together.

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