To all members of Campbell AARP Chapter 5151 – Ken Schieck, President

These past few weeks have been a difficult time for all of us.  As various government and other agencies have given us timely information and suggestions as to how to handle the Coronavirus, we still need to know how to live in this ‘new normal’ time.

I participated in the national AARP conference call on March 26; the moderator gave us the following websites:

aarp.org/coronavirus

cdc.gov/coronavirus

The second one is the Center for Disease Control; both of these have current info about the virus and issues surrounding it.

Many of you want to know how, and if, the events and meetings in which our chapter is normally involved will continue; all I can say right now is that we are basically in uncharted waters.  The Board and I want to continue as many activities as possible, while planning them under these new circumstances.

I know that it is important for seniors not to feel undue isolation in this moment; loneliness is a human issue, especially for those of us over 55.  National AARP reckons that 20% of older Americans are at risk for social isolation and even more if they are struggling financially.  Therefore, I am asking Thelma Bridges, our phone committee chair, to make sure that members of her committee contact all members on a weekly basis to make sure you all have food, medicines, etc. that you need.  None of our members should feel unsure about having food and over-the-counter medications; surely, some of us can help the others who need assistance. As new information comes in, I will continue to post it on our website and/or in the Dispatch. If you want to share information or, especially, to help a fellow member with shopping or other issues, please contact me or one of the Board members if you need contact information.

Here are two links with more specific information about caregiving:

acl.gov

eldercare.acl.gov

A Doctor’s Coronavirus Advice … Ken Schieck

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon.                                                     This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.                                                          2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.          3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.           4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze   lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

President … Ken Schieck

For the first time in a while, our general meeting will actually take place on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.  So a little “wearin’ of the green” is in order, even for those of us, like myself, who aren’t Irish.  Wear orange only if you dare!?

March is Women’s History and Deaf History Month.

Significant dates in March:

March 1,1781              Articles of Confederation established

March 2, 1904              Dr. Seuss’ birthday

March 3, 1781              Alexander Graham Bell birthday

March 4, 1888     Knute Rockne birthday

March 5,1868              U.S. Senate votes to impeach Pres. Andrew Johnson and fails by only one vote (what did Mark Twain say?  “History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes.”)

March 6,1475               Michelangelo’s birthday

March 14,1879    Albert Einstein birthday

March 14,1833            Lucy Hobbs birthday, first female American dentist

March 15, 44 BC         Julius Caesar assassinated in the Roman senate

March 22,1972            Equal Rights Amendment passed by the U.S. Senate, but falls 3

states short of ratification

March 24,1989            Valdez oil spill off Alaskan coast

March 28,1979            Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident

A farewell to a former member of our chapter Jan Dilley, who died at the age of 87 and a farewell to current member Sybil Alford, who died at the age of 97.

Program … Ken Schieck & Paul Levine

The speaker for our March 17 meeting will be Anne Karoly who will talk about the 2020 census and the need for a complete and accurate count for our community.  The Census determines our representation in Congress and determines how 675 billion dollars in federal funds are distributed to the states.  She will describe how we will be invited to participate in the Census, the ways we can each submit our own household’s questionnaire and will answer questions we may have.

Anne Karoly has worked for the U.S. Census Bureau since January 2019.  As a Partnership Specialist, she works with local organizations to raise awareness and encourage participation in the 2020 Census.  She is assigned to Santa Clara County to engage community organizations, networks and leaders on the importance of a complete and accurate population count.

A native Californian, she has returned after 23 years living on the East Coast.  She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in non-profits, senior programs, and faith-based organizations.  When not working, Anne enjoys being out-of-doors, reading and quilting.

Legislative News … Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

On the Federal level, HR 1230 POWADA (Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act) – passed the House. We need to thank our Federal Representatives for voting in favor of it.  Our Representatives, Khanna and Lofgren, should be thanked for their leadership by co-sponsoring HR 1230 along with 90 other Representatives.  We appreciate their support for all of our older workers.  Now onto the Senate.  The bill has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. We need to let our Senators know how we feel as soon as it comes out of the committee!  Keep an eye on it.  The committee has some good Senators on it, including Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).

Our State Senators have also been busy, HOWEVER, SB 50 – Planning & Zoning – Housing Development (addressing affordable housing concerns, especially for older adults) failed on the Senate floor.  We still need to thank our Senators, Beall & Monning, for their Aye vote and hard work in trying to get it passed and let them know we hope we can count on their continued support on this issue in the future.

With the latest criticism of President Trump’s policy on the coronavirus, all I can say is, stay healthy out there!  (And Happy St Patrick’s Day!)  We will have more news in April, now that the sessions are all under way and getting some steam up!