Category Archives: Corona virus – Covid-19

Department of Banking and Securities Warns of COVID-19-Related Investment Schemes

dept of banking logo

April 1, 2020

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) is warning investors of an anticipated surge in fraudulent investment schemes.

“As is so often the case during times of emergency, scammers will be looking to profit from the misfortune of others by targeting investors and capitalizing on concerns related to the securities market,” said Acting Secretary Richard Vague. “The narrative of the investment scheme may change, but the underlying scam remains the same.”

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the department is a member, anticipates fraudulent investment schemes will rise as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In particular, NASAA and the department warn investors to be on the lookout for investments specifically tied to the threat of COVID-19, such as:

* Falsely purporting to raise capital for companies manufacturing surgical masks and gowns; producing ventilators and medical equipment; or manufacturing vaccines or other miracle cures.
* Taking advantage of concerns with securities market volatility to promote “safe” investments with “guaranteed returns” including investments tied to gold and other commodities; oil and gas; and real estate.
* Touting “get rick quick” schemes with quickly earned returns to be used for rent, utilities, and other expenses.
* Targeting retirees and senior citizens, falsely claiming they can quickly and safely recoup any losses to their retirement portfolios.

Retail investors must remain vigilant and protect themselves from schemes such as these tied to COVID-19 and recent economic developments:

* Investigate Before You Invest. Before spending any time and money on a financial service, product, or company, investigate before you invest. Investors can visit the DoBS website.

* Avoid Phishing Scams. Scam emails are made to sound and look real. Never open an attachment or link from an unsolicited email and never share financial or sensitive information without independently verifying the request.

* Too Good to Be True. The old adage is accurate: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask questions about the investment and evaluate the risks. Any legitimate investment involves and degree of risk, and anyone unwilling to provide clear and detailed information about an investment is a red flag.

* Beware of Economic Relief Schemes. With news that the federal government will be sending checks to the public as part of an economic stimulus effort, scammers will no doubt increase efforts to steal your money. Do NOT give your personal information to anyone purporting to be from the government in relation to receiving a stimulus check. Likewise, anyone asking you to prepay taxes or fees on the money, or pay any type of charge, in order to receive the money is likely trying to defraud you.

For more detailed information related to schemes to watch and tips for protecting yourself, the department has developed a guide for investors.

Visit the commonwealth’s Responding to COVID-19  guidefor the latest guidance and resources for Pennsylvanians or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Learn more about COVID-19 information and guidance for financial Institutions and consumers from DoBS.

Anyone can contact DoBS at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-722-2657 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products.

SOURCE: news release


Want to get your Coronavirus relief check? Scammers do too.

Here’s a warning from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information.

“Infected but Feeling Fine: The Unwitting Coronavirus Spreaders” – The New York Times

“The C.D.C. director says new data about people who are infected but symptom-free could lead the agency to recommend broadened use of masks.”

no symptomsCredit … Johnny Milano for The New York Times

by Apoorva Mandavilli

As many as 25 percent of people infected with the new coronavirus may not show symptoms, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns — a startlingly high number that complicates efforts to predict the pandemic’s course and strategies to mitigate its spread.

“In particular, the high level of symptom-free cases is leading the C.D.C. to consider broadening its guidelines on who should wear masks.

“‘This helps explain how rapidly this virus continues to spread across the country,’ the director, Dr. Robert Redfield, told National Public Radio in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.

“The agency has repeatedly said that ordinary citizens do not need to wear masks unless they are feeling sick. But with the new data on people who may be infected without ever feeling sick, or who are transmitting the virus for a couple of days before feeling ill, Mr. Redfield said that such guidance was ‘being critically re-reviewed.’”

Click o read this New York Times article in its entirety.

Alone during pandemic: “Human connection bolsters the immune system. That’s why it’s more important than ever to be kind.” – The Washington Post

alone“A woman, quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus, sits in her living room in Wellington, Fla.” (Zak Bennett/AFP/Getty Images)

by Sarah Kaplan

Don’t go to work. Don’t see your friends. Don’t visit your grandmother in the nursing home. Don’t bring food to your sister who works at a hospital. Don’t hold your wife’s hand while she gives birth. Don’t play together. Don’t pray together. Don’t hug.

“Of the many cruelties of the coronavirus pandemic, this is one of the hardest to accept: In a time when all we want is to be close to the people we care about, closeness is the one thing we can’t have.

“Six feet has never felt farther away.

“Psychologists are worried about the long-term effects of our new, socially distant reality. Decades of research has shown that loneliness and isolation are associated with high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, weakened immune systems and a host of other health issues.”

Click here to read this Washington Post article in its entirety.

 

Pennsylvania Council on Aging asks persons age 60 and over to complete “immediate needs and capabilities” survey. Please distribute this widely.

You can help the Social Isolation Task Force of the Pennsylvania Council of Aging which is asking for assistance; will you reach out to at least 10 older (age 60 or older) adults and ask each of them complete this survey

Or copy and paste this into the browser window: https://form.jotform.com/200854578445059

Due to these unprecedented and challenging times, the Pa Council on Aging has decided to conduct a statewide survey in order to assess what the immediate needs and capabilities are of older adults due to COVID-19. Our goal is to collect and share this information in order to:

  • Better understand the immediate needs of older Pennsylvanians
  • Determine how to best reach older adults during this time
  • Assess the particular vulnerabilities of older adults during this pandemic
  • Create meaningful solutions to the current challenges facing older adults

 The survey can be filled out here: https://form.jotform.com/200854578445059

 The survey will be open until Tuesday, April 7th. It is for adults aged 60 and over in Pennsylvania. Those are the only requirements to be eligible to fill out the survey.

The Pennsylvania Council on Aging is a cohort of volunteers who work on behalf of older adults across the commonwealth. Established in 1977, we are required, among other things, “to prepare and submit to the Governor, the General Assembly, the Secretary of the Department of Aging and the public reports evaluating the level and quality of services and programs provided to the aging by Commonwealth agencies together with recommendations for improved, expanded or additional programs and services for the aging.”

 

Resources for Helping Children Come With Chances Resulting From COVID-19 (In English and Spanish)

helping children cope

To download the above files as a .pdf file to print and share, click here for English and here for Spanish.

Here’s a summary about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act

cares act summaryConfused about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act?

Click on the graphic to read a three page summary.

“Loneliness – Busters You’ll Find Online” – Senior Planet

senior-on-skype

by Virge

“During the coronavirus challenge, it’s important for populations at higher risk – older people especially those with underlying health issues – to practice ‘social distancing’ –  but a scaled down social life doesn’t have to be a lonely one. Using the Internet can connect us with the people we care about and can bring us in touch with a wider world – both of which make us feel less isolated and lonely.

Reach Out

Recent statistics show that seniors are rapidly entering the social networks arena. Sign up for a network, connect with friends (you might even discover some old friends) and enjoy the results.

Click here to read this article in its entirety at Senior Planet.

“Finding the Right Words About COVID-19 | A playbook of tips for health care workers in extraordinary times” – California Health Care Foundation

finding he right word

by Kate Meyers

“Health care organizations in California and around the US are working incredibly hard to prepare for or respond to a surge of patients suffering from symptoms related to COVID-19. Appropriately, preparation has focused on trying to ensure adequate numbers of health care professionals and sufficient supplies and equipment in the right places at the right times as the demand grows.

“That focus on numbers and logistics is essential. Also important but perhaps less widely acknowledged is the need to prepare our clinical workforce for the types of circumstances found in Washington and Italy and now emerging in New York, California, and other hot spots we read about every day. Clinicians and staff — in skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and beyond — face the prospect of caring for increasing numbers of very sick people, some of whom will not recover. Talking with these patients and their loved ones with compassion and clarity about what is happening, what to expect, and what their options are is extremely important. To many clinicians, it is a daunting prospect.”

Continue reading this article,click here.

Care at the End of Life

As more people are hospitalized due to COVID-19, are health care systems, patients, and families prepared for tough conversations and decisions about health care preferences and medical interventions? Now more than ever, it is important for providers to tap into the core tenets of palliative care to guide patients and their families through uncharted waters.

Palliative care is a medical specialty focused on alleviating stress and suffering for people with serious illness, and it is often provided alongside curative care as an extra layer of support. Some experts worry that a longstanding shortage of palliative care specialists “could leave many COVID-19 patients in distress,” Liz Szabo reported in Kaiser Health News.

“This pandemic means that we will be drawn into countless conversations with families who are suddenly having to make difficult decisions about life and death,” Nathan Gray, MD, a palliative care specialist at Duke University Hospital, wrote in a comic book–style story that he illustrated. “As we take stock of masks, gloves, and ventilators, we must also be ready to dig deep into our reserves of patience, communication, and compassion.”

In a Washington Post commentary, Emily Aaronson, MD, an emergency physician and assistant chief quality officer at Massachusetts General Hospital, encouraged families to engage in conversations about end-of-life wishes now. “It’s important that you understand what would be most important to them if they were in the last phase of their life — and what steps you and others will have to take to ensure those needs are met,” Aaronson wrote. “These are conversations designed to guard against regrets.”

Many resources are available to help families and health care providers alike. Aaronson recommended the Conversation Project …  to facilitate conversations. (Look for a Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources Death Cafe to to have those conversations, too.)

The Center to Advance Palliative Care organized a COVID-19 toolkit for clinicians, and VitalTalk, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping clinicians develop communication skills for serious illness, published a guide to difficult conversations about care of COVID-19 patients.

SOURCE: California Health Care Foundation

“For patients and workers alike, home health visits fraught with fears of coronavirus” – The Boston Globe

home visits covid-19CNA Mass Joof adjusted the pillow for Eric McGuire, who is bedridden with several medical conditions in Franklin.”JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

by Shelley Murphy and Robert Weisman

Eric McGuire relies on home healthcare workers for almost everything: helping him get from his bed to a wheelchair, assisting with bathing and dressing, checking his oxygen levels while he sleeps.

“On Monday, one his caregivers told him she thought she had a sinus infection, but had arranged to be tested for the novel coronavirus just to be sure and was self-quarantining as a precaution. She asked whether he was showing any symptoms.

“McGuire, 43, felt fine, but is worried about whether she could have passed something along to him during a visit to his Franklin home. And as he battles to regain the use of his legs after a nerve disorder nearly killed him two years ago, he worries how he would get by if his aides stop coming by.”

Read this article in its entirety at The Boston Globe.