Helpful Information about the Novel Corona Virus "Covid-19"

The Covid 19 situation: Although scientists and medical personnel are gaining a lot of information regarding the Covid 19, it will take quite a while before they know all the "ins and outs".  Much of the information we hear about will be over the head of non science people.  There will be various theories that prevail now but may very well change as more information becomes available. There is a lot going on behind the scenes and great progress is being made.

The best we can do for now is follow the guidance of medically and scientifically knowledgable people, those who are experts in their field and who have dealt with contagious diseases in the past. This group of people have a vast body of knowledge and an understanding of the data they receive.  Fortunately, the average citizen doesn’t have to deal with all the nitty gritty and the "over-the-head" information. Our job is carry out the recommendations of the professionals and learn to filter out advice of well meaning, but not knowledgable people.
Below are some Questions people ask about Covid 19
There is a summary statement then a link to follow, to find out more information.

If you have animals is that a problem?   Summary:

    "We do not have evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19." Domestic animals may test positive, however.

Stress and coping: Most of us feel stress at one time or another during this pandemic. Can I do anything to help myself?

Summary: Things you can do to support yourself:

Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing      about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.

Take care of your body. Take one or two deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.

Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs. When your body feels good, you feel better as well.

Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy. Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Keep as much of your usual routine as you can. 
Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Communicating with Doctors and other Hospital Staff -Find information from our National HLAA’s Website

Every wonder what medical personal are told about how to interact with people with hearing loss?

Link for more information: Advise for Medical Professionals:

Masks/face coverings: The homemade masks will not “keep out” the covid 19 virus. These masks can be helpful reminders that we need to keep our distance from others (6’at least), help with people who are not ill but “carriers” from spreading the virus and don’t know it, and perhaps with some allergens, depending on the materials.

The varieties of do it yourself mask patterns is vast. Use common sense when viewing Websites that provide guidance about home made masks. Be sure the materials recommended are safe to be used as “fillers” if you decide to use a barrier inside the mask. Check materials for the best options. So far non fluffy cotton dish towels seem to be good candidates.

Our Surgeon general provides a non sew mask idea that you can see here. This video is a bit old and uses a thinner cotton than the CDC now recommends but it’s not a huge difference. Remember you need to be able to breathe comfortably with the mask and although you may select one homemade mask over another if you can’t breathe comfortably it won’t work.


If You Have To Go To The Hospital

Feeling prepared for a stressful event often instills a sense of control over your situation. The knowledge that you have a plan goes a long way in reducing anxiety.  Needing to be in a hospital is stressful for everyone but especially for people with hearing loss. . For those of us with hearing loss it’s very helpful to have thought about how to advocate for ourselves before the need arises, especially if we don't have a trusted family member or friend who can help us with information and decision making. There are challenges and we know things don’t always go perfectly smoothly, but “be prepared” is always a good motto.

Below are some suggestions that may be helpful as part of your preparation. Not all of the suggestions will be helpful for everyone but over time you’ll develop a sense for what will work best for you. Medical care providers are obligated to keep you informed, be sure you understand your situation and the reasons for elements of your care. We have the right to know about our condition, treatment plan, and give or deny permission for any part of our care. If you find it difficult to admit you don't understand the "medicaleeze" or need information repeated, or feel what the person is saying seems to defy common sense...ask for clarification. Medical people often use vocabulary that they think will explain a situation  but often their meaning may not be clear; asking for clarification.
Here is some general advice from Mary C Chizuk RN MS Ed, a nurse on the Board of Directors of our Rochester Chapter,. Mary provides a number of helpful suggestions.

                                                            Develop a personal "TO GO" Packet containing:

Paper and Pen for communication 
Paper copy of Current Medication List 
Name of Medicine Dose, Frequency, time administered
with Last Date reviewed 
Allergies to medicines and food 
Pharmacy Name Address and Phone number 
List of past surgeries 
List any Implanted Devices 
Contact Information Relative/Friend 
Extra Hearing Aid/CI Batteries 
Extra Phone Battery Pack
Keep your cell phone with you 
Know how to silence the ring to avoid bothering others 
Become comfortable texting 
Consider Voice to Text for Voice Mail
Download a Voice Recognition Captioning App to your phone, so you can read what is being said such as:
LiveTranscribe for android phones (free)
AVA for iPhones (monthly fee)
Microsoft Translator
(This will be valuable when communicating with people wearing masks)

More On Emergency Preparedness

Being prepared for an emergency is always a good idea. Having a plan relieves a tremendous amount of stress. Although we can't prepare for every single possible scenario, we all can do something to make our situation easier or at least tolerable during an emergency.

People who have a disability or medical condition that requires special attention are in the best position to know what addtional steps they will need to manage until communication is restored, help arrives, or the emergency is over.

Those of us with hearing loss can take steps to prepare ourselves for a possible emergency situation. The following links will provide guidence to planning and preparing for a variety of possible events.

Information From the Red Cross and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management

New York Communications Resources

Red Cross/FEMA
NY Communications Resources

Scott Smith, Captain and Paramedic
Lise Hamlin, HLAA Director of Public Policy
   (From an HLAA Webinar)

Some items you may consider having on hand, in addtion to recommended amounts of food and water are:

1. Extra hearing aid/CI batteries. Keep an extra pack or two and rotate them.

2. If you have hearing aids or CI that are old but still work or can be repaired, pack them in your "preparedness" bag. The ones you use on a daily basis may get wet, dropped or lost.

3. If you can benefit from a personal listener, have it (and a headset) handy, in the event you don't have access  your hearing aids...don't forget batteries for it.

4. You may consider a "hand crank" charger/ radio.

5. If you can manage a small portable generator, keep it charged and it may be just enough to keep you CI batteries, cell phone, radio, or rechargeable flashlight batteries charged

​Be sure you understand how to use your devices!
HLAA Preparedness Webinar