Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 18, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, April 18, 2020 


Dear Savvy Senior:

Amid all the troubling coronavirus news, I’ve 
also read that there are various coronavirus 
scams going around right now taking advantage 
of innocent people who are afraid of getting sick 
or are worried about those that have. What can 
you tell me about coronavirus scams and what 
can I do to protect myself? Scared Senior

Dear Scared:

Unfortunately, coronavirus scams are spreading nearly as fast as the virus itself, and seniors are 
often the most vulnerable.

These con artists are setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using spoofed phone 
calls, emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take your money and get your personal 

The emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips, and fake information 
about cases in your community. They also may be asking you to donate to victims, offering advice 
on unproven treatments, or contain malicious email attachments.

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay.

Click carefully: Don’t click on coronavirus-related links from sources you don’t know in an email 
or text message. The same goes for unfamiliar websites. When you click on an email or download 
a file, you could get a program on your computer that could either use your computer’s internet 
connection to spread malware or dig into your personal files looking for passwords and other 

Ignore bogus product offers: Ignore online offers for coronavirus vaccinations or miracle cures. 
There are currently no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or over-the-counter products 
available to treat or cure coronavirus online or in stores. If you see or receive ads touting prevention, 
treatment, or cure claims for the coronavirus, ignore them because they’re not legitimate.

Beware of CDC spoofing: Be wary of emails, text messages or phone calls claiming to come from 
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and/or the World Health Organization 
(WHO). These scams could take several forms – such as fake health agency warnings about 
infections in your local area, vaccine and treatment offers, medical test results, health insurance 
cancellation, alerts about critical supply shortages, and more.

For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit

Beware of fundraising scams: Be wary of emails or phone calls asking you to donate to a charity 
or crowdfunding campaign for coronavirus victims or for disease research. To verify a charity’s 
legitimacy use But, if you’re asked for donations in cash, by prepaid credit 
card or gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it because it’s probably a scam.

Beware of stock scams: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people 
about phone calls and online promotions, including on social media, touting stocks of companies 
with products that supposedly can prevent, detect or cure coronavirus. Buy those stocks 
now, they say, and they will soar in price.

But the con artists have already bought the stocks, which typically sell for a dollar or less. As the 
hype grows and the stock price increases, the con men dump the stock, saddling other investors 
with big losses. It's a classic penny-stock fraud called “pump and dump.” Making matters worse: 
you may not be able to sell your shares if trading is suspended.

When investing in any company, including companies that claim to focus on coronavirus-related 
products and services, carefully research the investment and keep in mind that investment scam 
artists often exploit the latest crisis to line their own pockets.

For more tips on how to avoid getting swindled, see the Federal Communications Commission 
COVID-19 consumer warning and safety tips at

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim 
Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.



Howard Rubin, Anita Hardy, Hattie Harris, Wendy Senou, Mary Harley, Bette 
White, Dorothy White, Doris Behrens, Freda Bernard, Beth Copti, Terri Cummings, 
Marilyn Diaz, Virginia Elliott, Elma Flores, Betty Jo Gregg, Barbara Lampman, 
Betty Mackie, Elizabeth Rassmusen, Maria Reyes, Marian DeMars, Anne Schryver, 
Chrisine Bachwansky, Colleen McKernan, Sandy Swanson, Hank Landsberg, Ken 
Anhalt, Shannon Vandevelde * To add your name to this distinguished list, please 
call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required 



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


Right now, 
huge numbers 
of people are 
coming face to 
face with their 
own mortality, 
and realizing 
they need to 
plan for the 
worst. This 
goes not just for those in the “senior” category, but 
for all of us, no matter our age. We are facing the 
reality of our mortality, and many of us are doing 
it courageously by taking this as an opportunity to 
learn what we need to do for the people we love. 

 Recently I heard a tragic story from a colleague 
whose client lost her fiancé to COVID-19. Because 
she wasn’t listed on her fiancé’s health directive and 
HIPAA waiver, she could not get anyone to update 
her on his condition once he entered the hospital. 

 Naturally, she didn’t give up trying, and eventually 
someone told her that he wasn’t in the ICU anymore. 
She was enormously relieved, but when she hadn’t 
heard anything else by the next day, she called again 
for news. Finally, after being transferred several 
times, she learned that the reason her fiancé wasn’t 
in the ICU was because he was in the morgue. He’d 
passed away the day before, and no one had told her. 

 Nobody expects something like this to happen, 
especially to people who are healthy and making 
plans for their own futures. But sometimes the worst 
does happen, and if it does, you want the people you 
love to be able to grieve properly, without leaving 
them with a mess of confusion on top of it all. 

 Now, think about your own situation. What will 
happen to your loved ones, and the assets you’ll leave 
behind, if you become sick or die?

 Without a doubt, you’d want to ensure certain 
people in your life are informed if you have to go to 
the hospital and kept up to date on your condition 
while you are there. You’d also probably want to 
avoid them having to go through a drawn-out court 
process to handle your estate after your death or 
save them from the fate of not being able to access 
your assets if you are hospitalized. This article is all 
about you having the tools you need to make sure 
everything is in place to do the right thing for the 
people you love, just in case something happens to 

Covering the Bases

First, you need to have a worst-case scenario 
conversation with your family. A lot of people try to 
avoid conversations about death, but the fact is, we 
will all die. It’s better to face that with those we love 
so that when the time comes, we will be as ready as 
we can be, and so will they.

Create an Asset Inventory

This is something you can get started on right now, 
by yourself, without the help of a lawyer. It is a great 
resource to leave for your loved ones so they know 
where to find everything that is important to you, 
and will be important to them, if something happens 
to you. 

 First, get out your calendar and schedule an 
appointment with yourself. Set aside an hour or so to 
put all your asset information in one place (we use a 
spreadsheet when we do this for clients): real estate, 
bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, 
stocks, bonds, business interests, etc. 

Update Your Health Care Directive

 This is extremely important if you want your loved 
ones to avoid the tragic situation my colleague’s 
client found herself in. Do NOT delay reviewing and 
updating these documents.

Your Health Care Directive should have three parts:

 A Living Will/ Medical Directive, which 
states how you want decisions to be made for you.

 A Medical Power of Attorney, which states 
who should make these decisions if you can’t make 
them yourself.

 A HIPAA Release that allows medical 
professionals to disclose information to your 
Medical Power of Attorney/Agent.

Name Legal Guardians for Your Kids

A very important thing for all parents of minor 
children to do is name legal guardians for your 
children. Think about what would happen to them 
right now if something were to happen to you, for 
both the long term and the immediate future. This 
is the single most important thing parents of minor 
children should do because it would have the greatest 
impact on – or leave the biggest hole for – our minor 
children if something happens to us.

Going Beyond Just the Basics

The goal in setting up an estate plan is, ultimately, to 
keep your loved ones out of court and out of conflict. 
To do that, you must make the right decisions 
during the planning process, retitle assets so they are 
protected by your plan, and ensure your plan stays 
up to date for the rest of your life. 

 Estate planning is all about merging your family 
dynamics, assets (both material and non-material), 
and the law into a cohesive plan which accomplishes 
all that you really want to do for the people you love. 

 If you are ready to face your mortality courageously 
and want to ensure your family is protected and 
provided for no matter what, don’t wait. Get the help 
of a professional (someone who’s providing virtual 
planning sessions) and get started now. 

Dedicated to empowering your family, building your 
wealth and defining your legacy,

 A local attorney and father, Marc 
Garlett is on a mission to help 
parents protect what they love 
most. His office is located at 55 
Auburn Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 
91024. Schedule an appointment 
to sit down and talk about ensuring a legacy of love and 
financial security for yourfamily by calling 626.355.4000 or 
visit for more information.


After so many weeks, I haven't been able to keep track of them, one day seems just 
like the other day. Today reminds me of yesterday, and yesterday may be the same as 
tomorrow. I know I am used to being confused, but I have exceeded my limit on this 
time aspect.

 The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have been spending all of our time together. We do not go 
anywhere except sometimes I slip over to the office and come back. Besides that, we are in each other's 
company, 24/7. Or is it 7/24? I’m not sure anymore.

 For the most part, it has been a wonderful vacation from the rest of the world. I assure you, we surely 
needed this vacation. Sometimes the world can get rather sticky, if you know what I mean?

After being married for so many years (I cannot really remember how many it has been) I have begun to 
understand a little more about the other resident in our parsonage.

 Just when you think you know everything, then you discover something you did not know before.

I love discovering new things about everything. I have discovered that the more you learn about your 
spouse, the more amicable the relationship is. I think it has something to do with expectations. I knew 
this about my wife, but I was reminded of this in the last week or so. She is addicted to a time schedule.

That is not in itself a bad thing. After all, life is based upon some kind of a time schedule. The problem is, 
I do not have a time schedule, particularly during the days like we are living now. I sorta go with the flow.

In our house, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served on a regular schedule. Before this vacation from 
society, we grabbed lunch whenever we could fit it into our schedule. Lunch was not the schedule but 
what we were doing at the time. It is quite different today.

 Now, the schedule is built around our eating. Since our seclusion, I have eaten breakfast, lunch, and 
dinner on a very regular basis. The problem is, it is going to cost me quite a bit. After all of these social 
shenanigans are over, I am going to have to go and buy new shirts and pants because the ones I have now 
will not fit. I am thinking of taking it out of my wife's allowance; after all, she is responsible for the weight 
gain during these weeks at home. If it was not for her, and if she was not such a marvelous cook, I would 
not gain any weight whatsoever. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

 During these days of social hibernation, time has lost its real significance. It used to be I had a schedule, 
and I worked to keep that schedule to the very minute. Now, I have no schedule, and I have been keeping 
it quite strictly.

 Just the other day my wife looked at me and said, “It’s almost lunchtime. Don’t you think you should get 
dressed and take off those pajamas?” My answer was simply, “Why?”

 My morning schedule is a complete mirror of my afternoon schedule, which is also a mirror of my evening 
schedule. I never know if it is morning, afternoon, or evening. According to my wife, what you are 
wearing determines the schedule. And believe me, she is always on schedule.

 Nobody comes to the house anymore, not even the Jehovah’s Witnesses. For whom do I have to dress up?

Very systematically, and you will not believe this, she meticulously sets the alarm clock so she can get 
up in the morning at the same time. I only said this once; I learned my lesson, “Why are you setting the 
alarm clock?”

 With one of her stern looks, she said, “Because, somebody has to get up and work!”

 She has a regular schedule of getting up in the morning and going to bed at night. That schedule has 
not changed.

 It's a good thing she has this schedule because I wouldn't know what time of day it was if I was not eating 
lunch at the right time.

 As for me, I am a rather casual dude and not addicted to time. What in the world does time have to do 
with me having fun? After all, you only can have fun right now. I do not want to miss my time for having 
fun today because I will never make up for it tomorrow.

 My motto has always been; make the best use of the time at hand.

Thinking about this, I was reminded of what Solomon once wrote. “To every thing there is a season, and a 
time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time 
to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to 
build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4).

I think Solomon had something here. There is a time for everything and if we do not give everything 
time, there is going to be a lot of confusion in our life.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: