Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 26, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain View News Saturday, February 26, 2022 


Dear Savvy Senior:
How effective is the shingles vaccine and what is the CDC recommendation for getting it? My older brother 
and sister, both in their fifties, got COVID a few months back followed by shingles. Do you know if there is 
a connection between these viruses, and would the shingles vaccine have protected them? Scared of Shingles 

Dear Scared: 
Great question! Many healthcare professionals across 
the country have been urging their older patients to 
get the shingles vaccine (in addition to the COVID-19 
vaccinations) during the pandemic because getting 
COVID-19 can increase your chances of developing 
shingles. And the more severe case of COVID you get, 
the greater your risk for shingles. 

The reason for this is because when you contract COVID-
19 your immune system becomes compromised fighting off the virus, which gives shingles – a virus 
that already exist in your body if you’ve had chickenpox – a chance to reactivate. 

Here’s what you should know about shingles, the shingles vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention (CDC) recommendations. 

What are Shingles? 

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a burning, blistering skin rash that affects around 1 million Americans 
each year. The same virus that causes chickenpox causes shingles. What happens is the chickenpox 
virus that most people get as kids never leaves the body. It hides in the nerve cells near the spinal cord and, 
for some people, emerges later in the form of shingles. 

In the U.S., about one out of every three people will develop shingles during their lifetime. While anyone 
who’s had chickenpox can get shingles, it most commonly occurs in people over age 50, along with people 
who have weakened immune systems. But you can’t catch shingles from someone else. 

Early signs of the disease include pain, itching or tingling before a blistering rash appears several days later, 
and can last up to four weeks. The rash typically occurs on one side of the body, often as a band of blisters 
that extends from the middle of your back around to the breastbone. It can also appear above an eye or on 
the side of the face or neck. 

In addition to the rash, about 20 to 25 percent of those who get shingles go on to develop severe nerve pain 
(postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN) that can last for months or even years. And in rare cases, shingles can 
also cause strokes, encephalitis, spinal cord damage and vision loss. 

Shingles Vaccine 

The vaccine for shingles called Shingrix (see provides much better protection than the old 
shingles vaccine, Zostavax. 

Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Shingrix is 97 percent effective in preventing shingles in people 50 to 
69 years old, and 91 percent effective in those 70 and older. 

Shingrix also does a terrific job of preventing nerve pain that continues after a shingles rash has cleared – 
about 90 percent effective. 

Because of this protection, the CDC recommends that everyone age 50 and older, receive the Shingrix 
vaccine, which is given in two doses, separated by two to six months. 

Even if you’ve already had shingles, you still need these vaccinations because reoccurring cases are possible. 
The CDC also recommends that anyone previously vaccinated with Zostavax be revaccinated with 

You should also know that Shingrix can cause some adverse side effects for some people, including muscle 
pain, fatigue, headache, fever and upset stomach. 

Shingrix – which averages around $205 for both doses – is covered by most private health insurance plans 
including Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, but there may be a cost to you depending on your plan. 
Contact your insurer to find out. 

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. 


 By Marc Garlett 


Even if the process is amicable, divorce can be one of life's most stressful events. 
With so many major changes taking place, it’s easy to forget to update your estate 
plan—or simply put it off until it's too late. After all, dealing with yet another lawyer 
is probably the last thing you want to do. 

However, neglecting to update your estate plan for divorce can have potentially tragic consequences. And you 
shouldn’t wait until the divorce is final to rework your plan—you should update it as soon as you realize the 
split is inevitable. 

Here’s why: Your marriage is legally still in full effect until your divorce is final, so if you die or become incapacitated 
while your divorce is ongoing and haven’t changed your estate plan, your soon-to-be ex-spouse could 
wind up with complete control over your life and/or assets. 

Keep in mind, however, that in California, only select estate planning documents can be changed after filing for 
divorce. And for some of those, you’ll need court involvement for changes to take effect. In addition, there are 
still other estate planning documents you cannot change while a divorce is pending. 

1. Change Your Power of Attorney Documents
Unless you want your soon-to-be ex-spouse to make all your legal, financial, and medical decisions in the event 
of your incapacity, you need to update your power of attorney documents as soon as divorce is inevitable. All 
adults over age 18 should have both a durable financial power of attorney and a medical power of attorney in 

A durable financial power of attorney allows you to grant an individual of your choice the legal authority to 
make financial and legal decisions on your behalf should you become unable to make such decisions yourself. 
Similarly, a medical power of attorney grants someone the legal authority to make your healthcare decisions in 
the event of your incapacity. 

2. Change Your Beneficiary Designations
As soon as you know you are getting divorced, you should update the beneficiary designations for assets that 
do not pass through a will or trust, such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts. Failing to update 
your beneficiaries can lead to serious trouble down the road, and unfortunately, we see this happen all the time. 

If you get remarried following your divorce, for example, but you haven’t changed the beneficiary of your 
401(k) to name your new spouse, the ex you divorced 10 years ago could end up with your retirement account 
upon your death. And since there are often restrictions on changing beneficiary designations once a divorce is 
filed, the timing of your beneficiary change is particularly critical. 

3. Create a New Will 
Because most married couples name each other as their executor and the primary beneficiary of their estate, it’s 
important to name a new person to fill these roles as soon as you decide to get a divorce. Also, when creating a 
new will, rethink how you want your assets divided upon your death. 

Keep in mind, California has community-property laws which entitle your surviving spouse to a certain percentage 
of the marital estate upon your death, regardless of what your will says. Considering this, you should 
create your new will as soon as you realize divorce is inevitable to ensure you retain control over the remaining 
percentage of your estate should you pass away while your divorce is still ongoing. 

4. Amend Your Existing Trust or Create A New One
If you have a revocable living trust, you’ll also want to update it as soon as divorce becomes inevitable. In addition 
to reconsidering what assets your soon-to-be-ex spouse should receive through the trust, you’ll probably 
want to replace him or her as successor trustee, if they are so designated. 

And if you don’t have a trust in place, you should seriously consider creating one, especially if you have minor 
children. Trusts provide an array of benefits that are unavailable with a will, and they’re particularly well-suited 
for blended families. Given the possibility that both you and your spouse may eventually get remarried—and 
perhaps have more children—trusts are an invaluable way to protect and manage the assets you want your 
children to inherit. 

5. Revisit Your Estate Plan Once Your Divorce is Final 
During the divorce process, your primary objective is limiting your soon-to-be ex’s control over your life and 
assets should you die or become incapacitated before divorce is final. For this reason, the individuals to whom 
you grant power of attorney, name as trustee, designate to receive your 401(k), or add to your estate plan in any 
other way while the divorce is ongoing are often just temporary. 

Once the divorce is final and your marital property has been divided up, you should revisit all your estate 
planning documents and update them accordingly based on your new asset profile and living situation. From 
there, your plan should continuously evolve along with your life circumstances, particularly following major 
life events, such as getting remarried, having additional children, or when family members pass away. 

Get Started Right Away

Although it may be tempting to put off changing your estate plan when you are going through a divorce, especially 
if the process is contentious, you can’t afford to wait. If you delay updating your estate plan, even just 
for a few days, it can make it legally impossible to change certain parts of your plan during your divorce. And 
if you’ve yet to create any estate plan at all, an impending divorce is crucial reason to finally take care of this 
important responsibility. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …February Birthdays* 

Tracy Verhoeven, Beatrice DaRe, Catherine Adde, Hilda Pittman, Anne-
Marie Stockdale, Susan Henderson, Allie Attay, Ursula El-Tawansy, Gladys 
Moser, Sylvia Lorhan, Ana Ptanski, Winifred Swanson , Janet Gillespie, 
Marian DeMars, Vickie Vernon, Mary Beth Knox, Sharon Lefler. 

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 
626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required 

Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 am 
Please join us for some gentle stretching, yoga, balance exercise and overall relaxation 
with Paul. Classes are ongoing and held in the Memorial Park Covered 

Every Friday, 10-10:45 am 
Bring a lei, your flower skirt or just your desire to dance! Hula in the Park is back 
and waiting for you to join in on all the fun! Memorial Park Pavilion. 

Wednesday 1:00 pm-2:00 pm 
Beginning February 2nd – April 6th, Don Brunner is available for income tax 
consultation. Appointments are required: Please call 626-355-5278 x704 . 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


Driving home from an appointment 
across town, 
my wife and I encountered 
some crazy driver weaving 
in and out on the road in 

front of us. The fact that there was not an accident 
was somewhat surprising. 

“What,” The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
exclaimed, “is wrong with people?” 

Looking at her and laughing, I said, “People 
today are crazy!” 

Together we laughed, knowing it was true. If 
there ever has been a time that people were 
crazy, it is today. 

What a crazy world we live in these days. Just 
when you think it can’t get any crazier, it does. 

We went shopping at the grocery store one 
day, and when we came out and got into our 
vehicle, I was laughing. My wife looked at me 
and said, “What are you laughing about?” 

“That lady in there,” I said, still laughing, “was 
wearing the craziest dress that I’ve ever seen. 
She sure was crazy.” And I laughed some more. 

She looked at me, smiled and said, “You do 
know that was not a woman, don’t you?” 

The smile disappeared from my face, and I just 
stared at her and said, “You got to be kidding?” 

I agree that people aren’t what they seem to be 
in real life. There appears to be a crazy virus, 
and it comes out just a little different for each 

It’s hard to comprehend the level of craziness 
that is in our world today. A mask cannot control 
this crazy virus, but it’s a start to cover up 
that crazy face. 

There was some Hollywood celebrity; I don’t 
know who, but when they had their baby 
said that they would wait until the baby was 
old enough to make its own decision as to its 
gender. When I first heard that, I thought they 
were making a joke, but then I found out they 
were very serious about it. 

When I heard that, I felt sorry for the baby 
that had to grow up in such a crazy family. If 
they are crazy about this, what else are they 
crazy about? 

It seems to me that each generation has its 
own definition of crazy. Each generation gets 
crazier with their definition probably to out-
crazy the former generation. 

Of course, as The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage reminds me, nobody could handle 
me if there were not so many crazy people out 
there to compare. So, I think by that “nobody,” 
she was referring to herself. 

I admit that in certain areas, I am crazy. But, 
of course, some think I’m crazy all the way 
through, which may be entirely accurate. 

Someone told me, “One’s crazy is another person’s 
laughter.” The crazy people out there in 

the world cause so much laughter. 

I’m not sure how you would define crazy. Each 
person has a different strain of craziness. The 
best way to define crazy is something that 
looks and sounds odd to the person watching 
and listening. 

Someone may be looking at me, thinking I’m 
crazy. But, of course, to a certain degree, they 
are correct. Everybody is crazy in their own 
right. So we have a right to be crazy. 

As long as my crazy doesn’t adversely affect 
someone else, what’s the harm? 

I learned a long time ago not to be offended 
when someone refers to me as crazy. Most of 
my relatives refer to me as crazy, but I’m never 

Just the other day, The Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage suggested that crazy was inherited. 
Therefore, it’s not my fault that I’m crazy. 
I can think of several uncles and cousins that 
are as crazy as crazy can be. 

Growing up with these relatives around me, 
I did not know or understand that their craziness 
would rub off on me. I just laughed at 
them and walked away, thinking I was okay. 

As I studied my family heritage, I realized 
that although crazy is inherited through family 
links, I have an opportunity to choose my 
crazy. I never thought about that before. But, I 
am as crazy as I choose to be. 

The only challenge I see, at least for me, is 
the ability to control me and my crazy. I don’t 
want my crazy to control me and get me into 
trouble I can’t handle. But I want to understand 
my crazy and then use it for profitable 

There is somebody out there in the world who 
needs to experience me and my crazy to feel 
good about themselves. They can look at me 
and think, “I may be crazy, but at least I’m not 
that crazy.” If I can do that each day, I’m doing 
an incredible amount of work for the human 

So, the last few years, I’ve been trying to hone 
my crazy to have at least some positive results 
with the people around me. 

Thinking about this and looking back over the 
last few years some of my encouragement has 
come from people who I first thought were 
just being crazy. Sometimes crazy does have 
a purpose. 

I thought about a special versus Scripture that 
addresses this. “Wherefore comfort yourselves 
together, and edify one another, even as 
also ye do” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). 

I don’t have to know who I’m encouraging 
but sometimes my crazy activities do in fact 
encourage somebody along the way. Only in 
heaven will I realize how many people I have 
encouraged this way. 

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL 34483 with the 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. 

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