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Everyone in the world is experiencing much higher amounts of at home time. This, combined with social distancing, is meant to reduce individual risks of contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. But it only works if you really practice self-protective behaviors!

 

COVID-19 is considered a type of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus, the first of which caused an epidemic back in 2003.  Like SARS-1 COVID-19 (also called SARS-Cov-2) virus does affect the respiratory system, and shares some patterns of community-based transmission, erupting in clusters that rapidly spread. Because of this, most of the infection control protocols being used by governments and communities are based on the containment of the original SARS-1 virus.

It is not well known if COVID-19 is transmitted frequently via surfaces, but it is widely suspected. On March 19, a joint study released by scientists from the NIH, CDC, UCLA, and Princeton reported that “(SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to 3 hours, up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

COVID-19 can live for 3 hours in the air and for 4 hours to 3 days on surfaces after an infected person has left the space.

 

What Can You Do? Create a Virus-Free Space for Yourself!

Since we are all home now, you want to make sure to start with a contaminant-free space today. After that, the germs in your house will be yours and you can probably get by with regular maintenance.

 STEP 1: REDUCE CLUTTER AND AIR THE PLACE OUT

Look at your home as a container with surfaces and spaces (air). When the container is closed, only the germs that are already inside will spread—and they will spread fast.  Start now by getting rid of what is in the house by:

Minimizing the surfaces the virus can cling to by clearing all surfaces of clutter

  • Bag all trash and removing it regularly
  • Get rid of paper piles, cardboard, etc.
  • Sort mail outside and toss what you don’t need
  • Wash all plastic containers, plates, cups, utensils, etc, and put them in closed drawers and cabinets

Washing all plates and utensils before and after you use them

Opening the windows on all sides (as well as bedrooms and bathrooms)  to air out the house at least daily

STEP 2:  DISINFECT all surfaces once – if people touch it, clean it

  • Remove germs once by cleaning with disinfectant or even soap and water, and try to limit the number of surfaces that get touched.
  • Repeat cleaning any time you suspect recontamination.
  • Use disinfectant cleaners to spray down all surfaces, let sit a few minutes to kill germs, and wipe with a clean paper towel – DO NOT REUSE THE SAME TOWEL FOR THE NEXT SURFACE

ROOM BY ROOM:

KITCHEN:  counters, tables, refrigerators, stoves, toasters, sinks, microwaves, cabinets and cabinet handles

BATHROOMS: sinks, toilets, faucets, cabinet nobs and handles, mirrors

BEDROOMS: clean linens more frequently—at least weekly, and more often if someone is sick

FLOORS: vacuum rugs and carpets (using a rug spray if you have one), hardwood and tile floors.

Use a disinfectant wash on kitchen and bath floors, air dry rooms by opening windows.

Read more about types of cleaners to disinfect different surfaces here.

STEP 3: Reduce potential areas of new contamination

The virus lives on fabrics—and then gets carried to new parts of the house on your clothing. Here are some ways to reduce contamination:

  • Limit clothing each person wears so you do not have large piles of soiled clothing, and wash frequently.
  • Bag dirty laundry in a plastic garbage bag and keep away from main rooms and clean clothes (in basement, laundry room, or an uncluttered closet) until ready to wash.
  • Wash all towels after 1 use and do not rehang to dry
  • Wash hand towels frequently
  • Use hot water to wash when possible
  • Keep doors to bedrooms, bathrooms, basements, and unused rooms, etc, closed to reduce cross contamination
  • Open all doors and windows (to rooms that are used) daily to air them out

STEP 4: Upgrade Personal Hygiene

Shower frequently, especially after exercise or coming in contact with other people

  • Wash hands frequently–keep liquid handwash and bar soap readily available
  • Separate toothbrushes and other personal hygiene items for all people in the home
  • Wash and wipe sinks, faucets, toilets and other surfaces after every use
  • Keep a bathroom disinfectant deodorizer (like Lysol) in the bathroom and spray the air regularly throughout the day

STEP 5: Protect the Perimeters of Your Home from New Contaminants

Now that your home is relatively contaminant free, it is a safe zone—until someone leaves and comes back in, bringing new germs with them. If you never leave and never let anyone in, you are least likely to get the coronavirus. But staying inside forever is not practical, and most people are still venturing out for groceries, doctor’s visits, work, and just to take walks.

Even with safe social distancing, it is IMPOSSIBLE to avoid coming in contact with the COVID-19 virus altogether. So, the next best thing is to keep new contaminants from entering your clean home—by leaving them at the door (If you live in an apartment with interior hallways, stairs, elevators, etc, these steps are especially important):

  • Remove shoes at the door, spray the bottoms, and leave them there
  • Keep a box, a tray or a basket by the door for shoes and spray frequently with disinfectant
  • Mop the floors by the entryways daily and air out
  • Remove outside clothing (coats, sweaters, hoodies, etc) at the door and hang them if possible until the next time they are needed
  • Wash outside clothing every few days
  • If you think you were exposed while out, take off pants and tops and outdoor clothing and immediately put them in a plastic bag to be washed.
  • Wash hands every time you come in from outside
  • Disinfect door handles from both sides once inside your home

Following these steps will not guarantee that you don’t get the virus, but they will reduce your risk–and it may shorten the course if the virus does make it into your home.

STILL MORE SUGGESTIONS: Here is a really helpful Self-Quarantine Checklist!

Coronavirus Disclaimer: The information posted here comes from the main scientific sources for healthcare information in the US—the CDC, the FDA, academic institutions and other published sites. These are noted where possible. Very little about the COVID-19 virus is established fact. While I make every effort to present the most unbiased sources, the data and statistics to this pandemic are changing daily, no general guidelines are yet available for treatment and the outcomes are unknown. Please check with your personal healthcare sources before following any medical advice.

 

The Names

It’s called COVID-19 by most of the US press, short for “Coronavirus 2019,” the year it was first identified.

A coronavirus is a common type of virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat.

The CDC reports 7 types of common coronaviruses that have been reported in humans, including 2 alpha and 2 beta corona viruses, MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS), and SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS).

The most recent coronavirus #7, is now often called, SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19).

While these viruses have many similarities, COVID-19 has behaved differently from the others in terms of transmission, which is why it is so difficult to predict how far and how fast it will spread.

The word, “corona” refers to the appearance of an aura or crown around a circle (like the sun). This also describes the shape of the coronavirus, so no, the name has nothing to do with Corona beer.

Transmission Patterns

The COVID-19 virus is definitely transmitted by coming in contact with an infected person. It is not clear whether a person who is infected, but not showing symptoms, can transmit the virus. That’s why everyone is being asked to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others to prevent the spread.

The round spikey coronavirus molecules look like they have suction cups that can readily attach to surfaces when released through a cough or sneeze in the air, which helps to explain the rapid transmission. This state site has a good image.

It is not yet well known how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on many types of surfaces—this explains why it is so important to reduce the surfaces you have to touch, and to disinfect the ones you do.

Understanding “the Curve”

RAPID is the only way to describe the main cause of the pandemic. It simply travels faster than we can catch it—one person gets sick, and they infect multiple others who infect others before the first person has even been diagnosed.

THERE IS NO TREATMENT for coronaviruses. That means there is no single treatment that works to stop the virus in the system. The treatments being applied now are tied to the symptoms. The most serious cases involve pneumonia and other respiratory problems, and so patients are put on ventilators. Because it is caused by a virus, antibiotics that work against bacteria are not effective.

At home, you can use the medications you would normally use for colds (which are coronaviruses), such as decongestants and antihistamines. Take lots of fluids, get lots of rest, and if severe breathing or gastrointestinal problems develop, CALL your healthcare provider to arrange for COVID-19 testing in your area.

So, the curve everybody talks about refers to how fast the number of cases is increasing or decreasing. Right now, the US is at the beginning of the curve upwards. We will need to reach a crest where the cases stabilize and then decrease steadily before we can even think about going back to normal.

The current business closures will have to maintained for at least 2 weeks AFTER new cases have ceased to be identified. It will be a while before you should consider going back to previous normal routines.

What the 2-week restrictions are about.

2 weeks in self-quarantine is not a random number. The incubation period for the COVID-19 virus is still not clearly defined. Base on previous experience with SARS-1, the incubation period is believed to be 5 to 14 days, but this has not been proven.  Government agencies are using the outside range of 14 days as the safety margin for when someone who may have been exposed can again leave isolation (while still maintaining social distancing). As of now the 2-week margin has been holding, but if cases continue to rise, that may be extended to longer.

Here is a daily CDC map and chart that let you track the number of cases reported by state and county. Watch in your area to know whether the local risks are increasing, and if they are, stay at home for several days to avoid the worst of the spread.

 

 

*Coronavirus Disclaimer: The information posted here comes from the main scientific sources for healthcare information in the US—the CDC, the FDA, academic institutions and other published sites. These are noted where possible. Very little about the COVID-19 virus is established fact. While I make every effort to present the most unbiased sources, the data and statistics to this pandemic are changing daily, and no general guidelines are yet available for treatment and the outcomes are unknown. Please check with your personal healthcare sources before following any medical advice.

 

What We Know Now, What We Don’t—And What that Means to You

Most of us around the world are sheltering in place, waiting for the world to tell us how close this pandemic is coming to our doors. Some still don’t believe, but every day it does get closer.

We have so much time to contemplate and so little real information to go on. As a medical journalist, I have been following the reports in the medical literature for three months now—and the Coronavirus pandemic is playing out just as scientists, epidemiologists, and healthcare workers around the world have been predicting. They have been dead on with this, but much of this information has been getting buried, lost, and confused as the virus moves swiftly around the world.

Like most people I know, I can’t do the work I would normally do to pay the bills. Most of the articles I was writing—on everyday medical topics like rosacea, migraine, and hip replacement—are no longer being assigned, and are not likely to be in the short run. The larger projects I worked on, such as slide presentations and educational programs for doctors and nurses, have been delayed, and reporting on the hundreds of spring medical conferences has been completely halted as the conferences are cancelled.

Since I can’t write for them, and I’m already trained to follow medical topics, I can write for my friends, colleagues and kindred spirits, people who love and follow the arts. And for now, I will write about How We Learn to Live Through the Coronavirus Pandemic.

I can spend my time at home helping to clarify the information that is available from expert medical sources I read daily.  These include the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Lancet, among others, and national and regional news sources and state sites, among others. I’m also checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for their updates.

You can watch TV or follow your regular sources for information. And if you have questions, I will try to distill down what all this information actually means. I will try to research what is coming out of these sources for the best answers, as they become known. Because I live in Connecticut, a northeast region of the US about 90 minutes from New York City and Boston (both hotspots), I will focus on the US trends.

After this starts to pass and we can see where we will be going, we can reopen discussions of art and life and hope for what the future will bring!

With eyes, ears, and hearts open—from a distance

Linda

 

I am often led to arts enclaves by the artists who live and work there. Such was my introduction to Rockport, Massachusetts last summer, and so deep was my infatuation, that I have already booked a week there this summer.

Rockport, Mass sits on the northern coast of the state, just past Gloucester, on the very tip of Cape Ann. The artist who led me there was a wonderful contemporary architectural landscape painter named David Arsenault, whose work I have followed for several years. His aesthetic is to paint clean, crisp visions of the simple elegance of these landscapes. His website invites you to visit both the town he loves to paint (complete with lodging information and local events), and the gallery he now occupies on Dock Square (a move from his previous location on Bearskin Neck).

What is it about this place?

Take a look at the location and you’ll see why the fascination with Rockport. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Boston—but it couldn’t be further from the city. The energy here is slow and easy during the day, warm and bubbling at night.

No Coastal MA map

The Massachusetts Coastal Zone Map (full map available at http://www.mass.gov)

Yes, this is Yankee country—where “ahhhhr’s” float on the wind. You can walk Bearskin neck to the tip of Cape Ann in Rockport and from that vantage point, the Altantic surrounds you on three sides. It’s a picturesque place that has inspired artists for centuries, as well as photographers, and even filmmakers.

In nearby Gloucester, the famous fisherman statue leans into the wind It’s the oldest seaport in America, home of Gorton’s, the originators of the fish stick, and the port where the families of the Andrea Gail crew waited for the six fishermen who never returned from The Perfect Storm. But you can relax there, with a nice meal harborside.

Just west of Rockport is Manchester-by-the-Sea, now best known as the site of the Oscar-nominated film from 2016. (Much of that film was also shot in Rockport.)

Motif #1v5

And the next time you watch Sandra Bullock in The Proposal, you’ll realize she didn’t go all the way to Sitka Alaska, but to Rockport (and other surrounding areas). You’ll recognize the iconic replica of a fishing shack called “Motif #1” (pronounced Mow-tiv, ask the locals why), which Wikipedia refers to as “the most often painted building in America.”

Rockport was designated one of the 10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in New England by Yankee Magazine—and it’s well deserved. This tourist haven blooms primarily in the warm breezes of the summer (although there are activities year-round, particularly at Christmas), with an easy pedestrian shopping district filled with crafty shops with stories and interesting items from around the world—handmade ponchos from South America and French linens and drums and perfumed oils—not to mention the pewter and woodwork and ART everywhere. You actually can get something here that won’t be in every tourist town in America.

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The Beach

Okay, it’s everywhere. Rockport is really more like a peninsula jutting out into the ocean, so it’s easy to find a bit of public sand or a bench to sit and enjoy the views, or can take a nice dip (and you don’t even need hotel access). There’s also other stuff, like kayaking, whale watches, fishing excursions and boat tours (check www.rockportusa.com). My personal recommendation is to just hop on the water taxi in Gloucester at any stop.

The Rockport Arts Colony

The village wakes up in summer like the opening of a Disney movie. Last summer, my friend and I came of out breakfast in the main square and stepped right into a little parade, complete with a marching band. Music can be heard frequently on the streets, but the real deal is the spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center, with its amazing backdrop of the coastline behind an impressive showcase of performers of all styles (classical, jazz, pop, folk, orchestral and choral). It’s a focal point of the village, a nice stroll from many of the hotels and inns and nestled between a number of restaurants and art galleries.

Rockport1 2016

And, don’t forget the ART. Rockport is home to 30 galleries that show the works of hundreds of local artists. Visiting artists of all kinds are encouraged to set up easels and can easily by guided to many local spots for painting by the gallery owners in town. The Rockport Art Association also hosts a number of art exhibits and painting workshops where you learn the best of what these artists have to teach.

Two art-related events worth noting are:

Head to Gloucester for the small galleries, restaurants and shops of Rocky Neck and the Cape Ann Museum where you can explore the gloriously rich maritime and granite-quarrying history of this tiny New England region through centuries of fine art and sculpture.

Just so you know, there are many things that I’ve missed, so you’ll just have to go and explore it yourself (and share what you learn in the comments).

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David Arsenault in his studio, August 2016

Make sure to say hi to David and talk to the locals—they love Rockport and Gloucester and will be very happy to tell you so much more about it!

More Reading:

In Rockport, artists kept the Depression at bay (Boston Globe, 2010)

Artists of Cape Ann – A 150-Year Tradition – by Kristian Davies, 2001

© Copyright 2017– Arts Enclave.

By land or by sea, turtles are awesome. They are the quietly intrepid explorers of our world who have been around for 157 million years, give or take a few, sharing the planet with everything from dinosaurs to us. They don’t talk. They don’t tell jokes or perform tricks. They make very unaffectionate pets—and yet few people don’t stop to watch a turtle just sitting in the sun or swimming about in a tank.

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Here’s a painting (sorry, it’s already sold!) by Adirondack landscape artist Sandra Hildreth, called “Big Snapper in East Pine Pond” (oil, 9×12).

“I was out in my solo canoe on East Pine Pond, in the St Regis Canoe Area, and spotted the curved shape of the shell (the carapace) from some distance, not sure of what it was. I had my camera, with a good zoom lens, and zoomed in to see it was this very large snapping turtle that actually seemed to be dozing, resting on top of some dead trees in the water. As I drifted closer I actually wondered if it suddenly dove into the water, would it create a wake and capsize my canoe! Of course not… but the shell was probably close to 24” long – hard to judge the size in the painting. It did hear me coming, lift up it’s head, then quietly slipped into the water like a submarine. So it was just a pleasant memory that I wanted to record in paint.” SANDRA HILDRETH

The Earth is home to approximately 327 species of turtles, living all over the world, on land and in the sea, according to Wikipedia. Sea turtles became a separate class around 110 million years ago.

What are they watching? What do they think about the world? We carry images of turtles as being wise creatures, slow and patient—the ones that cross the finish line. Will they still be here after we are gone? Turtles pose questions, they don’t answer them.

Personally, I harbor the hope that if I come back after this life, it will be as a sea turtle, encircling the globe, swimming free through the worlds oceans. They seem peaceful. They live their lives and don’t bother anybody or anything, but they come in contact with every part of the planet, silent, observing all.

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“Righteous the Sea Turtle” by Marianne R. Schmidt (Acrylic paint, 24 X 30 on gallery wrapped 1.5 canvas)

“I try to affect people’s emotions in a positive way when I paint. If one of my pieces can bring a smile to someone’s face and glorify God then it was worth all the hours it took me to create it. I have become rather fond of him as many folks have told me it is their favorite piece from me so far.” MARIANNE R. SCHMIDT

Learn more about sea turtles and how to preserve them from the Olive Ridley Project.

Or just enjoy reading stories about them:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll

The Lathe of Heaven Ursula LeGuin

The Phoenix and the Turtle William Shakespeare

The Slow Waltz of Turtles Katherine Pancol

The Turtles of Oman Naomi Shihab Nye

Turtle Diary Russell Hoban

Turtle Moon Alice Hoffman

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories Dr. Seuss

 

© Copyright 2017– Arts Enclave.

 

 

I fall in love every 8 or 9 years—with a car. My latest love is a Renegade, cute and tight of butt, with a flashy grin.

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Ready for new adventures in my Renegade (I even like the name!)

I have lengthy conversations with myself—and several thousand people, dead or alive—at different points in time within my car. It knows my secrets and my foibles.

It knows my dreams. And it is my partner on an adventure through life.

Every car I have owned has helped define what matters to me, and my auto progression mirrors my personal evolution into an artist. My first cars were practical little economy models—a yellow Toyota Corolla when I was single and then later a candy red 1991 Mazda Protege when I was a working single Mom. It was just compact enough for me to talk to my son in the car seat in the back, and it got great gas mileage for the 52-mile daily commute to my communications job. I was too tired back then to do much writing, and art and music stayed in the closet, so I didn’t need much room other than that.

With a new relationship and plans for a bigger family, I wanted a car that hauled lots of things. My next car, a 1998 Subaru Outback, (the awesome two-tone dark blue and gray that you still see driving around) seemed earthy and cool at the same time. It was the car that I went from a staff job to freelance writing, hauling around my mac in the backseat like it was a laptop, with my kid and his friends. It was the car my guy and I took on ski and summer vacations and just riding around Connecticut. It was the first car that took us to the Adirondacks, and later took me there on my own when he was no longer in the picture. It was the car I drove to Montreal for a freelance job (reporting on a medical conference), crossing back over the border one day after the world economy collapsed. It was the car I took to the Habitat houses that our affiliate built (I worked for them) and took to my classes at NYU film school, when I got a certificate in directing.

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Not actually my old car, but a clever impersonator!

For years that car had carried me and my son and my dreams. I moved everything could find in that car, took it on dirt roads and highways, through rain and especially snow. That car made me if not fearless, at least a hell of a lot braver. It taught me to go after everything I wanted.

After that, I became more and more adventurous, and my aging Outback was beginning to feel the strain. It was hard to leave the old car behind, because I had experienced so much life from behind the wheel. My son had grown up in that car, and I handed over the keys to a dealer with a real feeling of sadness before I drove away in my new gold 2007 Outback with heated leather seats and a moon roof. I had fallen in love on the internet that time, and drove to Quincy MA from Fairfield CT for the trade.

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Stopping last summer with friends in Newcomb, NY, for the best ice cream in the Adks!

It wasn’t long before we were devoted companions. In 2008 I finished film school and was working on the locations crew of a film in CT (a Tim Allen movie nobody ever saw). My first day involved driving to Westchester Airport at 4AM to put large signs on the highway to direct the crew to the set. That car did a lot of movie work, scouting locations and hauling supplies for the crews at all hours. It saw every town in the state of Connecticut.

It also took me to the Adirondacks every summer, where I explored art communities and shows—all the events I began to blog about for Examiner.com and later, right here on Arts Enclave. If I went somewhere, it was in the Gold Outback, the music blasting while I sang along.

The Gold Outback was the car that I became a painter in—mostly pastels, but some oils and a little watercolor. In 2015, we followed the trail of the two escaped killers from Clinton correctional prison in Dannemora, NY for a book I’m working on.

Every day with that car I became closer to the person I am today. It took me decades to evolve to this place, where every day I write, practice music, and explore art of all kinds.

The people who make up my world now are writers and artists and musicians, and I plan to spend more time with them. I’m ready to strip down my universe to just the artistic essentials—my laptop, my guitar, my camera, and my art supplies. I’m more mobile than I ever was before, and I wanted a smaller car that made me smile.

I have a novel out with 14 editors, and a pretty cool agent who stands behind me. I’m working on the next novel and the book about the Dannemora escape. I’m hoping that pretty soon I’ll be zipping around to give readings in my bright red Renegade . We’re gonna see a lot of new places together.

“I don’t think about Art when I’m working. I try to think about Life.”

                                     —Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

I’m not alone in my attachment to my car. Most of my artist friends drive SUVs or hatchbacks—for transporting canvasses. But my writer friends Jelane and Eileen have relationships with their vehicles that go way beyond simple companionship. Read about their adventures across the country in Travels in Abbey.

What’s on your keychain? Share your vehicle story in the comments!

© Copyright 2017 – Arts Enclave.

If you’re wondering what’s going to happen to your healthcare insurance, you are in the company of millions.

No one, including Donald Trump, can predict what changes are coming. Trump is not a detail person, and despite tweeting that “there will be healthcare for all,” he doesn’t get the massive complexity of creating healthcare policies for a nation as large as the US.

He is talking about Universal healthcare—that big scary word that everyone despised when former President Obama first presented the notion back in the beginning of his presidency (and when others presented it during the decades before). Now Universal Healthcare is a Good Thing. It is, in fact, a Trump thing.

But what will the search for Trump’s bigger-better-more-important-than-ACA-unihealth do to the existing system? And what will it mean to you?

I decided to get some answers from someone on the front lines, insurance broker Jesse D. McDonald, who has worked for more than 20 years with the changing healthcare laws in CT.

Jesse offered his very well-informed perspective on where things may be headed. Here are some of his insights – but you should listen to the full interview for yourself!

 

Highlights of my interview with Jesse D. McDonald of Modern Insurance, Milford CT

BIG CHANGES AHEAD: When could we see changes that actually affect policies?

Even fast actions are not likely to affect 2017 coverage.

“Usually, major pieces of legislation are forward-looking and are not going to be retroactive. The defunding of aspects of Obamacare—which is going to be mainly subsidy related—is going to be forward-looking, and 2017 is pretty much etched in stone….The only thing anyone can do right now, especially given the uncertainty of what’s to come is to make sure they have coverage now in place.”

You have another 4 days left to obtain coverage through the ACA for 2017, which starts on March 1st. If you don’t have coverage, visit www.healthcare.gov for information.

COVERAGE: Why is having coverage now important if it’s going to change?

“One of the Republican healthcare plans being put forward is from the incoming Health and Human Services Secretary representative out of Georgia named Tom Price, who is likely going to be confirmed…His healthcare plan has a stipulation that preexisting conditions are going to be covered under health insurance plans in the future, but only if you’ve had 18 months of continuous coverage in effect, as of the time the new system starts.”

PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: What’s happening there?

“Now [on Obamacare], as soon as you’re approved for coverage, from Day 1 your pre-existing conditions are covered. I think it’s going to be very difficult for Republicans to go back on that in any way.”

WINNERS AND LOSERS: Trump said that he plans to “give healthcare to everybody.” The Republicans revised that to mean “access to healthcare for everybody”. What does that look like?

“These are really broad terms and they sound like semantical distinctions between somebody advocating for some form of universal healthcare system—and not realizing that he’s saying that—and his political party saying that they don’t believe in a government-run system, ‘We want the market to take care of it.’”

“The deeply-held belief of many Republicans on healthcare policy is that the market will come up with solutions for gaps in our healthcare system. Some of those ideas are not necessarily wrong, there’s just some disagreement about how viable they really are in the real healthcare world.”

“Either way, both these statements are very broad political appeals to voters and they don’t really mean anything. At this time, there’s no concrete legislation drafted and submitted to congress…”

“Trump’s goal is health insurance for all. He has a lot of confidence in himself, the President-elect, and his goal is to win, and do better than Obamacare, which will mean even more people covered. And he believes that plan can be implemented quickly.”

                                                     – Jesse D. McDonald

 

REPEAL AND REPLACE – How fast can a replacement be put in place?

Trump’s order calls for replacement ‘within the hour of repeal…’

“I think policymakers, lawmakers—which are the congresspeople and senators—they know these things don’t move that quickly….This is a prediction on my part: you’re likely to see some sort of a resolution that repeals ACA over a timeline which keeps it in effect for longer than they would have liked to while they craft their replacement.”

INTERSTATE INSURANCE: All plans are currently state-based, meaning you need to be insured in the state in which you declare residency, and if you move, you lose your insurance. Many artists, particularly performers, travel and often move. How should they look to ensure continuity in coverage?

“The Affordable Care Act has a couple of things that protect people in regards to mobility. One is, even though you have to purchase a policy in your state of residence…If you have a medical emergency in any other part of the country, the health insurance you have has to consider those services as in network, as if you were home…Another thing is, if you do move…you do have 60 days to buy a new policy so you have time to get it in place.”

Interstate policies, according to Jesse, are not feasible for a number of reasons.

So, how freaked out should we be?

“There are many people who are very anti-Obamacare, and they have listened intently to what politicians have said during the campaigns and they’re expecting Obamacare to go away overnight and something bigger and better to come in and save the day. You can’t count on that. Healthcare legislation is complicated…”

“Having coverage in effect now is the best thing you can do…Because until the law is repealed, if you go beyond January 31st with no coverage, you can’t buy coverage again until November for the next year—and that’s dangerous in and of itself.”

“It’s very wait and see. I don’t think anyone should be freaked out at this time.”

3 THINGS TO DO

1) Get covered!

2) Keep up with changes

3) Ask questions

“Make sure you ask questions. The best information is going to come from an independent health insurance broker that is a member of an organization called The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU)…our version of a Bar Association.”

 

Jesse D. McDonald, of Modern Insurance in Milford CT, is available to answer questions for people who have or are seeking healthcare coverage in the states of New York and Connecticut. He can be reached at 203-882-9805 or by email at jesse@modern-healthinsurance.com

 

AND, SOME LIGHT READING ON HEALTHCARE:

NYTimes – Jan 21, 2017  Trump Issues Executive Order Scaling Back Parts of Obamacare

USA Today – Jan 23, 2017  GOP senators outline first Obamacare replacement plan

Money Magazine – Jan 17, 2017 – HR2300 Here’s the plan Trump’s health secretary pick doesn’t want to discuss

The Fiscal Times – Nov 30, 2016  8 Big Changes Under Tom Price’s Obamacare Replacement Plan

CNN.com – Jan 16, 2017  Trump’s HHS pick doesn’t want to flaunt his own Obamacare bill at confirmation hearing

 

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