Don’t fall prey to scams
While there are several treatment options that can lessen the severity of the virus, there is no magic potion that will cure the Coronavirus. A free vaccine for anyone 12 and older is currently available from a variety of pharmacies, or your local or state health department. Regardless of vaccination status, wearing a properly fitted mask, hand washing and social distancing is recommended by most public health agencies.
The FTC and FDA have previously issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. The companies’ products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver. Scammers are following the headlines and new fraudulent activities are happening daily. Do your part and report fraud.
The seven companies reported in 2020 include:
- Vital Silver
- Aromatherapy Ltd.
- GuruNanda, LLC
- Vivify Holistic Clinic
- Herbal Amy LLC
- The Jim Bakker Show
There is no shortage of:
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels or other cleaning supplies
Grocery stores and suppliers say they have plenty; they just need hoarders to stop panic buying. Over buying in a panic causes these perceived shortages, which causes consumers to hoard more. Buy what you reasonably need at regular store prices. Buying at higher prices from people trying to make a quick buck only reinforces their bad behavior.
Protect Your Finances and Personal Information:
If you are feeling a little desperate, so are the crooks. Stay vigilant; do not give out personal or financial information over the phone. Not to anyone! Check your credit report to be sure nothing fraudulent has happened. Checking your credit report is free; do not pay someone to check for you.
Having Trouble Paying Your Bills?
Do not be shocked when your reduced income or increased prices of consumer goods will not cover your regular monthly expenses. Sit down and do the math before bills roll in, and make adjustments to your spending. The earlier you make adjustments the better. If you are having trouble, paying bills contact your lenders or service providers about an alternative payment plan. Consider paying minimum payment or interest only payment for a short time while not receiving regular income. Some business are setting up programs to help people in this situation due to the coronavirus. But again make sure you call/contact them and verify you are talking to a legitimate company representative.
Federal, state and local governments have programs to help people are impacted by coronavirus, but again they will not be reaching out to you via phone, mail or email. Watch the news for more information. Check to see if you are eligible for renters assistance or unemployment benefits.
Ideas to Reduce Your Expenses:
As a family sit down and review how to reduce your expenses. During this time many of us will need internet for working from home and to provide access for students to attend online school classes. Maybe look at un-bundling all the entertainment choices to get to the basic needs of internet and communication. Not to mention since many public places are closed, look at how you can reduce certain expenses such as new clothing, entertainment, health club fees, transportation costs, haircuts, makeup, and eating out.
With extra time and less money, learn to cook nutritious and inexpensive meals on a food budget for eating at home more often. Another idea is to cook and eat more beans, rice and lentils. Also contact local food banks for additional food resources during this time of reduced income.
Low Cost Entertainment and Education
Having everyone under the same roof is not our normal and may cause some stress. However this does present opportunities to learn and grow together. Look around your house to see what supplies you may have to create a vision board to plan a great experience. Using old magazines, photos, drawings can be a fun activity for all to learn how to vision and set future goals. Some other ideas would be to watch videos and learn how to sew, knit, whittle, or any other craft. Currently I’m making gifts and some original artwork as a house warming for my niece who bought her first place. You know those coloring books to relieve stress someone got you as a gift a few years ago, get them out and color while listening to music. In most areas of Colorado you can begin planting peas and root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots in mid-March. If it is still too cold to plant a garden, plan a future garden instead.
Take Time to Tackle a Project You’ve Been Putting Off
Clean and organize your home. Attack the piles of papers that you never seem to get around to managing. Clean out the garage, basement, etc. Re-purpose, sell or give away unwanted items you find while organizing.