As we continue to respond to the impact of COVID-19, all of our firm’s financial planners and their teams will begin working remotely, effective Tuesday, March 17. We will maintain this policy for all our offices nationwide until it is safe for everyone to reopen the offices.
Edelman Financial Engines is providing you with this resource center on COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus Disease 2019. This center offers you access to up-to-date news, data and resources.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese authorities originally identified COVID-19 in Wuhan City, China. The virus has resulted in confirmed human infections in China and a growing number of cases in other countries, including the United States.
Listen to Ric Edelman’s message about COVID-19 and the global financial markets.
A Special and Urgent Message About the Global Financial Markets
We are here to help answer your questions and to provide reassurance and support.
Your planner and their team can also easily accommodate you through phone calls, video conferencing and emails, if you don’t feel comfortable coming to the office. You can also make deposits to your account directly from your phone or by mailing a check to the appropriate address listed below for Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, TD Ameritrade or E*TRADE. Call your planning team if you need assistance.
Please write your account number in the memo field.
Global confirmed cases
You can view a global map, with frequent updates, of the locations with confirmed cases from the CDC here:
Additionally, the World Health Organization is providing daily situation reports that you can read here:
The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University developed an interactive, web-based dashboard to visualize and track cases reported in real-time. This technology provides researchers, public health authorities and you with a friendly tool to track the outbreak. The dashboard reports cases at the province level in China, city level in the United States, Australia and Canada, and at the country level elsewhere.
Confirmed and presumptive cases in the United States
There are some confirmed and presumptive positive cases in the U.S. that the CDC is tracking and monitoring. The CDC regularly updates its report Monday through Friday. You can view the latest report, including cases (confirmed and presumptive positive) along with a state map of these locations, and cases among persons repatriated to the U.S., including people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship here:
How COVID-19 spreads
According to the OSHA, without sustained human-to-human transmission, most Americans are not at significant risk of infection. The risk of contracting COVID-19 may be higher, however, for people who interact with potentially infected travelers from abroad, including those involved in:
- Health care.
- Death care.
- Airline and other travel operations.
- Border protection.
- Solid waste and wastewater management.
- Travel to areas, including parts of China, where the virus is spreading.
The current understanding about how COVID-19 spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the U.S.
Infected people can spread COVID-19 through respiratory secretions, especially when coughing or sneezing.
According to the CDC, the virus spreads mainly from person-to-person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
- People are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest (symptomatic).
- Some spread of the disease might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with COVID-19, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
How easily does COVID-19 spread?
How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious and are easily spread easily, like measles, for example. Other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained.
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (this is being referred to as “community spread” in some affected areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed cases, according to the CDC.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include:*
- Shortness of breath.
*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses, according to the CDC.
What you can do to prevent and treat COVID-19
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is ... fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 4, 1933
President Roosevelt’s iconic inauguration address during the peak of the Great Depression seems all the more appropriate today. Whatever you do, don’t panic. You’re going to be OK and we are here for you. Recognize that some of the best and brightest minds in America are working on this problem right now. And countless heroes in science, technology and health care are laboring to treat confirmed and presumptive cases. Ultimately, these experts will find a vaccine for COVID-19. Now is a time to trust in the experts and believe that we’ll find a way forward.
During times like these, it’s important to be thoughtful about where you’re getting your information from and it’s critical to consider your sources. Most of the information in this resource center comes from trusted and reliable sources such as the CDC and World Health Organization.
To this end, below is a guide from the CDC to prevent and treat COVID-19:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent this disease. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help curb the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Staying at home when you’re sick.
- Covering your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing , then discarding the tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Make sure to clean and disinfect your cell phone.
- Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with the virus should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.
If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should contact your health care provider immediately.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public
In addition to the above tips, we encourage you to review resources from the WHO by clicking the link below. You can find videos, brochures, infographics, tips and advice on:
- Implementing basic protective measures against COVID-19.
- Washing your hands frequently.
- Maintaining social distance.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practicing respiratory hygiene.
- Seeking medical care early.
- Staying informed and following advice given by your health care provider.
- Practicing protective measures for people who have recently visited areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
- Protecting yourself and others from getting sick.
- Coping with stress during the outbreak (more on this below).
- Practicing food safety.
- Staying health while traveling.
9 Tips to take care of yourself and your finances
Here are tips from the WHO and Edelman Financial Engines to help take care of yourself:
- Focus on mental health. It’s OK to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. Talking to people you trust can help. Contact your friends, family and your planner.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, exercising and maintaining social contacts with loved ones by email and phone.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counselor. Have a plan, know where to go and how to seek help for physical and mental health needs, if required.
- Get the facts. Gather information that will help you accurately determine your risk so that you can take reasonable precautions, but avoid panicking. Find credible sources of information you can trust such as WHO, CDC, and your local or state public health agencies.
- Reduce worry and stress by lessening the time you and your family spend watching or listening to media coverage that you perceive as upsetting.
- Draw on skills you have used in the past that helped you to manage previous adversities and use those skills to help you manage your emotions during this challenging time.
- Keep to regular routines and schedules as much as possible, or help create new and healthy ones in new environments.
- Work with your children. Children may respond to stress in different ways such as being more clingy, anxious, withdrawing, angry or agitated. Respond to your child’s reactions in a supportive way, listen to their concerns and give them extra love and attention.
Tip from Edelman Financial Engines
COVID-19 myth busters
Unfortunately, rumors run rampant during health crises. And sadly, conspiracy theories and myths are often pushed through social media and other channels. Here is a list of myths about COVID-19 that have been debunked by scientists and health care professionals from the WHO:
Are hand dryers effective in killing the new coronavirus?
No. Hand dryers are not effective in eradicating COVID-19. To protect yourself, you should frequently clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer. And make sure to moisturize with hand lotion!
Can an ultraviolet disinfection lamp kill the new coronavirus?
UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
How effective are thermal scanners in detecting people infected with the new coronavirus?
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e., have a higher than normal body temperature).
However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected with the virus become sick and develop a fever.
Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus?
No. Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to your clothes, eyes and mouth. Be aware that both alcohol and chlorine can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations.
Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from China?
Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, scientists know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.
Can pets at home spread COVID-19?
At present, there is no evidence that companion animals or pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, which can pass between pets and humans.
Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?
No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Hemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against COVID-19.
The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine.
Although these vaccines are not effective against COVID-19, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.
Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.
Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?
Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.
Does putting on sesame oil block the new coronavirus from entering the body?
No. Sesame oil does not kill the new coronavirus. There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the COVID-19 on surfaces. These include bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, which should only be used according to manufacturer directions.
However, they have little or no impact on the virus if you put them on the skin or under your nose. These products are not intended for use on bodies; it can be dangerous to put these chemicals on your skin.
Does COVID-19 affect older people or are younger people more susceptible?
People of all ages can be infected by the virus. Older people, and people with preexisting medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
People of all ages should take steps to protect themselves from the virus by following good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.
Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses; antibiotics only treat bacterial infections.
The new coronavirus is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
However, if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infections are possible.
Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat COVID-19.
However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe symptoms should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 additional resources
For more information, including up-to-date guidance and advice, please visit the CDC’s resource center here:
Centers for Disease Control, Johns Hopkins University, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety Health Administration, World Health Organization