Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Get Help to Stay Connected

Senior Spotlight   October 2020

By Judy Goddess 

 Need Help Staying Connected?: Online Tech Training and Support

Virtual services for adults 60+ and adults with disabilities:

Community Living Campaign, Zoom Help Desk: Virtual Help Desk: One-on-one Tech Help Appointments in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Call (415) 821-1003 or visit

Self-Help for the Elderly: Learn to use technology to enhance your life. Online computer skills classes in Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Russian. Call (415) 677-7529 or email

Community Tech Network Home Connect Program: Provides devices, internet, and training. Focuses on older adults who live alone, have little to no internet access and have a great desire to get online. Individual personalized training pathway for each older adult will vary based on their experience. Call (628) 200-3118 or email

Food Assistance

COVID-19 has doubled the number of households seeking food assistance from the Food Bank.During the pandemic, Pantries meet outside and may be canceled due to bad air quality. If you are in a sensitive group and unable to attend a pantry due to air quality, someone else may pick up your groceries on your behalf. Check the Food Locator for updates on your pantry.

The Census

Just a few days left to complete the Census, a once every ten-year count of everyone living in the U.S. There’s a lot at stake. Data from the census determines how many representatives we have in Congress and impacts how much federal money flows into San Francisco’s schools, hospitals, roads, social services, and more. Go to (available in 13 languages) or over the phone at 844-330-2020 (available in 15 languages)!

Don’t let San Francisco be undercounted!


Election day is Nov. 3.  Vote early by mail or the City Hall in-person Voting Center in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on 99 Grove St., between Polk and Larkin streets. For information and to complete the voter registration form, if you have not already done that, check

Getting Around in the City

Now that all the transportation changes in San Francisco seem to be slowing down, it’s time to advocate for what we need to get around safely, accessibly, and affordably. Join Cathy DeLuca from Community Living Campaign to learn all the ways you can let the City know about your transportation needs. She’ll help you understand how to navigate San Francisco’s main transportation agency (the SFMTA), as well as all the different ways you can take action to get the attention of the decision-makers.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2:30-3:30pm. To join by phone, dial (888) 475-4499 (toll free) or (669) 900-6833 (local). Enter Meeting ID: 862 4791 1544 and Passcode: 204674. To join with video, click this link: to register and join. Wait in the “waiting room” until the activity is ready to start.

Please check out the entire CLC calendar of virtual events:

Karen Duderstadt, Inner Sunset Neighborhood Hero

Earlier last year, when Inner Sunset resident Karen Duderstadt retired from her Nurse Practitioner position at San Francisco General Hospital pediatric clinic and her UCSF faculty position as director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program, she could have packed up her whites and walked away. But she didn’t.

“That’s not what we do in public health,” she said. The Covid-19 pandemic needed her nursing and Spanish language skills.

Duderstadt was on the front line in April and May when UCSF began testing Mission District residents and workers, and she’s still on the front line.

Though many San Franciscans can work from home, essential workers do not enjoy that luxury. In the Spring, when UCSF began its research project to determine if there was a higher Covid-19 infection rate among essential workers in the Mission District’s Latino population, the City’s overall infection rate was about one percent; it reached 6.9% in the Mission. Essential workers, largely unprotected on the job, return home to overcrowded living conditions with little opportunity to isolate.

“It’s outrageous. If we expect essential workers to continue on the job, we need to protect them and their living situation.”

Sr spotlight Karen COVID screening IMG_3910 (1)Photo: Karen Duderstadt (right) is suited up for COVID testing, along with one of her colleagues.  Courtesy photo.

The Mission District testing program ran for several days at three community sites.  Along with many current and some retired UCSF and SFGH medical staff, Duderstadt, masked, gloved, and gowned-up and was there.

“It was intense. We worked ten hours a day. When I got home, I took my scrubs off and took a shower before rejoining my family.”

The UCSF program demonstrated the disproportionate impact of the virus on the Latino community who, while only 15 percent of the City population, comprised 6.9 percent of the coronavirus cases in San Francisco.

Duderstadt, who perfected her Spanish “way back” when she worked as a nurse with migrant workers in rural Kansas and Colorado did not limit her involvement to San Francisco. San Rafael’s Canal district is a low-income neighborhood that is home to more than 11,000 Latinos, many of whom are essential workers. When the Covid-19 testing program began in the parking lot of the Canal Alliance, a well-established, nonprofit trusted by the Latino community, the results indicated a 40% positivity rate in some neighborhood blocks in the Canal District. Duderstadt was called upon to partner with the Canal Alliance to increase services in the district and improve the turn around on testing results to order to begin to control the outbreak.

When UCSF began developing curriculum for contract tracers, Duderstadt was involved and worked as a facilitator for the early contacttracing training sessions sponsored by the California Department of Public Health and UCSF. The training included furlowed state workers who were recruited to assist with contact tracing for five of the workers at the Canal Alliance to address the urgent need in the Latino community.

She feels we’re fortunate to live in San Francisco. Grant Colfax, the Director of the Department of Public Health in San Francisco, “learned about controlling disease during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and acted fast to safeguard city residents from the pandemic.

Wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands, sheltering in place, are all important, but we need a vaccine. “We need to reach herd immunity to control the pandemic. That would mean at least 50 to 60 percent of the population are vaccinated over the next year. We don’t want to make the same mistake that was made at Disneyland with the measles outbreak when many children were unvaccinated.

Her family is concerned she’s placing herself at risk, but Duderstadt assures them she’s careful and doesn’t take unreasonable risks. Apparently, in public health, it’s what you do even when you’re retired.


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